Discover a great taste with wood chips by cooking Swordfish Al A Plancha

Discover a great taste with wood chips by cooking Swordfish Al A Plancha!

SWORDFISH AL A PLANCHA

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Colder weather can often end your outdoor cooking but it doesn’t have to take away your desire for wood fired foods.  I’m going to show you an easy method of keeping wood fired flavors going even in the coldest, snowiest weather by taking the indoor plancha to my stove top.  I’ll prepare a tasty swordfish using wood chips for flavoring to the fish and finishing with a ginger-garlic butter sauce.  Purchase some fresh swordfish and let’s bring authentic wood flavoring to this great cut of fish.

Preparing the Plancha

Adding wood chips to the plancha

#plancha #minutowoodchips

I love my stove top plancha pan but you can easily use a standard griddle with a heat safe pot lid.

To start, get a supply of Minuto® wood chips and prepare your plancha or griddle by first placing a ¼ cup of chips in the center of the griddle, then placing the grilling racks on the surface.  Turn a medium-high heat on and place the cover on the unit to allow it to reach temperature.  We want a high temperature of about 375-400° F.   Once the plancha is hot, you will smell the wood chips combusting and releasing aromatic flavor.  That tells you it’s time to add the fish.

Cooking & Sauce Making

making the sauce in the pan

#sauces # fishsauces

Place the fish fillets on the grill racks of your plancha griddle.  Cover and allow to cook and infuse with wood flavor for 4-5 minutes on one side.

With the fish on the plancha, you can start to prepare the butter sauce that will go on the finished fish.  You’ll need:

  • 3 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cloves garlic minced
  • ¾ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • lemon peel- ¾ teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon citrus balsamic vinegar

Place all these ingredients in a small saucepan and bring together over low heat.

After 4-5 minutes of cooking, turn the swordfish fillets and cooked for another 4 minutes. Then remove the fillets to a plate and clean out the combusted chips to a heat safe container.  Place the hot plancha back on the heat but reduce it the heat to low and leave the grill racks off.

Put the fillets back on the hot surface of the plancha to sear the outside.  It will only take a minute per each side.  Once seared, remove to a serving plate and pour the hot butter sauce over the top.  That’s it!  Great wood-fired flavor done on the stove top with a hot plancha or griddle.

What’s your favorite fish to add wood flavoring to?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on 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 Chips- Minuto®

For more reading related to

For more reading related on Swordfish Al A Plancha and other plancha cooking from Smokinlicious.

Related reading:

-HOT SEARED SCALLOPS!

-WOOD FIRED LOBSTER TAILS CHILI

-STUFFED SQUID COOKED ON THE PLANCHA WITH SMOKINLICIOUS®

Dr. Smoke- Swordfish Al A Plancha with wood chips adds a great smoky taste to this wonderful fish!

Dr. Smoke- Swordfish Al A Plancha with wood chips adds a great smoky taste to this wonderful fish!

The raw squid and mussels ready for our grilled seafood recipe

Our Grilled Seafood Recipe for Squid and Mussels

My Favorite Grilled Seafood Recipe: Simple but Exquisitely Mediterranean

Chef Calle image

By:  Chef Calle, Resident Executive Chef

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Over the past several weeks, my good friends at SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products have allowed me to make their Tips & Techniques blog platform “my home away from culinary home” to highlight the cooking with wood style.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the articles as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.  Before I begin an extended hiatus overseas, as my thanks, I thought I’d leave you with a pretty easy and flavorful recipe that showcases all the virtues of wood grilling with a couple of my favorite seafood- squid and mussels.  The cooking style is one that is very popular in the Mediterranean region.  Give it a try and let us know how it fared!

Let’s start out with squid or “calamari” as my Italian friends remind me.  Whether it’s squid or calamari, it’s got to be fresh!  Prepare first by thawing and rinsing thoroughly with cold water.  Drizzle with a good quality of EVOO.

Chef Calle drizzling extra virgin olive oil over the squid and Mussels

Grilling the Squid

Grill over the hottest part of the wood fire, cover to get a shot of wood smoke flavor.  It’s important to not overcook the calamari.  If your grill is really hot (and it should be) cook just long enough to get a grill sear mark (30-40 seconds per side) Remove immediately when ready. Drizzle again with EVOO, season with salt and pepper.  Spritz with a squeezed fresh quartered lemon section and garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley.  Plate and serve right off the grill!

