Smoked Mint Bass Fillets
This recipe involves applying both a paste and a “mop,” but most of the work is done the night before. Because the mop is applied before and after cooking, this recipe can be prepared in any type of smoker. For variety, try this recipe with trout or another flaky, white fish. 3/4 c. fresh mint 1/4 c. coarse salt (preferably) or 3 T. table salt 1/4 c. sugar 2 T. coarse or cracked black pepper 2 T. fresh lemon juice 1 T. vegetable oil 1 1/2 lbs. bass fillets 1 c. mint tea, brewed from 2 mint tea bags additional fresh mint (optional)
Combine first six ingredients in a food processor, and purée (mixture will be paste-like). Cover fillets with a thick coating of mint mixture, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate overnight.
Remove fillets from refrigerator, and let sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Heat smoker to a temperature of 180°-200°. Transfer paste-covered fillets to a small rack. Drizzle each fillet with enough tea to moisten coating well, and place rack in smoker. Cook fillets until opaque and easily flaked, about 30-45 minutes. Drizzle with additional mint tea, and garnish with fresh mint, if desired. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.
From the October 1996 issue.