My father-in-law, Carl, was also a big proponent of eating bluefish. Whenever we would go to the Outer Banks, Carl and Matt would catch a mess of small bluefish. Cleaned and cooked that day, they were perfect served plain with salt and pepper. Carl would always smirk when people gave him odd looks for saving the bluefish, rather than tossing them back in hopes of something fancier. "They don't know what they're missing," he mused.
As I approached this recipe, I felt encouraged by my past experiences cooking bluefish...but those were small North Carolina bluefish. For curing, I had a larger New Jersey blue with an oval body the size of a small Coho salmon. Still, the meat smelled clean and fresh, despite its dark, ruddy-colored flesh. I cured it simply, with salt, brown sugar, and dill. I added a bit of caraway and white pepper for seasoning, wrapped it up, and stashed it in the fridge for three days, flipping once a day to distribute the cure.
|Cleaned Bluefish and a Head for Stewing