The liquid in the pan absorbs the heat from the firs pan. This keeps cooking heat low, moist and even. The water reaches simmering temperatures and steams slightly. The simmering water evaporates and combines with smoke from aromatic woods smoldering in the fire pan. This fragrant moisture condenses on the food, then drips into the liquid pan. As the cycle is repeated, the moisture becomes more deliciously flavored with wood tenderness." Yes, it does!
The second day, I made my own brine with 1/4 cup rock salt: 1/4 cup brown sugar: 1/4 cup maple syrup: 1 tsp. fresh thyme and brined the fish for about 2 hours. We tried it at the same Pinot Noir tasting--the fish was excellent, but perhaps the smoky flavor a bit overwhelming for the more delicate Pinots.
A note: marinated fish and meat need to sit out in the air after being removed from the brine or marinade. When the air can contact all sides, it dries out the surface and develops a pellicule which is a thin layer of tackiness that the smoke adheres to--I simply placed the fish on a rack for half an hour. In the same smoking, I smoked a pork loin marinaded in red chile sauce that was devoured by my carnivorous family. Next time: smoked oysters and smoked chuckwagon beans!
8 ounces whipped cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 pound. smoked whitefish, skinned, boned and flaked
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons fresh dill
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon. horseradish
With a spatula, combine cream cheese and sour cream in a mixing bowl until well blended. Stir in the fish and favorings, then spoon into a serving dish. Refrigerate for an hour or longer, serve with sliced bread or crackers. Makes about 2 cups of spread. Pair with a strong Pinot Noir or a Chardonnay.