Chef Johnallen’s Garden Gourmet Culinary Creations Cooking Blog

February 22, 2007

Smoking Blues and Porgies

Filed under: fish, fishing, food, gardens, Local dishes, Local Food, Local Recipes, New York — chefjohnallen @ 5:07 am

Bluefish Longs Island Sound

Some friends and I went fishing on a brisk fall day and caught this Bluefish and some Porgies. Bluefish are lookers and fighters. They’re lots of fun and aggressive. They’re up and down the Atlantic coast from south of Rio de Janeiro to Nova Scotia. They are also found all over the world. Who knew? They’re sold locally at many markets on the east coast.

Most people will tell you here on the Long Island they’re not fond of eating Bluefish. It seems it has a stigma amongst Islanders, there’s a reason. If not prepared properly it tends to have a oily, tough, fishy, quality, which can overwhelm all senses. As far as cooking recipes I’ve heard everything from marinating it in milk over night to Bluefish Ceviche. Ceviche sounds like a great use for Bluefish its very firm and holds together well. The lemon juice marinade subdues the difficult qualities of the fish. Ceviche sounds good but later today we’re going to be smoking this mighty specimen.

Porgy on chopping block

Porgies are a common costal fish. I’ve heard locally they’re sold in some restaurants as Tilapia. Which is fine with me because porgies are great tasting versatile fish, which can be prepare all kind of ways. Their habitat stretches from Florida to Nova Scotia. They feed on squid. Good thing too because that’s what we used as bait. Porgies are great pan-fried, broiled, baked, and smoked!




I like to cook my porgies whole, head, scales, everything. They are boney. And the easiest way to retrieve the meat is to cook it whole when smoking, broiling or baking. The skin comes off like a shell and the meat flakes away from the bone. Once it’s cooked you can incorporate all kinds of sauces, fresh salsas, relishes, or have it plain with a little olive oil and lemon. I love fresh broiled Porgies with blackbean sauce. Porgy is a mellow light flakey fish. Here I’ve gutted it and stuffed it with garlic, chili peppers, basil, and parsley. I get all the herbs fresh from my garden. It doesn’t get any easier or better than that. The Bluefish filets are in the plastic page on the upper left hand side of the picture.



smoking blues and porgies

So here are the Porgies and Bluefish filets smoked. The Porgies I stuffed with herbs, garlic and hot red peppers. Some I stuffed with sage, some basil, and some garlic. I didn’t what to throw everything into each of them. I wanted the combinations of herbs and garlic, or hot red pepper, or only herbs, to be distinct. I made a honey, sage, and pepper glaze for the Bluefish filets. Inside the smoker we placed a steal bowl full of herbs and red wine. We smoked with mesquite.

I flaked the skin off the porgies and removed the meat gingerly to keep the filets whole. I prepared a roasted bell pepper puree, with garlic, olive oil and a small amount of heavy cream for the porgies. For the Bluefish I made a fresh tarter sauce with chives and capers. I severed both with garlic sautéed kale and Swiss chard, Gorgonzola arugula salad with caramelized walnuts, and spageitti squash with olive oil and fresh Parmesan cheese.

I’ll be posting many other great culinary dishes made with the freshest local ingredients from New York to LA and all points in between. Also in a week I’ll post the recipes for the meal described above “Smoking Blues and Porgies” If you have any questions ask.

Below is a picture of the garden and the smoker, enjoy.





  1. WOW, the smoked fish looked delicious… I am very sure the taste will be even better! In my culture, we usually eat with a dip, sauce which consist blended shallots, ginger, red chillies, garlic and light soy sauce. Fresh lemon or lime juice is added just before serving. Sugar may be added to balance the sourness of the lime. Congratulation on your new blog . cheers!

    Comment by aunidayini — February 24, 2007 @ 4:39 am

  2. Hello
    thank you for leaving a comment on Blog de la Bouffe.
    Your fish look so tasty….I think however, a bit too ambitious for me at this stage in my culinary journey!
    I look forward to more recipes!
    Cheers Phoenix71011

    Comment by phoenix71011 — February 26, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

  3. Could smell the aroma from here. Never thought of using sage with fish before – something to try.

    Comment by jennylitchfield — February 26, 2007 @ 6:24 pm

  4. What time is dinner? Your garden is beautiful and your photography is very pleasing. This is my first time to your blog,,,,I’ll be back!

    Comment by sue.g — February 27, 2007 @ 12:24 pm

  5. Those fish look wonderful. I’ve heard of Tilapia, but never seen it over here.

    yes, my first visit too, from Jamie (10 signs like these). I’ll be back as well.

    Comment by z — February 28, 2007 @ 11:05 pm

  6. Wow. Those fish look amazing. Mind if I steal this post?

    Comment by WhiteTrash BBQ — March 23, 2007 @ 3:32 am

  7. Try leaving the Bluefish skins on the next time. You don’t even need to scale. The meat will just lift off when it is done.
    Your garden is beautiful. Reminds me of mine, before the geese and woodchucks moved into the neighborhood. lol

    Comment by Bob Lee — April 15, 2007 @ 6:04 pm

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