The process of smoking strawberries for your summer cocktail is very easy. Merely cut your strawberries and place them on your grill to enhance their flavor than process into flavorful drink.

The process of smoking strawberries for your summer cocktail is very easy. Merely cut your strawberries and place them on your grill to enhance their flavor than process into flavorful drink.

If you enjoy fruity drinks or smoothies, then the Smoked Strawberry Aqua Fresca is perfect!  Using seasonal fresh strawberries will bring this to the ultimate flavor height but any store purchased variety will work as well.  This is the perfect cocktail for a summer event or as a non-alcoholic refresher on an exceptionally warm summer day.  Get ready as we tell you how to do the smoking technique then construct this fabulous drink.

Strawberries Love Smoke

Start with strawberries that are at their peak.  Gently wash them and then trim the stem end.  I cut smaller strawberries in half and larger in quarters to ensure the smoke vapor can penetrate easily but you certainly can leave them whole.  In addition to the strawberries – at least one quart to produce enough liquid for a few drinks – you’ll need the following ingredients and materials

Ingredients & Materials:

  • 4 tablespoons sugar – reserve some extra in case you want to make this sweeter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of fine or coarse sea salt
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Handful of fresh basil or mint
  • Ice cubes
  • Blender
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mortar & pestle (optional)
  • Sheet pan lined with parchment paper
  • 2 double filet wood chunks from SmokinLicious®

 While you are getting the strawberries ready you can have your grill warming up.  Set all burners to medium-low and close the lid.

Gas Grilling With Wood Chunks

Cooking with wood chunks can be done on the LP Gas Grill by using the heat shields or diffusers, whose purpose is to ensure even heat output over the grill grate.  By keeping a medium-low heat on the burner containing 2 wood chunks from SmokinLicious®I’m using 1 ash and 1 cherry – you won’t get the wood erupting in flames but rather a slow combustion that releases plenty of wood-fired flavor.  While the wood heats up, I combine my strawberries with 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and a pinch of sea salt.

Get Ready For Juicy Bubbles

When you smoke strawberries on the grill, all the locked in pectin water will be released by the heat.  That’s why it’s so important that you line your sheet pan with parchment paper so you don’t end up with a hard to clean mess.

After mixing in the vanilla extract, sugar, and salt it’s time to spread the strawberries onto the lined sheet pan and place on the grill.  Once the pan is in place, turn off all the burners except for the one that has the wood chunks on the diffuser. Cooking time will be about 40 minutes with a grill heat of 300°F maintained with the lid closed and 1 burner lit.

Taste Is The Sweet Aroma

Whenever I smoke fresh strawberries, it brings the memory of my Mom making strawberry jam.  As the strawberries react to the smoke vapor, you will see the pectin release and a beautiful, thick glaze will form around them.  This is the stuff that will make an exceptional aqua fresca so be sure you don’t lose any when removing the pan from the heat.  You’ll see the finished strawberries take on a much darker coloring and reduce size slightly from the water loss.  Now get ready for the fun part – getting our drink together.

Strawberry Base

To start our drink creation, you will need a blender and I prefer a mortar and pestle for combining citrus and fresh herbs.  Add the smoked strawberries to the blender and the remaining sugar. You can add the lime juice and fresh basil or mint right to the blender or add to a pestle and combine with the mortar. Once combined, add to the blender. Process the mixture.  Add a few ice cubes and process again until a smooth mixture is revealed.  You may add lime juice, sugar and ice as you see fit at this point – the recommended amounts are merely a guide.

Creating the Ultimate Aqua Fresca

With our strawberry mixture completed, it’s time to combine everything into a refreshing drink or cocktail.  If making a cocktail, select your spirit of choice.  I recommend tequila, vodka, or rum.  Add some ice cubes to a glass.  If making the alcoholic version, add an ounce of alcohol to the glass. Pour in the strawberry mixture and stir.  Add a sprig of basil or mint to the glass and serve.

If you are a frozen drink person, add more ice during the blending stage to thicken this up and make a milkshake like consistency.  This is so refreshing and so fitting for the warmer months.  Enjoy the Smoked Strawberry Aqua Fresca your way as you stay cool this summer season!

