Our perfect Smoked Peach Relish which is perfectly paired with Shrimp for a tasty dish!

Our perfect Smoked Peach Relish which is perfectly paired with Shrimp for a tasty dish!

Smoke peach Relish is a tasty compliment to seafood! Click To Tweet

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Peach season!  One that lends so many different options to your food experience.  Whether consumed raw or used in entrees or desserts, I aim to bring another flavor level to this much anticipated seasonal fruit by adding wood-fired flavoring.  Then I’ll take these flavorful peach halves and introduce you to a peach relish that is perfect for topping fish and seafood.

Visit your favorite farm stand, fresh market, or your own peach tree and pick three firm, fresh peaches and bring them to the kitchen for preparation before hitting the wood-fired grill.  Oh, and we have plans for additional recipes with smoked peaches so do some extras while you have the grill or smoker going.

Easy Prep for the Grill or Smoker

Skinning our freshly harvested peaches

#peaches

Although yellow is the most common peach available, know that there is a white variety as well.  Both have easy to remove pits that make them easy to prepare for your favorite recipes.

Start by peeling the skin from the peaches, you’ll need 3 for this recipe, though I’m doing a full sheet pan for additional recipes.  Once peeled, using a paring knife, slice thru the center of the peach along the pit.  Gently separate into two halves then remove the pit.  Place the pitted and peeled peach half cut side down on a sheet pan.  Continue with the remaining peaches.  I’ll be using my gas grill set up with a smoker box of wood chunks to bring a smoky flavor to the fruit.  I’ve placed my smoker box directly on my heat diffuser to get the wood hot and smoldering quickly.  My pan of peach halves is placed on the unlit side of the grill.  Lid down on the grill and allow these peaches to tenderize slightly and infuse the smoke flavor.  I’ll check on them in about 15 minutes.

our tray of smoked peaches on the gas grill using a two zone cooking method to add wood smoke flavor.

#twozonecooking

 

 Tasting Notes: Keep in mind, flavors from wood on a gas grill will not be as intense as those on a charcoal unit.  Keep this in mind when you select the equipment to infuse the smoke flavor into the peaches.

Relish Ingredients for Smoked Peach Relish

Adding our wet ingredients to the pepper mix

#peppers

While the peaches are absorbing all that great hardwood flavor on the grill, let’s get started on the base for our peach relish.  To begin, I’ll get my mortar although you can also use a mini food processor.  Place one minced garlic clove into the mortar.  Add one chili pepper (serrano, jalapeno, & Hungarian make good choices) that has been seeded and minced.  To that, add 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar.  Using your pestle or the processor, pound or pulse until a paste is formed.  Remember, fresh ingredients will make for the best relish flavors.

With the base paste made to our peach relish, it’s time to add the liquids to balance the spicy and sweet flavors.  Start by adding 2 tablespoons of water, 2 tablespoons of lime juice and 3 tablespoons of oyster sauce.  Transfer the relish base to a large bowl.  Now return to the grill and remove the peach halves.  These should be browned from the smoke infusion.  Remove 6 halves and dice each.  Add them to the bowl with the base.  Let’s get ready for the final flavors.

The Ultimate Relish Flavors

Adding fresh herbs added to our rice

#freshherb

The final flavors are the fresh herbs that need to be added right before serving.  This includes ¼ cup of fresh, chopped cilantro and 2 tablespoons of fresh mint.  As peaches tends to be a delicate fruit meat, it’s important to gently mix everything together; don’t over combine.  Serve immediately with your favorite fish or seafood.   In fact, this is even great with just some toasted bread.  I’ve served mine today with brown rice and simple seasoned shrimp with a side of yellow waxed beans. Delicate yet full of balanced flavors that will surprise you coming from a smoked fruit.

 

What’s your favorite recipe using smoked or grill peaches?  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 Smoked Peach Relish recipe:

Our special split double filet wood chunk use to smoke the peaches for our smoked peach relish

#woodchunks

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

For more reading related to Smoked Peach Relish try other recipes

For more reading related to Smoked Peach Relish try other recipes

More recipes you might enjoy:

-GRILLED PEACHES FOR THE PERFECT SALAD ADDITION

-MUSHROOM TAPENADE ON THE WOOD GRILL

-COAL-FIRED LEEKS TERRINE

Dr. Smoke-This Smoked Peach Relish recipe is perfect accompaniment to any dish when we want a subtle fruity taste!

Dr. Smoke-This Smoked Peach Relish recipe is perfect accompaniment to any dish when we want a subtle fruity taste!

Ember Fired Eggplant on the rack cooking above a bed of hot coals. This technique provides the heat for cooking and the aroma of the wood smoke

Ember Fired Eggplant on the rack cooking above a bed of hot coals. This technique provides the heat for cooking and the aroma of the wood smoke

EMBER FIRED EGGPLANT WITH FETA TARTS Click To Tweet

You’ve heard me mention before how great it is to ember or coal fire certain foods, with a good majority of those items falling in the fruit category.  One of the best fruits to use this technique with is eggplant.

Not of Nutritional Value

we selected two nice and plump eggplants for our ember cooking Eggplant, also called aubergine, is part of a flowering plant grown for its edible fruit.  This is a thick-skinned fruit that has a meaty quality to its flesh.  In fact, it can make for a filling meal.  Eggplant contains a lot of water – 92% to be specific!  It is not known to be a contributor for daily nutritional intake.  Despite all that, Eggplant remains a favorite ingredient to cook with.

