SMOKED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH BABY KALE

One Taste Will Make You a Smoked Squash Believer!

One Taste Will Make You a Smoked Squash Believer! – Dr. Smoke

If you joined our SmokinLicious® Instagram series on stove top smoking of butternut squash, then it’s time to take your wonderful smoke-infused butternut squash to the next level and make a fabulous soup just in time for the holidays and cold season.  Smoked Butternut Squash with Baby Kale Soup. This recipe will serve 4-6.  Gather the following ingredients:

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium smoked butternut squash that was smoked in ½” slices
  • 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.

 

Cooking Process:

Bacon Adds That Special Flavor Touch

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.

 

 

Processing Ingredients:

Smoked Butternut Squash- Yum, Yum Yummy!

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

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.

 

The Finish:

 

Finished Squash Soup Topped with Crispy Bacon

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!

 

 

 

 

Bon-Bar-B-Q!

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke

 

 

 

 

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Stove Top Smoked Butternut Squash

Smoked Butternut Squash

You Can Do It! Smoked Butternut Squash- Dr. Smoke

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!

Ingredients

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:

  • Curry powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Unsalted butter
  • Coarse salt
  • Fresh pepper
  • 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.

Peeled Squash with Seeds Removed

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

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 Products Minuto® 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 with SmokinLicious® Minuto® Wood Chips

Fueling Up the Stove Top Smoker

Smoking

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!

Beautiful Grill Marks on the Smoked Squash

Oh My Gosh! Ready to Please the Palate- Dr. Smoke

 

The Finish

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!

Bon Bar B Que!

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to audio instructions

Listen to audio instructions

 

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Showcasing the wonderful green salad with smoked snow peas from the grill

Snow pea kissed by smoke adds a delicious flavor to this spring salad combination

SMOKED SUGAR SNOW PEAS WITH CUCUMBER SALAD

With four select ingredients readily available throughout the year, you can make this flavorful and healthy salad anytime of the year.  Perfect on its own for lunch or as a side dish to beef, pork, poultry, and fish, you’ll find your own variations to keep it unique.

Start out by gathering these ingredients:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of smoked sugar snow peas (see our previous posting on smoking)
  • 2 mini cucumbers, unpeeled, thinly sliced
  • ½ pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup of fresh dill chopped (or use a quality jar dill if fresh is not available)

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • Salt & fresh ground pepper
Nothing But the Most Fresh Ingredients

Fresh & Savory Ingredients

Preparing The Salad:

Add the smoked snow peas to a salad bowl.  Stir in the cucumbers, tomatoes, and dill.  Be sure you stir gently to prevent breaking up the cucumbers and tomatoes.  Stirring will allow some of the char flavor of the peas to reach the juices of the cucumber and tomato.

Adding A Pop of Red Color to the Cucumbers and Peas

Adding Tomatoes

Preparing The Dressing:

 In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and lemon zest until smooth.  You will see the dressing thicken as you whisk. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until coated.

Thickening the Dressing

A Quick Whisk

The Finish:

 I simply love this salad for a healthy lunch, snack, or as a side to dinner. Feel free to add some additional crunchy items like pumpkin seeds, dried fruits, or even tortilla shell strips.  And DON’T FORGET to take a picture of your masterpiece and send along to us at SmokinLicious®.

Bon-Bar-B-Q!

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke

Dr. Smoke & the Culinary Team

Enjoy a Scrumptious Salad

Enjoy a Scrumptious Salad-Dr. Smoke

 

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Ember Cooking/Roasting Garlic In A Skillet

 

Ember roasted garlic for the ages!

Ember roasted garlic for the ages!-Dr. Smoke®

One of my favorite herbs is garlic due to all the applications garlic has in cooking.  One technique that you may not have tried is ember firing the garlic using a wood for flavor and a cast iron skillet for smoke control.

 

Here’s what you will need to do this technique:

  • A cast iron skillet – Lodge™ has a great model
  • Garlic purchased with the stalks on as you’ll need these for presentation and control during the cooking process
  • An LP/gas grill – any model or size

 

Grill Preparation

Ever wonder what else you could do with the cast iron skillet other than fire place cooking?   Well, use it to ember roast garlic but on your LP/gas grill!  That’s right.  We will use the gas grill for fire proof cooking and air control without need for the LP/gas.

