The Yummy Ingredients to Make a Perfect Smoked Pear Bellini
THE SMOKED PEAR BELLINI COCKTAIL
Taking the popular Bellini cocktail featuring Prosecco to a new level, this recipe features smoked pear. Once you’ve followed our segment on smoking fresh pears, you’ll be ready to try this distinct cocktail. Be warned, this is not for the light, fruity drinker as this has a strong, smoky undertone giving it more of a savory flavor.
Here’s what you will need for Smoked Pear Bellini:
The first step to a balanced Bellini is to make the simple syrup which will provide the sweet flavor to the smoky undertone. Place a saucepan over medium-high heat and add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar. I am using organic sugar which will give a yellow-amber hue to the finished syrup. Be sure to keep stirring the mixture until a low boil occurs. The sugar will be completely dissolved at that point. Remove from the heat and pour into a measuring cup for ease in adding to the blender. The simple syrup must cool complete prior to using in the fruit puree.
Making Smoked Pear Puree
Now it’s time to take the previously smoked pears and begin preparing for the blender. Although the skin of the pear is high in nutrient value, when smoked with the skin on, the skin can become quite dense. I will be removing most of the skin for this reason since we want a smooth puree. Using a paring knife, I remove the skin of each pear half and then cut into small cubes. I add these cubes to my blender. Be sure there are no hidden seeds. You will see the golden hue to the pear meat which resulted from the smoking process. If using a lower power blender, you may need to do this step in two parts to ensure a full puree.
Starting with the blender set to a low setting, begin blending the cut pears, slowing increasing the speed to a medium setting. Beginning adding the simple syrup in a steady stream until completely combined. Increase the blender speed to medium-high and blend until the pear puree appears fine and smooth, with no evidence of chunks.
Constructing the Smoked Pear Bellini
I like to pour the pureed pear mixture into a serving pitcher to make it easier to make each drink serving. Get a bottle of Prosecco that has previously been chilled already. Add about a 1/3 of a glass of smoke pear puree to each serving glass and top with chilled Prosecco. Then skewer a sliced smoke pear and rosemary sprig to each glass. Serve while still chilled.
Using seasonal pears, in this case Bosc variety, we bring a smoky version to the standard Bellini featuring Prosecco sparkling wine. With a simple puree of previously smoked pears, the addition of simple syrup, and a blending of the two with Prosecco, the result is a distinct, savory version of the Pear Bellini cocktail. Enjoy the Smoked Pear Bellini cocktail and don’t be afraid to add your own special additions like pomegranate, cranberry or even a bit of vodka for those who like a strong fruity cocktail. Cheers!
The Gourmia® Mini Smoker or any hand held smoker is the perfect equipment for those who want to infuse smoke flavor into raw and cooked foods, beverages, herbs, and spices. Using SmokinLicious® 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 owncustomized flavoring.
We are taking a step on the intense side and preparing to smoke pure New York State maple syrup. I am using SmokinLicious® Sugar Maple Minuto® Chips in Size 8. In addition to the smoker and chips, you will need a container to hold the syrup, some plastic wrap and a lighter. Keep in mind, this smoked syrup isnot intended to be used on waffles, pancakes, or french toast due to the intense flavoring. Get ready, for a fun, quick way to smoked maple syrup!
So simple to do, cold smoke generators let you direct the smoke just where you want. With the maple syrup placed in a glass bottle, the tubing of the Gourmia® Mini Smoker or any hand held smoker is inserted into the bottle and then sealed with simple plastic wrap. This ensures that all the smoke vapor produced is contained within the bottle and exposed to the syrup. You can fill the smoke to the level you want – just a little or right up to the top, like we did. Remove the tubing and tighten the plastic wrap or secure the bottle’s cap, and the flavor infusion begins.
Once the smoke is retained within the bottle, we gentle rotate the bottle, turning the liquid within, so that it mixes with the smoke vapor. Remember, the more smoke in the bottle, the stronger the flavor will be as you mix it in. You can see how the amber color of the syrup darkens as it is combined with the smoke vapor. That’s it!
Now, you can take this smoked maple syrup and use it in place of simple syrup for cocktails, add it to marinades and sauces for a balance of flavors that are unique. We will be using this batch in a special maple glaze for pork (see our recipe blog for our recipe and technique).
When your craving salad but our tired of the same boring options, take it a step further and feed all your senses with the Smoke Pear Salad with Gorgonzola from SmokinLicious®!
This is a very simple salad once you’ve followed our segment on smoking fresh pears. With pears in season during the colder months, it’s a great time to get your serving of greens. So, let’s get started with what you will need for Smoke Pear Salad with Gorgonzola:
2-3 smoked pears (see our previous series on smoking pears)
1/2 cup of Gorgonzola cheese
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar – I prefer a flavor infused one – I am using tangerine balsamic vinegar but anything in the citrus line would work well
1 head of lettuce in my case, I am using Boston lettuce
Taking your previously smoked pear halves, time to remove the skin and prepare to cut these for the salad. Now, this is where you need to make some decisions on how you want your salad to look. You can either slice the pears to add to whole Boston or Romaine lettuce leaves or you can cube them to add to chopped lettuce. I will be chopping my lettuce and cubing my smoked pears. Ideal sizing is ½ inch thickness for your pears to provide the right balance between the boldness of the smoked pear and the savory bite of the Gorgonzola. I’ll be balancing the two out with my vinaigrette.
Chopped Boston Lettuce
Boston lettuce is ideal for forming its own bowl and is an ideal choice for this pear salad. If you want to use the leaves whole, lay 1-2 for a good personal size salad. I am chopping my lettuce for a full side dish platter. Be sure to clean the lettuce and pat dry prior to using. The lettuce, if cut, should be rough cut in order to hold the pears and hold the vinaigrette.
Assembling the Salad:
Once the lettuce is cut or laid in whole leaf form to the plate, it’s time to add the cubed or sliced pear. Be sure you try to keep the pears in a single layer. Now it’s time to add the Gorgonzola cheese. Depending on your preference for this very strong cheese, begin sprinkling it all around the salad or if using the lettuce as a bowl, providing an even layer of cheese. It’s that simple! Now you’ll see just how well these colors all work together. Pleasing to the eyes and mouth!
Making the Vinaigrette:
Now that the salad components are plated it’s time to prepare the vinaigrette. I like to mix my dressings in a 2-cup measuring cup in order to make it easy to add to the salad. You will need a small whisk as well. First, add 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil to the measuring cup. Then add 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar – I am using a tangerine infused balsamic vinegar for a citrus flavor to this salad. To the liquids, grind some fresh ground pepper and then whisk until combined and thickened. Do not mix the vinaigrette unless you’re ready to serve the salad otherwise you’ll get a breakdown and thinning.
Here is the final component to this great salad – drizzling a tangerine vinaigrette over the smoked pears, Boston lettuce and Gorgonzola. It’s your choice how much to add but just be sure you get most of the components coated with a bit or you’ll be missing out on the fantastic balance of all the flavors. Smoky depth of the pears, bite of the Gorgonzola, crisp freshness of the lettuce and the tang of the oil and vinegar. A perfect way to get heartiness in a salad while enjoying the benefits of healthiness. Bon appetito!