Monday, May 21, 2012

Cinnamon-Smoked Bacalao

The best part of waking up, is smoking the fish you were curing the day before (I know that had you singing in your head). That christmas morning-like anticipation that also occurs when grilling marinated meats, fermenting vegetables and braising stews. Letting the flavors permeate and the texture of flesh transform. 

This anticipation is coupled with that nervous feeling predicting potential failure after all of that work and patience. Lately I've been trying more indoor smoking techniques and all the trials have turned out successful. I found a sushi mat I got as a gift years ago, still wrapped in it's clearance-rack make-your-own-sushi kit. Once I finally thought of a real use for it, I opened it up and used it as the smoking platform for the cod.

I seasoned the cod filet generously with salt the day before. I rinsed it off this morning and wok-smoked it over applewood and vietnamese cinnamon bark for 15 minutes (it was a small filet, though I don't think smoking longer would've resulted negatively; in fact, I wish I had smoked it longer and next time I will). 

It is reminiscent of a fresh bacalao, which is an oxymoron, I know; but the over-saltiness allows it be used in similar preparations with a more delicate approach and result. 
I flaked the meat carefully by hand into fairly large chunks and have it ready in my arsenal for a quick cold appetizer or a delicious sandwich.

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