Our table of the six ingredients necessary to prepare the smoked pear salad with gorgonzola for a tasty twist.

Refreshing smoked pear salad with gorgonzola and our easy to follow recipe only requires six ingredients.

SMOKED PEAR SALAD WITH GORGONZOLA

When your craving salad but our tired of the same boring options, take it a step further and feed all your senses with the Smoke Pear Salad with Gorgonzola from SmokinLicious®!

This is a very simple salad once you’ve followed our segment on smoking fresh pears.  With pears in season during the colder months, it’s a great time to get your serving of greens.  So, let’s get started with what you will need for Smoked Pear Salad with Gorgonzola:

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 smoked pears (see our previous series on smoking pears)
  • 1/2 cup of Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar – I prefer a flavor infused one – I am using tangerine balsamic vinegar but anything in the citrus line would work well
  • 1 head of lettuce in my case, I am using Boston lettuce
  • fresh pepper

Preparing the Smoked Pear Salad with Gorgonzola:

Taking your previously smoked pear halves, time to remove the skin and prepare to cut these for the salad.  Now, this is where you need to make some decisions on how you want your salad to look.  You can either slice the pears to add to whole Boston or Romaine lettuce leaves or you can cube them to add to chopped lettuce.  I will be chopping my lettuce and cubing my smoked pears.  Ideal sizing is ½ inch thickness for your pears to provide the right balance between the boldness of the smoked pear and the savory bite of the Gorgonzola.  I’ll be balancing the two out with my vinaigrette.

Specially Diced Lettuce Arranged in a Bowl

Chopped Boston Lettuce

Boston lettuce is ideal for forming its own bowl and is an ideal choice for this pear salad.  If you want to use the leaves whole, lay 1-2 for a good personal size salad.  I am chopping my lettuce for a full side dish platter.  Be sure to clean the lettuce and pat dry prior to using.  The lettuce, if cut, should be rough cut in order to hold the pears and hold the vinaigrette.

Assembling the Salad:

Once the lettuce is cut or laid in whole leaf form to the plate, it’s time to add the cubed or sliced pear.  Be sure you try to keep the pears in a single layer.  Now it’s time to add the Gorgonzola cheese.  Depending on your preference for this very strong cheese, begin sprinkling it all around the salad or if using the lettuce as a bowl, providing an even layer of cheese.  It’s that simple!  Now you’ll see just how well these colors all work together.  Pleasing to the eyes and mouth!

Specially Diced Smoked Pears Placed on Lettuce Awaiting the Zesty Gorgonzola

Adding Gorgonzola

Making the Vinaigrette:

Now that the salad components are plated it’s time to prepare the vinaigrette.  I like to mix my dressings in a 2-cup measuring cup in order to make it easy to add to the salad.  You will need a small whisk as well.  First, add 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil to the measuring cup.  Then add 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar – I am using a tangerine infused balsamic vinegar for a citrus flavor to this salad.  To the liquids, grind some fresh ground pepper and then whisk until combined and thickened.  Do not mix the vinaigrette unless you’re ready to serve the salad otherwise you’ll get a breakdown and thinning.

 

The Finish of the Smoked Pear Salad with Gorgonzola:

Vinaigrette Spritzed Over Smoked Pears and Gorgonzola- Adding the Finishing Touch to a Savory Salad

Finished Salad

Here is the final component to this great salad – drizzling a tangerine vinaigrette over the smoked pears, Boston lettuce and Gorgonzola.  It’s your choice how much to add but just be sure you get most of the components coated with a bit or you’ll be missing out on the fantastic balance of all the flavors.  Smoky depth of the pears, bite of the Gorgonzola, crisp freshness of the lettuce and the tang of the oil and vinegar.  A perfect way to get heartiness in a salad while enjoying the benefits of healthiness.  Bon appetito!

The Culinary Crew wants you to know …

… that although grilled or smoked pears are the featured “star” ingredient to this salad, just about any type of seasonal fruit can add a nice taste zip to salads when grilled or smoked.  Grilling and smoking fruit brings out a caramelized flavor dimension that is rich, a touch earthy and very pleasant to your taste buds.  Try apples, peaches or even grapes with this recipe!

