The changing colors of a Beaches and Dreams morning
1 cast from Mr. Nunez and he has all the bait he'll need to catch a boatload of Spanish Mackerel
" Buiti Bunafi" (pronounced Bweety Boon-ah-fee) I bid him in Garifuna, acknowledged by a nod from him as he paddled by, eyes scanning below the surface with barely enough light to see the telltale silver flash that tells him he is on the sprat. He readies his net and in one throw he brings up enough sprat to catch a boatload of the Spanish Mackerel. I order 10 pounds of filets from him and he is on his way.
The Mackerel have a high content of oil and this makes for perfect smoking. I'll brine them overnight with brown sugar and salt, the way the Athabascans taught me in Alaska with a slow smoldering fire far away from the fish. I'll be able to give the fish a good 8 hour smoke. It will make a fabulous appetizer with pickled onions in sour cream. I'll also mix some of the crumbly smoky goodness with some cream cheese and bread crumbs for a great stuffing for snapper, topped with a delicate Champagne sauce. The smoked fish will also make add flavor and texture to our Belizean Paella which is one of the stars of our menu when lobsters are not in season.
Ready for some smoke after a 12 hour brine
Ready to close the lid and let benign neglect take over
The Appetizer of Smoked Mackerel with pickled onions and sour cream will have the pleasure of being accompanied by our signature Sourdough Ciabatta Bread, lightly crisped in the oven. this airy crusty bread is made with a Sourdough Starter I started in Alaska 25 years ago. I brought it down and every time I bake the fresh bread, I take little out and add it to more flour and water and in 3 days, have a new bubbling batch that make finished product chewy and slightly sour.
A fresh batch of Sourdough Starter bubbles with the original sourdough brought from my Alaskan 25 year old starter
Its just another day in culinary Paradise here in Belize. We meld the past with the present, culturally and gastronomically, borrowing from all cultures to produce some great food right on our little stretch of beach...........You'd Better Believe it!