Wednesday, 27 July 2011


It's the holidays for me now, a 7-week break from piano teaching, so this week I've decided to have a clear out and a tidy up. I started with the kitchen drawers, at the back of which I found a 'Savu Original Food Smoker Bag', an ingenious 'device' which hails from Finland. I can't remember where or when I purchased it, but I suspect it came from somewhere like Lakeland, which offers a million kitchen gadgets and gizmos you think you can't live without. The Food Smoker Bag is just what is says on the packet - a foil bag containing natural raw wood "specially selected from Finnish forests", which, when heated, creates a delicious smoked flavour. You put the food in the smoker bag, seal it up, place in a pre-heated oven and cook. The end result is a pleasantly smoked flavour. It's particularly good for fish.

There are, of course, more sophisticated ways to achieve a smoked flavour, the most obvious being the barbecue (note: a 'proper' barbecue, with coals, not the ersatz gas variety). Skye Gyngell, chef at Petersham Nursery, has a method for tea smoking in her book A Year in My Kitchen. It helps to use a flavoured tea such as Earl Grey, Jasmine or Lapsang Souchong. I've done this a few times, but it does tend to smoke out the kitchen, which causes my smoke alarm to go into a veritable paroxysm of bleeping and flashing, but the food does have a lovely delicately smoked flavour. Read more about the method here.

Meanwhile, if you're feeling lazy, by all means invest in a Savu smoke bag. They are inexpensive and apparently have a long shelf life, and since I purchased mine, several new "flavours" have been released, including Alder and Hickory Smoked. Given the erratic nature of our English summers, the smoker bag, or the tea smoking method, seem good alternatives to enjoying a proper barbecue in the sunshine.  I defrosted some nice fat salmon steaks after I'd unearthed the smoker bag. I'll probably serve them with a simple yoghurt and dill dressing and some new potatoes for a vaguely Scandinavian twist....

No comments:

Post a Comment