The bluefish run meets Swedish craft. It’s mid-August, the time of year that begs the question, “What else can I do with bluefish?” At Andrew’s Point in Rockport they're fat and many.
It’s also the time of year to make dinner be cocktails and appetizers on a cool porch with a breeze and some friends.
Our neighbor addressed all of the above by taking a bluefish fillet, creating bluefish gravlax - the Swedish method of quick-curing fish, and bringing it to Howlets for cocktails.
We’re drinking a Provencal Rose - Magali, and then a Chinon, but the appetizers are all Cape Ann terroir: Andrew’s Point Bluefish on homemade Anadama Bread from George’s Breakfast in Gloucester. (No, the photos reflect Alexandra's cobbles, but that was before I picked up this beautiful loaf of Anadama.)
Time for another August favorite: a swim before drinks.
2 bluefish fillets, about 3 - 4 pounds in total
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground white pepper
1 cup fresh dill, plus some for garnish
At least 2 days before serving, rub the flesh of the filets with the sugar, salt, and pepper. Place one fillet on a work surface, flesh side up. Cover the entire surface with the dill. Place the other fillet on top, skin side up, pressing the flesh against the dill.
Carefully slide the fillets into a large clear plastic bag. Fold over the top and place in another plastic bag. Arrange some heavy cans on top of the salmon and refrigerate 48 hours, turning every 12 hours, and replacing the cans.
Remove the fillets. Scrape away the dill and cracked pepper,and with a very sharp knife slice thinly at an angle almost parallel to the board. Serve on hearty bread, garnished with dill. The gravlax will keep refrigerated for at least 1 week.