SMOKIN’

GINNY GRANT BRINGS DEEP, SMOKY FLAVOUR TO VEG­ETABLE-BASED SIDES.

Cuisine - - CONTENTS - Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant Pho­tog­ra­phy Aaron Mclean / Styling Fiona Las­celles

Ginny Grant brings smoky flavour to veg­etable dishes

THE AROMA OF SMOKE is one I find very ap­peal­ing. When I cook out­doors, I gen­er­ally use a char­coal ket­tle that uses lump hard­wood char­coal, although af­ter watch­ing Cuisine Good Food Awards 2017 chef of the year Ed Verner in ac­tion at Auck­land restau­rant Pas­ture, I have been ex­per­i­ment­ing with com­pressed char­coal logs that burn longer and slower (I use the Ezilite brand from com­modi­tiesnz.co.nz). Mostly I cook us­ing in­di­rect heat, keep­ing the coals at two sides of the ket­tle and cook­ing in the mid­dle, although if I’m cook­ing fast, then I pile the coals into the mid­dle. I add smoke with wood – some­times small pruned branches from the grape vine or fig tree, at other times it may be wood­chips or chunks. I tend to soak the wood­chips for 30 min­utes or so be­fore drain­ing and us­ing, but I add the chunks as they are. In both cases I place them straight onto the hot em­bers. If you have a gas bar­be­cue with a hood, try us­ing a smoke box for the wood­chips (you can also fash­ion your own one out of a foil tray, adding pre-soaked wood­chips, cov­er­ing with foil, and punch­ing a few holes in the top). While it’s easy to think of ways to cook like this with meat, I’m in­creas­ingly in­ter­ested in the depth of flavour that can be achieved with veg­eta­bles. Most of these dishes are in­tended as side dishes.

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