Nestling is Key

When cooking in the coals, it is best to use medium sized eggplant.  It doesn’t matter what variety you select, the technique for cooking in the coals will remain the same.

Starting the fire

First, you need to start with a good wood fire, using clean hardwood.  In order to do this technique successfully, you need to ensure that there are no flames left in the fire, just hot coals.  You’ll know the coals are ready for the cooking when they are completely grayed over.  If your grilling area is large enough, you can stage a couple of burning wood pieces to provide additional heat to the area.  Just don’t cook directly in those flames.

preparing the hot coals for the eggplant. you want these to burn down leaving only the heat and no flame to burn the eggplant. Ember cooking is only over hot coals.When the coals are ready, make sure the embers are in an even layer and then place the eggplants side by side in the embers.  I like to use a fine screen in the bottom of my charcoal area to aide in heat retention.  Now, leave these untouched for about 10 minutes.  After that time, you can turn the eggplant to ensure all sides get evenly charred.  If you make a large enough fire, you can bury the eggplant completely in the hot coals and not have to do any turning.  That technique will require about 30 minutes of cooking time.

Chef Bert teaches Neighbor Tom about ember cooking

#chefbertandtom

Blackened, Charred Skin Makes It Ready

Once the Ember Fired Eggplant has tenderized in the coals, it’s time to carefully remove it. Cool the eggplant, so it won’t burn and can be handled.  Then, slice each eggplant open from end to end, and gently scoop out the flesh.  Be sure to leave all the charred skin behind.  If you’re ready to use this in a recipe, then no need to do anything more to the eggplant.  If you plan on using it later, you must prevent the eggplant flesh from turning dark by incorporating 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and enough water to cover the flesh.  When finished, it’s best to store the Ember Fired Eggplant in a glass jar, bowl, or other container.

6 Needed Ingredients

To make the Ember Fired Eggplant with Feta Tarts, you’ll need a muffin pan and the following food ingredients:

  • Flesh from 1 medium size coal-fired eggplant
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped pistachios, plus 2 tablespoons for topping the tarts
  • ground coriander about ¼ teaspoon
  • ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 5 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
  • Extra virgin olive oil for brushing dough and preparing muffin pan

Wood Flavored Eggplant Mixture

removing any char from the fire and then chopping up the eggplant to be added as the tart fillingRoughly chop the wood fired eggplant.  Then transfer to a medium bowl and add feta, 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios, coriander, red-pepper flakes, and mint.  Season with salt and fresh ground pepper and stir gently to combine.

Making the Tarts

Lightly oil the muffin pan cups.  Lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough on a board and lightly brush with oil.  Stack 4 more phyllo sheets on top, brushing each with oil.  Cut the stacked sheets into 6 equal squares.  Carefully, pick up each square and place in a muffin cup, gently pressing in place.  Fill each dough cup with about ¼ cup of eggplant mixture.  Gently fold over the corners of the dough to enclose the filling as a tart.  Brush tops with oil and sprinkle with crushed pistachios.  Then Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve.

showcasing the finished product! Our ember roasted eggplant within the feta tart- yummy

 

 

 

 

 How did we do?  Leave a comment, love us, and subscribe.  We’re all about wood fired cooking techniques, idea, recipes, and the science behind the smoke and fire.

What can I roast over a fire?

Just about any fruit or vegetable can be roasted over a fire.  Vegetables and fruits with a dense, husky outer skin do very well when grilled with gas, charcoal and wood fuels.  Eggplant is ideal for roasting over an open fire or directly on hot embers (ember cooking).

Additional reading:

-EMBER FIRED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA GALETTE

-SUCCULANT WOOD FIRED STUFFED TOMATO WITH HERB RICE

TOP 10 VEGETABLES TO COOK IN HOT EMBERS

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Our wonderful Single Filet wood chunks are featured in this ember fired eggplant recipe

#woodchunks

Wood Chunks- Single Filet

Dr Smoke- "Try this because it's a really tasty appetizer and easy to make."

Dr Smoke- “Try this because it’s a really tasty appetizer and easy to make.”

Crostini con espárrago ahumado delicioso

Crostini con espárrago ahumado delicioso

Crostini con espárrago ahumado

¡Es temporada de espárrago y eso significa que debes aprovechar al máximo este sensacional vegetal mientras está fresco! Asegúrese de visitar nuestra serie sobre el asado de espárrago fresco (ver el blog anterior) para que pueda pasar a nuestras fabulosas recetas. Nuestra receta publicó en esta serie es Crostini con espárrago asado, pimiento y aceituna para untar, una merienda perfecta, un aperitivo, y sin duda, una comida espontánea para el visitante de último momento. ¡Pues, vamos!

