June 2016


Look at these wonderful bright green chives that we will be adding a pinch of smokey flavor

Wonderful bright green chives that we will be adding a pinch of smokey flavor

STOVE TOP SMOKING OF FRESH GARDEN CHIVES


Fresh chives are in season so why not do something different with this wonderful herb and try your hand a smoking them!  One of the easiest methods for controlling the heat and smoke level to a delicate item like herbs is to use a stove top smoker or stove top smoker set up with a cast iron pan.  The point of smoking the chives is to add a depth of flavor to any recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

Minuto® Wood Chips

STOVE TOP PAN PREPARATIONS:

Our favorite stove-top smoker

Be sure your smoker base pan of the stove top unit or of your cast iron pan is clean of any previous wood chips or food scraps.  Add the SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products Minuto® Smoker Wood Chips in Size #6 in the base of the unit or skillet, about a dessert plate full of chips. Be sure to select a wood flavor that will not overpower the chives flavor.  My choice is Sugar Maple.  The chips should be left dry as stove top techniques work best with dry wood product.

HEATING THE PAN:

After adding the wood chips turn the heat level of your stove to medium.  Put the cover of the unit on or a lid on the pan and let the chips begin to smoke.  On the stove top unit, keep the vent top open about ¼ turn.  You can alter the position of the lid on a skillet so it isn’t air tight.  Remember, you’ll want to trap most of the smoke into the unit or pan.  Once you see smoke vapor exit the vent, it’s time to add the chives.

Putting the chips in the bottom of the pan

PREPARING THE CHIVES:

Gently wash the chives and trim the bloom heads of the stalks as well as any dry bottoms.  Pat the chives dry and place in the food pan.

SMOKING PROCESS:

Using a stove top smoker will be the easiest way to get smoke flavor to each chive as the food pans have evenly placed vent holes to ensure great flavoring to every part of the food item.  Maintain a temperature of about 150°F to ensure that you don’t burn the chives.  About 10 minutes into the infusion, check the chives by lifting off the cover and see if they have taken on a golden hue.  If so, you’re about ½ way there!  At this point, the chives will begin to lose moisture and become similar to a dried herb.

After about 20 minutes, you’re ready to remove the chives and start on the next batch.  Once the smoking process is finished, starting thinking of all the uses for this flavorful herb. Be sure to check out our recipe postings to give you inspiration.

Note the smokey color on the finished product

Bon-Bar-B-Q!

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke- “Smoking chives adds a distinctively great flavor to this versatile herb.”

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All the supplies you need to add a smokey flavor to this wonderful fruit- strawberries

All the supplies you need to add a smokey flavor to this wonderful fruit- strawberries

 HAND HELD SMOKING OF FRESH STRAWBERRY

Harvesting fresh strawberries is now in season so why not do something different with this fruit favorite and try your hand at smoking them!  One of the easiest methods for controlling the smoke level to a fruit is to use a hand held food smoker.

It's the time of year that you see the road side stands offering locally grown fresh strawberries.

It’s the time of year that you see the road side stands offering locally grown fresh strawberries.

Ingredients

HAND HELD FOOD SMOKER PREPARATIONS:

Assemble the hand held food smoker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products Piccolo® Wood Chips in Size #6, #8 or #10 to the chip bowl of the unit. You will only need a Tablespoon or two on hand.  Be sure to select a wood flavor that will not overpower the strawberry.  My choice is Alder.

PREPARING THE STRAWBERRIES

Gently wash the strawberries and trim the stem head. You may smoke the strawberries whole or in cut pieces, your choice.  Pat dry and lay them out on the sheet pan.

Wrapping the Strawberries

Wrapping the Strawberries

SETTING UP FOR SMOKING

Once the strawberries are on the sheet pan, take a food storage bag or plastic wrap and secure around the sheet pan holding the strawberries.  Leave the end of the bag open or one corner of the plastic wrap open on the pan.  Position the smoking tube of the hand held food smoker under the plastic wrap or in the bag and then seal around the tube.

SETTING UP THE SMOKER IN THE BAG

SETTING UP THE SMOKER IN THE BAG

SMOKING PROCESS

Turn on the hand held food smoker and light the chips.  Immediately, you will see smoke being produced inside the plastic wrap or bag.  Decide how much smoke vapor you want in the bag – though I prefer to fill it right up.  Turn off the hand held food smoker and remove the tube. Then seal the bag with a cable tie or twist tie or secure the plastic wrap to the sheet pan.