Mussel Preparation

Grilling over the hottest part of the fire and spritz with lemon

Next, grilling the mussels in the shell!  Rinse the shelled mussels with cold water. Remove the beard with a quick, firm yank.  Working in batches, place shelled mussels directly on grill grate over the hottest part of the wood fire.  When shells just begin to open, cover to allow for a wood smoke infusion.   After a minute, uncover and remove with tongs.  Make sure you discard any unopened mussels.  Quickly but carefully, remove the mussel meat from the opened shells with a fork or spoon and collect the meat in a mixing bowl.

Finished grilling of mussels

After shelling out the mussels, drizzle with a good amount of EVOO (1/8 cup), season with salt and pepper and a hefty spritz of a squeezed whole fresh lemon.  Plate and serve right away.  For a flavor option, if desired, before grilling the mussels, prepare a mixture of clarified butter (about 2 tablespoons per 1 dozen mussels) with equal amounts (1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon) of finely chopped garlic, oregano, and parsley.  Season the grilled mussel meat with the mixture, plate and serve with wedges of fresh lemons.

 

I hope you enjoy these recipes.  Keep on cooking with wood!  Bon Appetite!

Grilled calamari and mussels- great side dishes!

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

Charwood

Additional reading:

-STUFFED SQUID COOKED ON THE PLANCHA WITH SMOKINLICIOUS®

-THE ULTIMATE WOOD-FIRED CLAMS CASINO

-HOT SEARED SCALLOPS!

-Charwood Grilled Salmon Fillets for a Hint of Smoky Flavor

 

Dr. Smoke- Chef Calle and I had fun with our Grilled Seafood recipe- I think you will too!

Dr. Smoke- Chef Calle and I had fun with our Grilled Seafood recipe- I think you will too!

Our wood-fired clams casino on the offset grill with brick and the finished product

Our wood-fired clams casino on the offset grill with brick and the finished product

THE ULTIMATE WOOD-FIRED CLAMS CASINO

SUMMARY:

Wood fired cooking on a charcoal grill is fun with clams! You have tasted steamers, top neck clams, clams casino now try wood-fired clams casino! These wood roasted clams casino in our grilled clams casino recipe is a must try anytime you grill! This two-zone cooking method is easy with a foil-covered brick!

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Have you ever noticed how many ingredients go with clams?  This low fat, high protein seafood also has many beneficial minerals.  They are also one of the most sustainable seafood resources.

I thought I would provide an easy wood-fired cooking method that can be done on your charcoal grill (you certainly can modify a few setup items and do this on the gas grill as well using wood) and produce the most flavorful clams casino out there.

Go find some similarly sized clams, fire up the grill, and get ready for this recipe and technique to become your favorite.

our ingredient table with everything ready for the stuffing!

Hot Coal Grilling

Our recipe is quite simple: gather together

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 oz. sliced pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced (you can use pre-minced garlic)
  • ¼ teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
  • salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 18 medium clams, shucked, bottom shells reserved

 

Before starting on the casino filling, it’s important that you get the grill ready.  First, you’ll want to get a chimney starter of charcoal going.  I’m using SmokinLicious® charwood in place of traditional charcoal as this is a partially charred product that will also provide for some hardwood flavor infusion.  Once lit, the chimney starter needs to burn down the charwood to hot coals – no flame should be visible when you dump this into the grill.

our wire mesh on the charcoal rack to retain all the small and hot pieces

For my charcoal grill, I’ve set a mesh screen at the base of my kettle grill to allow me to retain as many hot coals as possible.  The screen helps to prevent small coals from falling through the charcoal area.   I’ve also covered brick with heavy-duty foil to act as a heat conductor and radiator.  This will help to keep a constant temperature during the actual cooking process.  The brick will also separate the cooking area from the fuel area.  A bit of unlit charwood is also added to the charcoal half of the grill so these bits can ignite from the hot coals and sustain the heat level more evenly.