 

Place the iron skillet on the grill grates and prepare to add the wood chips.   We will be using Grande Sapore® wood chips from SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products.  The species selected is Ash for its ability to produce hot heat level and an even bed of coals.  It is one of my favorite hardwoods to use for ember cooking of vegetables because of its coal-ability and mild flavor.  You will need a ¼ cube of the chips.  Remember, we are developing a bed of coals for this cooking technique so unlit and lit coals will be used.

 

Adding Wood for Flavor

Grand Sapore wood chips added to skillet

Grand Sapore® wood chips added to skillet

It’s time to add the wood chips to the skillet!  Take the Grande Sapore® Ash wood chips and fill the cast iron skillet.  Light the chips using a cooking torch or match but remember not to use any other materials for lighting the wood; no newspaper and certainly no lighter fluid which is petroleum at its best.  Once the chips ignite, you need to monitor the depth as you want to end up with a 3-inch depth.  That means, add wood chips as need during the buildup of the embers.

 

Adding the Garlic

Once we reach a depth of embers of approximately 2-3 inches in the skillet, it’s time to add the garlic by placing them on top of the hot embers.

Take the stems and twist the whole garlic so that each garlic head seats completely in the embers.  Almost instantly, you will see smoke from the embers all around the outside of the garlic.  This is the flavor infusion at the start.  It’s now time to close the top of the grill to control the amount of airflow to the embers.

 

Ember Roasting Cooking Technique

Once the garlic is added to the hot embers, you will see the dry outer covering of the garlic ignite.  This is the main reason why the outer covering and stems are left on the garlic heads as its sole purpose is to protect the cloves!  You will see the great char coloring on the outside of the garlic.  The stems will either fall off and burn or burn off during the roasting process.  The entire roasting process will take 45-60 minutes depending on the overall heat level and depth of the embers.

 

Wood embers ignite garlic

Wood embers ignite garlic

The Break to Garlic Heaven

Now, remove the garlic heads from the pan and allow to cool before the peeling process begins.  This is the heavenly part – breaking apart all the charred outer portions and revealing the tenderized, wood charred garlic cloves!  Get ready!  These beauties are ready to be minced, diced, added whole – just about anything you can think of to add depth of flavor you’ve never experienced before.  Now, go on.  You know you’re just dying to try this technique yourself!

Bon Bar B Que!

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke®

Dr. Smoke and The Culinary Team

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Romaine Lettuce on the LP/Gas Grill Technique

Wood grilled Romaine lettuce- Scrumptious!

Wood grilled Romaine lettuce- Scrumptious!-Dr. Smoke®

It’s time to bring your vegetables into grilling season!  Nothing beats the smell of a fresh vegetables roasting over wood even on an LP/gas grill.  Any time of the year works fine for this technique to get a great char wood flavor in your seasonal or store bought fresh vegetables.

 

All you’ll need for this easy cooking experience is an LP or gas grill – any brand or size will do, double filet wood chunks from SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products, and a head or two of fresh Romaine lettuce!

 

Grill Preparation

If you want to add special wood flavoring to your LP/Gas grill there are easy steps to follow:

Make sure your grill is clean from any significant grease build up. Remove the grilling grates and determine how much space is between the diffuser and the grilling grate.  The diffuser is the plate covering the unit’s gas burner(s).  Don’t remove the cover.

 

Once you have the sizing computed, then select the SmokinLicious® wood chunk size that will fit – Single Filet which is ~4 inches or the Double Filet which is ~2 inches.

 

Wood Preparation

Now, let’s set up the wood on the grill.  Remove the cooking grates from the grill then strategically place the wood chunks over the heat diffuser.   This is the metal piece covering the actually gas burners.   If the SmokinLicious® wood chunks are fresh, then you can add them directly to the unit without pre-soaking them.  If not, you may want to consider a lite soaking of about 15 minutes.  Because I’m cooking lettuce, I am using the chunks in their natural state.  However, feel free to consider a pre-soak in liquid with flavoring such as beer, wine or juice.

