The finished- WOOD GRILLED VERSION OF CHEF WATERS’ GOAT CHEESE SALAD

The finished- WOOD GRILLED VERSION OF CHEF WATERS’ GOAT CHEESE SALAD

 

A WOOD GRILLED VERSION OF CHEF WATERS’ GOAT CHEESE SALAD

listen to the audio of this blog posting

listen to- A WOOD GRILLED VERSION OF CHEF WATERS’ GOAT CHEESE SALAD

Taking a page from Chef Alice Waters, we are making our version of the baked goat cheese salad by wood baking the goat cheese rounds on the grill using a two-zone cooking method and wood chunks for smoky flavor.  Then making garlic crostini for the croutons on the charcoal grill to serve alongside this fabulous salad dish.   A recipe that can be a salad course or an entrée on its own, we also give you an easy way to make this into an appetizer.  Purchase 12 ounces of quality goat cheese in log form and let’s get grilling.

Goat Cheese

Marinate to Start

This dish requires at least 8 hours of marinade time though I like to do mine overnight.   It’s the marinade of oil and fresh herbs that give the goat cheese great flavor.  Cut the goat cheese log into ½-inch rounds.  In the bottom of a glass dish, sprinkle chopped fresh herbs of your choice; today I’m using oregano but most any fresh herb will do.  Place the goat cheese rounds into the dish and pour over a ¼ cup of olive oil.  Turn the cheese rounds over to coat both sides.  Place fresh herb sprigs over the top of the rounds, cover with wrap and marinate in the refrigerator.

Fresh herbs

Tasting Notes: Other fresh herbs work great with this recipe but note that stronger herbs like thyme and rosemary likely don’t need the layers of chopped herbs at the bottom of the dish.  Simply lay the fresh herb springs on top of the goat cheese rounds and marinate in the refrigerator.

Grilling with Wood Chunks

Trays of goat cheese on the grill!

Once the goat cheese has marinated, it’s time to coat it in a mixture of ½ cup plain breadcrumbs and two teaspoons dried herb of your choice.  I’ll be using oregano but other good options include thyme, basil, marjoram, rosemary.  Once coated on both sides, place the cheese rounds on a lightly greased shallow pan.  I’m using mini sheet pans as they work well on the grill, even for a two-zone cooking method.

As this is a cheese dish it is important that a two-zone cooking method is used which means the cheese will be going on the unlit side of the grill.  I’m using a smoker box with three hardwood chunks to provide the smoke flavor to the cheese, with the box placed on the hot side of the grill.  Total time to cook will be about 20 minutes.  You’ll know the cheese rounds are ready once browned and bubbly.

While the cheese is on the grill, prepare the vinaigrette by combining ¼ cup red wine vinegar, salt, and fresh ground pepper.  Whisk in ½ cup of olive oil and set aside.

Greens and Garlic Crostini

Crostini with garlic butter

To go with the goat cheese rounds and salad vinaigrette, I’m making garlic crostini on the charcoal grill.  Using ½-inch slices of a day-old baguette, brush both sides of each slice with melted butter.  Place on a high heat tolerant sheet over hot coals only, no active flames.  Allow the slices to brown and slightly char before turning over.  Once browned on both sides, remove from the grill and brush with the cut side of a garlic clove.  I cut these crostini slices in half at the diagonal to go with the salad.

Tasting Notes:  An assortment of fresh greens can be used for the salad though I like to use a combination of bitters with more savory greens.

Assembling to Enjoy

With all the components made its time to assemble our salad.  Start by mixing the vinaigrette with the greens.  I like to place the garlic crostini on the outside of the salad and the wood-baked cheese rounds in the center of the greens.  This is best served while the cheese is warm.  Here’s another suggestion: this can make for the perfect appetizer if you cut each round in half so they fit on a garlic crostini.  For that recipe, prepare the same but place a few leaves of salad on the garlic crostini and top with a wood baked goat cheese half round.  There you have it!  A super easy salad or appetizer with that signature wood flavor that takes Chef Waters’ recipe to a new level.

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks: Double & Single Filet

Related recipes:

-FIRE ROASTED PEPPER MAKE THE PERFECT SALAD

-THE EASY METHOD TO COLD SMOKED CHEESE

-RASPBERRIES GO TO THE GRILL– FOR THE ULTIMATE MINI TART APPETIZER

-SMOKED CHEESE & BACON QUICHE FEATURING COLD SMOKED CHEESES

Dr. Smoke- try this-WOOD GRILLED VERSION OF CHEF WATERS’ GOAT CHEESE SALAD on your next party!

Dr. Smoke- try this-WOOD GRILLED VERSION OF CHEF WATERS’ GOAT CHEESE SALAD on your next party!

Our smoked Brussels sprouts with our creamy béchamel sauce make up this wonderful gratin. This is a great dish anytime but especially good around the holidays.