SmokinLicious® Products used in this recipe:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

For more reading related to

For more reading related to Smoked Pear Salad with Gorgonzola

More recipes to try:

-GRILLED PEACHES FOR THE PERFECT SALAD ADDITION

-STEPPING UP RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE

-WOOD GRILLED VERSION OF CHEF WATERS’ GOAT CHEESE SALAD

-THE SMOKED PEAR BELLINI COCKTAIL

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke

 

 

 

 

 

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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!

SMOKED STRAWBERRY NAPOLEON WITH PROSECCO CREAM

Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

SUMMARY:

Enjoy fresh Strawberries on strawberry shortcake or strawberry napoleon and then increase the flavor with Smoked Strawberries!  The smoking intensifies the Strawberries for this smoked strawberry napoleon!  This will be a must addition to your strawberry napoleon recipes! Also try as a smoked strawberry shortcake!

listen to the audio of this blog posting

Take advantage of the short, fresh strawberry season by using your harvest in unique and flavorful recipes.  Up first, this take on strawberry shortcake that is in a league of its own!

INGREDIENT LIST

 Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Packaged Won-Ton wrappers
  • Frying oil (be sure to use one for high heat)
  • 1 quart of smoked strawberries smoked with Minuto® chips (reserve about 6 whole strawberries for garnish)
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • ¾ cup cold Mascarpone cheese
  • 1/3 cup cold heavy cream
  • ¼ cup cold Prosecco
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

PREPARING THE WON-TONS

Frying the Won Tons

Frying the Won Tons

In a large skillet, heat 1 cup of high heat oil.  When ready, reduce the heat to medium-high and begin adding won-ton wrappers one at a time without crowding the pan. I usually can fit about 4 at a time. This step will take you a bit to do enough wrappers to ensure you have 3 per Napoleon serving.  I like to cook the entire package of won-ton wrappers as these make excellent snacks either alone or for dipping salsa, guacamole or your favorite dip.  Plus, they make a great sweet snack when sprinkled with cinnamon/sugar or powdered sugar. When cooking the won tons, watch for a tan hue and bubbles to begin on the wrapper. Turn once and remove to a paper towel lined plate about 20 seconds after turning, as the won-ton holds a lot of heat and will continue to cook out of the pan.

 

PREPARING THE STRAWBERRY FILLING

Placed the quartered smoked strawberries in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of sugar and the vanilla; toss to coat.  Set aside until we are ready to assemble everything.

PREPARING THE PROSECCO CREAM

Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake until golden about 5-7 minutes.  Set aside.

Combine the mascarpone, heavy cream, the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, ground red pepper, and the prosecco in a medium bowl.  Beat with a mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.  Be sure not to over beat.  Refrigerate briefly to bind everything.

ASSEMBLING THE NAPOLEON

Assembled Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

Assembled Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

Place one cooked won-ton on a serving plate.  Top with a large dollop of Prosecco cream and then cover with smoked strawberries. Repeat this process 2 more times so you have three won-ton layers per plate.  Top with almonds and a whole smoked strawberry on top plus a little extra of your smoked strawberries.

THE ULTIMATE TREAT THAT ISN’T TOO SINFUL!

With the sweetness of the Prosecco cream, the hint of smoke in the strawberries, and that crispy crunch of the won-ton layers, this is a one of kind napoleon that you and your guests won’t soon forget.  Feel free to experiment with different cream fillings and fruits.  I like cannoli cream as well with a hint of cinnamon.  And don’t forget to take picture of your masterpiece and send along to us at SmokinLicious®.

Top with Almond Slivers for an Extra Crunch and Serve!

Top with Almond Slivers for an Extra Crunch and Serve!

For audio instructions visit our Instagram account @smokinlicious #smokinliciousmenu

Bon Bar B Que

 

SmokinLicious® Products for this recipe:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

For more reading related to

For more reading related to Smoked Strawberry Napoleon, try these recipes

More recipes you may enjoy:

-SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE

-STRAWBERRY SEMIFREDDO GETS SMOKY

-STRAWBERRY BELLINI BOTH SWEET & SMOKY

Dr Smoke

 

All the supplies you need to add a smokey flavor to this wonderful fruit strawberries for Smoked Strawberries

All the supplies you need to add a smokey flavor to this wonderful fruit- strawberries for Smoked Strawberries

listen to the audio of this blog posting

 HAND HELD SMOKING OF FRESH STRAWBERRY FOR SMOKED STRAWBERRIES

Harvesting fresh strawberries is now in season so why not do something different with this fruit favorite and try your hand at smoking them!  One of the easiest methods for controlling the smoke level to a fruit is to use a hand held food smoker.

