August 2018


Try our pan cook zucchini on the gas grill with wood chunks for a flavoring twist

Try our pan cook zucchini on the gas grill with wood chunks for a flavoring twist

PAN COOK ZUCCHINI ON THE GRILL WITH WOOD FLAVOR

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It seems like when August rolls around, people start looking for something new to do with all that zucchini that you either have in your own garden or found at the fresh market.  I’ve got a one pan dish that is easy to construct with the best part being you can do the entire recipe on your LP/Gas grill.

Grab your prized zucchini and get to the grill and I’ll show you how easy this technique and recipe are for a great meal.

Zucchini Prep

Diced zucchini in a disposable pan ready for the two zone cooking method

Two zone cooking method!

Preparing the zucchini is very simple for this recipe as we want all the nutritional value of the skin as well.  After washing, patting dry, and trimming off the ends, cut 1-inch thick rounds and then cut each round into smaller pieces.  For the smaller rounds, you should get 4 pieces and the larger 9.  Place all the cut zucchini pieces into a disposable foil pan.  There’s no need to spray the pan or add any liquid as zucchini has a 95% water content and when cooked, produces 6 oz. of water per every cup.  This will naturally steam away while in our grill pan while tenderizing the zucchini for our dish.  Plus, the high-water level will attract the smoke vapor for great flavor.

The grill set up is the easiest part.  Simply lite the burners on only half the grill.  Place wood chunks either directly on the heat shields located under the grill grate or in a smoker box placed on top of the grill grate of the lit burners.  Allow to heat up for about 10 minutes.  Then place the pan of cut zucchini on the unlit side of the grill and close the lid.

Tasting Notes: You do have an option to slice your zucchini lengthwise into quarters and grill directly on the grate.  Know this will produce stronger wood flavoring to the finished product and you will still need to cut the zucchini down into bite-size pieces.

Ragout Ingredients

Although ragout in Italian traditional means a sauce made from root vegetables and fruits, I felt it was a suitable term for our tomato-jalapeno based sauce.  In addition to your zucchini, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 3 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1-1/2 cups pasta sauce
  • Basil- 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 10 oz. tortellini
  • ¼ cup shaved Parmesan and Asiago cheese

After the zucchini has cooked for about 30 minutes, add the diced tomato and jalapeno.  Let that cook for 15 minutes and then add the pasta sauce, basil, oregano, parsley and garlic powder.

Tasting Notes: This can be a spicy dish so if you only like a mild kick add ¾ cup of ricotta cheese when the pasta sauce and herbs are added.

Finale

all our spices added to the pan

All this made in one pan!

The final step to our grilled zucchini with tomato pepper ragout is to add the tortellini.  You may wonder how tortellini will cook without any water.  Essentially, you only need a little liquid with heat to produce enough steam to cook the tortellini.  The best part is you won’t have any pasta that is soggy and unable to hold its form.

After adding about 10 ounces of tortellini – mine happens to be filled with spinach – the ¼ cup of shaved asiago and parmesan cheese are added.  Everything is mixed well and left on the grill until the tortellini are tender.  That’s it!  Everything completely made on the grill and absorbing the great wood flavor from our SmokinLicious® chunks.  This is a great starter recipe that you can easily modify to fit your taste.

Now you need to try to Pan Cook Zucchini on the gas grill with wood!

 

 

 

 

SmokinLicious products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Related reading:

-EMBER FIRED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA GALETTE

-TORTELLINI GETS A SMOKY MATE

-SUCCULANT WOOD FIRED STUFFED TOMATO WITH HERB RICE

-EMBER FIRED EGGPLANT & FETA TARTS

Dr. Smoke-add great flavor when you Wood Grilled Romaine Lettuce

Dr. Smoke-pan cook zucchini on the gas grill for great flavoring.

 

POTATO SALAD GETS SMOKE INFUSION

Serving bowl of Our Potato salad gets smoke infusion recipe!

Looking to add some smoky flavor to your BBQ try this Potato salad gets smoke infusion recipe and please your guests taste buds!

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Without question, potatoes are my favorite vegetable to expose to smoke vapor.   For one, it is so easy to do whether you select a gas/LP grill, charcoal grill, convection grill, or electric unit.  Additionally, it takes such a short amount of time to cook them this way.

I’ll give you my preparation for the potatoes and then my take on the traditional potato salad made with our awesome smoked potatoes.