Casino Mixture

With the charwood burning in the chimney starter, I can now start on the casino filling.  After adding a tablespoon of oil and cooking the pancetta or bacon in a skillet, I’ve put that aside on a paper towel lined dish and added the diced red pepper to the fat drippings in my pan.  After cooking a few minutes, I had the shallots, garlic, and parsley to the same skillet and sauté until the shallots are tender and translucent, which is about 5 minutes.  Add the white wine and simmer until it is almost evaporated.  Remove the skillet from the heat and cool completely.

our ingredients in the mixing bowl with cheese added

Assembling the Casinos

While the casino mixture is cooling, I prepare my clams.  Here you have a couple of options depending on your skill level and time management.  You can shuck the clams as normal and reserve the bottom shell with the clam, or you can steam the clams until just open, separate the top from the bottom shell, reserving the bottom shell.  I loosen the clam from the shell so it’s easier to consume with the casino mixture.  After the clams are readied, I take the cooled casino mixture and add the previously cooked pancetta or bacon, 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan, and fresh pepper mixing well.  I then take a tablespoon of the mixture and mound it over the clam in the shell.  The finished clams are placed in a grill-proof pan.

Wood Firing Brings Depth of Flavor

With all my top neck clams stuffed with casino filling, I sprinkle the remaining Parmesan and the 2 tablespoons of panko bread crumbs over each clam.  I am now ready to place the tray on the grill.  Since I’m using a two-zone cooking method, I can safely put the lid on the grill without concern for charring these clams too far.  With a steady temperature of about 300°F, these will take between 15-20 minutes.  You can rotate the tray if you feel the heat level in your grill is not even or steady.  For those that like a crunchy outside to the clam feel free to place these under the broiler for a few minutes.  The clams pick up the wood flavor in a very balanced way, giving just hints of charry goodness with each bit.  Super easy, super flavorful, and super fun to make.  Take your clams to the wood fire for your next event.

Purchase products:

Charwood

Related reading:

-WOOD FIRED LEG OF LAMB

-WOOD FIRED CLAMS MAKE THIS THE PERFECT BITE

-WHY CHAR-WOOD IS THE BETTER OPTION OVER CHARCOAL

-SPICY-CHAR HUMMUS

Dr. Smoke-try our wood-fired clams casino for something special!

Dr. Smoke-try our wood-fired clams casino for something special!

Snapper Gets Wrapped in Corn Husk and is now ready to rest on our bed of coals to get roasted!

Snapper Gets Wrapped in Corn Husk and is now ready to rest on our bed of coals to get roasted!

SNAPPER GETS WRAPPED IN CORN HUSK & COAL FIRED

Summary:

Snapper fish, Northern red snapper, Tilapia, Branzino or fish filets all can be corn husk wrapped! While we did natural fire cooking of fish, the charcoal grill or Kettle grill work for wrapped in corn husk grilling! Snapper gets wrapped in corn husk using a foil covered brick as heat conductor- two-zone cooking method.

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When fresh fish comes in season, whether you catch it yourself or find your perfect catch at the seafood market or store, there is no better way to release the flavor than on the charcoal grill.  I found some splendid snapper fillets that I plan to marinate, wrap in a corn husk, and cook on the coals of my charcoal grill.  Let’s get started!

The Perfect Marinade

The final blended ingredients for this tasty marinade!

 

Fish does not require a lot of marination time so know in the time it takes the fish to absorb the marinade’s great flavors, you can set up the charcoal grill.  I like to lite the chimney starters while I make the marinade.  For that, you’ll need:

  • 6 white fish fillets (tilapia, branzino, snapper)
  • ½ cup finely chopped scallion
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup oil
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 pieces of soaked corn husks

Mix together the scallion, minced garlic, oil, lime juice, paprika, curry powder, salt and black pepper.  Place the fish in a baking dish or in a sealable storage bag and top with the marinade mixture.  Marinate the fish in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour.

Wrapping the Snapper

It’s time to take our marinated fish and encase it in the corn husk.  If you have fish fillets that will fit in a single corn husk, then one will do.  However, if you are doing larger pieces of fish, usually over a few ounces in weight, you will need to place 2 corn husks on a work surface overlapping the husks.  Place one piece of fish on a pre-soaked corn husk wrapping the husk around the fish.  Tie the ends of the husk with meat twine noting that most of the fish is enclosed in the corn husk.  Repeat with the remaining pieces of fish.  You’ll see that what has been made is a steam packet for the fish.  The corn husk is strong enough to allow the extra marinade to stay within the husk and simply tenderize the fish.

