July 2019


Our wood fired stuffed tomato filled with tuna salad and melted cheese over the top!

Our wood fired stuffed tomato filled with tuna salad and melted cheese over the top!

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Wood fired-stuffed tomato–With tomatoes readily available most any time of the year, I’ve got a great recipe for a stuffed tomato that is healthy on the body and waistline.  But before stuffing these tomatoes, I’m going to introduce them to smoke on my gas grill equipped with wood chunks in cherry and maple, for an added depth of flavor that works so well with acidic tomato.

Get to the farmer’s market, grocery store or your own garden, and pick out some large tomatoes.  Then meet me at the grill kitchen for this great recipe.

No Time at All Prep Then Grill

Two zone cooking smoker box on the right side and tomatoes on the NON heat side

#smokerbox

 For this recipe, you want to be sure you pick or purchase firm tomatoes so they can hold up to the heat when being wood fired.  I’ve selected (6) tomatoes of about equal size to ensure that these will be ready at the same time.

Pre-heat your grill and include a smoker box of wood chunks – mine holds (3) double filet chunks sourced from SmokinLicious®– using a two-zone grilling set up.  Place the smoker box on the side of the grill that is lit.  While the grill is heating up and the chunks have a chance to start smoldering, return to the kitchen and cut the top off each tomato.  Using the knife blade, scrap the membranes and seeds free.  Then using a spoon, scoop out the inside of the tomato.  I like to save the inside for adding to sauces or even a rice dish.  Once all tomatoes are clean, place on a tray with equal spacing and add the tray to the unlit side of the grill.  You should see the wood chunks smoking steadily at this point.

Tasting Notes: There is no rule regarding the type of wood you should use for the smoking.  Just be sure it is only hardwood and not a completely dried out piece of wood or you’ll find it will burn up almost immediately.  Remember, you want smoke not flames from the wood.

Bringing Health to Stuffing

With the tomatoes cleaned and de-seeded, they now will tenderize on the gas grill equipped with the smoker box of wood chunks.  I prefer to use wood chunks in my smoker box to produce a more steady and longer duration of smoke vapor.  While the tomatoes are grilling, I begin on the tuna pesto filling.

ouir albacore tuna in a bowl with spices and peas added ready to mixTaking three cans of all white albacore tuna, I drain these and place the tuna in a bowl.  To that I add ¼ cup thawed peas, ¼ cup medium grated Swiss cheese, 1/3 cup pesto, and fresh ground pepper.  Mix all this together until it just binds.  If needed, add additional pesto.  Now, we’re ready to stuff the tomatoes so back to the grill.

After the tomatoes show some curling in of the cut top and the inside begins to dry a bit, it’s time to remove the tomatoes from the grill and stuff them with our tuna pesto mixture.  I like to mound these tomatoes high with filling and then add two thin slices of Swiss cheese to the tops.  Back on the grill using the unlit side, grill lid down, to allow the cheese to melt fully.  Now you’re ready to serve.

Today, mine our served up with a curry-ginger chicken drumstick.  A simple recipe using a simple grilling technique that lets you enjoy the benefits of fresh tomato.  Just think of all the other stuffing recipes you can use with these wood-fired tomato beauties!

Our pan of wood fired stuffed tomato coming off the grill!

Tasting Notes: I’ve used pesto in this recipe but you certainly can make a traditional tuna salad using mayonnaise, onions, pickle, etc.  Essentially, whatever you like with your tuna.  And of course, you can design other fillings other than tuna.

What’s your favorite stuffed tomato recipe?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

For more reading related to

For more reading related to wood fired stuffed tomato and other Smoked Recipes

More recipes like this one:

-SUCCULENT WOOD FIRED STUFFED TOMATO WITH HERB RICE

-GIVING AN EDGE TO SMOKY COCKTAIL SAUCE

-COAL FIRE CAULIFLOWER RICE WITH TOMATO

-SEASONAL SMOKEY BAKED APPLES WITH SWEET STUFFING

Dr. Smoke

Dr. Smoke- you know we wood fire everything, this time it is a stuffed tomato with Tuna salad! Refreshing

It’s Pea Season so why not try Smoking Snow Peas recipes!

collage of the steps to our Smoking Snow Peas

Smoking Snow Peas steps covered in this blog

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One of the most versatile vegetables is now in season and can be used in both hot and cold side dishes and main courses.  In this series, we will be roasting our peas using a hot smoking method to bring the great wood-fired flavour.

