Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Holy smoke

Apologies for the slightly random and rambling nature of the posts at the moment - I'm just trying to get back into the physical habit of blogging.

Anyway, we had a really quite exciting moment in our kitchen on Saturday evening when we tea smoked some mackerel.*

It is made still more exciting by the fact that these were mackerel that we ourselves caught off the coast of Tobermory in the summer.

Mackerel, just out of the sea.  Sorry guys!
The last few had been languishing in our freezer (seriously, the bloody thing is bottomless.  If we ventured far enough in we would probably find the Holy Grail.)  Having been frozen for so long the texture of the fish was likely to be rather compromised, so we decided that smoking and then blitzing them into pate was a fitting send off.

It turns out that smoking food inside is surprisingly easy.  You need a sturdy pot with a big surface area, some tea leaves and some foil and that is it!  Line the pot with foil, spread out the tea leaves and then take another piece of foil, pierced all over, and lay it on top.  Then add your fish, like so:

Prepare to smoke!
Top with a lid, turn the heat on and leave for...well, I think it took about forty five minutes all in all for ours, but we went back and prodded them at regular intervals to check that all was well and nothing was on fire.

And voila!  Smoked mackerel!  D slipped the flesh from the bones and then we blitzed it with cream cheese, chives, lemon, horseradish and a hefty dose of salt and pepper - this needed quite a lot of seasoning to wake it up.

There is no way to make pate look pretty,,,,
More by luck than judgement, we managed to achieve a gratifyingly delicate smoke flavour that didn't overpower the fish itself,  I was also pleasantly surprised at the relative ease of the process and would definitely give it another go - home smoked salmon anyone?  D and I have both said that we want 2015 to be a year where we attempt some new kitchen projects and this was an excellent place to start.

*(I have just read back that sentence and realised how very tragic it sounds - Saturday night, party night, and we're at home smoking fish.  In our pyjamas.  Is cooking still the new rock and roll?  If not, there is no hope for us.)


  1. Well, at least you're together in your "rock'n'roll"ness!! Whatever works eh?

    It doesn't look pretty no but I'm salivatingly as I read and realise it has been FAR too long since I had smoked mackerel (bought, home smoked or in pate form) and that is something I'm going to rectify stat!!

  2. Sounds and looks lush! Even better when you've caught it yourself too.