Gratin takes a smoky turn by using smoked brussels sprouts

GRATIN TAKES A SMOKY TURN

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Gratin is one of those side dishes that usually gets made at the holidays or for a special occasion dinner.  For some reason, it has the stigma of being difficult and time consuming.

Nothing could be further from the truth when you use our gratin recipe.

Smoky Meets Creamy Goodness

In our previous series, we took whole Brussels sprouts and smoked them on the gas grill using Wild Cherry wood chunks.  Taking the boldness of smoke, we knew blending that flavor with cheese would produce a balanced, creamy outcome.

Our ingredients table has seven simple ingredients to make up this wonderful gratin

Most gratin recipes don’t contain a lot of ingredients but the béchamel sauce can be tricky if you don’t stay with your saucepan the whole time.  For our gratin recipe you will need:

▪ 2 tablespoons butter

▪ 2 tablespoons flour

▪ coarse salt

▪ fresh ground pepper

▪ 2 cups whole milk

▪ 1/3 cup shredded Asiago cheese

▪ 1/3 cup shredded 2nd cheese like Fontina though I’m using a leek cheese

▪ 2/3 cup grated Parmesan

▪ 1-1/2 pounds of smoked Brussels sprouts

First up, making the béchamel sauce.

Béchamel Sauce

Our creamy bechamel sauce is being made in a pot on the stove top

Béchamel sauce is a fancy name for white sauce that starts with a roux of butter and flour.   Begin melting two tablespoons of butter in a saucepan.  Once melted we add 2 tablespoons of flour and begin the whisking process.  This will produce a thick, paste like consistency.  Gradually, add the two cups of whole milk, whisking the entire time.  This is the key to a good béchamel sauce.  Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce to low heat whisking again.   Once thickened, season with salt and fresh ground pepper, and remove from the heat.  Add in each cheese, whisking each addition until melted.

Layer on the Flavor

Our mixture of smoked Brussels sprouts and the bechamel sauce in our pan ready for cooking in our oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Time to lay the smoked Brussels sprouts in a baking dish.  Try to use a dish big enough to make one even layer of sprouts.  Pour the béchamel sauce over the Brussels sprouts ensuring an evening coating.  Take the 2/3 cup of Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over the sauced sprouts.  Place the baking dish in a preheated 350°F oven for 25 minutes until bubbling and golden.

The cheese cuts through the mild bitterness of the Brussels sprouts while the smoke flavor adds that special taste bud tingle.

 

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Single Filet

Additional reading:

-SMOKED CHEESE & BACON QUICHE FEATURING COLD SMOKED CHEESES

-TORTELLINI GETS A SMOKY MATE

-STEPPING UP RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE

Dr Smoke- "Add a wonderful flavor to your gratin by adding smoked Brussels sprouts- your guests will love this recipe."

Dr Smoke- “Add a wonderful flavor to your gratin by adding smoked Brussels sprouts- your guests will love this recipe.”

The photo of our golden brown smoked cheese & bacon quiche was prepared with our homemade smoked cheese and baked at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Smoked cheese & bacon quiche was prepared with our cold smoked cheese. This golden brown beauty looks appetizing.

SMOKED CHEESE & BACON QUICHE FEATURING COLD SMOKED CHEESESlisten to the audio of this blog posting

We’re putting a new flavorful twist to traditional quiche by adding a cold smoked cheese combination that’s perfect with this egg and cream based recipe.  Be sure to see our previous series on cold smoking cheese on the stove top, then bring your favorite cheeses to this easy, basic recipe.  We’re making smoked cheese & bacon quiche!

Our arrangement of 5 different textured cheeses put through our stove top cold smoking process. This method imparts great color and smoky flavor

Simple Ingredients Are Best

Quiche is one of those recipes that doesn’t have a lot of rules.  The base is eggs, cream and pie shell or pastry.  The fillings are yours to experiment with.  For our Smoked Cheese and Bacon Quiche, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Sweating the Onions

We start off our recipe by first cooking the onion.  Taking 1 yellow onion, peel the skin and dice this.  Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a hot skillet.  When melted, add the diced onion.  Let this sweat for about 3 minutes until translucent, then stir.  Cook until the onion browns and crisps slightly.  This should take less than 6 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside while you begin to prepare the wet ingredients.

In the glass mixing bowl we have all of the ingredients for the basic recipe measured and ready to blend into a wonderful, creamy, smooth batter.

Basic Quiche Batter

After cooking the onion, it’s time to assemble the other ingredients to our quiche.  Start with 6 large eggs in a large bowl.  Add the ¾ cup of heavy cream and whisk until combined.  Add the cooked onion, followed by the bacon that has been precooked and chopped.  If you’re short on time, feel free to use precooked bacon strips commonly available in most grocery stores.  Whisk all these ingredients together until well combined.

The final ingredients are your favorite smoked cheeses.  In my version, I’m using Swiss, muenster, and fresh mozzarella, which have been previously cold smoked for about 4 hours.  My technique was a stove top smoking application using a cast iron pan.  You can visit our previous series on this technique.  Once all the ingredients are combined, it’s time to pour the batter into the prepared pie shell.  This recipe will make one 9-inch quiche.  Now place in to a preheated 350°F oven for 40-45 minutes.