It's the time of year that you see the road side stands offering locally grown fresh strawberries.

It’s the time of year that you see the roadside stands offering locally grown fresh strawberries.

Ingredients

HANDHELD FOOD SMOKER PREPARATIONS:

Assemble the handheld food smoker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the SmokinLicious® Wood Products Piccolo® Wood Chips in Size #6, #8 or #10 to the chip bowl of the unit. You will only need a Tablespoon or two on hand.  Be sure to select a wood flavor that will not overpower the strawberry.  My choice is Alder.

PREPARING THE STRAWBERRIES

Gently wash the strawberries and trim the stem head. You may smoke the strawberries whole or in cut pieces, your choice.  Pat dry and lay them out on the sheet pan.

SETTING UP FOR SMOKING

Once the strawberries are on the sheet pan, take a food storage bag or plastic wrap and secure around the sheet pan holding the strawberries.  Leave the end of the bag open or one corner of the plastic wrap open on the pan.  Position the smoking tube of the handheld food smoker under the plastic wrap or in the bag and then seal around the tube.

SETTING UP THE SMOKER IN THE BAG

SMOKING PROCESS

Turn on the handheld food smoker and light the chips.  Immediately, you will see smoke being produced inside the plastic wrap or bag.  Decide how much smoke vapor you want in the bag – though I prefer to fill it right up.  Turn off the handheld food smoker and remove the tube. Then seal the bag with a cable tie or twist tie or secure the plastic wrap to the sheet pan.

I like to wait until I see most of the smoke vapor dissipate from the bag before opening.  Once the smoke infusion is finished, you can begin to use the smoked strawberries in any recipe that calls for this fabulous fruit.  Be sure to check out our recipe postings to give you inspiration including the Smoked Strawberry Napoleon with Prosecco Cream.

Bon-Bar-B-Q!

The finished product after a brief smoking! Add sugar maple smoking wood to provide the sweetness inside of sugar.

The finished product after a brief smoking! Add sugar maple smoking wood to provide the sweetness inside of sugar.

SmokinLicious® Products:

Wood Chips- Piccolo®

For more reading related to

For more reading related to

More strawberry recipes:

-STRAWBERRY SEMIFREDDO GETS SMOKY

-SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE

-STRAWBERRY BELLINI BOTH SWEET & SMOKY

 

 

Dr. Smoke- “It’s strawberry time, add a new twist to your favorite fruit using sugar maple smoking wood chips for smoked strawberries.”

 

These finished apples get smoky are a wonderful fall treat!

These finished smokey baked apples are a wonderful fall treat! Easy to do on the gas grill with a two-zone cooking method with wood chunks.

SEASONAL SMOKEY BAKED APPLES WITH SWEET STUFFING

listen to the audio of this blog posting

Listen to the smokey baked apples blog!

The apples we bought at the Farmers Market

Apple season is here and I’ve found some beauties to make a simple but super sweet and flavorful recipe.    And of course, I’m taking it to the grill to let the apple get a kiss of smoke while tenderizing.  With so many varieties of apples available, you can pick your favorite and use this filling for the perfect stuffed apple.

In my home state of New York, there are over 25 varieties of apples.  Since these can be cold stored, they are available year-round but there is nothing like the fresh harvest.  In fact, controlled atmosphere storage was pioneered in New York State.

Whether served as the dessert or a sweet side dish is up to you but either way, you’re going to love the ease of making this dish and consuming all its seasonal goodness.  Pick your favorite variety of apple and get ready to stuff them with goodness everyone is going to love!  Smokey baked apples done on the grill, cleanup is a breeze!

Apple Preparation

Smoke coming from our wood chunks! Using a two zone cooking method

 

I’ll be using my gas grill for this recipe so I start by lighting only half the burners on my grill which I’ve added a smoker box that contains 3 hardwood chunks.  This will provide for the great smoke flavor to the apples.  While the grill heats up to about 375°F, I prepare the Macintosh apples.  First, wash and pat dry the apples.  You can use an apple corer to remove the core but note you do not want to produce a clean hole through the entire apple.  We want to produce an opening for adding the stuffing but we don’t want it to run out of the apples.  I like to use a small, sharp knife, cut into the apple stem end about ¾-inch from the stem making a circle.  Remove the core membrane and seeds leaving a firm base to the apple for filling.

