1 cup of baby kale with stems and membranes removed, washed and dried
¼ cup sour cream or crème fraiche (I prefer the crème fraiche for extra smooth texture in soups)
6 strips of bacon
1 cup broth (you can use chicken or vegetable but water is fine too)
1 medium white onion, diced
Keep in mind, you can keep this vegan but omitting the bacon and cream. For equipment, you will need a food processor or blender, cutting board, chef’s knife, frying pan for the bacon, and soup pot.
Bacon Adds That Special Flavor Touch-Dr Smoke
To start, place a frying pan over medium high heat and allow to heat completely as this will ensure crisp bacon. Add the 6 strips of bacon and cook until well done, about 6-8 minutes. You will want to flip the bacon after the first 3-4 minutes. Take the cooked bacon from the pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels to remove the excess drippings. Reduce the heat under the frying pan to medium keeping the fat renderings from the bacon. To the bacon drippings, add the diced white onion. Cook until slightly translucent.
Smoked Butternut Squash- Yum, Yum Yummy!- Dr Smoke
While the onion is cooking, place the previously smoked butternut squash slices into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Don’t worry if you don’t get all the lumps out as this will be processed a second time. Add this mixture to the cooked onion and combine. After 3 minutes, reduce the heat to low and add the ¼ cup of sour cream or crème fraiche, mixing in well to ensure creaminess throughout.
While the onion, squash, cream mixture is simmering on low heat, add 1 cup of baby kale leaves to the food processor and pulse until reduced to fine particles. Add the chopped kale to the squash mixture and combine well. Then remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool slightly. While the mixture is cooling, chop four slices of the crisped bacon into small pieces. Add to the squash mixture and combine well.
A Velvet Smooth Finish:
Blend to a Smooth Velvety Texture- Dr Smoke
Add the slightly cooled smoked squash mixture to a blender or food processor, and start the machine on a low setting. As the mixture is pureed, slowly add 1 cup of broth to thin out the puree. You may use water if you prefer. You may add additional broth until the consistency is at your preferred level but 1 cup should be about the mark. I like this particular soup to coat a spoon which means it will coat my insides! Take your reduced smoked squash mixture and pour into a soup pot and place on a low setting for about 20 minutes to allow the flavors to marry.
Oh My Gosh! Unbelievably Tasty!- Dr Smoke
Now, ladle this silky, smooth soup into serving bowls and place a small amount of the chopped bacon from the remaining two slices to each serving bowl. As you put this luscious soup into your mouth, your palate will pick up the subtle sweetness of the cinnamon and light smokiness from the stove top smoking process, while the silkiness of the cream provides a balance to the heartiness of the bacon. This is a great way to use seasonal squash and keep those of us in the cold portion of the world warm this winter. Bon Appetito!
Shrimp Smoked with a Hand Held Smoker- Gourmia® Mini Smoker- Dr Smoke
BBQ SHRIMP- INSTANT GRATIFICATION!
The Gourmia® Mini Smoker is the perfect equipment for those who want to infuse smoke flavor into raw and cooked foods, beverages, herbs, and spices. UsingSmokinLicious® Minuto® or Piccolo® Wood Chips ensures maximum flavor infusion from a clean, 100% bark-free hardwood. Select from 8 hardwood species and combine woods for your own customized flavoring.
Minuto® Wood Chips and the Gourmia® unit.
We are going to show the versatility of cold smoke techniques by infusing smoke into some raw shrimp that have been marinated in BBQ sauce. I’m using SmokinLicious® Sugar Maple Minuto® Chips in Size 8. In addition to the smoker and chips, you will need to place your marinated shrimp in a bowl covered with plastic wrap or in a food storage bag, and a lighter. Get ready, for a fun, quick way to fabulous smoked BBQ shrimp, in an instant!
Tip-Using a bag and the smoker unit to infuse the flavor
So simple to do, cold smoke generators let you direct the smoke just where you want. I’ve taken my uncooked shrimp and marinated them overnight in my favorite BBQ sauce. Any sauce will do whether homemade or store bought. I set up my Gourmia® Mini Smoker with Size 8 Minuto® Wood chips from SmokinLicious®, inserting the smoker’s tubing directly into my marinade bag. I seal the bag around the tubing, turn on the smoker, and light the wood chips. As soon as I see the smoke start to the fill the bag, I turn the smoker off, pull the tubing out, and seal the bag completely.
