I had intended to smoke cod this week, but a thick, skinless loin of pollack caught my eye. This firm, flaked, white fish is not quite as delicate in flavour as cod but sensational all the same writes Sandra Tate…
Curing & Smoking the Pollack Loin
Dissolve 70g sea salt & 30g light brown sugar in 500ml boiling water and allow to cool completely. Immerse the 800g pollack loin in the brine in a snug container and leave for 1 hour. Rinse and dry completely on kitchen paper. Set up the Bradley Smoker with the cold smoke attachment and stack filled with Pacific Blend bisquettes then set to smoke for 2-3 hours (depending on your own preference for level of smokiness). Place the pollack on a wire rack in the centre of the cabinet. Again, depending on preference, open the top vent for light smoke and fully close for a more intense smoke. Remove from the cabinet, wrap tightly in cling film and store in the fridge until required.
Cold Smoked Pollack, Tomato & Spinach Bruschetta – for 2
Cut 2 x 100g steaks from the smoked pollack loin and set aside. Take 4 ripe tomatoes and chop into large dice; 1 clove garlic, crushed with 1 tsp salt to a pulp; 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 handfuls of young spinach leaves. Heat the oil over medium heat and add the tomatoes and garlic salt, season with black pepper and cook for a few minutes to soften and lose their liquid. Add the spinach and cook for a further minute or until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a small frying pan, melt a good knob of butter to foaming over medium heat. Dust the pollack steaks with flour, shake off excess and pan fry for 4 minutes each side (less if it’s not so thick). While the fish cooks, brush 2 slices of sourdough with olive oil and grill to golden.
Set a slice of bruschetta on each plate, top with tomato, garlic and spinach sauce and sit the smoked pollack on top. Serve immediately.