Con tus espárrago asado (ver otro blog o Instagram #smokinliciousasparagus) en mano, necesitarás estos ingredientes:

Lista de los ingredientes

  • Baguette u otro pan estrecho (en una pizca, los chips de pita también funcionarán)
  • Aceite para rociar sobre las rebanadas de pan
  • 8 onzas de queso ricotta
  • Espárrago ahumado
  • 2 cucharadas de jugo de lima
  • Rodajas de pimiento aproximadamente 2 onzas
  • Aceitunas verdes aproximadamente 4 onzas
  • Pimiento fresco molido

Mezclando los ingredientes- crostini con espárrago ahumado

Mezclando espárrago picado ahumado en ricotta

Mezclando espárrago picado ahumado en ricotta

Antes de mezclar los ingredientes al untar, corte rodajas de la baguette en 1,27 centímetros y colóquela en una bandeja del horno. Rocíe con aceite: cualquier tipo funcionará, aunque soy parcial a los aceites de sabores. Solo tuesta las rebanadas de pan hasta que estén doradas. En un tazón mediano, agregue la ricotta y mezcle suavemente para descomponer el queso hasta obtener un estado cremoso. Corte el espárrago ahumado ​​en dados y pliegue suavemente en la ricotta con el jugo de lima. Agregue pimiento molido fresco al gusto. Ponga a un lado el tazón y corte el pimiento y la aceituna verde. Coloque en un tazón pequeño.

Ensamblando el Crostini

Ensamblando el Crostini

Ensamblando el Crostini

¡Es hora de ensamblar todos los ingredientes! Tome un crostini, unta una capa gruesa de la mezcla de espárrago asado y ricotta, y complete con el pimiento en dado y la aceituna. Una vez que tenga una bandeja llena, ¡estará listo para servir!

La salobridad de la aceituna mezclada con la cremosidad de la ricotta se combina muy bien con espárrago ahumado. Combina esto con la frescura de los crostini y tiene una combinación perfecta.

Crostini de espárrago asado- solo una de las maravillosas formas de usar espárrago fresco esta estación.

El equipo culinario quiere que sepas …

… que el disfrute de la cocina de brasas ha existido desde los albores de la civilización y aumentará el sabor de la leña con otras verduras frescas de piel gruesa como berenjenas, maíz, calabacín, calabaza de verano y pimientos. Al usar nuestras astillas de madera de cerezo silvestre Grande Sapore® como una cama de ascua, ¡prepárese para experimentar una sensación de sabor único!

¡Buen provecho!

 

Productos SmokinLicious® utilizados en esta receta:

Astillas de madera- Grande Sapore®

Otras recetas que puede disfrutar:

Chunk hombre para más lecturas relacionadas con crostini con espárrago ahumado

Chunk hombre: Para más lecturas relacionadas con crostini con espárrago ahumado

 

Dr. Smoke- ¡pruebe crostini con espárrago ahumado!

Dr. Smoke- ¡pruebe crostini con espárrago ahumado!

Our Savory Corn Muffins on the cool down rack. Just waiting to be served!

Our Savory Corn Muffins on the cool down rack. Just waiting to be served!

ADDING A SMOKY INGREDIENT FOR A SAVORY CORN MUFFINS

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Ready for a savory take on the standard corn muffin recipe?  I’m adding a smoked chive to bring these muffins to a whole new level.

You may have seen someone bake cornbread in a cast iron skillet on the grill but that’s just cast iron cooking.  I’m taking fresh chives that have been smoked on the stovetop with hardwood chips from SmokinLicious® and adding them to a favorite buttermilk cornbread recipe for a sweet-savory combination.  You can read about our technique for smoking the chives in Dr. Smoke’s Tips and Technique blog.

We are pouring our batter into the muffin pan and topping it off with our smoked chives in preparation for bacon.

A Flavorful Batter

To make 12 muffins you’ll need the following:

  • 1-1/4 cups fat-free buttermilk
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup yellow cornmeal, medium ground
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3 oz. grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons finely chopped smoked fresh chives, divided

Preheat the oven to 400° F.  Combine the buttermilk, olive oil, and egg in a small bowl.  Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground red pepper in a medium size bowl, stirring well with a whisk.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour into that well the milk mixture, stirring just until moist.  Stir in ½ cup of the cheese and 2 Tablespoons of the smoked chives.  Spoon into 12 muffin cups that have been greased.  Sprinkle muffins with the remaining cheese and chives.  Now bake in the oven for about 13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.  Remove from the oven and the remove the muffins from the tin to a wire cooling rack.

Tasting Notes

Our finished muffins hot from the oven on our plate to be served with your favorite jam or butter.

There are so many variations you can add to this standard recipe while keeping the smoked chives.

  • Add fruit such as blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries and leave out the cheese and pepper.
  • Go meaty with bacon or pancetta but hold the sugar and think about adding a different cheese such as Gruyere or Swiss.
  • You can also change the flavor by swapping out almond flour or coconut flour for the all-purpose.

The Culinary Crew wants you to know …

… that smoked herbs, as noted in this “great comfort food” recipe can really add a flavor dimension that pleases many a palate.  Be adventurous this holiday season when it comes to your favorite recipes featuring herbs like chives, rosemary, thyme and sage by enhancing their flavor appeal with a touch of wood fired smoke.  You and your guest will be treated with awesome tastes!

SmokinLicious® products:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

Additional reading:

-EMBER FIRED EGGPLANT & FETA TARTS

-ROOTING FOR GLAZED SMOKED TURNIPS

-Crostini with Smoked Asparagus

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke -You will love these corn muffins with a touch of smoky flavor!

 

OUR CROSTINI WITH SMOKED ASPARAGUS RECIPE! IS YUMMY!

OUR CROSTINI WITH SMOKED ASPARAGUS RECIPE IS YUMMY!

CROSTINI WITH SMOKED ASPARAGUS

It’s Asparagus season and that means you should get the most out of this sensational vegetable while it’s fresh!  Be sure to visit our series on the ember roasting of fresh asparagus (see the previous blog) so you can move on to our fabulous recipes.  Our featured recipe in this series is Crostini with Ember Roasted Asparagus, Pimento & Olive Spread, a perfect snack, appetizer, and certainly a spur of the moment food for the pop in visitor.  So, here we go!