Preparing for the Grill

The potatoes inside the Orion Cooker

The potatoes inside the Orion Cooker

 

Honestly, you can use any of your favorite potatoes for this technique and recipe.  I’ll tell you that I’m firing up my Orion Cooker as the high heat of this unit will allow my potatoes to become tender in about 60 minutes and I don’t need to do more than turn the potatoes one time.  Of course, I’m using the custom blend wood chips sold by Orion to ensure that the smoke infusion is perfectly balanced.  When using the Orion Cooker, a chimney starter of briquets should be started and the fuel pan of the unit filled with unlit briquets.  Personally, I like to use long-handled tongs and place my hot coals from the chimney started to the inner edge of the fuel pan.  That ensures that I direct the heat very quickly to the metal cylinder of the unit.

Tasting Notes:

If you’re using a traditional charcoal grill, try to do the cooking on hot coals only, with no flame. Start a chimney or two of hot coals and allow these to burn down until they are just hot coals.  Then pour into the charcoal area.  I often use a fine wire mesh in my charcoal area so I can retain even the smallest hot coal for my cooking.

On a gas grill, use a two-zone cooking method with wood chunks placed on the hot side of the grill, potatoes on the unlit side, and the lit burners set to low-to-medium. 

Before placing the potatoes on the grill grate of any of these units, clean them, pat dry, and pierce with a fork on both sides so the water in the potatoes can steam out during the cooking process.

No Work

As I said, potatoes are the perfect vegetable to put on the grill or smoker as their skin acts like a mini cooker and cooks them tender.  You’ll simply need to turn the potatoes just one time during the hour they grill.  While they are cooking, you can prepare the dressing to be ready to put everything together.

Tasting Notes: Always grill and smoke the potatoes with the skins on to keep the smoke vapor from getting too strong.  Remember, potatoes have a lot of water which will be an attractant to smoke vapor.

Creamy Dressing

The ingredients for our recipe!

The Ingredients for our Smoked Potato recipe

For our creamy dressing, you’ll need the following ingredients:

1-1/2 cups of mayonnaise

Rice or cider vinegar- 2 tablespoons

2 tablespoons of sugar

2 tablespoons of yellow mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon pepper

2 celery ribs, sliced

1 cup of onion, minced

5 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped

paprika

Start by combining the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and sugar.  Be sure everything is mixed in well.  Taste to be sure everything is balanced and adjust as needed.  Usually, adjustments are made to the vinegar or mustard levels.   The texture will be very creamy.

Once the potatoes are tender, you can remove them from the grill and allow to cool.  Once cool enough to handle, cut into bite-size pieces.  Now add the chopped smoked potatoes to the dressing bowl and mix until all the potatoes are covered in dressing.  Give it just a few minutes to absorb.

Final Salad Touches

The ingredients mixed with our Hardboiled Eggs on top!

Must add the Eggs for our Smoked Potato Salad

Now that the dressing has been added to the smoked potato pieces, it’s time to add the remaining ingredients.  First in, the celery and onion.  Mix this well to ensure a single bite doesn’t get all onion!  Next, the chopped egg is added.  Gently mix this into the salad to keep the larger pieces from crumbling too far.  Finally, the sprinkle of paprika over the top of the salad.  I prefer a Spanish or Hungarian paprika.   That’s it!  Now chill until ready to serve and enjoy this super flavorful take on the non-traditional potato salad gets smoke infusion!

Tasting Notes

 

You can use a smoked paprika if you want even more kick of smoke but most of the time, a traditional paprika is suitable. 

SmokinLicious Products used in this blog:

Wood Chips: Grande Sapore®

Additional reading:

-The Breakfast Potato Takes on Smoke!

-GIVING AN EDGE TO SMOKY COCKTAIL SAUCE

-CORNISH GAME HEN MEETS SMOKE IN THE ORION COOKER

-SMOKED POTATO CURRY SMOKINLICIOUS® STYLE!

Dr. Smoke- Bet you can't stop at one bit when you try our Potato salad gets a smoke infusion!

Dr. Smoke- Bet you can’t stop at one bit when you try our Potato salad gets smoke infusion!

 

SMOKED FAVA BEANS MAKE THE PERFECT DIP OR CONDIMENT

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If you visited our article on smoking fava beans and gave our technique a try, hopefully, you have enough beans leftover to make this recipe.  I thought I would introduce you to a dip that can be used as a condiment to your favorite sandwich – think veggie or animal protein burger, grilled chicken, breakfast bread, or vegetarian.  I’ll be offering the recipe and giving you suggestions on what to serve with it.

Simple Ingredients

Our arrangement of simple ingredients

Once you have your fava beans smoked, you’ll need about 2 lbs. of the beans, there are some simple ingredients to gather for this recipe.

  • 4oz. goat cheese softened
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Chopped fresh tarragon- 1 teaspoon
  • Fresh lemon juice- 1 tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest – I prefer fresh
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • sea salt & fresh ground pepper

You’ll also need a food processor or blender to combine all the ingredients.