I like to wait until I see most of the smoke vapor dissipate from the bag before opening.  Once the smoke infusion is finished, you can begin to use the smoked strawberries in any recipe that calls for this fabulous fruit.  Be sure to check out our recipe postings to give you inspiration including the Smoked Strawberry Napoleon with Prosecco Cream.

Bon-Bar-B-Q!

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The finished product after a brief smoking! Add sugar maple smoking wood to provide the sweetness inside of sugar.

The finished product after a brief smoking! Add sugar maple smoking wood to provide the sweetness inside of sugar.

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Dr Smoke- “It’s strawberry time, add a new twist to your favorite fruit using sugar maple smoking wood chips.”

 

 

Ember Roasted Asparagus

Ember Roasted Asparagus

 

 

EMBER ROASTING ASPARAGUS ON A HIBACHI OR OTHER CHARCOAL EQUIPMENT

 

Its Asparagus season and that means you should get the most out of this sensational vegetable while it’s fresh!  Learn how easy it is to ember roast this thick skinned vegetable to bring out the fantastic flavor of this vegetable as a side dish, or used as an ingredient in other recipes like a refreshing dip, soup, or stuffing for meat or fish.

SmokinLicious® Grande Sapore® Wood Chips

SmokinLicious® Grande Sapore® Wood Chips

You’ll need:

 

PREPARING TO EMBER COOK:

Clean the Hibachi or small charcoal grill unit of all previous ash, as well as any leftover wood and charcoal.  Add the SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products Grande Sapore® Wood Chips in the base of the Hibachi on the charcoal grates. If not using a Hibachi unit, then place the wood chips in the charcoal area of your small charcoal grill. I like to use Wild Cherry Grande Sapore® Chips to bring a balance to the asparagus’ flavor.  Since I plan to use my roasted asparagus as an ingredient in other recipes, I’m using the chips in their natural state rather than soaking in a flavored liquid but feel free to soak in wine, alcohol, juice or other liquid of your choice.

Items need for this recipe

Items need for this recipe

LIGHTING THE FIRE

After loading the Hibachi or other unit with my Grande Sapore® Cherry Chips, I light the chips using a small kitchen size torch.   I let the chips burn down until I have about 2-3 inches of hot embers to cook with.  I need the layer long enough to accommodate the spears of asparagus and deep enough to ensure the embers encircle most of the spear.  I keep plenty of extra Grande Sapore® Cherry chips on hand to ensure I get the depth and size of the ember bed throughout the cooking process.  This includes maintaining a perimeter of unlit chips around the hot embers.

 

PREPARING THE ASPARAGUS

While I wait for the chips to burn down into embers, I start preparation of my fresh asparagus.  First, I gently clean the spears and then trim the bottoms just where they are a bit dried out and tough.  I gently pat dry and leave them in a tray to wait on the fire.  I drizzle some oil over my asparagus spears and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.  The oil will help the seasoning stick to the spears and also ensure an even cook on the asparagus.  Letting the asparagus sit while you wait on the embers allows the seasoning to penetrate the stalks, giving it additional flavor.

EMBER ROASTING TECHNIQUE

Once I have a bed of hot embers, I’m ready to cook!  I won’t be needing the grill grates as asparagus has a nice thick skin so it’s an ideal vegetable to be placed directly on the hot coals.  Prior to adding the asparagus, I add some more wood chips to the outside perimeter of my cooking area so that I will be able to bring in new embers as needed.  In addition to providing new embers, the unlit chips will provide additional heat to the grill as they ignite.

I lay my asparagus spears into the hot embers allowing the coals to wrap around the majority of each spear.

As I’m using very thick diameter spears, I will let the asparagus cook in the embers for about 10 minutes prior to

Asparagus cooking directly on the embers

Asparagus cooking directly on the embers

checking on the char level.  Just like with conventional cooking, you’ll see the asparagus get a brighter green sheen as they cook through.  Once I see a nice layer of char develop to the skin, I will turn the spears with tongs. The oil will also give a nice golden hue.

 

I’ve turned the asparagus spears only as the char develops on each side until they are fully charred and the spears have tenderized. You’ll know the perfect tender level when you prick the spear with a knife tip and it just penetrates.

Please go to- Smokinlicious Instagram #smokinliciousasparagus for the audio instructional series

Now I’m ready to use these beauties in my recipes but only after a few spears are enjoyed as is.  Ah, the perks of cooking over hot embers.  Bon-Bar-B-Que!

 

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