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Smoked Bluefish Tomato Cream Pasta

Smoked Bluefish Tomato Cream Pasta
  

A friend who heard about my having smoked 8 sides of bluefish (about 12 lb before cooking, probably about 9 after) the other day asked me what I was going to do with all that smoked fish. Fair question, and here's the answer:

3 sides - gave to one of the other fishermen on the trip
1 side - sandwiches for a lunch
1/2 side - snacks for a cocktail hour get together (future post)
3 sides - smoked bluefish paté, apps for another group - some still in fridge (future post)
1/2 side - Bluefish Tomato Cream Pasta (below)

The heads and tails from all the fish, by the way, along with some striped bass heads and tails and 4 or 5 lobster bodies from the freezer, went in a pot to make fish broth (see below).

The pasta dish is below. If you have the broth on hand, or a reasonable substitute, it's very easy and good.

Smoked Bluefish Tomato Cream Pasta

3/4 lb smoked bluefish fillet, broken into bite-sized chunks
1 bottle dark beer
1/2 C shallots, chopped
3 C fish broth (see below) or 1 C bottled clam juice and 2 C water
1-1/2 C cream
3 T shredded Jarlsberg cheese
1 T crushed coriander seeds
1/4 C dijon mustard
1 ripe tomato, cut up
3 T flat leaf parsley, chopped
8 oz pappardelle or other pasta
hot sauce, to taste

Boil the shallots in the beer until the beer is reduced by 1/2. Add the fish broth, coriander seed and cream and boil to reduce by 1/2 again (be careful: this mixture will easily boil over). Off heat, place sauce in a sauté pan large enough to hold all the pasta and sauce. Correct seasoning (the bluefish yet to be added is salty so be sparing with salt).

Cook the pasta al dente in salted water. Lift the pasta directly from the water into the pan with the sauce with tongs, allowing a little of the pasta water to ride along. Add 2/3 of the tomato, 2/3 of the fish, the mustard,  the cheese and 2/3 of the parsley and sauté, over high heat, for a minute or two, lifting and tossing the pasta to coat it thoroughly with the sauce. Turn into a serving platter or onto individual plates and scatter the rest of the tomatoes, bluefish and parsley over the top. Serve immediately.

Fish Broth

5 lb fish heads, tails, trimmings, lobster bodies, shrimp shells, etc.
3 gallons water
2 medium onions, chopped
2 T olive oil
1 T saffron
6 sprigs parsley
2 bay leaves
1 lemon, cut up

Sauté onions slowly in the oil for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Combine all ingredients and boil gently for about 45 minutes and. Skim any fat from the surface and strain. Freeze or use within 3 days.

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