smoked whitefish salad
1/2 Cup salt
1/3 Cup brown sugar
Quart cold water
1 Whole Whitefish, Gutted, Skin-On
1/2 Cup celery, diced
1/2 Cup red onion, diced
Tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 Tablespoon Fresh Dill, Minced
3/4 Cup mayonnaise
1/4 Cup sour cream
1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the brine: Combine salt, brown sugar, water, and vodka (if using), in a large shallow container such as a roasting pan.
Add the fish, cover and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours. Remove the fish from the brine and rinse thoroughly, inside and out, under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brine.
When ready to cook, set temperature to 180℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.
Place the fish on the grill grate. Tuck 2 or 3 balls of foil in the cavity so the interior gets more exposure to the smoke.
Smoke the fish for 3 to 4 hours, or until it flakes easily when pressed with a fork and has an internal temperature of 150℉. Let cool, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Salad: Remove the skin and break the fish into flakes; remove any pin bones you find.
Add the celery, red onion, lemon juice, dill, mayonnaise, sour cream, and pepper. Stir gently with a rubber spatula to combine.
To serve, mound the salad into leaves of lettuce or radicchio and accompany with bagels or bagel chips, crackers, or cocktail breads.