January 2, 2018

Smoked Fish Salad

Just like a narcissistic hoarder mermaid, we're gonna betray
this little guy. Fortunately, he'll taste delicious.
Well, it's a new year out there. From what I've seen so far it's mostly like the old year, but you can never be too sure. I'm only like halfway through testing out laws of physics, so there could be some fun new surprises in 2018. But I digress. Like I said, it's a new year, so I figured that it's a good time to make some old-world food that somehow stood the test of time. Specifically, I'm making a smoked whitefish salad, which is an absurdly tasty thing to eat with bread, crackers, or vegetables, plus is full of protein so it'll help you survive the harsh winter you'd experience in a frozen wasteland like Siberia or Chicago. You can technically still buy this stuff nowadays in delis and whatnot, but it's usually full of sugar. Which normally I don't have a problem with, but we're talking fish and (apparently) that's where I draw the line.


1 lb. Whole Smoked Fish (I bought smoked chubs, because that's the flavor I grew up with. You've got some leeway here, but stick in that general vicinity. Pretty much any fish you could reasonably expect to catch on a midwestern fishing trip.)
2 Ribs of Celery
3 TBSP Mayonnaise
2 TBSP Sour Cream
1.5 TBSP Fresh Dill
1 TBSP Prepared Horseradish (It's important to help your horseradish prepare for what's coming next)
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
Black Pepper

The first thing you're gonna need to do is remove the meat from your fish. Ideally you should have started this some time back in 2017, because it'll take a while. It's not that it's particularly hard to get at the meat. It's that there are, at a conservative estimate, 37,000 tiny little bones that are going to try and come along for the ride. There aren't any good ways to help with this, but there are a couple of methods to try and help minimize the horror. One option is to kind of flake the fish off of the bones with a couple of forks. Prayer and shouting angrily are other, equally effective methods. Long story short, even after you carefully remove the fish from the bones, you're probably going to want to go over them between one and seven times, just to double (septuple) check that you're completely bone free. The bad news is that if you were to look at a clock you'd note that this entire process has taken forever. The good news is that it's pretty much antarctica outside, so where else did you have to be exactly?

This fish smoked 3 packs a day for the sake of flavor.
Let's not let that sacrifice be in vain. 
Once your fish is boneless, lightly mash it into chunks with a fork or other implement of culinary destruction. Then choppity chop up your celery in to tiny bits and toss it in there along with your chopped dill, your mayo, sour cream, horseradish, worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice. Mix the whole thing into a homogenous fish glop, and salt and pepper it to taste. Cover it up and toss it in your fridge for at least a couple hours so that all of the flavors get to know each other. This is important. Flavors that don't know each other, who awkwardly stand at either end of the dance floor staring at the ground can ruin an otherwise awesome dish. When you're serving this (by which I mean eating it on the couch while watching Netflix), take it out of the fridge, top it off with some fresh chopped chives, and slather it up on anything you've got lying around. Crackers, cucumbers, the flesh of those too weak to make it through the winter. This will make anything taste smoky, and salty, and awesome. So enjoy the winter! There's only like 3 and a half months left.

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