Wood chunks above diffuser

Wood chunks above diffuser

Now replace the grill grates back on the unit, over the SmokinLicious® wood chunks!  Make sure the grates are securely seated back on the unit.  If there is a lot of space on your unit between the diffuser and the grate you may want to consider a SmokinLicious® single filet or block item.  Now light the unit, set the dials to a low heat setting and bring the unit up to temperature.  Say around 180 degrees.  Do not overheat the unit.

 

Romaine Lettuce Preparation

In preparing my Romaine lettuce for this cook, I slice it vertically from stem to head creating two equal size halves.  After pre-heating the grill to around 180 degrees, I place the two slices of the lettuce head directly on the grill grates.  Let the wood infusion flavor begin!

"Two halves are better than one head"

“Two halves are better than one head”

Roasting Process

I position the two halves of the Romaine over the hot spots created by the SmokinLicious® “Double” filet wood pieces which are under the grilling grates.  The wood will ignite and begin the charring stage.  I recommend bunching the wood pieces together to produce a hot spot on the LP/gas grill to allow for a direct char technique.  While I am not using the smoke from the wood, I am still infusing great natural grilling flavor with the wood.

Hot spots are roasting aids

Hot spots are roasting aids

My cooking is taking place with an open lid because I want to char not smoke!  It’s important to keep turning the heads so the flavour will be even.  At about 1/3 of the time cooking on the grill, I turn the gas completely off and let the flaming wood chunks on the diffuser finish up the final cooking.  In this last stage of charring, I brush my clarified butter with chopped parsley and mint baste to the lettuce halves for final flavour and presentation.  And, if desired, feel free to drizzle any remaining melted butter mixture to the finish product for a little extra taste kick.

 

Remember this is a delicate vegetable, not meat so there is no grease to flare up the LP/gas grill.  This is another example of why using SmokinLicious® wood chunks on the diffuser and under the grill grates of your LP/gas unit can generate such exceptional wood-fired flavour. Now, get to your grilled Romaine lettuce and ENJOY!

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Bon Bar B Q

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke®

Dr. Smoke and the Culinary Team

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Collage of Smoked broccoli ingredients to finish product

Collage of Smoked broccoli ingredients to finish product-Dr Smoke®

Once you’ve smoked at least one head of broccoli, you’re ready to use it in this wonderfully flavorful creamy dish.  Keep in mind, you can make this a vegan recipe by swapping out all the dairy products for comparable vegan ingredients.

For those looking to make this a main meal, add a protein like chicken or turkey.  Simply include the pre-cooked protein when you spread the other ingredients into the prepared oven safe dish.

 

So, here we go with our smoke broccoli casserole with apples and quinoa.

 

INGREDIENTS:

You will need:

  • 1 cup quinoa, washed
  • 1 head of smoked broccoli, finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely diced apple (like Fiji, Golden)
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup Panko
  • Salt/fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk (may use coconut, almond, cashew or 2%)
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Lightly oil or spray a 9×13 baking dish

 

In a large saucepan, add 2 cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa.  Cook according to package directions.  With roughly 10 minutes left to finished cook, add the diced apple.

 

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add Panko and cook, stirring constantly, until browned (about 3 minutes); then remove from heat and set aside.

 

Melt butter in the skillet over medium heat.  Whisk in flour until lightly browned.  Gradually whisk in milk and cook, whisking constantly until slightly thickened.  Stir in quinoa/apple mixture, smoked broccoli, 1 cup of cheese, yogurt, salt and pepper.

quinoa, butter and Apples in a skillet

Quinoa, Butter and Apples in a skillet

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:

 

Spread broccoli mixture into the prepared baking dish; sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Place in oven and bake until cheese has melted and mixture is warmed through.  Sprinkle with browned Panko and serve.

Mixing all ingredients together and putting in baking dish

Mixing all ingredients together and putting in baking dish

ADD YOUR PERSONAL FAVORITES:

This recipe can be changed to include some of your other favorites like cubed squash, grapes, cranberries.  Or as mentioned earlier, you may add a protein such as chicken or turkey.  Simply cook the meat separately in the oven, on the stove top, or on the grill.

