When it comes to creating a unique gastronomic experience, many chefs and mixologists turn to smoke. Sneaking smokey flavors into unusual ingredients such as goat cheese, butter, ice and raw vegetables can really create an element of surprise for the guest. It’s often a question of “how’d they do that?” The answer, The Smoking Gun™ by PolyScience.
Most commonly, the flavors of smoke come from kiln-dried hardwoods. We often turn to applewood, hickory and whiskey barrel for smoke flavors that vary from subtle to aggressive. Many chefs and mixologists, however, are turning to more unusual ingredients like licorice root, vanilla beans, chicory, coffee beans, black peppercorn, oolong tea, ras el hanout…just to name a few.
Check out BBQ Master, Peter De Clercq’s recipe using chicory as a smoke element.
GRILLED SEA BASS WITH VANILLA POTATOES SMOKED WITH CHICORY ROOT
We’ve adapted this recipe from Peter’s book BBQ – A Party, available on Amazon.
1.75 lbs (800 g) Sea Bass, skin on and descaled, cut into four filets
2.2 lbs (1 kg) Yellow Fingerling Potatoes, peeled
7/8 cup (200 mL) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 pinch, Mace, ground
1 Vanilla bean
Fish Marinade (Recipe Below)
Herbs for Fish (Recipe Below)
Herbs for Vegetables (Recipe Below)
For The Smoking Gun™
- 2 t Chicory, finely ground
- 2 Cups (0.5 liters) Vegetable Oil
- 1 Cup (250 mL) garlic and fine herb oil
- 1 cup / 2.5 dl basil oil
- 1-1/2 Tbs / 20 g fennel seeds
- 6 cloves of garlic, whole 4 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs of lemon thyme
- 2 tsp / 10 g curry powder
- 2 tsp / 10 g oregano
Combine all ingredients and infuse overnight.
Herbs for Fish (Dry Rub)
Toast these ingredients in a steel skillet and grind the mixture in a coffee grinder.
- 1-3/4 C (500 g) Sea Salt
- 1⁄2 C (50 g) Dried Dill
- 1⁄4 C / 25 g Fennel Seed
- 1⁄4 C / 25 g Dried Parsley
- 2 Tbs / 25 g Paprika
- 1 Tbs / 12 g Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Tbs / 12 g Curry Powder
Then combine this with:
- 1⁄2 tsp (2 g) Ground Ginger
- 1 tsp (4 g) Turmeric Powder
- 1⁄2 tsp (2 g)Curry Powder
- 1/8 tsp (1 g) Ground Mace
- 2 tsp (10 g) Sea Salt
Herbs for Vegetables
- 1-1/2 T (20 g) Ground Coriander Seeds
- 1 T (15 g) Ground Cumin
- 1 t (5 g) Mustard Seeds
- 1-1/2 t (8 g) Black Peppercorns
- Boil or steam the fingerling potatoes. Mash into a puree and season with olive oil, pepper, salt and mace. Slice the vanilla bean open and scrape to remove the seeds. Mix vanilla seeds into the potato puree.
- Slice the leeks into 1-1/2 in / 4 cm sections and steam them until al dente.
- Rub the four sea bass with fish marinade and season with herbs for fish.
- Grill the sea bass for about 8 minutes.
- Rub the leeks with fish marinade and season with herbs for vegetables. Grill leeks alongside fish for about 4 minutes. Turn regularly to ensure even grilling.
- Serve the fish on a bed of potato puree and lay the leeks alongside.
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
- Cover dish with a glass dome and fill with chicory smoke using The Smoking Gun™.