Oct 3, 2012

I Ate Squawfish Part II: smoked fish schmear

In my previous post I wrote about Oregon's bias against a natural predator of salmon - previously called Squawfish, recently renamed the Northern Pikeminnow.  And then I ate one.  Or half of one, anyway.  For this post, I'm going to show you the delicious smoked fish spread I made with the other half of the so-called "trash" fish I caught while angling for steelhead on the Rogue river a couple weeks ago.

Fourteen years of living in New York has had an enormous impact on my diet.  Primarily in the sense that I found the  produce so shitty there that I became determined to grow my own.  I changed my whole life as a result of my dissatisfaction with the quality of food available in New York - and I'm so glad.  I'm ecstatic to be starting my little Hipster Homestead in Oregon now, but there are a few food items I'll miss from the east coast.  Like a real New York bagel to go with my home made Jewish style smoked fish schmear.  Actually, I probably wouldn't even know what Jewish whitefish spread was if I hadn't lived in NYC.  And for that matter, an actual Jewish person.

I threw the Squawfish into the smoking brine along with the steelhead I caught on the Rogue.  I left that in the fridge overnight.  

The next day I smoked the fish for about five hours.  I'd smoke it longer if I wasn't planning to pressure can it.  

Half of a 3 pound Squawfish, smoked.  

I left the skin in tact to keep it from getting too dry.  I left the bones in because I'm going to pressure can it, which will render the bones soft enough to eat.  

It's a little on the dry side, especially compared with smoked salmon or steelhead - they have more fat to keep 'em moist during smoking.  

I pressure canned the smoked Squawfish at 11 lbs of pressure for 110 minutes.  

Smoked and pressure canned Squawfish.  This is going to make a great version of Jewish whitefish schmear.  Wish I could get a good bagel in this town!  

I removed the skin, then mashed the flesh and bones with cream cheese.  

I should let it sit overnight so the flavor penetrates the cream cheese.  To heck with that!

I went all the way to Kenny and Zuke's for a few bagels.  They were not particularly good.

A real New York bagel wouldn't snap in half like this.  It would be so moist, dense, and chewy that you'd have to pull it apart.  

Smoked Squawfish and cream cheese schmear on a Portland bagel.  Freakin' delicious.  

Kenny and Zuke's called this a salt bagel.  Where's the salt?  


  1. Never eat this before, but everything has a start right? :D

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