Tasting Notes: Although I’ve selected Macintosh apples to know any variety will do.  Just note, if the apples are significantly larger, you will need to make an additional filling.

Sweet Stuffing

our sweet stuffing in the mixing bowl

With our apples cored, it’s time to make the sweet filling before heading to the grill.  First, know I like to use a disposable foil pan to make clean up a breeze.  In that pan, I place a roasting rack so the apples will be exposed to radiant heat all the way around the apple.  I’m making ten stuffed apple but I will give you the ingredients needed for making eight apples.

Place 1 stick of softened butter in a bowl.  Add 1 cup of light brown sugar, ½ cup chopped pecans, and 1-1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.  I prefer to mix this with my hand to ensure good distribution of the ingredients.  Taking a small amount of the mixed filling, I form a log shape and insert into the apple opening, pressing down to make sure this is filled to the top of the apple.  Once all the apples are filled, I head to the grill with my pan.

 

Tasting Notes: The stuffing for this apple recipe can be easily modified.  Feel free to swap the pecan for another nut like walnut, hazelnut or almond.  For spices, consider adding ginger, allspice, and clove either in addition to or in place of the cinnamon.

No Fuss Grilling

Our Smoker box with wood chunks for smokey flavor

Once at the grill, I check to ensure my wood chunks are smoking well.  I place my pan of prepared apples on the unlit side of the grill and pour enough water into the pan to coat the bottom by about 1-inch.  This will allow moisture into the cooking area to get the apples very tender in a short amount of time.  I usually check the apples after 45 minutes and rotate the pan if needed.  When the apples are tender and the filling browned, these are ready and can be removed from the grill-#grilledapples.

Tasting Notes:  Note that if you elect to use a charcoal grill the smoke infusion produced will be stronger.  You are encouraged to still use a two-zone set up on the charcoal grill to keep the sugars from burning.

 

Serve ‘Em Up

Once the apples are tender and the filling browned, it’s time to remove the apples and prepare to serve them.  There are many options for an accompaniment to the apples.  Today, I’m using a vanilla bean ice cream that I’ve sliced into wedges.  Certainly, the apples can be served with whipped topping, another flavor of ice cream, a vanilla custard or pudding, or even a slice of hard or rind cheese.    These are best if served warm.  Don’t forget, if any filling is left, add to a pureed squash for another great recipe.  That’s why I always make extra!

our finished smokey stuffed apple!

our finished smokey stuffed apple!

SmokinLicious® Products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

For more reading related to winter squash and other grilling/smoking techniques- #wintersquash

For more reading related to smokey #stuffedapples and another grilling/smoking techniques

Related reading:

-WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

-Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

-ACORN SQUASH- SWEET & SMOKY

-STRAWBERRY SEMIFREDDO GETS SMOKY

Dr. Smoke-Seasonal Apple cake with a special smoky twist!

Dr. Smoke-Seasonal smokey baked apples with wood chunks on the gas grill!

Our Grilled Peaches for the perfect salad addition with sweet onion, Tomatoes, and fresh herbs!

Our Grilled Peaches for the perfect salad addition with sweet onion, Tomatoes, and fresh herbs!

GRILLED PEACHES FOR THE PERFECT SALAD ADDITION

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If you’ve been a follower of our recipes and techniques for a while, then you’re aware of our preference to grill, smoke, coal cook, and ember fire in-season produce.  Peaches are no exception!

I’ve got my two quarts of fresh peaches and a plan to grill these on the charcoal grill using charwood coals.  Then I’ll use my luscious smoked peaches in a salad that features two additional seasonal ingredients – tomato and shallots.

Get your chimney starter of charwood or charcoal and meet me at the grill for this quick technique and recipe featuring peaches.

Fire Up the Grill!

Whenever you use the charcoal grill, it’s always best to get it lit about 30 minutes ahead of cooking.  I’m using a kettle-style grill made by Stôk that has a removable center grate for an assortment of inserts.  I won’t be using any inserts for this cook as my peaches will stay in a disposable foil pan for easy cooking and removal.

Start by placing charcoal or charwood in a chimney starter.  Place a Fire starter in the charcoal area of the grill and place the filled chimney starter over the starter.  Lite the Fire starter and allow to remain in place until all the charwood has ignited and started to reduce to hot coals.  While that’s burning, let’s prepare the peaches.  Be sure you have a couple of wood chunks available to add to the coals when we are ready to grill.  I like to use the single filet wood chunk size from SmokinLicious®.