Tasting Notes: I prefer a little kick to this recipe so I add 3 or so drops of hot sauce.

Pulsing to Flavor

With a blender or food processor, add all the ingredients except the water.  Pulse only to blend and produce the chunky texture desired.  Be sure to scrape down the sides of the blending container at least once.  With all the ingredients, add the water and mix in by hand; do not process or blend.  Adjust the consistency to the finished mixture by adding water as needed.  Usually, I find 2-3 tablespoons of water is perfect.

Blending ingredients in the food processor

Tasting Notes:  if using a blender, be sure you have a pulse control or you could blend this recipe too smooth which will limit its use with certain foods

Multiple Uses

Once you have the consistency you like, transfer the mixture to a serving bowl.  I like to chill this briefly before serving.  If using as a dip, suggested items to accompany the dip include sweet mini peppers, cucumber slices, radish, carrot slices, cherry or grape tomato, baguette, naan, won-ton shells.

This is also great with a firm toasted bread, tomato slice, fresh basil leaves, and poached or fried egg.  Let your imagination go and find more uses for this super flavorful dip and spread.

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

More Related reading on this subject

Additional reading:

-FIRE ROASTED PEPPER MAKE THE PERFECT SALAD

-CHARRED PEPPER DIP

-SPICY-CHAR HUMMUS

-WOOD FIRED GUACAMOLE

We use our Grilled Fava beans from our tips and technique blog to make a perfect dip or condiment!

We use our Grilled Fava beans from our tips and technique blog to make a perfect dip or condiment!

Dry Rubbed Chicken Drumsticks after being "kissed" with smoke from the smoker box with Double filet wood chunks!

Dry Rubbed Chicken Drumsticks after being “kissed” with smoke from the smoker box with Double filet wood chunks!

SALT-FREE DRY RUBBED CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS

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You’ve likely heard about limiting your ingestion of chicken skin which can add unnecessary calories and saturated fat.  On the flip-side, chicken skin also adds to the overall flavor and moisture of chicken.  Here’s the thing: if you limit the amount of chicken skin you ingest, it contains a good amount of unsaturated fat that can be heart healthy, which you may not be benefiting from.

I’m going to give you a dry rub recipe that is salt-free to add in the healthy aspect of this recipe and includes some fat to the skin that will add flavor but also render off.  Purchase chicken drumsticks and prepare the gas grill for this easy technique and super flavorful chicken you’ll want to be sure to make extras of.

Grill Set Up

Double filet wood chunks in the smoker box ready to delicaly flavor our chicken drumsticks

Double Filet Wood Chunks

Before starting the rub recipe, get the gas grill preheated by turning on only half the grills’ burners.  That will be the side that we will add the wood chunks to while the side that remains off will be where the food will be placed.  For the wood chunks, you can either place them directly on the heat shields, on the hot grill grate, or in a smoker box.  Yes, that smoker box that you see advertised for wood chips is going to hold double filet wood chunks from SmokinLicious®.

Salt-Free Dry Rub

I’m balancing my salt-free dry rub flavor by incorporating a variety of ingredients:

  • Whole allspice
  • Ancho Chile pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Curry powder
  • Cocoa powder
  • Fresh ground pepper

I always like to use a mortar and pestle when I make a rub as I usually have whole pods or seeds that need to be reduced.  Once the rub is reduced to powder, I apply it to the drumsticks.

mortise with all our great dry rub ingredients mixed and ready to apply to the chicken drumsticks

Salt-free Dry Rub

These I lay on a roasting rack placed in a disposable foil pan.  This will allow the chicken to render without causing a mess to the grill and allow the smoke vapor produced by the wood chunks to rotate around the chicken.

 

A Little Fat Will Do

After the drumsticks are lined up on the roasting rack, I add a sprinkling of almond oil and 8 tablespoons of butter.  These two items will allow the skin to crisp slightly.  They also provide the moisture on the outside to attract the smoke vapor.  If you want to skip this step, just keep a spray bottle of tepid water ready and you can moisten the chicken skin with a calorie-free alternative.

 

Make a Lot!

After cooking for about 35 minutes, flip each drumstick on the rack and check your wood.  It will likely be black as the wood combusts and renders the flavonoids in the lignin that produce the great flavor.  Close the lid and allow the chicken to cook an additional 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 165°F.  Be sure to make extra so you have a great go-to protein to feed you throughout the week.

The cooking dry ribbed Chicken Drumsticks on the gas grill

 

What are your favorite ingredients to add to a dry rub?  Leave us a comment and subscribe for more great recipes, techniques, tips, and the science behind the flavor, that’s SmokinLicious®.