With your ember-roasted asparagus (see other blog or Instagram #smokinliciousasparagus) in hand, you’ll need these ingredients:

Ingredient List

  • Baguette or other small width bread (in a pinch, pita chips will work as well)
  • Oil for drizzling on the bread slices
  • 8 oz. of ricotta cheese
  • Ember cooked asparagus
  • 2 Tablespoons of lime juice
  • Pimento slices about 2 oz.
  • Green olives about 4 oz.
  • Fresh ground pepper

Combining Ingredients

FOLDING CHOPPED SMOKED ASPARAGUS INTO RICOTTA

FOLDING CHOPPED SMOKED ASPARAGUS INTO RICOTTA

Prior to mixing the ingredients for the spread, cut the baguette into ½ inch slices and place on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with oil – any kind will do though I’m partial to flavored oils. Only toast the bread slices until just golden. In a medium bowl, add the ricotta cheese and gently mix to break down the cheese to a creamy state.  Dice up the ember-roasted asparagus and gently fold into the ricotta with the lime juice.  Add fresh ground pepper to taste.   Set aside the bowl and chop up the pimento and green olive.  Place in a small bowl.

Assembling the Crostini

ASSEMBLING THE CROSTINI

ASSEMBLING THE CROSTINI

Time to assemble all the ingredients!  Take a crostini, spread a thick coating of the ember-roasted asparagus and ricotta mixture, and top with the diced pimento and olive.  Once you have a serving tray full, you’re ready to serve!

The saltiness of the olive mixed in with the creaminess of the ricotta, blend so well with the wood-fired asparagus.  Couple this with the crispness of the crostini and you have a perfect match.

Ember-roasted asparagus crostini – just one of the wonderful ways to use fresh asparagus this season.

The Culinary Team wants you to know…

… that the enjoyment of ember cooking has been around since the dawn of civilization and will heighten wood-fire flavoring with other thick skinned, husked fresh vegetables like eggplant, corn, zucchini, summer squash and peppers.  By using our Grande Sapore® wild cherry wood chips as an ember bed, get ready to experience an unmatched taste sensation!

Enjoy!

Bon Bar B Que

Dr. Smoke-try the Crostini with Smoked Asparagus!

Dr. Smoke-try the Crostini with Smoked Asparagus!

SmokinLicious® Products used in this recipe:

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

For more reading related to

For more reading related to Crostini with Smoked Asparagus

Other recipes you might enjoy:

-WRAPPED ASPARAGUS WITH A HEALTHY CHOICE

-Flank Steak Pinwheels with Ember Roasted Asparagus

-MUSHROOMS GO SMOKY-WOOD FIRED

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

Our Fresh peas get all smokey for a terrific pea mash

Our Fresh peas get all smokey for a terrific pea mash

A lovely smoky flavor for a fresh pea Mash Click To Tweet

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With the arrival of Spring on the East Coast, we have an opportunity to get some fresh vegetables and one of my favorites to locate are peas.  Today, I’m going to remove fresh peas from their pods and wood-fire them using wood chunks on the gas grill.  Then I’ll produce a tasty pea mash that I plan to serve on toasted bread for a healthy snack or appetizer.  The time consuming part of this recipe is the removal of the peas but this task will be worth it.

Time to get to the store and locate about 2-1/2 pounds of fresh peas and fire up the grill for our flavorful take on pea mash.

The Longest Prep

Fresh peas ready for the grill

#freshpeas

Without question, removing the peas from their pod is the hardest part of making pea mash so be sure you allocate enough time for this task.  My technique includes using a small paring knife inserted in the seam of the pod.  After breaking the seam, simply use your finger to break the growth connection of the pea to the pod.  Place the fresh peas in a colander until all the peas are ready, then rinse, pat dry and place in a vegetable basket or vegetable grill pan designed for grilling temperatures.  Be sure the peas are in a single layer so each pea can get infused with smoke flavor.  Now, we’re off to the grill!

Tasting Notes: Although I’ve elected to use fresh peas, you can make this recipe using frozen.  Simply reserve about 1-1/2 cups of frozen peas for the recipe and start with the peas frozen.

 Two-Zone Grill Smoking

on peas on the cold side of the grill with the flame under our smoker box providing the smokey flavor

#twozonecooking

Peas are delicate so it’s important that you only use an indirect method of cooking to smoke the peas.   First, I’ve preheated my grill to 325°F using just ½ the burners.  For wood flavor, I’ve added three wood chunks to a metal smoker box that’s placed on the half of the grill with the burners on.  Once the grill is holding temperature and the wood chunks have started to smoke, it’s time to add my grill basket of fresh peas.  Since these are so small, there is no need to rotate the basket.  In about 20 minutes, these will be ready to be made into mash.

Tasting Notes: When it comes to selecting the wood type to use for the smoke vapor infusion, there are no rules.  Feel free to use what you like just be sure it is hardwood and not softwood.  I’ve used a combination of cherry, white oak and sugar maple.

