Fish barbecue with Smokey* hot sauce.

Dodging the showers is easier when barbecuing for short periods. The steaks of wild trout shown here (line caught in a West Country river) take no time at all, and there is plenty of room on the grill for peppers and tomatoes (sausages can go on after all these have cooked).

  • Ingredients: 2 large steaks of wild trout. Several romano peppers, assorted tomatoes, chilis, a small bunch of coriander, limes.
  • For the Spanish rice: 100g round grain paella or risotto rice, two or three spring onions, a cupful of sugo, a couple of handfuls of cooked, shell-on prawns. A small glass (100ml) white or rose wine, 20 ml olive oil, black pepper and salt.
  • Other ingredients: mixed salad leaves, chopped parsley, chives home made tortillas, corn chips.
  • Method: Fire up the barbie and when the coals are covered in ash, grill a couple of thick trout steaks, along with an array of peppers, chilis and tomatoes. If using a combination of direct and indirect heat, a subtle yet unmistakeable aroma will penetrate the food.
  • When the fish is cooked, remove from the grill and leave to rest. Peel the cooled peppers and chilis. Chop them coarsely and place in the jug of a stick blender, with the tomatoes, coriander leaves, lime juice and salt. Blend.

Put 20ml olive oil in a 20cm cast iron pan or wok. On a medium heat add the chopped spring onions and the rice. Stir until the grains are coated with oil, and continue to stir while they begin to toast slightly. Then pour in a small glass of white wine. The pan should ‘sigh’ and then start bubbling. Now add the sugo and stir. When the rice begins to go dry add water just to the level of the rice, plus a handful of washed prawns. Cover and simmer until the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid. Test it. Then take out the prawns, shell them and put the meats back in (note – this can all be done just as easily by placing the pan on the barbecue after the fish and peppers have been removed). Throw in the other handful of prawns before eating, and if not making hot sauce, some chopped parsley or chives as well.

Make a green salad. Put the smokey hot sauce in a little bowl, along with some corn chips and perhaps a side of home made tortillas. Squeeze lime juice over the fish steaks, add a grind or two of black pepper, open up the rice, and eat, hopefully in the sunshine.

Virginia’s birthday, ‘A lifetime of devotion’

* ‘I second that emotion’

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