Last month’s live class saw you making your own soda bread with flavoured butter, and now, as we near the end of the fish smoking module the chefs have got a new challenge for you to take on.
For the fish smoking live class you are tasked with creating your own fish recipe using either hot or cold smoking techniques.
If you're going for a long cure, prepare this ahead of the class to make the most of the time with Chef Daniel. You can also do the hot smoking ahead of the class if you prefer.
This brief was designed to get you thinking about smoking as a cooking technique and how it can fit in as part of your repertoire. How do the textures and flavours differ between hot and cold? What fish lend themselves to smoking? What fuel could you use to change the flavour?
If you are feeling adventurous, why not try using a different fish.
For the cold smoked dish, the most important quality you need to think about is how oily the fish you are using is. Salmon, trout and mackerel are all good choices as they have a relatively high fat content. Also the meatier the fish, the longer you will need to let it cure.
It is also important to consider how your fish has been caught, and how sustainably it has been reared - so make sure to speak to your fishmonger or grocer to find the best quality fish you can.
When cold smoking, you will need to cure the fish before flavouring it in the smoke, so think about different flavours that you can bring to the dish in the mix. Are there certain herbs that you know go well with the fish you chose? Or do you want to experiment with some spices you haven’t used before?
The last thing you will have to consider when crafting your smoked dish is what you will pair with your fish.
If you are going with cold smoked, you may want to consider what textures will play well with the silky smooth fish. You will also want to make sure not to overpower the delicate flavour of your chosen fillet as well.
For hot smoked, your fish will have a flakier texture with a bit more bite to it, so consider how it would work as part of salad, starter or main.
This month’s live class has a lot of scope for experimentation, so don’t be shy - ask what your cohort thinks, and share your ideas with the group.
Find out what fish your fellow cohort members are preparing, and let them be an inspiration for you to try something new! And if you do venture further afield why not let the community know how your plan is coming along during the brining or smoking process.
Same goes for if you are struggling to think of an exciting pairing for your dishes - ask what you think would go well with your initial ideas and let your fellow cooks spark some ideas!