October 2017


The how to instructions for cooking fresh corn on a gas grill!

Fresh Corn is the one vegetable that you MUST try on the grill!

SMOKY, CHARRY, FRESH CORN ON THE COB

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It’s that time of year!  Fresh corn has arrived but not for long.  Time to get your hands on a few dozen and do something truly special with this favorite

There’s Nothing Like Fresh

Yes, you can get corn all year by purchasing in the freezer section of your local grocer.  Seriously though.  Who wants frozen when by waiting nearly 10 months on the east coast you can have fabulous fresh corn?  There is a taste difference between fresh and frozen!

On The Grill With Wood For Smoky Char

Corn is one of those vegetables that just begs to be put on the grill.  There are many techniques but I prefer to remove the husks and silks, and grill my corn on the cob

putting the wood chunks on the diffuser will allow them to ignite and provide a great wood aroma

with wood chunks on the grill’s heat shields.  In answer to the question about soaking the wood in water first – no, I do not do this step as I want my corn kernels to really crackle on the grill.   Just see our posting on how to add wood chunks to the LP grill.

Perfect Wood Makes Perfect Char

Smokinlicious double filet wood chunks work perfect on a gas grill for added flavor

SmokinLicious® double filet wood chunks are the perfect size for flavoring as well as fit on most grills.  From start to finish, you can easily do a couple dozen ears of corn in about an hour.  With this technique, I just need 4-5 wood chunks on one of the heat shields.  That will provide enough smoke vapor to collect in the grill’s cooking area to ensure every ear is equally charred and flavored.  Next, simply monitor for the need to turn the corn with tongs to produce an even char.  Keep in mind, just like popcorn kernels, you will hear some of the raw corn kernels heat up and pop/crackle while cooking.  This makes for the sweetest end to your cooking tasks!

So Many Recipe Options

Once I near the end of the corn’s cooking, I snip some fresh herbs from the garden like mint, parsley, and even lavender.  I melt butter and add the chopped herbs to the pot.  I then brush the nearly cooked corn with this aromatic mix and seal in all the great flavors – smoky, sweet, buttery – just perfect.

After I’ve consumed some of my masterpiece, I remove the kernels from the cob to a large bowl using a knife.  This corn will be split into freezer bags and stored for winter recipe cooking that will allow me to bring back the taste of summer.

Need inspiration on what to do with all that corn?  Think Cowboy Salsa, Corn Succotash, Smoky Cornbread, Corn Cakes, Corn-Potato Chowder, Corn Pudding, Corn Grits, and so much more.  I bet you want to hit the corn stand now!  Get going!

Did we inspire you?  We’d love to see your photos of your grilled corn and corn recipes.  Leave a comment and subscribe.  Keep following us as we bring you innovative tips, techniques, and recipes on working with wood for cooking, grilling & smoking.

You might also enjoy some of our salad recipes:

Smoked Pear Salad With Gorgonzola

Smoked Snow Peas With Cucumber Salad

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Avocado chocolate pudding kissed by "fire" and "smoke" for an extra boost of flavor! In this series we explain how to smoke an avocado and then mix it into your chocolate pudding.

Avocado chocolate pudding kissed by “fire” and “smoke” for an extra boost of flavor!

AVOCADO CHOCOLATE PUDDING GOES SMOKY

Taking chocolate pudding up a notch by adding wood-fired avocado

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Grilling avocado is a great way to intensify their flavorAvocado has been known for its health benefits for some time and has gone beyond the simple slice or dice and add to your favorite salad.  It has become the new replacement for butter in many recipes.

Now, I’m going to do a similar approach to chocolate pudding by incorporating avocado instead of dairy but first, I add a wood-fired flavor to the avocado to bring out a flavor level to this fruit that is distinctly different from its raw flavor.  You can see our previous article on the technique we used on the gas grill.

Flavor Affinitiesthe simple ingredients displayed on our table

Once you’ve wood fired your avocados on a gas or charcoal grill, you need to gather the following ingredients:

 

  • 2 wood fired avocados
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder- ¾ cup
  • Pure maple syrup- ½ cup
  • ¼ cup- fresh orange juice, plus ¼ cup additional reserved
  • Hot water (not boiling)- ¾ cup
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup chopped hazelnuts
  • whipped heavy cream

In addition to the above ingredients, you’ll need a blender.

Blending Flavors Is All That’s Needed

Using a standard mixer for the blending of all the ingredients.

Whenever I wood-fire avocado, I usually remove the flesh from the shells and store in a container in the refrigerator for my recipes.   Take the flesh of two previously wood-fired avocado and place in the blender.  Carefully split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds adding to the blender.

Now comes the cocoa powder, maple syrup, agave nectar, orange juice – ¼ cup to start – and salt.  Turn on the blender and incorporate everything until a coarse puree forms

With the blender running on medium, gradually stream in the hot water and blend until smooth and creamy.  The hot water will produce a very shiny, ganache like appearance to the pudding.  If you feel the pudding mixture is too chunky or thick, blend in additional orange juice from the ¼ cup reserve but do not exceed the additional ¼ cup amount.

