Food for Thought
As some of you have noticed (and more than a
few have mentioned),...a significant part of
any outing on the river for me and my family
A treat for those hot days on the bank
By Chris Chin
After some questions from RW and some prompting
by "Z" ...both in the chat room the other night,
...I decided to share with you all one of the
"Specialities of the House."
Smoked Salmon Bits 'n Bites.
Ever find on those hot 'n humid days, you just
aren't up to preparing and cooking a shore lunch?
It's easy to skip a meal by accident,...but then...
the energy level drops fast and you couldn't cast
a tight loop if your life depended upon it.
I usually prepare lunch on the spot. If you're
like me, the thought of smashed and soggy sandwiches
just doesn't appeal to me (especially after eating
'em half frozen for 25 years in the bush country
of Western Canada while doing forestry exploration
Today,...lunch is a time to relax with friends,
...not a biological obligation.
Preparing lunch for a few "new" friends - Pool #8 Ste-Marguerite Rv
Even when it's too hot for a "real meal" I
like to load up on a balance of protein,
carbohydrates, some vitamins and minerals
A nice change from the old standby of Chicken
pot pie 'n beans is a mix of finger food I
like to call Smoked Salmon Bits 'n Bites.
I'll explain first off,...the menu,...then get
into our preparation for smoked salmon (in case
you're inclined to make some for yourself).
To have a nice, easy to present meal, I'll cut
and slice the ingredients the night before and
store them all in separate plastic serving
containers in the 'fridge. I keep everything
cool on the river either in the electric cooler
in the Explorer or with ice packs in another
cooler on the beach.
The menu is:
1-2 fresh bagels per person, sliced then
cut up into bite sized chunks.
That's it...River side, I simply lay out the
containers. Then friends, family and clients
can pick and choose in the shade, sipping a soda
(or something). The bagels are a good source of
complex carbs,...cheese and salmon for protein
and fat, fiber from the bagels and lettuce and
a few vitamins and minerals from the tomatoes.
¼ lb of smoked salmon per person (not lox,
I like warm smoked salmon, not cold smoked).
2-3 tomatoes - sliced.
Slices of Swiss cheese or some other
Maybe some sliced ham.
Maybe some slices of lettuce.
Salt 'n pepper in shakers.
A Caesar Salad on the side goes well too.
Even if you're not too hungry around lunch because
it's too warm out,...just thinking about the snack
all morning long will get most anglers to dig in
for a few bites.
Smoked salmon vs BBQ'd salmon.
After looking around a bit, I figured that I
don't do "real" smoked salmon. I guess I'd call
Smoked Salmon that cold smoked stuff that takes
days and days to "cook" in a cold smoke setup.
I believe this would be similar in texture and
taste as Salmon Lox.
I like my salmon and trout to have a more firm
"cooked" texture, so I use a water smoker (a "real"
barbeque will do too (as opposed to a propane Grill)).
I use a smoker similar to this one
I'll prepare salmon or trout fillets, de-boned
and skinned. Many will leave the skin on, but
I like to get more marinade and flavour into
the meat so I slip it off with a good filleting
My smoker is only about 20 inches in diameter,
so I usually cut the fillets into manageable
sized pieces and marinate them overnight in:
2 cups (cheap) Soya sauce
The next morning I put 8 lbs of BBQ briquettes
into the smoker. To keep the heat down, I start
her up with cold water in the basin (which sits
OVER the fire).
¼ cup maple syrup
2 table spoons Worcestershire sauce
1 table spoon Tabasco or other hot sauce
I don't wipe down the fillets like my Mom told
me to do as I like the fillets to keep some "sweet"
on 'em. The thicker pieces go on the bottom rack,
...thinner "tail sections" go up top.
To make smoke I found these neat pellets sold
by the Jack Daniel's gang, made from the used
barrels at the distillery. These go into a foil
pouch and then right on top of the briquettes.
I'll smoke the meat for about 6-10 hours. Not
too hot,...If you can't touch the top 1/3 of
the walls of the smoker, or the lid,...add
cold water to the basin.
The fish is ready when it is cooked through
and can be pulled apart (a tad dry for some,
...but we like it that way).
This meat will keep for a while in the 'fridge
or can be frozen no problem. As there is less
humidity in the meat, the freezing doesn't
break down the "texture" too much.
For a treat, we'll also put some in a "Mason"
jar in vegetable oil, garlic cloves, capers,
salt, pepper and half an onion. Let it sit
for a few weeks in the 'fridge and serve it
with soda crackers.
Some of the same treatment goes to deer flank
steaks, walleye fillets, bacon and some extra
old cheddar. All a nice snack on a warm summer
Next time you drive by my home waters and see
a bunch of anglers (and Wardens and Guides)
all hunched around a small table,...stop by
for a bite.
Tight lines and bonne appetite). ~ Christopher Chin – Jonquiere Quebec
Chris Chin is originally from Kamloops,
British Columbia. He has been fly fishing
on and off ever since he was 10 years old.
Chris became serious about the sport within
the last 10 years.
"I'm a forest engineer by day and part time
guide on the Ste-Marguerite River here in
central Quebec. I've been fishing this river
for about 10 years now and started guiding
about 5 years ago when the local guide's
association sort of stopped functioning."
Chris guides mostly for sea run brook trout
and about 30% of the time for Atlantic Salmon.
"I often don't even charge service fees, as
I'm more interested in promoting the river
than making cash. I like to get new comers
to realize that salmon fishing is REALLY for
anyone who cares to try it. Tradition around
here makes some of the old clan see Salmon
fishing as a sport for the rich. Today our
shore lunches are less on the cucumber sandwich
side and more toward chicken pot pie and Jack
Chris is 42 years old as of this writing. He
is of Chinese origin although his parents were
born and raised in Jamaica. He has a girlfriend,
Renée. "She and her 12 year old son Vincent
started fly fishing with me last October 2002."
To learn more about the Ste-Marguerite River,
~ Christopher Chin
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