Tasting Notes: there are differences in charcoal so be sure to use a natural charcoal or charwood product rather than briquets as briquets will produce more heat than you need.

Perfect Peach Bites

With our charcoal grill going, it’s time to start on the peaches.  There are a few ways to remove the skin from peaches including placing them in hot water for a few minutes then removing and placing in a bowl of ice water.  The skins will just peel off.  I’m an old school so I use a sharp paring knife and just remove the skin.

Once the skin is removed, it’s time to cut the peach into bite-size pieces.  You can easily cut around the pit and cut those slices into pieces.  Place all the pieces in a foil pan in an even layer.

Tasting Notes: Try to purchase peaches that have some firmness to them if you don’t plan to grill them right away.  The peaches should have no bruising and have a slight give when touched.  Too soft and those peaches won’t hold their shape when exposed to the grill’s heat.dicing the peachs in preparation for the smoker

 

Smoking Process

With the peaches prepared, time to take them to the grill.  Pour the chimney of hot coals into the grill’s charcoal area and add the wood chunks.  Add the pan of prepared peaches and placed the lid on the grill.  Be sure the outtake vent on the lid is ½ way open.  The intake vent at the charcoal area should be ¼ way open.  Now allow smoking for 15 minutes prior to checking.  Remember, we want to add smoke without reducing the peaches to a puree.

Tasting Notes:  Since peaches contain 89% water, they take in the smoke vapor extremely well.  Keep that in mind when you select both the charcoal and wood.  Remember, oak based charcoal tends to burn hot and has a stronger undertone to fruit.

ingredients table

 

Final Salad Prep- Grilled Peaches for the perfect salad addition!

While the peaches are absorbing all that great smoke flavor, return to the kitchen and prepare the remaining ingredients for our salad.

You’ll need:

  • 1 lb. tomatoes cut into 1/2’” pieces; or if using cherry or grape tomato, halved
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for final drizzle
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • fresh mint leaves torn
  • salt and pepper

I start by slicing my tomatoes in half, then add a teaspoon of salt to them while sitting in a colander so I can render some of the water.

the ingredients in the serving bowl and ready to add the dressing

While the tomatoes sit, I start slicing the shallot into thin strips.   At this point, you’ll want to check the peaches.  They should be close to or ready to remove from the grill.  I like to place them in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to cool them down for the salad.  While that’s happening, let’s prepare the vinaigrette.

I prefer to mix all the vinaigrette ingredients in a measuring cup so I can easily pour it to the salad right before serving, to keep the tomato and peach from getting too soggy.  Start with the extra virgin olive oil and add the rice vinegar.   Next, the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and fresh pepper.  Whisk it all together and set aside while you combine the salad ingredients.

Tasting Notes: you can substitute cider vinegar for the rice vinegar and any color of tomato will do though I lean toward the reds and purples to give a color contrast from the orange peach.

Smoked peaches go into the serving bowl first, following by the tomatoes, and shallots.  Pour the vinaigrette over the salad within an hour of serving and top with the torn mint leaves.  A perfect balance of sweet, tart, smoky, and refreshing.  An easy method and recipe you can have in 60 minutes.  I love peaches so try our grilled peaches for the perfect salad addition for your next dish to pass!  You will tantalize the guest taste buds!

SmokinLicious products used in this blog:

Charwood

Wood Chunks- Single Filet

Additional reading:

-PEACHES WOOD FIRED FOR A SMOKY FLAVORFUL GAZPACHO

-STEPPING UP RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE

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

-GRILLED PEACHES FOR THE PERFECT SALAD

Dr. Smoke add some mint, onions and tomatoes to Grilled Peaches for a perfect salad addition!

Dr. Smoke add some mint, onions, and tomatoes to Grilled Peaches for the perfect salad addition!

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!

 

 

STRAWBERRY BELLINI BOTH SWEET & SMOKY

listen to the audio of this blog posting

I’ve worked on a trio of recipes to take full advantage of the short seasonal harvest of strawberries we have here in Western New York State.  I’ve already shared with you my Smoked Strawberry Hand Pie and my Creamy Smoked Strawberry Semifreddo.  Now, it’s time for a refreshing cocktail that also features smoked strawberry.

