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Recipe Created by: HuntChef #wildflavor Partner Jon White

For this recipe we are using a few Striper filets. I really enjoy the flavor of the meat, the texture and of course the size of the filet. For serving a nice Entrée to anyone I really prefer using striper over other freshwater species in my area due to those features and it sure blackens up nicely. I usually don’t deep fry my striper. I leave that to things like catfish and white bass. I decided to do a brined and smoked fish dip to show some versatility. This can be done with something as simple as some wood chips and anything you can keep some ventilation and smoke in and not burn the place down. I made a homemade smoker for things like sausage or fish and I love it. 

The recipe ingredients are simple and the process isn’t anything that the average home cook can’t accomplish. The key here is time management. The process of the brine, drying, and smoking all the way to the finished product takes a few days but is worth a unique finished product that is a great introduction to fish. Especially species not so high on the eater list that we can harvest with other means like bowfishing. 

To start you want to make your brine by mixing those ingredients in the stove until everything dissolves in the water then cool the brine completely. Put your filets in a ziplock bag and pour the brine over them, seal tightly and roll up so they stay submerged. Brine for about 8 hours then discard the brine and dry the filets with a paper towel. I place them on a cookie cooling rack then on a sheet tray and place in the fridge for about 12 hours or until it becomes dry to the touch. This is often called the pellicle when smoking meats. Season the filets with the dry rub mix and smoke under 200 degrees Fahrenheit until the fish hits at least 135 degrees internal temperature. It should flake but still have a little moisture. This took about 2.5 hours for me to achieve this round.  I put the smoked filets back on the cleaned cookie drying rack and put in the fridge until I am ready to incorporate. Now, you want to mix everything for the dip in a bowl except for 1 T of fresh Dill and Chive and the fish. Once everything is incorporated well, taste it to make sure it is pretty close to where you want it but remember the fish will add salt and seasoning. I like to crumble my fish and leave it a little chunky but you could absolutely run the fish and dip through a food processor and make it a smoother consistency if you prefer. The key there is not over mixing the herbs so it doesn’t change the color of your dip. Once you’re all mixed up, I like to place it in a nice glass container and top then chill completely. I garnish with the remaining dill and chive and a little dash of seasoning on top to serve. If you want to go the extra mile then you can add the “Be Extra” crawfish sauce to the top by sauteing those items together then smothering the top at service. 

Smoked Fish Dip with Cream Cheese and Chives

For the Dip

  • 2 smoked fish filets- total weight of 12oz-16oz raw weight
  • Chive- 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) minced
  • Fresh Dill- 1 Tablespoon minced
  • 1 Cup Cream Cheese – Room Temp
  • ¼ cup- 1 cup sour cream or Mayo
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 fire roasted peeled and seeded Jalapeno
  • ¼ cup minced celery
  • 1 teaspoon favorite hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • ½ – 1 Tablespoon Straight Outta The Bay HuntChef Seasoning

For the brine

  • 1 quart water
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
  • 2 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ lemon sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Straight Outta The Bay HuntChef Seasoning 
  • For the smoked Fish
  • ½ Tablespoon Straight Outta the Bay HuntChef Seasoning
  • ½ Tablespoon Straight Outta Pontchartrain HuntChef Seasoning
  • ½ Tablespoon Brown Sugar

Be Extra Sauce

  • 1 cup crawfish tail meat
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T Lemon Juice
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 T fresh minced parsley
  • 1 pinch AP flour 
  • ½ Tablespoon Straight Outta Pontchartrain HuntChef Seasoning

Recipe Created by: HuntChef #wildflavor Partner Jon White

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