This is the last of my current BBQ adventures for a while and thought I would sign off with something a bit different that can be used in several ways.
I have always been a fan of seafood but, to be honest, I would never have chosen fish in a restaurant before coming to live in Portugal.
However, I am getting more and more into fish the longer I live here, particularly after two of my Portuguese co-workers showed me the best way to eat sardines a couple of years ago – on top of bread with your fingers avoiding the bones.
So I decided to give my first attempt of smoking fish a go and chose the highly affordable salmon trout.
In terms of seasoning, all I did was put some salt and lemon on the fish and inside where it had been gutted and left it to chill in the fridge for about an hour or two covered in cling film.
Get your smoker following your manufacturer’s instructions up to between 105°C and 120°C, and place some two chunks or three handfuls of woodchips on top of the charcoal. Fruit woods work best with fish or a wood-like beech.
Put the fish on the smoking grids, cover and leave to smoke for up to one hour depending on the size of the fish. You should try and avoid taking the lid off during the smoke, however add some more wood after about 30 to 40 minutes – one chunk or two handfuls of woodchips.
After the hour, take a fork and gently pull at the skin. If the fish comes away easily and has a nice flaky texture, it will be done. Take the fish out of the smoker and let it rest covered for about 10 minutes. Obviously, if the fish is still not flaky, carry on smoking for a few more minutes.
To serve, pull the fish away from the bone and lay on the plate and serve very simply with a green salad and boiled new potatoes.
What you have is a delicate fish which is packed with smoky flavour and has a lasting taste you will remember and savour for a long time.
Now for the best bit: always cook more fish than you need. With the leftover fish, take it all off the bones, flake it gently with a fork and place in a bowl. Add some ground pepper and a pinch of sea salt and then add some low-fat cream cheese and a squeeze of lemon. Mix this all together and you have an amazing salmon trout pâté. If you add some crème fraîche, you can create a lovely dip for crudités.
I hope to be back soon with some more great recipes. Happy barbecuing and smoking!
Article supplied by Chris Winstanley from Moveison outdoor living store near Lagos