Smoked Striper HEAD & Smoked Mackerel!

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leah elisheva

Master of the Pit
Original poster
Sep 19, 2013
Seacoast of New Hampshire

OK, the season is in gear alas! (I know I posted striper head last year but I am back)!

And too, thanks to our "Captain Randy", I have been the benefactor of some very generous and fresh and incredible whole mackerel - freshly caught - that on the smoker is superb! Thank you Randy! And thank you all for sharing in my lunch!

I smoked the head of striper - mopped first through avocado oil - on the lower rack of my tiny gas smoker, hickory chips, for 30 minutes.

Atop the first rack and grill grates, were two fresh mackerel, no oil added or anything (until plating) and smoked for just 20 minutes.

I plated with fresh basil, some diced cuke, red onion and tomato - and too, ancient amaranth grain (keeps one regular!!!) and then the pulled striper head and cheek meat (though my dogs got some cheek as well and adored it) and this combination was so good!

The mackerel skin is GODLIKE! And it is the single healthiest fish one can eat, according to authorities far wiser than me!

The combo is lovely (this meal was just for me today and so it's a little smaller) but still, as a woman who eats just shy of 4 thousand calories a day, I must say this was a lovely little lunch!

BLACK CYPRUS sea salt, avocado oil, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest, all made it terrific tasting too!

And  humble albeit fabulous Trader Joe's dry Pinot Grigio really added.

From cleaning the fish to cooking and arranging and eating and photographing, I had a blast! Thanks for being part of my happy day!

I'll upload pix next, via my phone! Cheers to all! - Leah
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Very interesting Leah.  I'd eat something  that looks back at me.. but not for breakfast 
.  I had a French friend many years ago who was a perfume maker and had moved to FL from France to grow a certain type flower for perfume.  He swore that the head was the best part of the fish. He stewed it, made soup out of them(eyeballs removed) and It was wonderful.  I brought him fish (largemouth bass) , but he was happier when I just brought the heads.  The cheeks are the best part of many large fish like Halibut & grouper.

Anyway, thanks for the post and pics.  The food & the chef all look great 

When I saw the title I knew it had to be Leah.........Morn'n girlfriend...

Salmon season in the rivers starts next week. I will make as many different dishes as I can from the collars back. The heads.......some smoked and some fresh.......go to my Chinese buddy. I will make smoked salmon fillets for him and he will make some of the most incredible salmon head dishes I have ever eaten for me. We will tilt a glass or two in your name when we get started.

Killer looking meal you have there. Gives me something to try for......

Thank you so much Greg and what a fabulous story!

Our wine group (up in groups under: "winos and woodchips") is such a fun clutch of people who share these great food/wine/smoking/life stories daily and it's a blast! Please join, if you have not already, and share in the fun!

Meanwhile, yes, halibut cheeks make a meal in itself and are lovely!

And I eat my main meal as a "brunch" circa 10-11 a.m. hence the timeframe. My near 1200 calorie breakfast is at 3 a.m.!

Anyway, happy Thursday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And thank you tons!!! Cheers! - Leah
Brad, Man, It's Good to Hear From You!

How goes it in Emu, Boar country? You have your access to our global best!

That all sounds great and I am tilting a glass back at you!

Thank you tons! So good to hear of your eating!!!!! Cheers!!!!!!!!!! - Leah
Beautiful as always, and the food looks wonderful as well!

Last year, after a good fishing trip, we tried smoking a striped bass head and it was good!  Problem is, here in Texas, it's hard to get any of decent size!

Going to Florida in August though and have 2 charter trips scheduled...
CrankyBuzzard, thank you so much!

Your trips must be spectacular!

While I was gifted these beautiful mackerel, AND then the striper head by another gracious fisherman, I just got my own little license so that I may learn to catch my own bluefish and striper.

The fish right from the sea is so amazing and to catch one's own must be a kick and a half!!!!

In any event, thanks tons for the nice comments! Cheers!!! - Leah
​Thanks so much for the tip on the Winos & woodchips group.  Look forward to more of your culinary masterpieces there.  I love the wine, but afraid my taste is rather unsophisticated.  Maybe I can expand my horizons with some serious wino advice 

No worries Greg on the wine tastes! We don't grade anyone and so long as one drinks what THEY love and what loves them, I applaud that, truly, and think the snooty wine world should get a grasp on real palate which often has nothing to do with price.

It's all subjective and people have such different tastes. And they should!

In any event, come post, share, sip, smoke, and enjoy! It's a lovely group, as is the whole site here! I learn so much from everyone and love the diverse palates and plates and people here indeed! Cheers! - Leah
Great looking meal as usual. So much great meat in the head,very sweet.

There are 2 fish head dishes in nose to tail for those that are now converts thanks to Leah.

This is one of them, other is a risotto.

Enjoy summer Leah,Aust having cold snap ,locals freaking out.It may get below freezing in Sydney overnight.

Commuters wrapped up like polar explorers , Linda has her side of the bed hotter than Fiji ,you could grow freaking orchids there. All a bit of a joke compared to what you went through last season.
The weather difference is hilarious indeed! Yes "shovel year" as New Englanders affectionately think of the past winter, does have me appreciating the warm sunshine now and tons!

Meanwhile, thanks for great words on the food and I am off to check out that fish head link! How fun!!
Thank you so much Captain Randy!

Your amazing mackerel are the best & the SKIN on them, when smoked, is just like maple candy or adds so much! Just delicious!

Food is so fun, but food from the ocean is just amazing!!! Thank you so much!!! I'm so grateful and just loving them!!!!!!

And Happy Friday!!!!!!
Once again superb living here on the gulf coast I must try a red snapper head.  Snapper cheeks are wonderful and they are best with a good sized fish.

Oh Richard, snapper cheeks sound fabulous! I enjoy the halibut cheeks a rear deal and the striper head yields some luscious and soft pieces too!

I think some of the best meat is in the head indeed!

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