Saturday, 18 March 2017

Smoked Curry Conch



"Something Smells Fishy"

I have been wanting to cook conch/ lambi for a long time now. It’s something my husband eats all the time. If conch is on the menu he will be ordering it. The irony is he loves it so much and I never ever cook it. This is the first time I’m ever cooking conch for him to eat. He enjoyed this conch to the max a little time consuming to make but certainly worth every effort.


I’ve always thought the cleaning process of fresh conch was just so daunting, not to mention I didn’t know where to even go to purchase fresh conch. Conch was one seafood item I always stayed away from, then I realized it was sold frozen in the grocery store. Even then I was iffy, wondering if it would be fresh, I know fish, I know how to tell if a fish is fresh, but conch I wasn’t sure.  In any case I decided to take the plunge and get a pound or two and make some dinner

Everyone makes curry conch, but no one smokes the conch before they do. Even when doing a little research to see if anyone smokes the conch, all I found were a few forums about people asking the same question. So this may very well be the first food blog with a smooched conch recipe. All that aside, the smoke my friends, is a game changer! It adds an amazing flavor to dish and pairs so well with the curry. I do not own a smoker (I will be ordering one very soon) However I have been seeing persons make DIY stove-top smokers with steaming trays pot covers and foil. My pot set came with a steam basket, so I placed the chips at the bottom and the conch at the top and hoped for the best. It smoked the conch in under 15 minutes and I mean an intense smoke than a week later and my brain still detects a whiff of it here and there.   I should warn though, use a pot that you don’t mind getting discolored. My only regret is that my shiny pot is stained with smoke and I think it will take a few scrubs before that brown tint is gone.

Lastly what you must know if you don’t have a pressure cooker, stove top or regular, don’t even bother making this. Conch is probably one of the toughest meats ever known to man if you ask me. And because it’s been smoked I don’t think beating it with a hammer is a tactic that can be employed. My conch took about an hour in the pressure cooker to be fork tender. So let’s recap, you need cleaned conch, a steam basket of some sort a pot for the steam basket and a pressure cooker. Once you have that this delicious dinner is all yours.




Ingredients (printable recipe)

2 lb conch cleaned and chopped into bite sized pieces
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon paprika
Pimento wood chips
Apple wood chips
1 onion chopped
2 scallion stalks chopped
1 scotch bonnet pepper
4 garlic cloves
3 tablespoon Coconut oil
1 ½ tablespoon Curry powder
2 cups Coconut milk
1 teaspoon Salt (more or less to taste)
½ teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon honey
1 Sweet pepper slices
1 carrot slices
Dumplings (optional)
1 cup Flour
½ cup water


Instructions

  • Make sure to clean the conch properly, removing all the colored bits, leaving just white meat
  • Chop into bite sized pieces and season with allspice, onion powder and paprika
  • Set up the smoker by lining the bottom of the pot with foil, placing the wood chips/shavings of your choice place another foil on top of that and then the steamer basket filled with the conch
  • Close the lid on top, you can even use foil to help seal in the pot cover to make sure there is as little smoke escape as possible
  • Turn the flames high for about 3-5 minutes to allow the chips to burn and create smoke
  • Then turn the heat to low and let the conch smoke for another 8 to 10 minutes
  • Once the conch has smoked place them in a pressure cooker with onion, scallion, scotch bonnet and garlic.
  • Fill with water until it almost covers the conch, pressure cook for 1 hour
  • After one hour release the pressure
  • Make the dumpling dough my mixing the flour and water
  • In a pan heat coconut oil and add the curry powder and cook the curry
  • Add coconut milk salt, sugar, honey, sweet pepper and carrot
  • Add the entire contents of the pressure cooker, the conch onions and all the liquid to the pot of coconut milk
  • Pinch small pieces of the dough and form dumplings add them to the stew
  • Allow the entire thing to cook until the sauce is rich and thick
  • Serve with rice, rotti or festival 










Xoxo Greedygirl

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