Captain’s Blog – November 23, 2009 – Marathon Florida Keys – For our first Christmas living in the Keys, Christy gave me a Bradley Smoker. I thought I had died and gone to heaven!
Back at the Jersey Shore, my hunting club buddies and I smoked all manner of game meat and fish. We used our own, homemade contraption. Your basic 55-gallon drum cut in half and mounted on some sort of trailer. It worked great, but what a mess. I always lost at least one good t-shirt to the smoking process. Good beer-drinking time, though.
One of my anglers from last week, Dora Potash from Islamorada, gifted me with the 20-pound kingfish she caught during her SeaSquared charter. Just in time for the Johnson holiday tradition of smoking fish and making our famous smoked fish dip.
In preparation for the ritual, I cut the king into manageable chunks and began the brining process late Friday evening. I like the fish to brine at least 24 hours prior to smoking.
So, as the cars went round and round the track at Homestead, and Jimmy Johnson raced for his fourth championship, I fired up my beloved smoker with the convenient hickory chips stacked high. She worked her magic and I lounged on my porch enjoying the race, with doses of napping thrown in for good measure.
A few delightful hours later, I had five pounds of aromatic smoked kingfish. Ta da! Out came the ultra-delux KitchenAid stand mixer (gift to Christy the same Christmas). In went the fish, the cream cheese, the sour cream and the other secret ingredients. Ta da! Capt. Chris Johnson’s Famous Smoked Fish Dip.
My good buddy, Capt. Spider Branch, is a pro at smoking fish. It must be the Indian in him. Or the Crazy. Probably a little of each. And, he makes a mean smoked fish dip too. He and I have agreed to share a mutual respect for each other’s recipes while secretly favoring his own!
Please share Capt. Chris Johnson’s Famous Smoked Fish Dip with your family and friends this holiday season. And, if you need some kingfish, amberjack or mackerel, personally smoked by me, just let us know! We’re happy to ship it nationwide!