 

You’ll love the balanced smoky flavor of the broccoli with the creaminess of the apple and quinoa.  This is soon to be a Fall favorite as you adjust to the cooler temperatures.

 

Enjoy!

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke®

 Bon-Bar-B-Q!

Audio instructions

Dr. Smoke & the Culinary Team

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Finished dish of Smoked Broccoli Quina and Apples- Dr Smoke

Finished dish of Smoked Broccoli Quinoa and Apples- Dr Smoke

 

Ember Cooking of Sweet Peppers

Gorgeous Char Marks on the Ember Roasted Sweet Peppers

[Dr Smoke -Picture collage of the easy steps to ember roast sweet peppers]

There’s nothing better than ember roasted sweet peppers in the outside fireplace or pit.

 Here’s what you’ll need:

  • An Outside fireplace or pit that is clean of ashes
  • Cast iron skillet, if you prefer to cook in a container rather than directly on the embers
  • Grande Sapore® Wood Chips from SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products.
  • Sweet peppers- medium to large size, any color though multi colored ones provide for a better presentation, 10-18 quantity

Building The Fire

My plan is to roast the peppers directly on the embers in my outdoor fireplace. So first, I need to clean out the fire box from any ash and debris.  Then I select the hardwood for the actual cooking.  I’m going to use Ash wood because it is one of the best hardwoods for producing evenly sized coals and heat level when it burns.

Preparing the bed of embers for the roast

Preparing the bed of embers for the roast

While I am using pieces of the SmokinLicious wood chunks, the Grande Sapore® ash chips will produce the same great results.  In fact, use of the Ash Wood Chips will likely save some time as their pre-ground state would allow for quicker coal build up due to their faster burn rate.  Remember, the need with ember cooking is to ensure that you have a 2-3” buildup of coals so the cooking process is uninterrupted.

The Ember Bed

I now have a bed of coals establish in the bottom of the fire box.  Spread them out to provide a wider cooking area and facilitate an even heat level.  I will be increasing the depth of the coal bed over the course of my cook by maintaining a perimeter of newly lite wood product.   I would suggest using Grande Sapore® SmokinLicious Gourmet Wood chips for the additions as the bed can be built up much quicker and keep the cooking process moving forward.

Embers spread out and ready for the peppers

Embers spread out and ready for the peppers

Adding The Peppers

Once the Ash Wood develops into a great bed of coals you’ll understand why I love to use Ash Wood for ember cooking.  The uniformity of the coal bed is so precise! Remember, Ash tree is part of the olive family of trees so it is known for its mild smoky flavor making it an ideal choice.

Sweet peppers place on the embers to begin roasting

Sweet peppers place on the embers to begin roasting

I begin adding my peppers to the embers with the stem and seeds intact.  It is so much easier to rid the peppers of its seeds once fully cooked so don’t be concerned about them now.  I seat each pepper well into the hot coals to ensure that the base is enveloped in that consistent heat level.  As the pepper begin the charring process, you’ll see them wrinkle a bit as this is the sign of the dehydration that takes place in this water rich vegetable.

Ember Cooking Technique

Once the pepper are in place, I allow them to cook and char before touching them.  Once I see some char marks develop, I gently rotate each pepper around the coal bed, sliding over some new coals to the cooking area with each rotation.

After about 20-25 minutes of ember roasting, the peppers will begin to tenderize.  Remember there is a lot of moisture in sweet peppers so you may even hear them whistle a bit!  Feel free to pierce them with a knife to release some water/steam.  I like to do that step about ¾ of the way through the cooking process.

see how the peppers are beginning to roast during this unique cooking process

see how the peppers are beginning to roast during this unique cooking process

I want to remind you that this ember cooking technique requires a tempered hand but also some attention throughout the cooking process.  You will need to rotate the peppers frequently to ensure even char.  Remember, our heat generation is developing from the bed of embers and then radiating to the walls of our cooking area as well as the food. Once removed from the heat source, the peppers will have wilted a bit as they enter an immediate change in temperature and humidity.