Making Mash

our smokey peas and other ingredients in the blender

#peamash

Once the fresh peas have been wood fired on the grill, remove them and start on the ingredients for the mash.  Add ½ cup water to a saucepan and one garlic clove that has been quartered.  Place on medium heat and add ¼ cup flat leaf parsley leaves, one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and a pinch of salt.  Allow the mixture to cook and marry the flavors, then add the smoked fresh peas.  Give this a couple of additional minutes of cooking time, then remove from the heat and drain the mixture using a sieve over a bowl, collecting the liquid for later use.  Place the solids into a food processor and pulse until a coarse paste is formed.

Tasting Notes: If you don’t have access to fresh peas and will be using 1-1/2 cups of frozen, leave the peas in their frozen state when they are added to the saucepan and extend the cooking time to 8 minutes.

With our mixture pulsed, it’s time to add additional flavors to balance our pea mash out.  Start by adding 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, ½ tablespoon of finely chopped lemon peel or jarred lemon peel, ¼ teaspoon of Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Mix everything together and add a tablespoon at a time of the reserve cooking liquid until you have a thick but spreadable mash.  Season with salt, fresh ground pepper and additional lemon juice.  Be sure to taste and adjust these elements as you see fit.

Serve!

When serving on toasted bread, start with a hearty bread or ciabatta.  Next, drizzle the bread slice with olive oil and spread on the mash. If desired, sprinkle with additional spicy pepper and lemon peel and top with a drizzle of oil.

Don’t stop at just using this as a spread.  This is perfect as a pesto for pasta or rice, topping for fish, chicken and pork, and even a stuffing for mushroom caps, spring roll wrappers, or pork chops.  Spring wood fired pea mash – that you can enjoy all year long.

What’s your favorite use for fresh peas?  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 for this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Other recipes you may like:

-SMOKED FAVA BEANS MAKE THE PERFECT DIP OR CONDIMENT

-CHARRED PEPPER DIP

-Smoked Snow Peas With Cucumber Salad

For more reading related to smokey vegetables try fresh peas mash for a delicious topping!

For more reading related to smokey vegetables try fresh pea mash for a delicious topping!

Dr. Smoke- Smoking fresh peas to be made into a pea mash is a delicious Topenade for any dish

Dr. Smoke- Smoking fresh peas to be made into a pea mash is a delicious Topenade for any dish

A must try is this smoked Beet Hummus!

A must try is this smoked Beet Hummus!

Beet Hummus with a smokey flavor is a hit! Click To Tweet

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I’ve got another great recipe for wood fired beets that will provide a quick way to prepare a fabulous beet hummus for guests, bring-a-dish parties, or just as a great snack for your own family.  Wood fired flavor will come from the gas grill equipped with wood chunks using a two-zone cooking method.  The outcome is a full flavor, beautiful beet hummus color to delight all who have the pleasure of partaking in this treat.  Just one good size beet will do the trick but I always do an extra to keep around.

Join me at the grill as we make ricotta and smoked beet hummus.

Beet Preparation

our beets have been washed and clean, wrapped in foil and ready for the grill

#freshbeets

It’s so simple to prepare beets for the grill to roast and smoke.  Simply trim the leaf stalks off and wash the beets well under water.  Pat dry and then wrap in aluminum foil leaving the upper portion of the foil open to allow the smoke vapor in.  That’s it!  I like to put my foil wrapped beets on a ¼ sheet pan to make it easy to add and remove from the grill.  This will be a two-zone grill set up so while I’ve been preparing the beets, I’ve preheated my grill to medium-high using only ½ the burners and added a smoker box with wood chunks to the side that will be hot.  Wait for full temperature and the wood chunks to smoke, and you’re ready to add the beets.

Tasting Notes: It is not necessary to foil wrap the beets but you will need something to put the beets on otherwise you’ll have purple beet juice all over your grill.

Two-Zone Grill Smoking

our foil wrapped beets on the grill with a smoker box added a smoke flavor

#twozonecooking

With the washed fresh beets wrapped in foil, it’s time to let them grill roast as well as smoke.  I’ve placed three hardwood chunks in a metal smoker box to add smoke vapor to the beets.  My beets are placed on the unlit side of the grill while the smoker box is on the hot side.  After about 75 minutes, these are tender and smoky.  Remove them from the grill and allow to cool until they can be handled.  Using a paper towel, begin peeling the skin from the cooked beets.  Using a paper towel will protect your hands from becoming purple from the beet juice, a common problem when working with beets.

Tasting Notes: I’ve elected to use wood chunks as I find the provide for greater smoke vapor and don’t require any additional wood to be added to the smoker box.  You certainly can use wood chips but note, you may need to replenish these during cooking.

A Bright and Flavorful Hummus

putting the smoked beets in the blender and adding ingredients brings out the flavor along with the color

#beethummus

With the beet grilled and smoked, it’s time to add the ingredients for our hummus.  Start by adding one 15-1/2 ounce can of chickpeas that have been rinsed and drained to a food processor bowl.  Then add 1/3 cup of well mixed tahini, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, ¼ cup ricotta, 1 garlic clove finely grated, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper, and ¼ teaspoon ground coriander to a food processor and process until smooth.  Remember, the smoked beet will add a sweet flavor so adjust seasonings after that step.

 With the other ingredients processed for the beet hummus it’s time to bring in the wood fired beet flavor.  Cut one smoked beet into 8 pieces and add to the processor bowl and process until well combined and smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  Transfer the hummus to a serving dish, sprinkle with fresh mint and a drizzle of olive oil.  Serve with your choice of sides – vegetables, pita wedges, won-ton chips, crostini, crackers – whatever fits your need.  This is easy to keep on hand for when you need a quick cocktail accompaniment or just want a great, healthy snack.  You’ll love the festiveness of the bright purple-pink hue which makes this a stand out dish.