Just grab a couple of quarts of fresh strawberries or even store bought when they are out of season in your area and pick your smoke technique: we have three options – the charcoal grill which is how I did my strawberries, the gas grill or the handheld food smoker.  Then prepare to make our version of the strawberry Bellini which has a trademark smoked strawberry to balance the sweetness of simple syrup and Prosecco.

Simple Syrup

the pot of simple syrup ingredients blending over low temperatures

After smoking the strawberries using either a handheld food smoker, stovetop smoker, gas grill or charcoal smoker – we have instructional videos on all these techniques – the next step for our Bellini is to make the simple syrup.  Taking 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water, I add both to a saucepan set over medium heat and stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved.  Then I remove it from heat and allow to cool.  At this point, I like to pour the simple syrup into a liquid measuring cup to make adding to our cocktail easier.

Bellini Base

Time to start making the Bellini.  I add ice cubes to a blender and pulse them into crushed ice.  I then take my smoked strawberry juice which I reserved from my previous smoked strawberries and add about 1 cup to the crushed ice.  If you’re using whole smoked strawberries, you can pulse these into the crushed ice.  After adding my smoked strawberry juice, I add about 1 cup of simple syrup.  Pulse the mixture until blended and make any necessary adjustments to ice, strawberry or syrup flavors until you have the consistency and balance of sweet and smoky that you like.  Keep in mind, you will be pouring this mixture into the glass first, then adding the sparkling Prosecco so don’t over-sweeten.strawberries and simple syrup mixture in the blender adding ice to chill

Perfect Balance

Now it’s time to bring everything together for the final drink.  First, grab a bottle of Prosecco.  Take the glass of your choice and fill it about halfway with the smoked strawberry mixture.  Fill the rest of the glass with chilled Prosecco.  I like to top my glass off with some fresh mint.  Serve immediately.  Immensely refreshing on a hot day and festive looking too. The perfect way to use less than perfect strawberries.  Cheers from SmokinLicious®!

Tasting Notes

Now, this is a drink base that easily can be adapted for other liquor content.  Feel free to add tequila, rum, even vodka.  Just reduce the hard liquor amount to 2 ounces.

Purchase products:

Charwood

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Wood Chips- Piccolo®

Additional reading:

-STRAWBERRIES GET SMOKY FOR AN AQUA FRESCA COCKTAIL

-ELEVATE YOUR KIWI CAIPIROSKA

-SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE

-THE SMOKED PEAR BELLINI COCKTAIL

 

DR. SMOKE HAS A THREE CHEERS FOR STRAWBERRY BELLINI BOTH SWEET & SMOKY

DR. SMOKE HAS A THREE CHEERS FOR STRAWBERRY BELLINI BOTH SWEET & SMOKY

Strawberry Semifreddo gets smoky is a "cool" treat with a little smoky taste for your BBQ!

Strawberry Semifreddo gets smoky is a “cool” treat with a little smoky taste for your BBQ!

STRAWBERRY SEMIFREDDO GETS SMOKY

listen to the audio of this blog posting

 

My favorite fruit season is here!  Strawberry picking and eating season.  I’ve worked on a trio of recipes to take full advantage of the short seasonal harvest we have here in Western New York State.  My first was a Smoked Strawberry Hand Pie.  The second is another dessert option – Creamy Smoked Strawberry Semifreddo.  The perfect slice of smoky, cool goodness on a hot day.

Just grab a couple of quarts of fresh strawberries or even store bought when they are out of season in your area and pick your smoke technique: we have three options – the charcoal grill which is how I did my strawberries, the gas grill or the handheld food smoker.  Be sure to make plenty of extras so you can enjoy our other recipes.  Let’s get started.

Ingredients & Prep

Smoked Strawberries are the feature and the other ingredients are very few

 

Once you’ve smoked your strawberries using one of our easy techniques, you’ll just need six ingredients to make the actual semifreddo.  For a single semifreddo, you’ll need a standard bread loaf pan and either plastic wrap or press ‘n seal wrap.  Line the loaf pan with the wrap so it hangs over the ends.  This will allow you to easily remove the semifreddo from the pan once it sets up in the freezer.  For the actual semifreddo, you will need 1-1/2 cups of whipping cream, 2 cups of smoked strawberries, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of vanilla, and ½ cup of Greek plain yogurt.  You will also need a hand or stand mixer for whipping the cream, two medium size bowls, and a small saucepan.