Ingredients-Smoking Snow Peas

  • At least 1 lb of peas, I like sugar snap peas
  • Almond oil
  • Sea Salt & Fresh Pepper
  • A charcoal smoker, any size will do
  • A disposable foil pan or vegetable pan or basket that is high heat tolerant
  • 3 lbs. of lump hardwood charcoal
  • 1 cup SmokinLicious® Grande Sapore® Wood Chips – I’ll be using Wild Cherry
  • Kitchen torch for easy lighting

I’ll be using my Stok Drum Charcoal Grill for this series.  As the Stok has its own charcoal basket, I won’t need to prepare any additional lump hardwood charcoal. I am using a direct method of cooking.  I place my charcoal in the unit’s charcoal basket leaving my grate insert off for now.  Once the coals turn gray, I will lift the charcoal basket and allow the coals to advance into the cooking drum.  I then grate insert off as I will use my vegetable pan to go right over the top of the insert area.

Pea Preparation

While the coals have been firing, I start preparation on the peas.  As I am using sugar snap peas for this recipe there is very little preparation that has to be done.  I first will remove all the string membrane that is attached to one side of the snap pea.  If any stems are left on, I will remove those as well.  I then wash the peas in a colander and then allow them to drip dry, shaking my colander occasionally to rid any excess water. If needed, I will pat dry the peas to ensure they are ready for the fire.  Then I sprinkle on some Almond oil, sea salt, and fresh pepper to the peas.  Now, we’re ready to wood fire!

My coals are hot, the wood chips are smoking, and the peas are ready to be kissed by fire!  I place the vegetable pan on the center of the grill and leave my grill cover off.  When cooking with wood, know that some temperature fluctuation can occur due to the natural variation in combustion so don’t leave the Peas unattended.  Once you see the peas start to char, give them a toss with a spoon to ensure an even char cook.

Usually, you will see char begin about 4-5 minutes into the cooking cycle.  Once that occurs, you will be looking at another couple of minutes before the peas will be ready to come off the grill.  Be sure you monitor that you don’t go too far with the smoking process.  If the peas begin to shrivel and wrinkle, you went too far.  You can remove them and place in an ice bath or run under cold water to stop any additional cooking from taking place.

Recipe Ideas

It’s so hard to explain the aroma that comes from the grill when you wood fire vegetables.  Keep in mind, that even when the vegetables are chilled, they will retain their char flavor.  Here are some tips to finishing these beautiful smoked sugar snow peas: add some crumbled feta cheese and serve, or a splash of lemon juice and dill, or even a dollop of ricotta cheese that’s been whipped with a bit of cream.  You can also check into our next blog on peas where we feature these scrumptious beauties in a Snap Pea and Cucumber Salad, just perfect on a hot summer’s day!

First Turn on the Grill

First Turn on the Grill

The Culinary Team wants you to know 

… that when it comes to the forgotten method of direct ember cooking with wood, there are many great food varieties besides your typical meats, poultry and seafoods that offer awesome flavor.  This blog demonstrates how snow peas are one of many tasty garden variety veggies that will tickle your pallet with a great smoky wood-fired taste.  There are many more foods for you to enjoy with this technique!  Go ahead, experiment with your favorite vegetables or fruits and treat yourself to a “world of flavor” possibilities!

Bon-Bar-B-Q!

SmokinLicious® Products used for this recipe:

Wood Chips- Grande® Sapore

Dr.Smoke- you have never tasted peas until you do this Smoking Snow Peas recipes

Dr.Smoke- you have never tasted peas until you do this Smoking Snow Peas recipes

For more reading related to

For more reading related to Smoked Snow Peas, try these recipes

Related recipes:

-Smoked Snow Peas With Cucumber Salad

-FRESH PEAS GO TO THE GRILL FOR SMOKY FLAVOR TO PEA MASH

-SMOKED FAVA BEANS MAKE THE PERFECT DIP OR CONDIMENT

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Our Finished Strawberry Rhubarb Fool with a Smokey Twist!

Our Finished Strawberry Rhubarb Fool with a Smokey Twist!

Strawberry Rhubarb Fool with a Smokey Twist! Click To Tweet

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Strawberry Rhubarb Fool–Fresh rhubarb means great recipes most of which consist of dessert!  This one is no exception.  Not only am I going to use smoked rhubarb but I’m including smoked strawberry as well.