Grill Setup

The grill has the Smokinlicious Smoker Wood Chunks around the brick and the snapper wrapped in corn husk on the grill

I’m using a kettle grill with a wire mesh placed in the charcoal area to retain more of my hot coals.  Since I started the chimney starters while preparing the marinade, I pour these into the charcoal area that also holds some unlit charcoal.  On top of the hot coals, I place a couple of wood chunks which will add great flavor.   I’ve also included a foil-covered brick to act as a heat conductor and retention device.  This is a two-zone setup.  I’ll keep the hot coals and wood going on one side of the brick and place my corn husked fish on the other side of the brick.  In less than 20 minutes, these will be ready to go, fully cooked, and full of moisture.

Coal Fired to Perfection

Our finished Snapper wrapped in corn husk opened to show this wonderful method of cooking fish

Know that when you coal or ember cook foods, the temperature even from these small embers is high.  The grill will average between 300-350° F for the cooking.  There is no need to turn the corn husks, just simply monitor to ensure they don’t catch fire.  A spray bottle of water on hand is helpful at this stage.  In the end, the char flavor will penetrate the husk and produce the most fantastic flavor to the fish.  Simply cut the ties from the corn husk ends and enjoy the fish with your favorite sides.  There is nothing like natural fire cooking for fish.

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Single & Double Filet

Additional reading:

-HOT SEARED SCALLOPS!

-CHARRED PEPPER DIP

 

 

 

Dr. Smoke-Snapper Gets Wrapped in Corn Husk and is now ready to rest on our bed of coals to get roasted! Awesome technique for great presentation and flavor!

Dr. Smoke-Snapper Gets Wrapped in Corn Husk and is now ready to rest on our bed of coals to get roasted! Awesome technique for great presentation and flavor

OUR FINISHED HOT SEARED SCALLOPS GARNISHED WITH CILANTRO, ONION AND A LITTLE RED PEPPER!

OUR FINISHED HOT SEARED SCALLOPS GARNISHED TO PERFECTION!

HOT SEARED SCALLOPS!

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Scallop is just one of many bivalve mollusks with a similar appearing shell like the clam, mussel, or oyster.  They tend to be found in clear waters where there is sand or fine gravel.  There are variations in sizing depending on how they will be used in a recipe.  Today, we are featuring a simple stove top cooking and smoking technique that produces exceptional wood-flavor and searing to the scallop.  This will be finished off with an orange-lime vinaigrette.

Easy Ingredients for an Easy Technique

If you follow our recipes and techniques, then you know we love to use the plancha on our stovetop with various wood products.  I’ll be using SmokinLicious® Smokin’ Dust® in Alder to bring a complimentary wood flavoring to the scallop while they sear on the plancha.  Here’s what you’ll need for the cooking technique:

  • A plancha or hot griddle surface on the stove top
  • Your choice of Smokin’ Dust® flavor – about 3 tablespoons
  • 1-1/2 pounds of scallop medium to large in sizing
  • High heat oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper

The Hot Sear-FOR HOT SEARED SCALLOPS!

As with any protein that you want to sear, it’s important to remove as much water as possible.  To start, lay out the scallop on a paper towel lined sheet pan and cover the scallop with additional paper towel.  Gently press down on the paper towel covering and then allow to sit for 10 minutes.

While the scallop dry, prepare the plancha by placing three tablespoons of your choice of Smokin’ Dust® on the plancha.  Place the lid on and allow to heat to at least a registered temperature of 300°F on the thermometer.  Remember, the plancha surface will be hotter than that.  When ready, remove the paper towels from the scallops and sprinkle both sides of the scallop with salt and pepper.

Place one tablespoon of oil on the cooking area of the plancha.  Only add the number of scallops that can fit comfortably on the plancha without crowding each other.  Cook the scallop for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes until browned.  It is important that you stay with the plancha, as this is a very hot unit that cooks quickly, much like cooking in a wok.  Additionally, be sure you use the vent hood on your range as well to reduce the smoke vapor.