You can leave the smoke sealed in the bag until you are ready to cook the shrimp. Any method of cooking will do – in the pan, baked in the oven, on the grill – whatever your pleasure! So much flavor you will think you just smoked for hours on a traditional smoker. Unlock your imagination and get smoking with SmokinLicious® and Gourmia®!
It’s squash season and that means you have a tremendous variety of product available to do many styles of cooking. How about trying your hand at stove top smoking? Today, I’m featuring the very popular butternut squash. You’ll need a stove top smoker or a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven with an insert pan and lid, Minuto Chips® in Size #4 from SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products, and about 1 hour of time. Be sure you also have a hood vent where you will be using the stove top smoker. Now let’s gather our ingredients and get ready to infuse great wood-fired flavor!
I’ve decided to add a little spice to this smoked butternut squash so here are the ingredients you will need to do this flavor:
And 1 medium size butternut squash
Cast iron does take a bit of time to heat up, so you can start the medium high heat under the stove top unit made of cast iron as you are preparing the squash, so by the time you have everything cut, cleaned and seasoned, the smoking pan will be ready to go.
preparing the squash
Preparing the Squash
In addition to the food ingredients, you’ll also need a small saucepan for melting the butter or you may use a microwave safe bowl and melt the butter in that manner. A chef’s knife, cutting board and vegetable peeler are also needed. First, I cut both ends of the squash off so that I have two flat ends to work with. I then peel all the skin and white skin beneath the peel from the squash until the yellow/orange meat is revealed.
Once all the peel and white skin is removed, I cut the squash in half lengthwise revealing the seeded inside. With a spoon, I remove the seeds and membrane strings. I like to pat the squash dry with a few paper towels to remove the excess water as once this vegetable hits the heat, it will start to steam out the water held in the cell membranes. Now, we’re ready to start slicing the squash into ½” slices. Taking each half, I lie it on the flat side on a cutting board and slice into ½” pieces. I add these to a bowl in preparation for the flavor ingredients.
Spicing Things Up
Now it’s time to add the spices to these beautiful slices. I take about a tablespoon of cinnamon, 1-2 teaspoons of curry powder, a ½ teaspoon of coarse salt and ¼ teaspoon of fresh ground pepper. I then melt 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Be sure you simply melt the butter and do not let it go to the brown stage. I then pour the melted butter over my spiced butternut squash slices and mix well. I like to do this part with my hands to ensure everything is mixed well. Now, we are ready to get these beauties on the grill grate of our pre-heated stove top smoker.
cast iron stove top smoker
Stove Top Pan Preparation
Be sure your smoker base pan is clean of any previous wood chips or food scraps. Add the SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood ProductsMinuto® Wood Chips in the base of the unit, about a handful is needed. I’m using Sugar Maple Minuto® Chips in Size #4 to bring a balance to the squash with my other flavor ingredients. Because I plan to use my smoked squash as an ingredient in other recipes, and squash has a large amount of water naturally in it, I’m using the stove top smoker unit without soaking my chips. This is commonly how stove top smokers are used as the chips will combust easier in the dry state and provide perfect smoke infusion. I also make sure to turn my hood vent “on” to help reduce the smoke aroma.
Fueling Up the Stove Top Smoker
I gently lay each squash section on the grill pan doing the best I can to keep everything from being too crowded. A medium sized squash will fill the pan easily. I then cover the pan and let it cook for about 20 minutes without lifting the lid. Remember, squash contains 94% water weight so once you lift the lid to check the squash slices, you will see the accumulated condensation on the inside of the lid. Do the best you can not to allow the water to pool into the lid and go back into the smoking pan.
You will see the squash slices take on a shiny appearance and soften from the water vaporization and smoke vapor infusion. Depending on what you will use the squash slices for – using them as is as a side dish or in another recipe such as a soup, pureed side dish or even a sauce – will determine how long and how tender they need to be. I like mine to be knife tender but not to the point where they fall apart if picked up with tongs. Notice the condition of my Minuto® wood chips when I finish – perfectly carbonized. In fact, I likely could use them for another batch of squash!
Oh My Gosh! Ready to Please the Palate- Dr. Smoke
With just a handful of Minuto® wood chips in size #4, 1 medium butternut squash, and 1 hour of time, I produced golden, rich flavor with a gently touch of smokiness. Notice the grill marks I still achieved by not fussing with my squash. Using cast iron units allow you peace of mind in knowing the chips are safe so you can walk away and not open the lid. That allows that 94% water to vaporize and give gently crusting to the squash. I’m ready now to take these slices into a recipe that will be extra special and memorable. Find out for yourself how easy it is to smoke on the stove top!