June 27, 2017

Tech Tips

CURING EGGS

When curing eggs the most important step is to start with fresh, blood free eggs caught within 24 hrs. Your Salmon and Steelhead must be bled for the roe to be blood free. If not, you might as well feed them to the dogs.  Never under any circumstances freeze the eggs before you cure them. The best eggs to use are fully matured eggs taken from fish that are close to spawning.

Egg Cure OneCombo this curing process with Pautzke’s Fire Cure and you are sure to increase your catching success.  The curing process is the most important part that takes time to master. To  produce a good fish-able egg, you must spend a considerable amount of time curing the eggs. Start by cutting the eggs down the middle exposing the inside of the eggs (see pic 1). I like to cut the eggs in half down the middle of the membrane or using the butterfly process by cutting down the middle of the egg exposing it like a book or a butterfly, be careful not to cut completely through the skein. You actually do not cut the membrane at all (see pic 2). In a quart jar add one tsp cure then place a layer of eggs (approx ½ cup of roe) into a jar and sprinkle cure onto them (approx 1 tsp).

Repeat this process until the jar is ¾ full. You will have to play with the amount of cure used to get your desired color. I like bright eggs, almost fluorescent. Scents can be added into the jar if desired. Let the eggs sit for an hour then shake the jar to spread the cure evenly. A few hours later, shake the jar again and repeat the process until the eggs become the desired color and appear firm. This usually takes 24 hrs. You will notice the eggs will become very juicy and then seem to suck up the juices and firm up again. Do not refrigerate unless outside air temperature is above 80.

Remove eggs from the jar and strain for 1 hr. Proper drying is also important. Lay down several layers of paper towels and spread the eggs out to dry (see pic 3). Cover the eggs with another layer of paper towels to keep flies, bacteria, etc. away. You can speed up the drying process by using a fan but keep a close eye on the eggs. Proper drying time usually is 12 hrs for a wet, soft fish-able egg; 24 hours for a firm, durable egg; and 30 hrs for a very durable egg.

Storage of the eggs is very important watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smd-o47REQM. Eggs will keep in the freezer for up to a year and fish just like the day you cured them. Another great way to store the eggs is fill a vac bag with 2 cups of Borax. Shake the eggs to spread the Borax. Freeze the eggs first then vac loc otherwise you will smash the eggs. This is a great method but there are plenty of others that work well too. Scott Haugen has an excellent book about curing eggs that I recommend for other cures: His book called Egg Cures is available at http://www.amatobooks.com/

www.pautzke.com

Ultimate smoked fish recipe:

  • 3 cups h20
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup salt plain
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic
  • 1 cap liquid smoke (optional)
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • 1 lemon squeezed
  • 1 tbs tabassco
  • 1 tbs soy
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple extract
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp red food color (optional it is for looks only)

Heat and stir but don’t boil, soak skinless fish fillets for 2 days then smoke to desired firmness the best smoked fish is usually very moist.  You can give credit for this recipe to Lewiston Idaho’s Sean Literal who won numerous smoke competitions.

Recipes from Chignik Bay Adventures Alaska

BAKED SALMON FILLET WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATO BUTTER

  • 1lb butter
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatos or steeped sun-dried tomatos
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tblsp fresh garlic
  • salt and peper to taste
  • 1 half fillet of Salmon

Soften butter in mixing bowl.  Fold in chopped sun-dried tomatos.  Fold in toasted pine nuts.  Add fresh garlic and salt and pepper.  Spread mixture over Salmon fillet and bake in oven at 400 degrees for about 10-15 minutes (depending on size) until flakes and is cooked.  ***Due to the amount of butter used it will cause your outdoor grill to flame so have a water squirter available***

SALMON PATE

  • 1-2 c. left over baked salmon
  • 4oz. cream cheese softened
  • ¼ c. mayonnaise
  • ¼ c. grated onion
  • Dash of Tobassco and a dash of cayenne
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together, check the consistency, it should be soft enough to dip a cracker into without breaking it but not runny.  *** I make a lot of variations from the above recipe… If I leave out the cream cheese, I add more mayonnaise and cran-rasins, toasted pine nuts, dried apricots, and serve with toasted baguettes.  It also makes a nice sandwich spread.   Anything you did with tuna fish you can use salmon or halibut.***

HALIBUT ALé ESKA    (Alé Mary)

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 to 2 Tbls. garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice

Mix together all ingredients and spread over halibut.  Double or triple depending on amount of halibut being served.  Bake uncovered at 420° 15 to 20 minutes or until flaky.  Top will brown, don’t over- bake.

HALIBUT PARMESAN

  • 2 lbs. halibut fillets- serving size
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-oz olive oil
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 4 Tbls. butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • lemon wedges for garnish
  • 20 Ritz cracker crumbs

Use three mixing bowls.  1] Parmesan and cracker crumbs;   2] buttermilk; 3] flour.  Coat each piece of halibut with flour, dip into buttermilk and then cheese/crumb mixture.  Set aside on dish, cover with waxed paper and refrigerate for 2 hours to set the breading.

Heat a large frying pan- medium heat, combine olive oil and butter.  Heat until bubbly, add fillets and sauté until golden brown on both sides.

CRAB CAKES

  • 1 lb of shucked crab meat
  • ½ c. celery finely chopped
  • ½ c. onion finely chopped
  • ½ c. mayonnaise
  • 1-2 eggs to combine mixture
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 dashes of tobassco sauce
  • 2-3 cups panko (Japanese fish breading)
  • Oil enough to fry cakes in

Combine all the ingredients and form into small round cakes, cover crab cakes in panko on all sides.  Heat oil until a water drop dances on top, (to hot and the cakes turn smoked color) Roll cakes in panko and place into frying pan.  Let each side cook about 2 min. and set aside.  This makes a lot, serve with tartar sauce or a type of cocktail sauce.  *** You can substitute salmon or halibut for crab, these are also very good cakes and nice way’s to use up left over salmon or halibut.***