Start the semifreddo by whipping the 1-1/2 cups of whipping cream using a hand or stand mixer until stiff peaks form.  Fold in the ½ teaspoon of vanilla.  I do this step first and place the entire bowl in the refrigerator to keep it chilled while I work on the rest of the recipe.  Next, you’ll need to get your saucepan, smoked strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice ready as this step will be done on the stovetop burner or the grill’s side burner. 

Smoke Meets Sweet

While the whipped cream is chilling, time to take the previously smoked strawberries and sweeten them up.  Place the 2 cups of smoked strawberries in a small saucepan.  Add the 1/3 cup of sugar to the pan and stir constantly.  Allow the mixture to come to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for just about 5 minutes, again stirring constantly.  The strawberries will thicken up and infuse the smoky, sweet flavor.  Remove from heat and place in a bowl or container to cool.  You can do a quick chill to the mixture by placing in the freezer for about 10 minutes or in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.  Be sure the mixture is cool before working it into the cream.

Semifreddo Time!

pouring the smoked strawberries into the mixture

Once the smoked strawberry and sugar mixture is completely cool, time to fold it into our whipped vanilla cream.  Take the whipped cream from the refrigerator and pour the strawberry mixture into the cream bowl.  Gently fold the strawberry mixture into the cream until completely combined.  This will produce a beautiful pink coloring with speckles of the red strawberry seeds.  Next, you’ll need the prepared loaf pan as we get ready to mold the semifreddo for freezing.

Pour the strawberry cream mixture into the prepared loaf pan ensuring that the overhang of the liner remains intact.  Place the loaf pan in the freezer for a minimum of 3 hours.  Once set, remove the semifreddo from the loaf pan by gripping the liner overhangs and lifting the entire loaf out of the pan.  Place on a serving platter and slice into 1-inch thick slices.  This can be served as is, or with additional whipped cream and mint leaves.  Full of sweet and smoky flavor that is a great cooling dessert when the days are hot.

Tasting Notes

For mild smoke flavor infusion, try using a handheld food smoker.  For medium smoke intensity, a gas grill or stovetop smoker pan works perfectly.  For those who prefer a bold smoke flavor, the charcoal grill is the answer.

We hope this recipe inspires you to try wood-fired grilling techniques with your favorite foods.  Tells us what is your favorite fruit to smoke or grill with wood and the perfect recipe to make?  Bringing innovation to wood-fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®. wanting you to “cool” off with our BBQ desert-Try our recipe–Strawberry Semifreddo gets smoky!

Purchase products:

Charwood

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Related reading:

STRAWBERRY HAND PIE

Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

Smoked Strawberries with Hand Held Smoker

Try our recipe--Strawberry Semifreddo gets smoky

Try our recipe–Strawberry Semifreddo gets smoky

SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE being filled with the Stawberry mixture with the final result in the middle! yummy

SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE is a great recipe for fresh or frozen Strawberries. The smokiness will add a special twist

THE MAKING OF A SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE

Summary:  This strawberries recipes for smoked strawberry hand pie using cooking wood chunks; is the art of wood fired cooking with a two-zone cooking method is easy!  Using pie dough and strawberries fruit! Add this to your strawberry dessert recipes or to smoked strawberries recipes so something to delight your guests.

listen to the audio of this blog posting

It’s one of my favorite times of year – strawberry picking season!  As my area of Western New York State has such a short strawberry season, I literally am consuming strawberries for three weeks straight.

Good thing they are packed with vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C and K, folate, potassium, magnesium, as well as being low in calories and fiber-rich.  They sure are great at filling you up which makes you eat less.

This season, I’ve got a trio of recipes all using the smoked strawberries that I’ve done on my charcoal grill.  Get yourself a flat of strawberries, follow our easy smoking technique (we do have 3 to choose from that offer various levels of smoke flavor), and prepare to make simple hand pies, perfect for the hot days of summer or frankly anytime you can find strawberries.

Grill and Strawberry Prep

As I’m using a charcoal grill, I get that started first as I want a temperature of about 300°F or slightly more when the strawberries are placed on the grill.  My grill has an insert system making it a bit easier to light my fuel.  I place my Firestarter at the base of my chimney starter in the charcoal pan that has been filled with SmokinLicious® Charwood.  I’ve also foil covered a brick to radiate additional heat to the strawberries, and placed that on one side of the charcoal area.  I will use a two-zone set-up so I don’t burn the sugars in the strawberries.  I light the Firestarter, place the chimney of charwood on top, and go to the kitchen to prepare the strawberries.