Did you love this drink idea?  Let us know by leaving a comment.  Be sure to follow and subscribe to us as we bring you innovative ideas for adding wood-fired flavoring to all types of foods, the SmokinLicious® way!

Looking for more smoked drink ideas?  Then check out this recipe and technique:

The Smoked Pear Bellini Cocktail

Dr Smoke "This summer don't limit your smoking/grilling activities to meat and potatoes, try FRUIT, for a tasty twist."

Dr Smoke- “This summer don’t limit your smoking/grilling activities to meat and potatoes, try FRUIT, for a tasty twist.”

Smoking fruit for cocktails adds a unique taste. Try Kiwi to develop something unique and refreshing for your next outdoor picnic.

Smoking fruit for cocktails adds a unique taste. Try Kiwi to develop something unique and refreshing for your next indoor or outdoor party.

 

SMOKED KIWI CAIPIROSKA

The warmer season means we all look for new cocktails to serve and enjoy during the longer days of sunlight.  For those of you who are a fan of the fruity cocktail, why not take a less traditional approach and bring a new flavor level in.

Kiwifruit Gets A Smoky Start

Caipiroska is a popular drink in South America consisting mostly of vodka, sugar, and lime.  I thought I’d give you a less traditional recipe featuring kiwifruit.  Start the ultimate caipiroska by introducing a depth of flavor by smoking the kiwifruit.  We show you how in our previous posting.  Next, we’ll balance out the bolder smoke with an assortment of sweet and fresh ingredients.  Let’s get the list together.

Gather These Ingredients:

2 cups smoked kiwifruit, peeled and diced

12 mint leaves

2 tablespoons of sugar

3 limes

2 cups high quality vodka

2 cups tonic water, seltzer, or coconut flavored sparkling water

Ice cubes

Mortar and pestle

1 kiwifruit peeled and thinly sliced for garnish

Muddle For Ultimate Aromatics

Taking a teaspoon of sugar, 2 mint leaves, and 1/3 cup diced smoked kiwifruit, I add this to a mortar and pestle.  Next, squeeze in ½ lime juice, then muddle the ingredients together until a chunky mixture is revealed.  This is the part that allows you to experience all the aromatics of the fresh ingredients coming together.  Gives you an idea what your taste buds are in store for!

Time for the Pour

With the key ingredients muddled in harmony, it’s time to bring everything to the glass.  First, I pour my kiwi-mint-lime mixture into a serving glass.  I then add 3-4 ice cubes.  You will most definitely smell the minty fruit combination without picking up the hint of smoke.  That flavor will come when the drink passes over the taste buds.

Vodka Makes It Adult

The final steps to our Smoked Kiwifruit Caipiroska – adding a quality vodka.  This will be equal parts vodka and carbonated water, whether you use straight seltzer, tonic, or even coconut water.  You certainly can experiment with the water you like best.  There are no rules when it comes to cocktails.   I like to give my caipiroska a little stir just to combine things a bit more.

Lay Back and Enjoy

Using simple seasonal ingredients of kiwifruit, previously smoked using SmokinLicious® alder wood and a hand held food smoker, fresh mint, and lime, we’ve given a twist to the traditional caipiroska.  Muddled together for incredible flavors and aromatics, premium vodka and your favorite sparkling water are added.  Finish the beautiful glass off with a sliced kiwifruit and you’re ready for fun entertaining or a kick back afternoon or evening.

Let us know how you liked this recipe by leaving a comment and what you want to see next.  Be sure to follow and subscribe to us as we bring you innovative ideas for adding wood-fired flavoring to all types of foods, the SmokinLicious® way!

You may enjoy other fruit posting like Smoked Pear Salad With Gorgonzola and Smoked Banana Bites

Dr Smoke- "For a refreshing drink this summer season add your own little smokey flavor to the kiwi ingredient to tickle the taste buds of your guests."

Dr Smoke- “For a refreshing drink this summer season add your own little smokey flavor to the kiwi ingredient to tickle the taste buds of your guests.”

