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Fish Barbeque in Sussex:
I’m not planning on posting recipes in this blog. Most of what we did was very simple and I hope this inspires you a bit to experiment. In my case I was lucky enough to have some hake, salmon and wild herring fillets to play with. As always it was fabulously fresh and it almost seems like a shame to do anything complicated with fish like that.
The firepit at Peckhams is literally a pit about a foot deep with some bricks around it and a grill balanced on top. It burns foraged wood rather than charcoal and is probably the simplest way I’ve ever tried cooking. We made a large pan of roasted vegetables (in the oven because we were a bit short of time, but in theory you could do these very well in a covered pot on the firepit) and we had some delicious local beer bread. And a fishy kind of menu:
- Grilled herring fillets
- Foil wrapped salmon with wild sorrel and lemon
- Lemon marinaded hake with prawns and peas
The Herring fillets were simply placed over direct heat on the firepit in a grill cage. We cooked them for about 5 minutes skin side up, then turned them to finish them. You can easily spot when grilled fish is ready because the proteins start to rise – you see white blobs appearing on the fish. Herrings are a lovely oily fish, and these were gorgeous with a chunk of bread and just a little lemon to season.
Salmon was foil wrapped, placed on a bed of wild sorrel and covered with lemon slices. Just a little olive oil to stop things sticking.
We put the parcels on the grill and cooked for about 15 minutes till we could see juices starting to ooze out of the foil and then checked to find these lovely fillets just ready to be served with some roasted vegetables!
Perhaps the most complicated dish was the hake. Marinaded overnight in a lemon, herb and garlic mixture, it was sealed and cooked in oil before the prawn and pea mixture was added, together with the marinade.
I think in all we must have spent about 10 minutes preparing the fish. Partly because John at Delishfish had done a lot of the work for us and partly because these were all simple dishes. Cooking time was maybe 25 to 30 minutes in total, although we ate as dishes were ready.
And it was all fabulous. Of course we had lashings of Pimms and Ginger Beer. Now, perhaps the summer could just come back again so we can do it again!