This is the SmokinLicious® version of the Strawberry-Rhubarb Fool a popular dessert in late Spring and Early Summer.  Our creamy version is taking on a new flavor as we add another element: smoked components.  That means you need to smoke the rhubarb and strawberries first, before you make our recipe.  You can find our tips on smoking the strawberries and the rhubarb on our Tips and Techniques Blog.  Don’t be scared!  These are simple techniques you can do on any type of equipment including with a hand held food smoker.

Get smoking your fresh strawberries and rhubarb and then, let’s make the sweetest, creamiest strawberry-rhubarb fool smoker’s style!

 Tame Those Flavors

Our Finished Smoked Strawberry on a try

#smokedstrawberry

 I find it easiest to work with rhubarb and strawberries when they are cut down in size after the smoking.  For me, rhubarb cut into 3-inch lengths and strawberries sliced thin work best for this recipe.  Don’t forget to keep any of the juice that comes off the smoked strawberries both during the smoking process and as you prepare the strawberries.

The combination of the tart rhubarb and the sweetness of the strawberry plus the smoky quality from both will produce a perfect balance.  Let’s get these two flavors combined to make the perfect fool.

Since rhubarb borders on the bitter, it needs to have some additional sweet added to it.  Place your smoked rhubarb cuts which equal about one pound, into a saucepan and add a ½ cup of sugar.  Heat on medium high.  While that is sweetening and tenderizing, place the smoked strawberries (about 8-10 ounces depending on the size) into a bowl and add ¼ cup sugar, allowing this to dissolve completely.    This process will take about 30 minutes.  Feel free to adjust the level of sugar in the strawberries based on the sweetness you feel the raw strawberry already presents with as well as your own personal preference.

Our Rhubarb in the pot with sugar added

#Rhubarb

Once the sugar has dissolved in the smoked strawberries and the rhubarb has begun to shred apart, it’s time to remove the rhubarb from the heat.  Stir in the sweetened smoked strawberries and transfer to a bowl.  Refrigerate this compote uncovered until cold.  This will take about 1-1/2 hours though I prefer to leave this overnight.  Once the compote is in the refrigerator, place a metal bowl in the refrigerator as well.  You will need this to produce the trademark cream-base for our fool dessert.

Tasting Notes: Some find the texture of tenderized rhubarb to be too stringy.  If that’s the case, feel free to process the rhubarb in a food processor or blender before combining with the macerated strawberries.  Also, depending on the size of the strawberries, you may prefer to leave larger chunks, by halving the berries rather than slicing.

 Making a Fool for Me!

Folding the ingredients into a fool

#fool

Time to remove the chilled metal bowl from the refrigerator and add ¾ cup heavy cream and 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar.  Whisk this together until soft peaks form.  Be sure you don’t over beat the mixture or you will lose all the air that makes this whipped cream.  Set aside 1/3 cup of the cold smoked compote which will be used for topping the finished dessert servings.  Take the rest of the compote and fold into the whipped cream just until the mixture looks streaky.  Spoon into serving glasses or bowls and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Whenever I need a simple and quick dessert that looks elegant, I love to make a fool.  If I’m serving a more formal event, I prefer to serve these in stemmed glasses like a martini glass.  For a family barbeque or daily dessert, small bowls work well or even clear throw away cups or bowls.  Once the cream and compote mixture are spooned into the serving vessel, top with about a tablespoon of reserved compote.  I prefer to add mint leaves to finish this off.  Strawberry-Rhubarb Smoked Fool – a simple yet elegant looking treat that everyone is going to love!

Tasting Notes: Here’s a tip: this can be served cold or you can freeze it for a super cold treat on a really hot day.  The frozen rendition will remind you of a semifreddo or frozen yogurt treat.

What’s your favorite fool recipe?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

SmokinLicious® Products:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Wood Chips- Minuto® and Piccolo®

For more reading related to Strawberry Rhubarb Fool and try other recipes! Don't forget to share your experience

For more reading related to Strawberry Rhubarb Fool and try other recipes! Don’t forget to share your experience

 

Other smoky desserts you might enjoy:

-STRAWBERRY SEMIFREDDO GETS SMOKY

-SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE

-Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

Dr. Smoke you must try this Strawberry Rhubarb Fool with a Smokey Twist!

Dr. Smoke you must try this Strawberry Rhubarb Fool with a Smokey Twist!