Chill It Before Serving

refrigerate the Chocolate Avocado pudding before serving. Once you’ve reached the perfect consistency for your pudding, it’s time to divide the mixture into 6 serving bowls and chill for at least 2 hours.  You can make this up to 3 days ahead of time but be sure you do not cover the pudding while it chills.  This is not like older recipes that contained dairy and could form a “skin” on the pudding.

Once chilled, top with whipped cream and chopped hazelnuts – I prefer to crush my hazelnuts using a canned good with the nuts in a sealable storage bag.  Super rich, creamy with a distinct extra flavor that mixes so well with the sweet syrups and fresh flavors of orange and vanilla.  Smoky Avocado Chocolate Pudding – a star finish to any meal!

In conclusion, we hope you found inspiration with this recipe.  We’d love to see your photos of your take on the recipe.  Leave a comment and subscribe.  Keep following us as we bring you innovative tips, techniques, and recipes on working with wood for cooking, grilling & smoking.

You may also enjoy:

Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

SMOKED BANANA DOUBLE BITES

THE KISS OF FIRE TO GUACAMOLE

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double and Single Filet

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke- “Smoked avocado gives a flavor boost to traditional chocolate pudding.”

Avocado kissed by “fire” for an extra boost to flavor will add something special to a Chocolate pudding

 

Wood fired guacamole by grilling the avocado's before you make the guacamole will excite your taste buds! Your quests will wonder how you did this simple recipe by adding only one small step!

Wood fired guacamole by grilling the avocado’s before you make the guacamole will excite your taste buds! Your quests will wonder how you did this simple recipe by adding only one small step!

THE KISS OF FIRE TO GUACAMOLE

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The single seeded berry, fleshy fruit we know as avocado is loaded with healthy fats, 4 grams of protein, and 975 milligrams of potassium which is nearly twice as much as a banana.  With 18 of the amino acids recommend in daily consumption, you’ll want to include avocado in your diet.

We thought we would take this fruit favorite and add a flavor level for your avocado recipes by wood-firing the avocado.  This simple step will bring all the nutritional benefits of the fruit with a bold new taste.

7 Fresh Ingredients

Once you’ve wood fired your avocados on a gas or charcoal grill (see our posting on this technique), you need to gather the following ingredients:

  • 3 wood fired avocados
  • 1 finely grated garlic clove
  • 1 finely chopped Serrano or jalapeno pepper
  • ¼ of a white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

In addition to the above ingredients, you’ll need a blender or a mortar and pestle.  I prefer the mortar and pestle so I can control the level of “mash” that occurs to each ingredient.

Layering on the Flavors

First up, you need to mash up the wood fired avocado flesh.  The best guacamole has some chunky quality to it so keep this in mind when you are mashing the flesh.  Once the avocado is mashed up, add the pepper and combine that as well.  You can select the pepper based on whether you want heat or not.  If you prefer a guacamole that has no spice, then add a sweet pepper.

Once the grilled avocado and pepper are mixed, time to add the other ingredients.  First in, chopped onion followed by lime juice, cilantro and salt.  Combine everything well ensuring that any chunks are not too big for any of the ingredients.  Soon you’ll get the aroma of all the fresh ingredients and have an idea just how this is going to taste.

PREPARE TO SERVE THE WOOD FIRED GUACAMOLE!

The best part about wood fired guacamole is just how simple it is to make yet the flavors are so fresh and intense.  Select your favorite serving piece.  Once all the ingredients are combined, scrape all the contents from the mortar and place in the serving dish or bowl.  I like to top my guacamole with some smoked paprika so it has a bit of color to the top. Keep in mind, you don’t need to just use this with taco chips.  This is a great topping for a burger or grilled chicken sandwich and even works well with salad greens.  You’ll love how the wood flavor adds another dimension to this favorite food.

We hope you found inspiration with this wood fired guacamole recipe.  We’d love to see your photos of this recipe.  Leave a comment and subscribe.  Keep following us as we bring you innovative tips, techniques, and recipes on working with wood for cooking, grilling & smoking.

Additional reading:

-WOOD GRILLING AVOCADO

-HUMMUS TAKES A SPICY-CHAR TWIST

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double and Single Filet

Dr Smoke- "Shhh, don't tell your guests how you did it. This is our secret ingredient."

Dr Smoke- “Shhh, don’t tell your guests how you did it. This is our secret ingredient.”

Spicy-char hummus is made by grilling/smoking the hot peppers and then add to your Hummus! Great way to keep the grill flavors when the weather turns colder! Our photo collage shows the different steps to make spicy-char hummus.

Spicy-char hummus is made by grilling/smoking the hot peppers and then add to your Hummus! Great way to keep the grill flavors when the weather turns colder!

HUMMUS TAKES A SPICY-CHAR TWIST

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The centuries old Arabic bean dip has gained in popularity substantially over the past few years in United States.  Part of the draw is the fact that hummus is high in protein and fiber, and low in fat.

Give It A Flavor Twist

I thought I’d take this popular snack and appetizer item and give it a new twist by first showing you how to add a wonderful smoky, char flavor to it.