When you turn the scallops, add a tablespoon of butter to the plancha and baste the scallops.  You will cook the scallops on the plancha until firm in the center an opaque in color.  Remove the cooked scallop to a large plate and tent loosely with foil.  Now continue cooking the remaining scallops in the same manner.  Keep in mind, the plancha will need additional oil after the first two cooks of scallop to keep them from sticking.  There is no need to add additional Smokin’ Dust®Just three tablespoons will add plenty of wood flavoring.  When all the scallops are cooked, keep them warm on the tented plate or move to a warming drawer or low temperature oven.  Now on to the Orange-Lime Vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette Ingredients

For the Orange-Lime Vinaigrette you’ll need the following ingredients to produce a ½ cup of vinaigrette:

  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ small shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • fine salt

Make the vinaigrette by combining the orange juice, lime juice, shallot, cilantro, and pepper flakes in a bowl.  Slowly whisk in the oils.  Season as needed.

Perfection!

With the scallops seared and smoked to perfection on the plancha and the vinaigrette made, it’s time to plate the flavors.  If you are serving as an appetizer, spread a small amount of the vinaigrette on a plate and add a scallop.  If serving as a first course, spread a small amount of vinaigrette on the plate, add 2-3 scallops, and drizzle with a tablespoon more of vinaigrette.  As an entrée, you get to decide how many of these beautiful scallops will grace the plate.

These flavors work great served with a light pasta like angel hair or with orzo mixed with parsley, feta cheese, and the oil.  The pairings are endless.  Plancha Seared Scallop infused with Wood Flavoring – an explosion of flavor you won’t soon forget.  You must try our HOT SEARED SCALLOPS recipe.

Purchase products:

Smokin’ Dust

Additional reading:

WOOD FIRED LOBSTER TAILS CHILI

STUFFED SQUID COOKED ON THE PLANCHA WITH SMOKINLICIOUS®

BBQ SHRIMP INSTANT GRATIFICATION!

 

Dr Smoke- "you will love our hot seared scallops on the plancha"

Dr Smoke- this is a real keeper of a recipe  “

Wood Fired Lobster Tails with Ash Minuto® smoker wood chips on the Plancha stove-top grill

Wood fired Lobster Tails with Ash Minuto® smoker wood chips on the Plancha stove-top grill

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When the temperatures go down and you simply can’t stand the thought of firing up the grill, but you crave something smoked, think plancha.  This is a great method of bringing wood fired flavor to foods using the heat from your gas, electric, conduction, or infrared stove top.

I’m going to add a unique flavor to traditional chili by cooking lobster tail meat on the plancha using Ash Minuto® Wood Chips.  This will give not only great sear to the lobster meat but a true smoked flavor.

Get ready as we give the SmokinLicious® take on Wood Fired Lobster Tails Chili.

Wood Fired Lobster Tails

I’ve purchased two lobster tails and removed the shells so I can get great wood flavoring into the meat.  First I lite up the plancha on my gas range as it’s simply too cold today to fire up the grill.  I use a medium-high heat setting under the plancha to ensure I get a great char on the meat.  I place Ash Minuto® Wood Chips around the outside of the plancha griddle so the wood fired lobster tails receive the intense heat of the plancha and sear.  The chips will smolder and produce great smoke vapor to infuse the lobster while it cooks.  These tails will cook about 3-4 minutes before I’ll turn them.  Just a few minutes more and they are ready to come off the heat.

Chili Ingredients

With the lobster meat smoked, it’s time to gather the remaining ingredients for the chili.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ash Minuto® Wood Chips
  • 3 medium shallots
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 8 to 10 ounces grilled/smoked lobster meat (from 2 lobster tails)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons homemade or store-bought chili powder
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup fish stock (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon seafood base seasoning paste mixed with 1 cup very hot water)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Chili Starts with Tender Vegetables

We start this chili recipe off by placing 1 tablespoon of oil into a heavy pan set over medium heat.  Once hot and shimmering, it’s time to add the base vegetables.  First up, three minced shallots followed by two minced garlic cloves, two celery ribs finely chopped, and one yellow bell pepper seeded and diced fine.  These will cook about 6 minutes until tender.  Just be sure to stir them occasionally until perfectly tenderized.