I’ll be preparing about 6 quarts for all three recipes I plan to make.  Start with strawberries that are at their peak.  Gently wash them and then trim the stem end.  I cut smaller strawberries in half and larger in quarters to ensure the smoke vapor can penetrate easily.  Tiny ones, I leave whole.  I place my clean, trimmed strawberries into a disposable foil pan for the actual cooking on the grill, which makes clean up so easy.

pan of strawberries on the grill with Charwood

Smoking

Once the strawberries are ready for the grill, I place one chunk of hardwood on the charwood coals.  This will add smoke flavor.  I’ve used a double filet wood chunk to control the boldness of the smoke.  The actual smoking process will only take about 15 minutes to know about halfway through, you will want to rotate your foil pan to prevent the pectin from burning.  I’ll be collecting all that thicken juice after the cook and save it for a cocktail I’m making.  Be sure to keep in mind that you’ll still have hot coals left when the smoked strawberries are done so use them for another cooking: maybe some charred peppers or onions, or even cook some meats as you’ll have plenty of heat left.

The Recipe

With the strawberries all smoky good, the juices thickened and rendered, it’s time to take these to the kitchen and make our hand pies.  First, drain off as much of the juice as possible and capture in a container to use for other recipes.  We have a great one for a strawberry marinade you should check out.

ingredients for our recipe

 

Next, you’ll need about 1 cup of the smoked strawberries, pie dough either homemade or store bought; 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 tablespoons sugar, sanding or turbinado sugar, and one egg plus 1 teaspoon of water.  You’ll also need a rolling pin if making your own dough and flour for rolling out the dough, as well as 4-5-inch round cookie cutter.  Cut 10 rounds from your dough and refrigerate them on a parchment lined sheet pan while you prepare the filling.

The dough cut outs ready for the filing

The Filing

Take the cup of smoked strawberries and add the tablespoon of cornstarch and the 2 tablespoons of sugar, mixing gently but well.  If additional juices have rendered, pour off.  Taking one dough round at a time while keeping the others refrigerated, add about 1-2 tablespoons of strawberries to one half of the round maintaining a dough border.  Brush egg “wash” around the edge of the filled side of the dough round.  Gently fold over the dough to make a crescent shape and seal the edges by pushing lightly with your fingertip to form a crimped edge.

filing and closing up the dough

Finishing

To finish the pies for cooking, after folding and crimping the edge, brush the surface with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar.  Make a small slit in each hand pie top to allow the steam to release during cooking.  Make sure the hand pies are spaced out on the sheet pan to allow for juice spillage.  Bake in a 400° F oven for 20-25 minutes or until crust browns.  Remove from oven and allow to rest on the sheet pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.

Super Outcome

close up of the final baked hand pie

After a simple smoking of 15 minutes on a charcoal grill using a two-zone cooking method, pouring off the beautiful juice, and producing a pie filling, we stuffed 4-inch dough rounds with our smoked mixture producing the perfect size hand pie.  After baking in the oven for about 25 minutes, although you can do that step as well on your grill of choice, we let them rest and then served them up a-la-natural though these are fabulous with a bit of fresh whipped cream or even a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.  Smoked Strawberry Hand Pie will be your easy dessert or snack recipe to whip up when those short-lived fresh strawberries come to town!

Tasting Notes: 

The equipment you use will reflect the boldness of the smoke.  If you want a mild smoke flavor infusion, use a handheld food smoker.  Medium boldness will be produced on the gas/LP grill, and Bold will be produced on the Charcoal grill.

We hope this recipe inspires you to try wood-fired grilling techniques with your favorite foods.  Tells us what is your favorite fruit to smoke or grill with wood and what kind of recipe do you make?  Bringing innovation to wood-fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®. Please try and leave a comment on our Smoked Strawberry Hand Pie recipe!

Purchase products:

Charwood

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Additional reading:

-WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

-STRAWBERRIES GET SMOKY FOR AN AQUA FRESCA COCKTAIL

-Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

Dr. Smokes favorite- SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE is a great recipe for fresh or frozen Strawberries. The smokiness will add a special twist

Dr. Smoke’s favorite- SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE is a great recipe for fresh or frozen Strawberries. The smokiness will add a special twist

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