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  1. #1
    SerialSinner's Avatar
    SerialSinner is offline Senior Member
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    I bought a smoked vacuum-sealed whole big fish in a Polish deli, and after a couple of days of unsuccessfully delivering about it's fate I decided to put it in the freezer while I reached a final decision.


    The thing is, I am culinarily-handicapped and still have no clue of what to do with it.


    These are some of my questions:


    What's the best way to proceed? Should I make a soup for example? If so, should I separate the meat from the bones first?


    Should I just let it defrost and then serve it directly?


    Since it's a big fish, can I defrost it, eat half, and then freeze the rest again without spoiling it?


    If so, how do I re-pack the fish prevent my freezer of smelling bad?


    Any tips will be very appreciated.

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

  2. #2
    Catalina's Avatar
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    Wow. . .caught your eye, eh?


    I believe (but someone else correct me) that any smoked fish is already cooked. And I'd be pretty leery of refreezing it once it's thawed. Here's a bunch of smoked salmon recipes that you could probably use:


    http://www.justsmokedsalmon.com/recipes.htm


    I'm thinkin' just have a big party! Smoked fish is one of my favorite foods--really great in salads, omelettes, etc.


  3. #3
    Mick's Avatar
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    [quote]

    I bought a smoked vacuum-sealed whole big fish in a Polish deli, and after a couple of days of unsuccessfully delivering about it&#39;s fate I decided to put it in the freezer while I reached a final decision.</blockquote>


    Can you go back and ask what fish it is? If they can give advice on how to prepare it, so much the better. If not, at least you can look it up.


    How you&#39;d treat it depends on what it is. Something like hot-smoked salmon or mackerel or trout is ready to eat.


    On the other hand, smoked haddock or cod should be cooked. Those you can just poach in a little water or traditionally in Scotland in a little milk - Finnan Haddie. You could bake them in the oven, too. Or they&#39;re used in in fish soup/chowder, fish pie, or kedgeree.


    The thin-sliced salmon you can buy must, I think, be cold-smoked, because it isn&#39;t cooked. But that you can eat raw - the smoke-curing probably processes it enough when the meat&#39;s cut that thin. (You can also process raw fish in other ways - marinating in lemon, for example.) I think that won&#39;t apply to you, because this is a whole fish. I think it must be either hot-smoked and ready to eat, or like smoked haddock - smoked but still requiring cooking.


    It looks like the Poles prepare a range of smoked fish:


    http://books.google.com/books?id=UtA6-pyGJmMC&pg=PA108


    Best to ask the seller. Otherwise, I guess you could wait till you&#39;ve got a few people coming, defrost it, and cut into it to see what you&#39;ve got. They either get to eat a bit sooner or bit later, depending on whether it turns out you need to cook the fish. If the flesh is soft and the knife goes in easily, it&#39;s ready to eat. If the flesh is hard and a little translucent it needs cooking.


    Once it&#39;s defrosted you have to use it, as has already been said in this thread.


  4. #4
    OnTheBayou's Avatar
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    Refreezing food is just fine, it&#39;s an old housewive&#39;s CYA myth. I often pull something from the freezer, thaw, remove part, and refreeze. Still here to tell about it.


    No scientifically valid reason not to.


  5. #5
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    ...Only that the quality of the meat is drastically diminished. The act of freezing any meat in the first place puts cuts through the fibers as the water forms ice crystals and expands, so you&#39;re just doing that all over again when you re-freeze. It&#39;s not going to kill you, and the meat certainly won&#39;t spoil, but it&#39;s not an old wives tale either. It&#39;s just not as good the second time around if that matters to you.


    Lots of people put smoked fish in salads and appetizers, right? I&#39;ve personally never had anything but smoked salmon, and even that in limited quantities. A great recipe resource is "allrecipes (dot) com," you can put in your ingredient, and it should pull up a host of recipes for you. Then you can sift through and find something good, then make it primal! I use that site a lot when I have random ingredients and little inspiration.

    You are what you eat,
    and what you eat eats too - Michael Pollan


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    SerialSinner's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback.


    Mick, the fish is a mackerel, so I guess it is edible without further cooking. And thanks for the link as well.


    I am thinking of cutting the fish in half while frozen and leave one of the halves defrosting.


    Hannahc I like the salad idea, it&#39;s easy to make and the combination of balsamic vinegar with the mackerel seems promising...

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

  7. #7
    Charles Blackberry's Avatar
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    If you are in the mood you could make mackerel soup. Not as easy and quick as a mackerel 2 minute salad though.


    Mackerel Ginger Soup

    http://www.cookitsimply.com/recipe-0010-013196x.html


    The recipe includes beer, I hope you don´t mind, but that is the only non-primal ingredient.


    You need asian soup stock, so in case you can´t find it in the store you can make it yourself:

    http://www.recipezaar.com/Asian-Soup-Stock-56475


  8. #8
    SerialSinner's Avatar
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    Charles the ginger soup looks relatively easy to make and very tasty, thanks for the tip.

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

  9. #9
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    Smoked fish stays fresh in a refrigerator for a pretty long time. No real need to freeze. Smoked mackerel is great in omelettes and salads. Just flake the meat off the bone (if there are bones) with a fork. I like eating smoked fish with chopped egg, tomatoes, capers, and cream cheese or sour cream. That&#39;s how I grew up eating it on bagels, but now I just skip the bagel part.


  10. #10
    Agnieszka's Avatar
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification


    Do you often get your fish from Polish delis, SerialSinner?


    If you don&#39;t mind a bit of nationalist self-loathing from me:


    As someone who grew up in Poland and is very familiar with Chicago&#39;s Polish delis--and who had a very bad experience with many a Polish smoked mackerel--I would encourage you to get your fish elsewhere, if possible. The only fish the Poles "do" well is herring. Having said that, I&#39;m sure there are exceptions.


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