Friday, November 23, 2007

Smoked Mackerel Canapes

Some get worked up about the turkey on Thanksgiving. Brine or baste, roast or deep-fry, free range or heritage. But I get excited about mackerel.

A holiday spread in this Russian household is not complete without some sort of smoked or salted fish. Some go for herring, salty and traditional. I go for mackerel, smoky and creamy. Last week my mom bought a whole hot-smoked mackerel at the Russian store. It came with a tail, a head, and sad, pleading eyes. I was unmoved.

My mom and I cut the fish into sections, removed the skin and bones, and dug in. You can eat smocked mackerel spread on rye bread, with slices of cucumber and tomato. Or you can pick up the soft, fatty chunks with your fingers and pop them in your mouth, letting the fish melt on your tongue.

The week before Thanksgiving I thought about smocked mackerel, a lot. When Nov. 22 arrived, I tiptoed around the fish, ensconced in the fridge for the guests, like a cat. By late afternoon, I proclaimed it time for a pre-dinner snack. Don't worry; I refrained from eating with my fingers. The holidays call for a nicer presentation.


You will need a hot-smocked mackerel fillet (sold at Russian groceries), cleaned of skin and bones, and cut into chunks. (If you get squeamish around whole fish, you can sub smoked trout or salmon fillets).

Toast some thinly sliced dark rye or wholemeal bread. Spread with a thin layer of unslated butter.Top with a thin slice of cucumber, a thin slice of tomato, and a slice of mackerel. Or skip the tomato and top with thinly sliced red onion. Use the leftover mackarel to make Beyond Salmon’s delicious looking smoked fish chowder.


Ann said...

Okay, Jack would LOVE this. I'll surprise him with it very soon. :-)

Anonymous said...

I found out about your blog when a friend of mine mentioned a blogger cooking through "Please to The Table." So, you see, you were the subject of our dinner party conversation. :) I like this cookbook very much (although I admit that her dessert recipes are faulty, the savory ones are very good). I read your blog from start to finish in a couple of days and very much enjoyed it. So, please continue blogging! I cannot wait to hear more about your projects, because as a cook (however busy), I am sure that you have many interesting ideas.


Yulinka said...

Vika-Thanks so much for your comment. I'm glad my little blog is inspiring dinner party conversations! I'm not cooking all that much from Please to the Table these days, but my posts often tend to come back to eating Russian.

Ann--Let me know how it turns out.

adele said...

Ooh. I'm not familiar with smoked mackerel (the only mackerel I've ever eaten has been sushi-style), but I love oily fish. I'll have to track this down and try it. :)

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