Golden, Creamy, Smoked Goodness

After cooking in a 350°F oven for about 45 minutes, a golden crust will form on the top.  Allow the smoked cheese & bacon quiche to cool slightly before cutting it into serving slices.  Loaded with the saltiness of the bacon, the creaminess of the smoked cheese, and the sweetness of the cooked onion, this is a great dish for brunch or dinner, or even served as an hors d’oeuvre.  If you want to add more smoke flavor, feel free to ember cook the onions or smoke the bacon.  Smoked Cheese & Bacon Quiche – soon to become your favorite quiche recipe!

Did we inspire you to make your own quiche?   We need your comment and rating, so subscribe and follow us so you don’t miss a thing.  Suggestions are always welcome as well on recipes and techniques you want to learn about.  We are your source for all things wood-fired, providing tips, techniques, recipes, and the science behind the fire.

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

Additional reading:

-SMOKED GRILLED CHEESE LIKE NO OTHER!

-EMBER FIRED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA GALETTE

-EMBER FIRED EGGPLANT & FETA TARTS

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke- “Enjoy this tasty quiche recipe featuring a cold smoked trio of cheeses.”

Smoked grilled cheese like no other you ever had

Smoked grilled cheese like no other you ever had!

SMOKED GRILLED CHEESE LIKE NO OTHER!

listen to the audio of this blog posting

Who doesn’t love a grilled cheese sandwich!  We are taking this grilled sandwich favorite and elevating the flavor with a cold smoked cheese assortment.  Get the griddle or cast-iron pan ready!  We’re making Smoked Grilled Cheese with Tomato and Pepper Jelly!

What You’ll Need

Our thinly sliced fresh red tomatoes on the cutting board are awaiting the assembly of the sandwich

Certainly, you can purchase smoked cheese in the specialty grocery locations but we have a step-by-step series showing you the easy method of stove top smoking cheese that can be done in just a few hours.  For our version of the smoked grilled cheese sandwich, you’ll need smoked cheese – we are using an assortment that includes Swiss, muenster, horseradish cheddar, and fresh mozzarella.  In addition, you’ll need some fresh sliced tomato – sliced about ¼-inch thick -, a firm bread – we’re using sourdough and salt rising -, hot pepper jelly, and mayonnaise.  You’ll also need a griddle, cast iron skillet, or other heavy duty frying pan and spatula for cooking your sandwiches. Oh, and feel free to do this on a grill if you like.

The Assembly

Our thick sliced all grain bread is arranged to begin adding mayonnaise along with our smoky cheese and fresh tomatoes into a sandwich

It’s important that your griddle or pan be hot before starting the sandwiches.  I recommend a medium setting.  If using cast iron, let that pan heat up about 5 minutes before starting the cooking process.  First up, take a bread slice and coat one side with mayonnaise.  Yes, I said mayonnaise not butter.  It produces a nice browning and crisping to the bread beyond what butter can do.  Place mayo side down in the pan and add your sliced smoked cheeses.  Top with a tomato slice.  On the second slice of bread, coat one side with hot pepper jelly, leaving a little bread border near the edges as the jelly will migrate during cooking.  Place pepper jelly side down on the tomato.  Now coat the face up side of the bread with mayonnaise.

This starts the monitoring stage.  You want to peak at one corner of the sandwich after cooking about 3 minutes.  If you see golden brown, it’s time to flip the sandwich.  Once both sides are cooked, remove to a plate.

Like No Other

Our assembled sandwich browning on both sides in our hot cast iron pan. We are finishing this to a nice golden toasted brown.

As I have 4 smoked cheeses to choose from, I like to put a combination of cheese on a single sandwich.  Once you have a chance to experiment with the different combinations, you’ll find your favorites.  It’s important to slice your sandwich on the diagonal while still hot so each half has a chance to marry all the flavors with the bread.  Now, kick back and enjoy all that smoky, gooey goodness.  Just be sure you have more than one made as it likely won’t be a single sandwich event!

I’ll bet you’ve already come up with your own variation of the Smoked Grilled Cheese Sandwich!   Your comments and ratings are much appreciated, so subscribe and follow us so you don’t miss a thing.  We always welcome your suggestions as well on recipes and techniques you want to learn about.  We are your source for all things wood-fired, providing tips, techniques, recipes, and the science behind the fire.

 

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

Additional reading:

-TORTELLINI GETS A SMOKY MATE

-SMOKED POTATO CURRY SMOKINLICIOUS® STYLE!

-THE KITCHEN FIND!

-THE EASY METHOD TO COLD SMOKED CHEESE

Dr Smoke says "Yummy, yummy, yummy! This is an awesome sandwich, especially if you smoke your own cheese! A must try recipe!"

Dr Smoke- “Yummy, yummy, yummy! This is an awesome sandwich, especially if you smoke your own cheese! A must try recipe!”