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Georgia's State Flags,
Home of Good Eats
and Myself

1956 Version

2001 Version

2004 Version



• kosher salt
• canola oil
• 2 tablespoons paprika
• 2 teaspoons onion powder
• 2 teaspoons garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon cayenne
• 1.5 teaspoons ground white pepper
• 1.5 teaspoons ground black pepper
• 1 teaspoon dry thyme
• 1 teaspoon dry ginger
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• As many thick tuna steaks as you feel like cooking, cut into large chunks. (Plan on 3 big chunks per diner)

• mason jar or other tightly lidded container.
• very hot charcoal fire (listen to the show for tips on how to turbo-charge an innocent kettle grill) or a very hot cast-iron skillet.
• spring-loaded tongs
• 1 ruined (but clean) kitchen towel or wash cloth (if it's not already ruined, it soon will be)

• Combine all spices in a jar or other lidded container and shake well. (Makes enough for many, many steaks).
• Lightly but thoroughly lubricate the steaks with oil. Sprinkle with salt, then dredge with the spice powder.
• Sear the chunks thoroughly all sides. Cool several minutes then slice thin and serve. (You can spritz with soy sauce if you like).

horizontal rule


• 1.5 tablespoons canola oil
• 1 red onion, frenched (sliced very thin from end to end)
• 2 cups assorted melon (honeydew or cantaloupe), large dices
• 1 tablespoon basil chiffonade (a fancy word for "very thin ribbons")
• splash of red wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted in pan until brown
• crumbled feta cheese to taste
• freshly ground black pepper

• heavy sauté pan or wok
• source of really high heat (i.e. the burner from a turkey fryer or a really hot charcoal fire)
• tongs

• Heat the pan until very hot, then add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the onion and toss for 10-20 seconds or until fragrant. Add the melon pieces and toss for 1 minute (pieces should start to brown). Add the basil, vinegar and pepper and toss for a few seconds longer. If melon pieces seem too hard remove to a bowl or serving platter and cover lightly with foil for 5 minutes.
• Just before serving, garnish with feta and pine nuts.
• Enough for 4 servings.

horizontal rule


The fish:
• side of Atlantic salmon, cut from an 8-10 pound fish
The cure:
• 2-3 tablespoons honey, warmed to make it easier to brush
• 1/4 cup Kosher salt
• 3 tablespoons sugar

• heavy-duty aluminum foil
• plastic wrap
• 2 sheet pans or cookie sheets (lipped pans are best)
• 1 big-city telephone book or something that weighs about the same
• 1 electric hot plate
• 1 30-gallon metal trash can
• 1 round grill grate that will fit inside aforementioned trash can
• 2 feet of heavy wire or two wire coat hangers
• wire cutters
• one small cast iron skillet or heavy duty pie pan
• 1 disposable pie pan
• no-stick spray
• several handfuls of your favorite hardwood chips

• Crimp together 2 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil to form a sheet 1.5 times longer and 3-4 times wider than the piece of fish. Spread a single layer of plastic wrap over the foil.

• Combine the salt and sugar. Sprinkle a third of the mixture down the middle of plastic (in the shape of the tranch... that's a fancy word for "big piece of fish").

• Lay the fish on the middle of the plastic wrap and brush with the warm honey. Top with the remaining salt mix. (By the way, if you want to add a teaspoon or two of your favorite spice to this mixture -- say, cumin -- that would be fine by me).

• Close the plastic up around the fish and crimp the foil so you have a tight, leak-proof package. Place your armored fish on a cookie sheet, cover with the second and weigh down with the phone book. Refrigerate the whole menagerie in the fridge for at least 1 but up to 4 hours.

• Unwrap the fish and rinse well. Pat dry, then set under a fan in a cool, dry place until the surface of the fish no longer looks moist -- about an hour. This step is crucial for smoking because when water soluble proteins that have been pulled to the surface by the cure dry, they form a kind of molecular Velcro called a "pellicle" which is very attractive to the good tasting stuff in smoke.

Speaking of smoke...
• Punch a hole in the bottom of the trash can just big enough to snake the cord of the hot plate through. Set the can upright and place the hot plate in the bottom. Go ahead and turn the thermostat to medium high, but don't plug it in yet.

• Place the skillet on the hot plate and fill with the chips. Punch a bunch of holes in the pie tin and turn it upside down on the chips.

• Cut the wire or hangers so that you can make four primitive looking hooks by which you will suspend the grill grate so that it hangs 8 inches beyond the edge of the can. Spray the grate with no-stick spray.
• If you're feeling high-tech, use a large nail to punch a hole in the lid of the can and insert the probe of a grill thermometer.

• Place the fish on the grate, put the lid on the can and plug in the hot plate. Watch the thermometer. Ideally the temperature inside the can will hover around 200 degrees. If it rises much higher, the fish may cook before it has a chance to catch much smoke. I find that medium-high usually does the trick in summer, but you may need to go with high if in cooler weather.

• When the fish reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees, consume hungrily.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.