What’s your favorite recipe for beets?  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 for this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

For more reading related to smoked beet hummus and other vegetables that taste delicious once smoked on the grill!

For more reading related to smoked beet hummus and other vegetables that taste delicious once smoked on the grill!

Check out these recipes you might like:

-DEVILED EGG FEATURING WOOD-FIRED SMOKED BEETS

-SPICY-CHAR HUMMUS

-SMOKED FAVA BEANS MAKE THE PERFECT DIP OR CONDIMENT

Dr. Smoke- really smoked beet hummus is delicious!

Dr. Smoke- really smoked beet hummus is delicious!

Our Grilled Parsnips with added wood smoky flavor taste almost like French Fries!

Our Grilled Parsnips with added wood smoky flavor taste almost like French Fries!

GRILLED PARSNIPS TASTE LIKE FRENCH FRIES Click To Tweet

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Your diet likely doesn’t consistent of many root vegetables and I can guarantee that if you have kids, they may not have tried more than a carrot for a root vegetable.  I’m going to introduce you to parsnips which is one root vegetable that when grilled, takes on a flavor very similar to French fries.

That’s why I’m calling this recipe my Smoked Parsnip Fries with Spicy Honey Glaze.  As easy to prepare as it’s cousin the carrot, parsnips take no time at all to prepare and smoke on the grill.  Go to the market and get yourself about 2 pounds of this lesser used vegetable and let’s convert you from the potato to the parsnip!

Got 5 Minutes?

The parsnips have been clean of the outer skin, washed and sliced to size

#grilledparsnips

Just like carrots, likely the more popular root vegetable, parsnips grow as a tuberous root and can be eaten raw, though most people prefer to cook them.  Once mature, they are harvested and sold in the grocery stores.  I do a simple end trim and peel them with a vegetable peeler.  Next, I cut them into 3-inch lengths and the width of an average potato French fry.  I then toss them with ¼ cup of oil – I’m using avocado oil but you can also use olive, almond, walnut, grape-seed or similar high heat oil – and kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.  Now they’re ready for the grill.

Tasting Notes: When selecting parsnips, it’s important to look for ones that have a smooth surface with no cuts or indentations.  Because they are a root vegetable, it’s important to rinse them well under water before preparing.

 Two-Zone Grill Smoking

Our smoker box is all set on the lite side of the grill and the parsnips on the unlite!

#twozonecooking

The best method of cooking our pre-cut parsnips is on a sheet pan.  This will ensure that the cuts of parsnip get equal browning and tenderization.  Just like roasting in your oven, I’ll be using a higher grill temperature of 400-425° F on my gas grill.  Total cooking time should be roughly 45 minutes to tenderize the parsnips.  For added flavor, I’ve included three double filet wood chunks to a metal smoker box.  These usually have wood chips added to them but I’ve found wood chunks much easier with less mess and no need to refill with more wood.

I’m using a traditional two-zone setup that involves using  ½ the burners of my unit set to a medium-high setting and ½ the burners are left off.  The smoker box will go on the hot side of the grill while our sheet pan of pre-cut parsnips will go on the cold side.  Half way through cooking time I rotate the sheet pan to ensure even browning.  That’s it!

Grilled Parsnips Glaze ‘Em for Added Flavor

While the parsnips are turning golden and tender on the grill, it’s time to start on the glaze.  Begin by melting 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a small saucepan.  Add two chiles or ¾ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and 1 tablespoon honey.  Stir the parsnips occasionally until the glaze holds together well.  Set aside and go to the grill and check on the grilled parsnips.  When tender and golden brown, remove from the grill.  The wood chunks will be 100% carbonized.  I’ll like to save these to use in my charcoal grill as a charwood fuel product for a natural charcoal.

pouring the honey sauce over the finished grilled pasnips and ready to serve

#grilledparsnips

With simple trimming and peeling, these grilled parsnips become even more flavorful when wood flavored on the grill.  Two zone cooking makes it easy to step away while the parsnips cook giving you plenty of time to make the great spicy honey glaze to finish off perfectly grilled parsnips.

Remove the parsnips from the grill, place on a serving platter, and drizzle the spicy honey glaze over the parsnips when ready to serve.   Today’s Smoky Grilled Parsnip Fries are going beside a ground chuck burger for more of a traditional taste of burger and fries.

What’s your favorite parsnip 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 for this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

For more reading related to

For more reading related to grilled parsnips and other vegetable grilling ideas.

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"Dr.

Our finished Grilled Asparagus Wrapped with a healthy Choice

Our finished Grilled Asparagus Wrapped with a healthy Choice

WRAPPED ASPARAGUS WITH A HEALTHY CHOICE Click To Tweet

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One of the favorite Spring vegetables that certainly don’t have a long fresh season around my area, asparagus is know for its fiber and its diuretic quality since it is 93% water.  Although it certainly is a star vegetable to grill, I’m taking it to the healthy side and preparing a wrapped asparagus without all the fat, sodium, and calories of bacon or prosciutto wrapped.

This is a super flavorful twist of carrot and puff pastry that is perfect for a dipping sauce.  Fresh asparagus comes to life when we wood-fire it on the gas grill with wood chunks for added flavor.  When done, you’ll never miss the bacon as this is a meaty, satisfying take on the wrapped asparagus theme.  Now, get your bunch of fresh asparagus and learn this healthier version of wrapped asparagus wood-fired!

