Addiction Number 2

Smoking, good and bad!!

Us humans have been smoking since the stone age but I am not talking about nipping out for 20 Lambert and Butler !! Smoked food is the rather unsurprising subject of this article.

Nearly all of us has sampled some smoked food in our time here on this planet. Meat, fish and cheese are the well known groups of food that we all are aware of. Meats such as pork has offered up a wonderful range of smokey happiness. What can surpass the wonderful aroma of a full English breakfast with some wonderful,dry cured, smoked bacon (the same bacon in a fresh bread roll with lashings of ketchup also gets the mouth all a watering!)

Beef gives us the infamous pastrami (beef marinated with spices, put into brine then smoked), all it needs is some rye bread and go heavy on the mustard.

Fish is  the playground of food smokers.Kippers (made from herring) , Arbroath smokies, and Finnan haddie ( about which a fierce argument  is ongoing,but who cares when it tastes so wonderful) both from haddock . Other seafood that is smoked includes cod roe, oysters, mussels, eels and definitely top of the famous list is the mighty salmon”

So why do we smoke food?

Nowadays its because it tastes so incredible !! The accentuated flavour of smoked fish has similarities with cures (salted) and air dried (dehydration). this is due to the removal of the moisture that can cause the growth of bacteria .

The real reason is to preserve the meat or fish through the winter months. I read that smoked meats possibly fish too originated from the cavemen. The cavemen used to air dry their fish an/or meats inside their cave. The cavemen that kept their fires burning longer produced better preserved and with wonderful flavour.caveman-reaching-for-fire

So therefore I am thankful that we did not have refrigeration and somehow we figured out what micro-biology is all about..

 

Cullen Skink

This is the most luxurious, creamy flavoursome soup.

Ingredients

  • 500g of smoked haddock fillet, undyed
  • 1l whole milk
  • 2 onions, peeled and diced
  • 1 Leek sliced into rounds
  • 25g of butter
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt
  • pepper

Method

1
In a shallow pan, poach the haddock in the milk for 6¬–8 minutes. When cooked, remove the fish from the milk and set aside. Reserve the milk.
2
Sweat the onion and leek in the butter until soft but not coloured. Add the diced potato and cook for a further 5 minutes
3
Add the reserved milk to the pan, bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through
4
Roughly mash the potatoes with a potato masher
5
Flake the haddock and return to the pan
6
Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving and finish with a little parsley

A delicious way to serve is with a poached duck egg on top

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