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This simple but delicious recipe combines smoked bananas with chocolate and crushed nuts

Finished smoked banana bites (combining smoked bananas with chocolate and crushed nuts)

 

SMOKED BANANA DOUBLE BITES

If you joined us for our series on smoking banana, now it’s time to learn just what you can do with this flavorful fruit.  This recipe for Smoked Banana Double Bites makes for a perfect snack, kid loving dessert, or even a sweet party item.  Gather together the following:

Ingredients:

You’ll also need a saucepan for melting the chocolate or a microwave safe bowl, popsicle sticks or similar disposable handle for inserting in the banana segments, and a small cake spatula for spreading the chocolate.  I would also keep on hand some hot water in case the chocolate should seize or harden on you.  If that occurs, simply add 1 teaspoon of hot water at a time, mixing well, until you restore the smooth consistency.

Preparing:

It’s important that you get the other ingredients ready prior to melting the chocolate as you want to prevent the chocolate from hardening.  Take your 4 ounces of slivered almonds and add to a storage bag.  I am old school so I will crush my almonds using a canned good.  You can use a kitchen mallet or rolling pin, whatever is the easiest for you.  Be sure you just crush the almonds – don’t make almond dust or flour!  Then prepare a sheet pan with wax paper and get your popsicle or other wood stick ready for putting the Smoked Banana Double Bites together.  I named this recipe after the average bites it takes to get one of these little flavor explosions into your tummy.

Melt the Chocolate:

Once the other ingredients are at the ready and your sheet pan with wax paper is set, it’s time to melt the semi-sweet chocolate.  You can do this a couple of way.  In a double boiler which is the preferred method, in a saucepan set to a low temperature, or in a microwave.  Your choice just be sure you get a consistency that is not too thin or thick so the banana will coat easily.  I add 2 tablespoons of butter to the chocolate to produce a shiny result.  Melt until just smooth being careful not to go beyond that stage or the chocolate will harden.  If you do go too far, simply add 1 teaspoon of hot water to the mix to thin and recover it.

Assembling the Bites:

With the chocolate melted we are now ready for assembly of our Smoked Banana Double Bites!  Taking your popsicle stick or similar wooden item, insert into the center of a banana segment.  Remember, I had cut my bananas into 2-inch segments when I did the smoking process.  Now dip into the melted chocolate and begin to spread into an even layer using a small cake spatula.  Just get the top and sides coated so they can roll in the next two ingredients.  Again, if your chocolate should seize or harden on you, simply add 1 teaspoon of hot water to bring it back.

With our banana segment covered in chocolate, we are now ready for “the roll”.  First, place some crushed slivered almond on a piece of wax paper.  Then roll the chocolate covered banana into the almonds being careful not to press down.  Just allow the almonds to stick on their own.  Next, a trip to the shredded coconut.  You can put the coconut on a wax sheet as well or leave in a small container that can accommodate the size of your banana.  Let the coconut fill in all the spaces between the almonds then lay on a sheet pan covered with wax paper.  These will need to harden a bit in the refrigerator.

The Yummy, Creamy, Chocolate Finish:

So here we are.  The finale!  After taking our bananas to a smoky place using SmokinLicious® Minuto® Wood Chips for smoking, we gave them a bath in luscious dark chocolate.  Then the roll – into crushed almond and shredded coconut – 2 fantastic flavor pairings for banana.  Then off to the sheet pan covered with wax paper to set everything up in the refrigerator.  You just need about 45 minutes of setting time then it’s off to the party, or for a snack or that great dessert.  Don’t forget to put your own spin on this recipe by swapping the dark chocolate for white, the almonds for pistachio or pine nuts.  Always keep the holidays in mind too.  Use pastel dyes for the coconut or white chocolate for a great Easter dessert, green and red dyes for Christmas, and blue for Hanukah.   Make this great, simple recipe your own.  You can even do whole bananas, set them up, and then slice them over ice cream or pound cake with a hit of fresh cream.  Get your imagination going and expand on the great use of smoked banana.