 

 

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Additional reading:

-CORNISH GAME HEN MEETS SMOKE IN THE ORION COOKER

-SMOKE A TURKEY- LEARN HOW

-SALT FREE SPICE RUBS- HEALTHY CHOICES

-SALT CHOICES: HOW MUCH AND WHAT KIND?

 

Dr. Smoke you must try this recipe dry rubbed chicken Drumsticks

Dr. Smoke, you must try this recipe dry rubbed chicken Drumsticks

Raspberries go to the grill recipe is a mini tart with cheese and smoky raspberries on top- Yummy!

Raspberries go to the grill recipe is a mini tart with Brie and smoky raspberries on top- Yummy!

RASPBERRIES GO TO THE GRILL FOR THE ULTIMATE MINI TART APPETIZER

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our fresh picked raspberries

Known to help aid weight loss, be a cancer preventer, and assist your autoimmune system, raspberries are one of the fresh fruits that can have a short availability depending on where you live.  I like to take advantage of the fresh harvest and use them of course in desserts but I also like to blend them with savory items for a perfect bite of balanced flavors.

That’s why I’m taking fresh raspberries and smoking them first to enrich their flavor then combining them with creamy brie cheese for a great, five-ingredient appetizer.

Take a trip to your fresh produce stand, farmer’s market, or even the grocery store and pick up some raspberries for this easy recipe.

Ingredients & Prep

Beautiful fresh raspberries are going to the grill for a smoking that will turn them into a perfect jam-like consistency to be added to a tartlet.  First, gather these five ingredients for a full cook event on your favorite grill: There are not too many ingredients for this easy recipe

  • 1-1/2 cups raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 30 phyllo tart shells
  • 8 oz. Brie

If you plan to use a charcoal grill for the cooking, do the grill’s set up first so the fire can die down to hot embers.  You’ll want to remember that no matter if you use a charcoal or LP/Gas grill, you’ll be setting up a two-zone cooking method, which by now you likely know is my favorite way to grill and smoke foods.  You’ll also need a couple of wood chunks for the smoke infusion which will be placed on the hot coals of a charcoal grill or the heat shield or in a smoking box of the gas grill.

While your heating up the grill, rinse and pat dry the 1-1/2 cups of raspberries – fresh or store bought – and place in a disposable foil pan.  When the grill is ready, add your disposable pan of raspberries to the unlit side of the grill.  Leave to cook for about 15 minutes.

Turning Fruit to Fruit Sauce-Raspberries go to the grill!Raspberries on the grill with a wood chunk

After bringing the raspberries to the grill and cooking with wood chunks for about 15 minutes, you’ll find that the raspberries have softened and broken down, making for the perfect sauce-like consistency.  Time to sweeten and thicken them up.  Start by adding 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to the pan and stir to combine.  Allow the mixture to continue to cook for another 10 minutes.  Then stir again and place on the warming rack of your grill.

Tart Time

I love the ready-made phyllo tart shells available in most grocery stores.  This makes our recipe super fast and easy.  You’ll need 30 premade phyllo tart shells and about 8 ounces of Brie.

Taking the brie, cut into ½-inch slices and then cut those slices in half.  Cut the slices into ½-inch cubes.  You’ll need about 2-3 cubes per shell so prepare 90 cubes.  Use the leftovers in other recipes or eat on their own. Be sure the brie is cold when you cut it especially if you’ve purchased a double crème or you’ll have issues keeping the cubes firm.Brie cut into small squares

With the brie cubed and the tart shells laid out in a pan, it’s time to take these tarts to the grill for some melting.  Just like when the raspberries were smoked using a two-zone method, we place the tart shells on the unlit side of the grill and the raspberry filling on the warming rack.  Close the lid and allow the brie to melt and absorb the great wood flavor from our wood chunks.  As the cheese melts, you may need to rotate the pan to ensure an even melting.

After the brie-filled tart shells have melted, it’s time to take the smoked raspberry sauce that we sweetened and thickened to become our sweet-tart complement to the brie’s creaminess.  Simply spoon a tablespoon or so of smoked raspberry sauce on top of the melted brie, making sure to stay within the tart shell edges.  Allow the tarts to cook for just a few additional minutes, then remove from the grill and serve immediately.

With the crunch and lightness of the phyllo shell, the creaminess of the brie and the sweet-tart of the smoked raspberry sauce, this is the perfect light appetizer that will be enjoyed by everyone.  And don’t forget, the entire recipe can be done on the grill!

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Related reading:

-SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE

-EMBER FIRED EGGPLANT & FETA TARTS

-Smoked Strawberries with Hand Held Smoker

Dr. Smoke you must try this recipe- Raspberries go to the grill

Dr. Smoke you must try this recipe Raspberries go to the grill with our filet wood chunks!