Vegetable Prep

our two main vegetables fresh asparagus and ripe carrot

#asparagusspears #Carrots

First, start this recipe by trimming the ends of one bunch of asparagus.  Peel and end trim 3 medium size carrots.  Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin, produce thin peels of carrot, figuring about 2 peels per asparagus spear.  Add water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Blanch the carrot peels in the water for about 30 seconds just to soften.  This will make for an easier time of wrapping the carrots around the asparagus spear.  Remove the carrot peels to a colander then place on paper towels to remove excess water.

With the vegetables prepared, it’s time to work on the puff pastry.  After thawing two sheets of puff pastry according to package directions, place one sheet on a cutting surface and cut ½-inch strips of pastry.  After that, take one egg and one teaspoon of water and beat together to produce egg wash.  This will be used to hold the ends of the puff pastry to the asparagus spear.

Asparagus Twists

Starting at the asparagus tip, begin wrapping one strip of puff pastry around the asparagus spear securing the ends in place with a bit of egg wash to the underside of the pastry.  Each spear will take just one puff pastry strip.  Be gentle with the pastry as the warm temperature of your hands will cause the pastry to begin stretching.  If you should have any excess, simply trim the end off.

wrapping our Asparagus with carrot peel in preparation for the grill

#puffpastry with #carrotpeel

With the puff pastry strip in place on the asparagus spear, time to add the pre-blanched carrot peel.  Each spear will take about two carrot peels, depending on the length.  Starting on the tip end of the asparagus, begin wrapping the carrot peel in the space left by the pastry.  Fold the carrot end under the pastry when you reach the ends.  Once all the spears are wrapped in pastry and carrot, brush the entire spear with egg wash.  Next, gently sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the surface of the stalk, then sprinkle with white sesame seeds.  Lay on a foil lined sheet pan in preparation for the grill.

Tasting Notes: Other options for wrapping the asparagus spears include using a purple carrot either in place of or in addition to the traditional orange to give more visual appeal.  Also, you can use zucchini or sweet potato peels too.

Two-Zone Grill Smoking

two zone cooking method with smoker box on on side and cooking on the other

#grillcooking

 

With all the asparagus spears wrapped in carrot and puff pastry and topped with parmesan, egg wash, and white sesame seed, these spears are now ready for the grill.  I’ve preheated my gas grill to 400° F using only two of the four burners.  On those hot burners, I’ve placed a metal smoker box that holds three double filet wood chunks.  My sheet pans of prepared asparagus spears are placed on the unlit side of the grill.  Close up the lid and leave to cook for about 20 minutes.  Don’t be alarmed by the amount of smoke you’ll see from the grill’s vents.  That’s just the wood doing is part to flavor the spears.  After 20 minutes, check and rotate the trays to produce an even coloring to the puff pastry.  It will be 20-30 minutes total cook time depending on the thickness of your asparagus, to make these tender and golden brown.  Once done, remove from the grill and immediately remove the finished spears to a serving platter.

Optional Dipping Sauce

Adding a hint of lemon juice to our dipping sauce

#dippingsauce

Although the smoked asparagus spears are great on their own, I’ll be giving this option of a dipping sauce.  While the wrapped asparagus spears are on the grill, add ½ cup mayonnaise to a bowl.  To the mayo add 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped chives, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice.  If you’d like a spicy kick to the sauce, add a ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes.  Stir well and refrigerator until ready to serve with the wrapped asparagus.

Although wrapping our asparagus spears takes a bit of time, the work is worth it when you taste these flavorful twists.  Perfectly cooked asparagus, sweetness of carrot peel, the airy quality of the puff pastry and the slight crunch of sesame seeds.  Pair them with our simple dipping sauce made from mayonnaise, fresh chives, and lemon juice for the perfect appetizer or side dish.  Ultimately, the only problem is it’s hard to stop eating these spears of flavor.  Grilling asparagus using a two-zone cooking method makes them quick with no need to stand over the grill.  Take advantage of asparagus season and give this easy recipe a try on your favorite grill.

What’s your favorite asparagus 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

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-Crostini with Smoked Asparagus

-Ember cooking fresh Asparagus

Dr. Smoke

Dr. Smoke

Our Finished grilled hot cross buns!

Our Finished grilled hot cross buns!

Hot cross buns cooked on the Grill! Click To Tweet

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I know – hot cross buns are traditionally enjoyed during lent and holy Easter weekend.  The basic recipe dates to the 12th century and is known as a sweet dough ball.  Did you know that pretty much any recipe can be made on a grill or smoker, including hot cross buns?

I’m going to take a traditional hot cross bun recipe and make it using the grill with wood chunks for added flavor and the cooking.  Don’t worry that this is a recipe that involves yeast.  You don’t have to know everything about bread making to make this recipe work.  You can add the dried fruit of your choice to customize the flavors as well as selecting the hardwood you like best.

Let’s get started so you can enjoy the SmokinLicious® version of Hot Cross Buns Wood Fired any time of year!