 THE FINISHING TOUCH

Once the peppers are completely charred and tenderized, remove them to a mesh or other tray to cool.  Then you can use them in a variety of ways – cut into strips and drizzled with a lite coating of extra virgin olive oil, a hint of salt, fresh pepper and fresh mint.  Or, use these beauties whole as a container for a ground turkey, beef, or lamb stuffing that includes fresh ricotta cheese, parsley, a hint of chili pepper flakes, and a topping of fresh mozzarella.  The recipe options are endless so start experimenting or look to your favorite cookbook for inspiration!

  • Ingredients:
  • Fireplace or open pit
  • SmokinLicious® Grande Sapore® wood chips- Ash wood or your favorite wood species
  • ½ bushel of sweet peppers (approximately 16) in multi colors for presentation
  • Herbs – optional
  • Drizzle of Extra Virgin olive oil
  • Patience

Bon Bar B Que

Dr Smoke

The finished product! Roasting over embers adds a superb wood flavour!

The finished product! Roasting over embers adds a superb wood flavour!

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Press logo for audio instructions

Press logofor audio instructions and other cooking techniques. 

 

 

Ember Cooking Onions- Fire Place Technique

The one vegetable we can pretty much get all year long is … the onion!  So, why not give this common vegetable a special, no, fabulous flavour infusion. The way to this end? Ember cooking in an outside fireplace or cooking pit.

To reach this end you only need a few items:

  • An outside fireplace or cooking pit that has been cleaned of ash
  • If you prefer, you can use a cast iron skillet within the embers though I prefer to nestle my onions directly in the embers!
  • Grande Sapore® Chips from SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products – I recommend Ash wood.
  • Sweet Onions approximately 10-12

 

Fire Preparation

In preparing to roast onions on the embers in a fire place I need to first clean out the fire box from any ash and debris.  Then I select the hardwood for the actual cooking.  Today, I’ve selected Ash for its great coaling ability and uniformity of coal size while it combusts.

Preparing the bed of embers, keeping extra wood to add during the cooking process

Preparing the bed of embers, keeping extra wood to add during the cooking process

I will begin building the bed of coals with the SmokinLicious® Grande Sapore® Ash wood chips.  Since wood chips are already in a pre-ground state, the process of setting up the fire will be quicker than with just wood pieces or lump charcoal.  It is key to keep a large supply of the chips on hand in order to reach the 2-3” depth of embers needed for the cooking process.

 

Preparing the Onions for Roast

While allowing the coal fire to build, I begin preparation of the onions, which is rather simple.  Wash and clean the onions leaving on the outer skin covering as it will be needed to protect the heart of the onion during the ember cooking process.

 

Ember Roasting Process

After building up a bed of coals to 2-3” in depth, we’re ready to add the onions to the coals!  As I position each onion, I gently push down on them to seat them into the coals.   This will allow the coals to completely cover the bottom of the onion as well as allow the heat to radiate completely through the onions.

As the onions cook, you’ll start to see the tops turn brown because I left the outer part of the skin on for protection.  Remember, the outer skin of the onion will char during this process.  I want to protect the inner core of the onion as I plan to use them in my recipes.

It’s important to remember that the coal bed will need to be replenished during the cooking process so a perimeter of additional wood chips should be going at all times up to the half way point of the cooking process.  Generally, it’s best to keep the additional chips burning at the sides of your ember bed.  You can then easily scoop in additional hot embers to the bed to maintain the heat level and flavour infusion.

The onions are seated into the coals as they begin to cook from their bottoms

The onions are seated into the coals as they begin to cook from their bottoms

Unlike other vegetables like peppers, the onions don’t need to be turned but rather simply rotated so there is even char and cook.  Onions, like most vegetables, have a high water composition.  Don’t be alarmed by the steam trail coming up thru the top of the onions.  This is a sure sign of the convection process occurring.  Once cooking is about ¾ finished, you may want to pierce the tops of the onions to allow the release of the steam.

Scrumptious Ember Roasted Onions

You simply won’t believe how flavorful and tender ember roasting makes the average onion.  We were able to build the bed of coals by using SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products Ash hardwood.  Remember, we left the outer skin on the onions to protect the inner core while we developed that exceptional char. Once the outer skin is pealed back you will see the perfectly cooked onion core that is infused with a mild wood char flavour.