Now it’s time to add the more traditional items for chili.  Start by adding the kidney beans, chili powder and tomato paste.  This should cook for about 5 minutes with constant stirring.  The mixture will thicken as it cooks.  Next, add the fish stock stirring to combine.  The mixture should cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.  Last, add the ¼ cup of water and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

The final items go in – wood fired lobster meat that has been rough chopped and the ½ cup of heavy cream.  Now is the time to make the final adjustments to the taste – feel free to add more salt, pepper, chili powder, stock, cream – whatever brings the flavor in balance for your taste.  Don’t forget, you can swap out ingredients for others too.  You may prefer crème fresh over heavy cream or want to add a dollop of sour cream.

Although you’ll likely think of this as an entrée, don’t forgot how perfect this is for parties featuring assorted hors d’oeuvres.  Fill shot glasses with this great variation and put out some crostini.  That will be the go-to pick of any party.

We hope this recipe inspires you to try smoking more ingredients to add a balance of flavor. We’d love to hear what you think so leave us a comment and subscribe to get all our postings on techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, that’s SmokinLicious®.

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

Additional reading:

-STUFFED MUSHROOM APPETIZER FEATURING SMOKED ARTICHOKE HEART

-STUFFED SQUID COOKED ON THE PLANCHA WITH SMOKINLICIOUS®

-SUCCULANT WOOD FIRED STUFFED TOMATO WITH HERB RICE

 

Dr Smoke- " Wonderful recipe for when you want a seafood chili!"

Dr Smoke- “Wonderful recipe for when you want a seafood chili!”

Smiling Burnese child before surgery for wide, bi-lateral cleft Lip repair. After surgery photo of same child showing the correction!

Smiling Burmese child before surgery for wide, bi-lateral cleft Lip repair. After surgery photo of same child showing the correction! DINING FOR SMILES EVENT PREPARATIONS

DINING FOR SMILES EVENT PREPARATIONS

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With the goal to repair children’s broken smiles by providing free comprehensive treatment for cleft lip and palate anomalies in under-served areas of the world, Alliance for Smiles,  founded by six members of the  San Francisco Rotary Club, Board member Carl Vahl (Chef Calle) hosted a gourmet, six-course dinner to raise funds for this exceptional cause at the Enchanted Valley Inn.  And SmokinLicious® was right there to lend our support.  We’re going to provide you with a behind-the-scenes look at what goes in to preparing a six-course gourmet meal featuring wood-fired fresh Canadian salmon and wood-fired leg and loin of lamb.

Early Fire Start

Charwood burning in preparation for the grill and food cooking For SmokinLicious®, set up is crucial for a long event that has the menu relying on the perfection of the wood-fired proteins.   That means ensuring plenty of charwood and wood chunks are at the ready.  We keep two chimney starters loaded with charwood to keep a steady flow of hot coals going into the grills.  Since this event’s gourmet menu featured four foods to be wood fired – lamb, salmon, red peppers, and Brussels sprouts –  it’s necessary to get the fires going early so they can burn down to hot coal beds.  That is the key to successful wood-fire cooking.  Don’t cook over flames, only hot coals that will radiate heat throughout the grill.

The Wood-Fired Foods

For this Dining for Smiles event  preparations, we used a kettle grill and small charcoal grill from Stôk®.   Our wood selections included Ash, Sugar Maple, and Wild Cherry to compliment the Chef’s fresh ingredients.  At the ready, digital thermometers, fire gloves, fire extinguisher, ash can, and coal shovel.

Leg and loin of lamb on the grill Chef Calle picked up some sensational rib loins and a leg of lamb for the event.  Since the leg of lamb is the thickest, it will go on the grill about 45 minutes ahead of the loins.  We will maintain a temperature of 300° to 325°F.  My set up includes using a fine steel screen over the traditional charcoal grate to keep the hot coals from falling through.  I also use a disposable drip pan that contains a bottle of Syrah wine, rough cut onion, garlic, and mint leaves.  The leg of lamb will cook over that drip pan so I can collect the drippings for use later.  I probe the leg of lamb as I want to pull the lamb at 123°F internal temperature and rest it in an insulated blanket to the finished temperature of 130°F.

