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Smoked Red Snapper

by Steve Holzinger

1-1/2 lb. red snapper filet, skin on -- 6 oz
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. brown sugar
1 tbs. garlic, chopped
1 tsp. pepper black -- freshly ground
1 tbs. maple syrup
6 oz wood chips for smoking -- moisten
1 each foil pie plate

2 qts water
12 oz kosher salt -- approx.
2 tbs. brown sugar
1 tbs. garlic granulated
Prepare the brine by dissolving enough salt in the cold water to float an egg, (the amount given is an approximation. Add the sugar and the granulated garlic.

Brine the fish for one hour. I use frozen red snapper and I put the frozen fish in the brine for about 2-1/2 hours.

Combine the olive oil, brown sugar, garlic and pepper to make a rub, and rub it into the fish well. Oil the skin side lightly, so it won't stick to the smoking racks.

Smoke the fish for 60 - 75 minutes, depending on thickness at 225 F.

Paint the fish with warmed maple syrup as a glaze.

What if you don't have a smoker? Lamalle 1-800 660 0750 has a stainless steel stove top smoker, and they sell wood chips of all flavors.

If you have a two burner propane grill, you can put the wood chips (moist) in a pie pan on one side. Cover down. When they begin to smoke, put the fish on the unlit side and close the cover, turn the heat on low. With a single burner charcoal grill, get the wood chips smoking good, add the fish, turn off the fire. There will be enough smoke to give you flavor, but the fish may cook sooner than you think.

Red snapper slices very nicely when smoked, and tastes like lean sturgeon.

Notes: I find this a delightful appetizer, served sliced with buttered dark pumpernickel bread, and thin slices of sweet onion. It is also good on a bagel, and fits into a buffet of smoked and pickled fishes nicely. The maple syrup glaze is my idea, and if you don't like it, it is easy to skip, but you won't know unless you try, will you?

Serves 4.
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