Nicely charred onions over a bed of embers adds a great natural flavor

Now, get ready to use these highly flavored onions in the recipes of your choice and prepare for all the questions on what you did to give the dish such fabulous flavour!

Bon Bar B Q

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke- “Try this different delicious way of cooking.”

Note to visit our @smokinlicious and #smokinliciousmenu on instagram for audio instructions and other cooking techniques.  

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[collage of steps to roast/cook Cauliflower on the LP/gas grill with with wood chunks]

[collage of steps to roast/cook Cauliflower on the LP/gas grill with with wood chunks]

Cauliflower on the LP/Gas Grill Technique

It’s time to bring your vegetables into grilling season!  Nothing beats the smell of a fresh garden vegetable roasting over wood even on an LP/gas grill.  Make this the time of the year you’ll get great char wood flavour in your seasonal vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • All you’ll need for this easy cooking experience is an LP or gas grill – any brand or size will do.
  • “Double” Filet wood chunks from SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products.
  •  a couple of heads of cauliflower.  Pick the color you like the best – white, yellow or even purple!

Grill Preparation

If you want to add special wood flavoring to your LP/Gas grill there are easy steps to follow:

  • Make sure your grill is clean from any significant grease build up.
  • Remove the grilling grates and determine how much space is between the diffuser and the grilling grate.
  • The diffuser is the plate covering the unit’s gas burner(s).
  • Don’t remove the cover.

[setting up the wood chunks on the heat Diffuser to develop hot spots for Charring]

[setting up the wood chunks on the heat Diffuser to develop hot spots for Charring]

Once you have the sizing computed, then select the SmokinLicious® wood chunk size that will fit – Single Filet which is ~4 inches or the Double Filet which is ~2 inches.

 

Wood Preparation

Now, let’s set up the wood on the grill.  Remove the cooking grates from the grill then strategically place the wood chunks over the heat diffuser.   This is the metal piece covering the actually gas burners.   If the SmokinLicious® wood chunks are fresh, then you can add them directly to the unit without pre-soaking them.  If not, you may want to consider a lite soaking of about 15 minutes.  Because I’m cooking cauliflower, I am using the chunks in their natural state.  However, feel free to consider a pre-soak in liquid with flavouring such as beer, wine or juice.

 

Now replace the grill grates back on the unit, over the SmokinLicious® wood chunks!  Make sure the grates are securely seated back on the unit.  If there is a lot of space on your unit between the diffuser and the grate you may want to consider a SmokinLicious® single filet or block item.  Now light the unit, set the dials to a low heat setting and bring the unit up to temperature.  Say around 180 degrees.  Do not overheat the unit.

 

Cauliflower Preparation

In preparing my cauliflower for this cook, I’ve elected not to reduce the cauliflower heads into pieces.  I prefer to do the cutting towards the end of my grilling presentation.

After pre-heating the grill to around 180 degrees, I add the cauliflower heads to the grill grates.  Let the wood infusion flavour begin!

[ Fresh heads added to the grill, note the wood has not ignited yet to develop a hot spot]

[ Fresh heads added to the grill, note the wood has not ignited yet to develop a hot spot]

Roasting Process

I position the cauliflower head over the hot spots created by the SmokinLicious®Double” filet wood pieces which are under the grilling grates.  The wood will ignite and begin the charring stage of the heads of cauliflower.  I recommend bunching the wood pieces together to produce a hot spot on the LP/gas grill to allow for a direct char technique.  While I am not using the smoke from the wood, I am still infusing great natural grilling flavour with the wood.

[Now I have hot spots, and look a the char we are putting on the cauliflower. The green is the Parsley I add at the end of the process]

[Now I have hot spots, and look a the char we are putting on the cauliflower. The green is the Parsley I add at the end of the process]

My cooking is taking place with an open lid because I want to char not smoke!  It’s important to keep turning the heads so the flavour will be even.  In the final stage of charring, I add some fresh parsley to the cauliflower heads for final flavour and presentation.  And, of course, I love to drizzle melted butter sometimes infused with paprika, to the finish product.