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke “you will love this take on bananas”

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The Yummy Ingredients to Make a Perfect Smoked Pear Bellini

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.

Ingredient List:

Here’s what you will need for Smoked Pear Bellini:

Making Simple Syrup to Sweeten Things Up:

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.

Saluté

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!

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke

 

 

 

 

 

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Simple Ingredients Are Used for This Savory Smoked Pear Salad with Gorgonzola

Ingredients to make a savory smoked pear salad

SMOKED PEAR SALAD WITH GORGONZOLA

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:

Ingredients:

  • 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
  • fresh pepper
  • ½ cup of SmokinLicious® Minuto® Wood Chips Size #6

Preparing the Salad:

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.

Specially Diced Lettuce Arranged in a Bowl

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!

Specially Diced Smoked Pears Placed on Lettuce Awaiting the Zesty Gorgonzola

Adding Gorgonzola

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.

 

The Finish:

Vinaigrette Spritzed Over Smoked Pears and Gorgonzola- Adding the Finishing Touch to a Savory Salad

Finished Salad

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke

 

 

 

 

 

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SMOKED STRAWBERRY NAPOLEON WITH PROSECCO CREAM

Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

Take advantage of the short, fresh strawberry season by using your harvest in unique and flavorful recipes.  Up first, this take on strawberry shortcake that is in a league of its own!

INGREDIENT LIST

 Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Packaged Won-Ton wrappers
  • Frying oil (be sure to use one for high heat)
  • 1 quart of smoked strawberries smoked with Minuto® chips (reserve about 6 whole strawberries for garnish)
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • ¾ cup cold Mascarpone cheese
  • 1/3 cup cold heavy cream
  • ¼ cup cold Prosecco
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

PREPARING THE WON-TONS

Frying the Won Tons

Frying the Won Tons

In a large skillet, heat 1 cup of high heat oil.  When ready, reduce the heat to medium-high and begin adding won-ton wrappers one at a time without crowding the pan. I usually can fit about 4 at a time. This step will take you a bit to do enough wrappers to ensure you have 3 per Napoleon serving.  I like to cook the entire package of won-ton wrappers as these make excellent snacks either alone or for dipping salsa, guacamole or your favorite dip.  Plus, they make a great sweet snack when sprinkled with cinnamon/sugar or powdered sugar. When cooking the won tons, watch for a tan hue and bubbles to begin on the wrapper. Turn once and remove to a paper towel lined plate about 20 seconds after turning, as the won-ton holds a lot of heat and will continue to cook out of the pan.

 

PREPARING THE STRAWBERRY FILLING

Placed the quartered smoked strawberries in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of sugar and the vanilla; toss to coat.  Set aside until we are ready to assemble everything.

PREPARING THE PROSECCO CREAM

Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake until golden about 5-7 minutes.  Set aside.

Combine the mascarpone, heavy cream, the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, ground red pepper, and the prosecco in a medium bowl.  Beat with a mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.  Be sure not to over beat.  Refrigerate briefly to bind everything.

ASSEMBLING THE NAPOLEON

Assembled Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

Assembled Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

Place one cooked won-ton on a serving plate.  Top with a large dollop of Prosecco cream and then cover with smoked strawberries. Repeat this process 2 more times so you have three won-ton layers per plate.  Top with almonds and a whole smoked strawberry on top plus a little extra of your smoked strawberries.

THE ULTIMATE TREAT THAT ISN’T TOO SINFUL!

With the sweetness of the Prosecco cream, the hint of smoke in the strawberries, and that crispy crunch of the won-ton layers, this is a one of kind napoleon that you and your guests won’t soon forget.  Feel free to experiment with different cream fillings and fruits.  I like cannoli cream as well with a hint of cinnamon.  And don’t forget to take picture of your masterpiece and send along to us at SmokinLicious®.

Top with Almond Slivers for an Extra Crunch and Serve!

Top with Almond Slivers for an Extra Crunch and Serve!

For audio instructions visit our Instagram account @smokinlicious #smokinliciousmenu

Bon Bar B Que

Dr Smoke

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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.”