Our Smoked Bone Broth starts with Great Beef bones trimmed on the gas grill

Our Smoked Bone Broth starts with Great Beef bones trimmed on the gas grill

SMOKED BONE BROTH FOR HEALTH & FLAVOR Click To Tweet

Summary:

Smoked beef bones by using cooking wood chunks over the grill heat shields or gas grill diffusers are easy!  The smoke flavor and slow simmer root vegetables are building flavor profiles for this unique smoked bone broth recipe. Simmering food with aromatic vegetables sometimes lacks taste that smoking wood chunks add. Read how easy it is!

listen to the audio of this blog posting

 

Know up front, that making broth from bones has been in our human history for a very long time.  It’s not new but I will say that over the past several years, it has gained in popularity for its health benefits and ability to cleanse the body.

Here’s what has been reported to improve when you consume bone broth: ease joint pain, reduce or prevent degenerative joint disease, promote hair and nail growth, enrich the blood, aid in digestion, build muscle, boost the immune system, and improve memory.

Bone broth is all about depth of flavor.  I am going to dig deeper into the flavor option and smoke the bones rather than roast them to bring an umami-type flavor to my broth.  Warning: you will need about 12-14 hours for the entire process so be sure to plan for this timing.

Grill Set Up

The gas grill I’m using is equipped with 4 burners and heat shields over those burners.  I’ll be preheating my grill using all 4 burners then shutting off the two burners on the left side and reduce the heat level to medium-low on the right side.  I add two wood chunks to the heat shields on the lit side of the grill.  Then on to my bones on the left side grill grate, where the burners are turned off.  These will stay on the grill for about 3 hours, with one turning of the bones at the halfway point.  Then off the grill and into a stock pot go my smoked bones for the start of the broth.

Simmering We Go

Our Smoked beef bones in the pot simmering with vegetables!

The extra depth of the smoke flavor will be gently revealed in our broth and does not overpower or obsolete the benefits of the broth.  To start the broth process, place the bones in the pot and fill the stockpot with cold, clean water.  Be sure the water is about four inches above the bones.  Allow the bones and water to come to a rapid boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.  The bones should simmer for a least 6 hours.  During that time, you can check and skim off any impurities from the top with a spoon.  While they are simmering you can prepare the vegetables, herbs, and spices that will be added to the mix.

Mirepoix and More

Now it’s time to add even more nutritional value to our broth.  Start by selecting the aromatic vegetables for your mirepoix.  I’ve taken leeks, carrot, celery, Napa cabbage, and a few broccoli stems.  To this, I’ve also included about 8 cloves of garlic, thyme, basil leaves, and a ¼ cup cider vinegar.  Place everything in the pot and stir to mix and submerge.  Cover the pot and allow this to simmer for about 8 hours.  Enjoy the great smell that will fill your home!

Strain and Portion

Straining out the cooked vegetables leave a clear brothYou’ve been smelling this awesome bone broth for nearly 14 hours so now it’s time to strain it and prepare to portion it out for future use.

If you’ve used a large stockpot, you may need a couple of additional pots for the straining as the contents get heavy to pour.  Once the clear broth is extracted with all the great nutritional value intact, remove the strainer and feel free to compost your vegetable/herb mixture.  Allow the broth to cool and skim off any settled fat from the top layer.  Then portion out the broth and get ready to enjoy its health benefits anytime.

This can be consumed as it for maximum detox benefit, in soups, or to make sauces – any way you can use broth.  I’m starting off by making a bowl of pho with sprouts, soba noodles, mushrooms, spring onion, and of course, my piping hot, flavorful, smoked bone broth.

Serving our smoked Bone Broth for a very satisfying meal!

Stater Ingredients for Bone Broth

  • 6-8 lbs. of beef bones
  • 1 lb. celery
  • 2 lbs. onion
  • 1 lb. carrot
  • 4-6 bay leaves
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • ¼ bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar

Read the 10 Health Benefits of Bone Broth by Cognitune Click To Tweet

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks: Double & Single Filet

Additional reading:

-10 Health Benefits of Bone Broth -by Cognitune Smarter Health

-GIVE ME THAT BEEF BRISKET!
-SMOKED BEEF SHORT RIBS
Dr. Smoke-make great smoked beef broth with our simple techniques.

Dr. Smoke-make great smoked bone broth with our simple techniques.