Remember this is a vegetable, not meat so there is no grease to flare up the LP/gas grill.  This is another example of why using SmokinLicious® Wood Chunks on the diffuser and under the grill grates of your LP/gas unit can generate such exceptional wood-fired flavour. Now, get those head of cauliflower and ENJOY!

Note to visit our @smokinlicious and #smokinliciousmenu on Instagram for audio instructions and other cooking techniques.

Bon Bar B Q

Dr. Smoke and the Culinary Team

[Finished and ready to serve, nice Char on the outside and a wood cooked flavour]

[Finished and ready to serve, nice Char on the outside and a wood cooked flavour]

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Getting ready for a grilled broccoli extravaganza!

Getting ready for a grilled broccoli extravaganza!

Grilling/Roasting Broccoli on the Grill

Ready to add a new flavour twist to your average Broccoli?  Then get your LP/Gas Grill ready and find out how easy this method is using wood chunks for great char flavour.  All you’ll need for this easy cooking experience is:

Equipment/Ingredients:

  • An LP/Gas grill of any brand or size.
  • Double” Filet wood chunks from SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products
  • 2-3 Heads of Broccoli

Preparing the Grill

Adding special wood flavoring to your LP/Gas grill can be so easy by following these simple steps: make sure your grill is clean from significant grease build up.  Remove the grilling grates and determine how much space is between the diffuser and the grilling grate.  The diffuser is the plate covering the units gas burner (do not remove the cover).

Once you have the measurement select the SmokinLicious® wood chunk size that will best fit the area.  Based on your measurement, select either the Single Filet which is ~4 inches or the Double Filet which is ~2 inches.

Wood Preparation

Remove the cooking grates from the grill.  Then strategically place the wood chunks over the heat diffuser.   This is the metal piece covering the actually gas burner(s).   If the SmokinLicious® wood chunks are fresh, then you can add them directly to the unit without pre-soaking them.  If not, you may want to consider a lite soaking of about 15 minutes.

Wood chunks above diffuser

Wood chunks above diffuser

Today, I want my broccoli to just have the natural flavour of the wood so I’m using them un-soaked.  Know that you can add additional flavouring through the soaking process by soaking the wood in a liquid  like wine, beer, or juice.

Then replace the grills back over the SmokinLicious® wood chunks!  Make sure the grates are securely seated back on the unit.  If there is a lot of space on your unit between the diffuser and the grate you may want to consider a SmokinLicious® single filet or block item.

Now light the unit and set to a low heat setting. Bring the unit up to a temperature of about 180 degrees F.  Do not overheat the unit as the goal is to delay ignition of the wood.

Preparing the Broccoli

I slice up the broccoli head into what I call serving slices (you can get to make individual florets or larger sizes, totally up to you) and add them on the grill grates.  Keep in mind, you want to be able to move the finished product from the grill to the serving dish without too much issue.  The actual sizing of the pieces doesn’t matter as all sizes will take in the natural wood flavour.  It’s best to break down the head into florets in order to ensure charring on all portions of the broccoli.

Then I close the cover of the grill for the cooking/smoking process.

Cooking Process

Open the lid of the LP/gas grill after about 4-5 minutes of cook time.  Remember, your heat setting should remain on low.  You should see that the SmokinLicious®Double” filet wood chunks have ignited!  The burning of the wood will produce heat and smoke within the unit.  Open the lid every 5 minutes or so and move the broccoli florets around to make sure you have an even searing on each piece. 

After 7-10 minutes, the broccoli should be showing a color change due to the wood flavonoids infusion. You should see the charring on the outside of the florets as well as see the smoke being produced by the wood that is burning under the grate. I use these ‘hot” spots to move the food over them which will ensure complete “char” on the outside of each floret.

A great smoky taste to the finished result!

A great smoky taste to the finished result!

Final Product

All that’s left is to move the florets to a serving dish, add  some butter, salt and fresh ground pepper to complete the dish.  Feel free to experiment with different variations on a finish as everything is fair game.  Keep in mind too, that broccoli freezes really well, especially when broken down in to florets.  Be sure to take advantage of the growing season and freeze your finished wood roasted broccoli for use when fresh broccoli is unavailable.

Bon Bar B Que!

 dr-smoke-for-internet

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