Barbecue & Smoking Evening

Posted on September 16, 2014 by CJ Jackson

Barbecue & Smoking Evening Plank roasting, smoking and our brand new Napoleon barbecue
We have just invested in an all-singing-all dancing Napoleon barbecue and have enjoyed being able to make the most of it this summer for a number of courses. Three cheers for this wonderful summer weather and being able to cook outside!
We have run a number of barbecue and smoking classes this summer – the most popular being an evening of preparing and smoking and oil-rich fish in a small compact indoor smoker to serve with  couscous spiced with North African spices (cumin and coriander), fresh coriander and chickpeas. For the barbecue we plank roasted a marinated tail of monkfish and wrapped prawns, cod cheeks and salmon in wood wraps and cooked both of these on the barbecue.
The smokers we use in the school were purchased on-line at www.chefequip.co.uk.  They are not hugely expensive, but can be easily replicated at home using a roasting tin, a wire rack and large sheet of think aluminium foil  – as long as you have a very good ventilation system in your kitchen. Wood smoke is very carcinogenic and shouldn’t be inhaled readily.
Plank roasting is very popular in the US and the ‘planks’ – untreated wood cut from a number of different species including American cedar, alder, maple and hickory - are used. Roasting or smoking on a plank is nothing new. Native Americans are known to have attached pieces of bison (and probably Pacific salmon) to wood and smoked it – long and slow – over a wood fire, until it had dried completely. More recently in the Pacific North West – where barbecuing is a part of everyday live – planks are used to cook meat and fish to enhance the flavour of the food. Planks are readily available in the US and currently can be ordered on-line in the UK.
The wood wraps are also available on-line and are a great way of cooking more delicate fish on the barbecue. The wood wraps are soaked briefly in water and then used to wrap up the fish. The whole wrap is secured with a piece of string. Arranged on a barbecue – the wood smokes and begins to burn and the fish steams inside and lightly smokes at the same time. The great thing about wraps is that there is no mess on the barbecue and portion control is easy.

My recipes written especially for the classes this summer included

Five Spice and Sesame Prawn and Scallop Barbecue wraps
Serves 4
4 thin wood wraps (sourced from www.cookequip.co.uk)
For the marinade
1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoon light soy sauce
A few sprigs of coriander
Fresh ground black pepper
12 - 14 raw warm water prawns, peeled and deveined
4 scallops, prepared
Soak the wood wraps in cold water for a few minutes until soft.
Mix the marinade ingredients together and add the prawns and scallops. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
Arrange the seafood on the damp wraps and fold over. Secure in a roll with string or twine.
Heat the barbecue until it is glowing grey. Add the wraps and cook them close to coals to allow the wraps to char and therefore lightly smoke the contents.
Cook for 3-4 minutes, turn the wrap over and continue to cook until the prawns are cooked – you should be able to view from one end of the wrap. They will be pink and have lost their translucency.
Serve one wrap per person with salad or bread and a dip such as chilli Dipping sauce as required.

ALTERNATIVE SEAFOOD: monkfish cheeks, strips of salmon, queen scallops, small white fish fillet or whole gurnard 


CJ Jackson