There is nothing like the flavor of peppers on hot coals.  One of my favorite varieties of pepper are Hungarian, especially the hot ones.  That’s why I’ve elected to bring out my kettle grill, specifically, the Stok brand, and char or ember cook Hungarian hot peppers.  Using a chimney starter, I set up hot coals down the center of the charcoal area and add just one chunk of wild cherry wood from SmokinLicious®.  Once the coals are vibrating heat, I will add my cleaned peppers directly to the coals for a quick method of charring.  The time investment is really in the grill set up, not in the cooking, as peppers cook quite fast on hot coals.

A Spicy-Char Hummus Recipe Like No Other

Once the coals and wood have flavored the peppers, I take these charred beauties and make a Smoked Hungarian Pepper Hummus bursting with the flavors of pepper, fresh parsley, garlic, and cumin.  Whether you elect to use hot or sweet Hungarian peppers, this is sure to become one of your favorite humus recipes.

With the charcoal burning down to hot embers, I prepare the Hungarian peppers.  First, a simple wash the peppers and pat dry.  Then I cut off the stem end and pull out the membrane and seeds. Remember, the more membrane and seeds you leave in a hot pepper, the hotter the flavor will be.  Once de-seeded, these peppers are ready to be nestled in the hot coals.

To The Coals For Char & Flavor

With the Hungarian peppers de-seeded and membranes removed, on to the hot coals they go.  I’ve kept some unlit coals banked to each side of the kettle grill just in case I want to bring in more heat.  Plus, this will allow the coals to be used for other food items while the grill is still hot.  These peppers will only take 5 minutes or so on each side.  I do not disturb the peppers when first placed on the coals for at least 5 minutes, then gentle turn them with tongs until charring occurs on all sides.  Don’t be concerned if the skin becomes very black as it can be easily removed.  Plus, for our spicy-char hummus recipe, these charred beauties will be pulsed to a smooth consistency where the blackened skin won’t be revealed.

Once removed from the grill, I take the peppers and put them in a bowl covered with plastic wrap.  This will help produce moisture to remove any skin you don’t want as part of your recipe.  And speaking of recipes, it’s time to gather our ingredients and start assembling our Smoked Hungarian Pepper Hummus.

Traditional Ingredients Meet Char Flavor

We are stepping up the flavor of hummus by featuring our perfectly charred Hungarian peppers.   To make Spicy-Char Hummus, gather the following ingredients:

  • 2 15 ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed
  • 2-3 charred Hungarian peppers, depending on size
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely diced (you can use minced garlic as a substitute)
  • 1 cup Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons Tahini
  • 3 whole lemons, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • ½ cup oil
  • Hungarian sweet paprika or smoked Spanish paprika for garnish

Creamy Hummus Starts With A Boil

Here’s the secret to a truly creamy hummus consistency: cooking the chickpeas before processing.  Take your 2 cans of chickpeas and rinse well under running water.  Then pour into a saucepan and cover the chickpeas with water.  Place on high heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow the chickpeas to soften for 40 minutes.  Add more water if needed to keep the chickpeas covered in liquid through the boiling time.  Then remove from heat, strain the water, and set aside to cool.

Time To Process

To start our spicy-char hummus, first place the rough chopped charred peppers into the food processor.  Add the garlic, parsley, onion and rosemary and process until finely combined.  As soon as the processor starts, you’ll be hit by the strong aromatics in this recipe, which is trademark for traditional hummus.  The total processing time will be just minutes.  Then remove the cover and prepare for the next round of ingredients.

The final ingredients of our spicy-char hummus are added to the food processor: the boiled chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, olive oil, and tamari.  At this stage, we will process until the ingredients form a thick paste,  which will take about 10 minutes.  I always keep water or oil available to thin down the mixture if it should go too thick.  Remember, you want this to be thick but not to the point where it can’t be easily spread.  Once combined, the flavors will reveal themselves best if you store the mixture in an air tight container for at least 24 hours.

Serving Options Are Endless

After letting the processed hummus mixture that includes charred Hungarian peppers, garlic, parsley, onions, rosemary, chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, olive oil, and tamari rest for 24 hours, it’s now time to serve this highly aromatic recipe.  If using as an appetizer, I like to put the hummus into a bowl, sprinkle with a sweet or smoked paprika, drizzle with olive oil, and add some finely chopped charred Hungarian peppers to the center. I then surround the bowl with slices of baguette, pita chips or triangles, and vegetables.

This hummus goes with so many different things.  In fact, I love to use it as a topping to an Angus burger, or grilled chicken and fish.  It is so versatile that you’ll be sure to find all types of uses for it.  The best part, you’ll have a satisfying, full of flavor healthy alternative that will make this a favorite anytime of the year.

 

Additional reading you may enjoy:

-How To Turn Your LP/Gas Grill Into A Smoker

Ember cooked Sweet Peppers

-EMBER FIRED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA GALETTE

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double and Single Filet

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke- “Liven up your hummus flavors with the smoking/grilling of the Hungarian peppers, especially on a cool temperature day.”

Add a new twist to your Hummus- grill/smoke the hot peppers and then add to your Hummus! Great way to keep the grill flavors when the weather turns colder!