Yeast Makes Dough

our covered yeast and flour mixture wrap to rise

#activedryyeast

These buns start with yeast blooming.  We are using active-dry yeast in our dough which means it must be re-activated in water. Start by pouring water that is between 105° and 155°F into a large bowl and sprinkle 2-1/4 teaspoons of active-dry yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar over the water.  Stir the mixture to dissolve the ingredients and let stand until foamy which will take about 10 minutes.  Then add ½ cup sugar minus 1 tablespoon, 1 cup of warm milk, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ¼ cup of softened butter.  Mix well then add 3 cups of all-purpose flour.  Beat with the paddle attachment of a mixer until smooth and elastic.

After beating the initial dry ingredients, it’s time to add the eggs.  Do this step by adding one egg at a time for a total of 3 eggs.  Once the eggs are mixed in, add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 cup of dried fruit of your choice such as currants, raisins, chopped apricots, and/or candied citrus.  I’m including currants in my dough.  Once mixed well, add 3 cups of additional flour ½ cup at a time, until a soft dough emerges.  Next, it will be time to turn the dough out on a work surface.

Tasting Notes:

These are traditionally a drier sweet dough.  That means you want to use dry fruit items in order to prevent the dough from becoming too moist.  Feel free to expand on the options for the fruit and use combinations that are pleasing to your palate.

Patience Is Key

slicing our dough into smaller amounts

#portioningdough

After adding all the ingredients to our hot cross bun dough, it’s time to turn the dough out and begin to proof also known as rising of the dough.  Start by turning the mixed dough out on a lightly floured work surface.  Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, then form into a circle.  Grease a large bowl and place the rounded dough into the greased bowl, turning the dough once to ensure it is coated with the grease on all sides.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until double in volume.  This will take about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Once the dough has proofed and doubled in size, it’s time to punch it down.  This is a step that releases some of the gas bubbles that have formed by the yeast during the rising time.  Once the dough has the gas released, cover it with a bowl on a dry surface and let stand for 10 minutes.  After that time, divide the dough in half and then quarters.  For each quarter, cut into six equal pieces.  Roll each dough portion into a ball and place on a greased sheet pan, spacing 1-1/2 inches apart.  This is a good time to start the grill by lighting only half the burners and placing a smoker box with wood chunks on the hot side.  We’ll be aiming for a grill temperature of 375°F.

Grill-Baking with Hardwood

Our sheet pan of dough on the grill with wood flavor

#gasgrill #woodchunks

With our grill lit using a two-zone cooking method and wood chunks of maple, white oak, and cherry in the smoker box on the hot side of the grill, it’s time to finish off the hot cross bun dough.  After spacing the dough balls on a sheet pan, I allowed them to rise for about 30 minutes.  Using the white of one large egg and a teaspoon of water mixed together, I brush each of the 24 dough balls with the egg wash.  Using a small, sharp knife, cut a cross in the top of each roll no more than ½ inch deep.  Place one sheet pan of rolls on the unlit side of the grill and cook until golden brown which takes about 25-30 minutes.  I like to rotate my sheet pan ½ way through the cooking time for more even coloring to the rolls.  When finished, transfer the grilled rolls to cooling racks.

Tasting Notes:

I’m using a ½ sheet pan for my cooking but note that standard cookie sheets will work well.  If using the ½ sheet pan, your grill area may not be large enough to accommodate the pan while closing the lid completely.  I simply grill with the lid partially open, adjust my temperature control knobs to ensure the 375°F remains stable.

While the buns are cooking on the grill, you can prepare the icing that will go on top of the finish buns.  Start by mixing together 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and 1-1/2 tablespoons of milk.  You can adjust the thickness of the finished icing by adding drops of milk if you want it thinner.  Just be sure that when you add this to a pastry bag, you will be able to push it out in a steady stream and don’t find that it pours out on its own.

Tasting Notes:

Here’s my tip for filling a pastry bag.  Tip-I like to use the disposable bags for icings. Click To Tweet I simply roll down the bag about half-way to form a cuff.  I place the pointed side of the pastry bag into the opening of a roll of paper towels.  This allows me to scrap every bit of icing from the bowl without worrying about the pastry bag.  I leave the filled pastry bag in the roll until the buns are cool enough for applying the icing.

The Perfect Sweet Dough Treat with a Kick of Wood Flavor

basket of our hot cross buns

#hotcrossbuns

After making our hot cross bun dough from scratch, allowing the dough to proof, then dividing into our individual buns.  We baked these on the gas grill set up two-zone method: a hot side that we added three hardwood chunks to using a smoker box on the grill grate.  The buns were placed on the unlit side of the grill and baked at 375°F for approximately 30 minutes, rotating the pan just one time.  Once cooled, we added lemon icing crosses to each bun.  We do this by working with twelve buns at a time, lining them up on the sheet pan tightly to each other.  Using the pastry bag of icing, I place a steady stream of icing vertically on each bun, then do the same horizontally for each row, forming a cross.  Allow the icing to set and then serve.

Although hot cross buns are associated with a specific time of the year, SmokinLicious® feels these are a sweet dough treat to be enjoyed any time of the year.  And, they are best when made on outdoor equipment that can include natural hardwood for unbelievable flavor.

Tasting Notes: 

If served warm, you’ll pick up more of the wood smoke flavoring Click To Tweet these buns were exposed to on the grill.  Adding a bit of butter makes them even sweeter!

What’s your favorite dried fruit to add to hot cross buns?  Comment to let us know.   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 & Single Filet

For more reading related to

For more reading related to- how to bake on the grill.

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Dr. Smoke

Dr. Smoke-  the grill is perfect for cooking Hot Cross Buns

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