Welcome to the first week of the Smoking module where you will be mastering an ancient preservation technique which chefs have gone on to use creatively in cuisines around the world for its depth of flavour. Smoke is made up of hundreds of chemicals some which do more for preservation whilst others contribute more to flavour. With cold-smoking you’re working at a lower temperature than hot smoking, with much of the process taking place at a comfortable room temperature. Make sure you double check the equipment and ingredients you need to buy ahead of time and keep your Rassa box nearby for those specialist items.
πŸ‘‹ Module Introduction
πŸ“Ί Watch and Learn - Rassa Stories
Find out more about the role of fish in Ireland and the importance of sourcing and catching our fish sustainably from Chef Daniel. This month is all about smoking and imparting flavour with fire and we encourage you to think about how you play around with your fuels looking at woods, hard herbs and aromatics. For environmental reasons, turf farming is on its way out but it has a distinctive smell which for many in the Irish countryside has a homely, cosiness when burnt. Learn more about this old Irish tradition and life on a peat bog.
Sustainable Fishing in County Howth
From the fishing village of Howth Chef Daniel talks about the role of fish in Ireland, visiting the local fishmonger and explaining how to go about using your fish sustainably.
Stories from a Peat Bog in County Offaly
For many, turf (or peat) brings back childhood memories of granny’s kitchen. It’s the distinctive smell of Irish nostalgia that conjures up images of glowing windows in cosy cottages and family hospitality. Find out more about life on a peat bog.
πŸ“• Lessons For The Week
Recipe Development - Cold Smoked Salmon
Learn how Daniel put together his dish thinking about colour, height and textures to make sure it looks as good as it tastes. He’ll give you plenty of tips on how to make the dish your own playing around with different flavours for the cure mix, smoking fuels and he encourages you to think about what’s in season in your local area.
Ingredients Introduction - Cold Smoked Salmon
Get to know the ingredients you’ll be working with. Daniel guides you through what to look out for to ensure your fish is good quality and fresh and talks through the herbs he uses in his cure mix to impart a fresh, grassy flavour to the fish.
Hands On Learning - Cold Smoked Salmon
This lesson covers a real Irish classic starter of smoked salmon on brown bread, inspired by Ireland’s long coastline. You’ll be using tea for a more delicate flavour and creating your own pickle to serve alongside your smoked salmon and if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can even try filleting a whole fish!
Share with the community
Have a question around smoking equipment for this month? Easily access the community forum to ask questions as well as interact with the rest of your cohort, exchange ideas and share pictures of your creations. Don’t be shy, we’re all here to help and learn together!
πŸ’­ Creative Inspiration
Pickled Cucumbers with Kevin Dundon
Pickling is a great way to preserve vegetables and fruit you have in the kitchen or a way to capture the taste of the seasons for enjoying all year round. As a preservation method it was a popular way of stretching the harvest, getting the most out of fresh produce and surviving long journeys on rough seas. Try out Kevin Dundon's recipe for pickled cucumbers and don't be afraid to experiment with what's in season.
πŸ“– Further Reading
Have a read about Ireland’s relationship with fish from its religious roots to the modern day where chefs and organisations are bringing it back to the table.
Ireland's Love-Hate Relationship With Fish
For an island nation with a wealth of diverse fish just off its shores, Ireland's relationship with seafood has often been choppy but now it's seeing a seafood renaissance.