DAVID WOODS: Get some woodchip and try smoking your own food inside

If you haven't had enough of barbecuing outdoors, grab some woodchip and try smoking your own food inside. It is easy once you know how, says David Woods, executive head chef of the Sofitel Hotel, Gatwick.
Curry smoked monkfish with artichoke velouté and wild mushroomsCurry smoked monkfish with artichoke velouté and wild mushrooms
Curry smoked monkfish with artichoke velouté and wild mushrooms

Fish plays a starring role on our menu and so I am always keen to ring the changes to keep our seafood lovers happy.

This recipe is one of our new ones and uses Jerusalem artichokes – those knobbly-looking little fellas you should be able to find among the root vegetables in the supermarket aisle. Their nutty taste adds an extra depth of flavour to the monkfish, which has been smoked with curry powder.

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It is very simple to smoke your own food. You just need a large saucepan, some woodchip and a sheet of foil. And it only takes a few minutes – but make sure you open the windows as it can get quite smoky in the kitchen.

I serve this with a sprinkling of capers, which have been fried in a little olive oil. Frying transforms these fleshy pickles into a peppercorn-sized burst of salty flavour that is perfect with the creamy velouté. For added drama at a dinner party, serve the fish to your guests and pour over the velouté while at the table.

To book a table at La Brasserie, Sofitel’s 2 AA rosette restaurant, call 01293 567070 or email [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter.

Curry smoked monkfish with artichoke velouté and wild mushrooms

2 x 200 g fillets of monkfish

woodchip for smoking

1tsp curry powder

alt and pepper

1 clove of garlic

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75g girolle mushrooms or other wild mushrooms, available from most good supermarkets

200g Jerusalem artichokes

Enough water and milk to cover artichokes for boiling

50ml double cream

Butter for frying


First smoke the monkfish: in a large saucepan, pour in enough woodchip to cover the bottom by one centimetre.

Screw up a large piece of foil to make a bed for the fish to sit on, which will keep it away from direct heat.

Place the foil on top of the woodchip. Sprinkle the curry powder, salt and pepper over the fillets and place on top of the foil and lay the fillets on top.

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Pop on the lid and place over a medium heat until smoking well for 3 minutes. Leave it to cool.

To make the artichoke velouté, peel the artichokes and cut into 2cm chunks. Place in a saucepan and cover with equal quantities of water and milk to just cover. Add the cream and bring to the boil.

Simmer for 15-20 minutes until soft. Season with salt and pepper and add a knob of butter. Blitz to a smooth sauce.

To cook the fish, melt a knob of butter in a frying pan and fry the fillets one side for about 3 minutes. Turn over, baste with butter and pop in the oven for five or six minutes at 180oC.

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In another frying pan, melt the butter and add the garlic and mushrooms. Fry until the mushrooms begin to soften.

To serve place the mushrooms on a plate, top with the monkfish and pour the velouté around the fillets.

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