 

The inside of the Salmon waThe Salmon was stuffed with fresh Thyme, lemon slices and seasoned with a pinch of salt pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil s stuffed Fresh Thyme and lemon slices The fishmonger cleaned and gutted the whole 12lb. Canadian salmon but Chef still needs to cut off the gills and fins, and scale the fish.  After that, time for the fun stuffing!  With fresh herbs, lemon slices, and olive oil, this is ready for the grill.  We do make about four slices into the skin of the fish to allow water to steam out otherwise the fish would shrink.   Yes, it is a big fish for our kettle grill but we’ll get it done!  Once on the grill, we will leave the salmon untouched for about an hour before we flip and add some orange butter to the skin and insides.

The Finish

After cooking the lamb for approximately 2-1/2 hours, to an internal temperature of 123°F, it is removed and wrapped in an insulated sheet, then rested in a disposable pan.  The salmon is given one more rub of the orange butter and then it too is wrapped in an insulated blanket and rested until service.  With a combination of sugar maple and wild cherry woods on the salmon and ash, maple and cherry on the lamb, it doesn’t get any better than this for balanced flavor without being too smoky for our guests.

 Whole organic Red Bell pepper purchased from the local Farmers Market, roasting directly on the smoking embers to add a tasty char flavor! Chef wanted a few vegetable items wood fired as well so we started with red bell peppers right on the hot coals for a char finish.  Next, sweet onion into a pan set on the insert opening of the grill.  Once translucent and starting to brown, in go the Brussels sprouts and carrot.  The plan is the ember roasted pepper slices will be added to the salad course while the Brussels sprout medley will go on top of the rice for a flavorful side to the lamb and salmon.

With 18 invited guests attending this intimate event for a cause, the tables are set with a Fall festive theme.  Wine pairings are at the ready for the six courses as we welcome in our guests at 6pm for great conversation and a pre-dinner cocktail.

The Team

It certainly takes a Team to pull off an event like this. Special thanks go out to the Culinary Team of SmokinLicious® as well as the Kintner family and their business 360Rize who filmed the Dining for Smiles event preparations including the aerial view via drone.  Special thanks to our service team, Monica, Renee, Allison, Ashley, and Jackie.  It’s the giving of time that truly makes events like these.  And of course, to Chef Vahl who composed an unforgettable menu of foods and flavors.

Be sure to see our upcoming series on the six-course meal for Dining for Smiles after the event preparations and how it all was received.

Purchase products:

Charwood

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Additional reading:

-INFUSING WOOD SMOKE INTO BRUSSELS SPROUTS

-SMOKE A TURKEY- LEARN HOW

-GIVE ME THAT BEEF BRISKET!

Dr Smoke- "This is a great cause and desires everyone's support!

Dr Smoke- “This is a great cause for cleft lip repair and desires everyone’s support!

Bringing smoke flavor to stuffed squid done on the plancha will provide wonderful and unique flavor to this appetizer.

STUFFED SQUID COOKED ON THE PLANCHA

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We love demonstrating the versatility of SmokinLicious® products with all types of equipment.  We’re taking our Piccolo® wood chips to the plancha to smoke infuse some stuffed squid for a unique appetizer.   Don’t own a plancha?  You can do the same thing with a standard stovetop griddle and a small roasting rack.  Or, use a charcoal or gas grill with some wood chunks for the same smoky flavor.

Plancha CookingOur plancha on the stove ready for us to add smoker wood chips and the stuffed squid.

A plancha is a flat top grill made of heavy metal that can be placed on any type of heat source: electric, gas, infrared, induction, charcoal grill, gas grill.  Basically, a plancha is a griddle made of metal.

What’s great about a plancha is you can do simple hot smoke infusion using a micro wood chip that is quite fast due to the intense heat these quality metal cookware pieces produce.

My plancha is made by the French company, Mastrad.  I prepare the plancha by placing it on my heat source – in this case my gas range – set the heat level to medium-high, place a handful of SmokinLicious® Piccolo® Wood Chips in Beech size #10 on the plancha, and place the two smoking racks on the griddle.  I’ll give the wood chips about 5 minutes to heat up and start releasing smoke, then it’s time to place on the stuffed squid bodies.

Stuff Squid Ingredients

For our stuffed squid you’ll need to gather the following ingredients in addition to SmokinLicious® Piccolo® Smoker Wood Chips (Beech):

  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1-1/2 heads of frisee or other green lettuce, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds squid, bodies only, rinsed – should be about 8 bodies

Making Stuffing

Time to make the squid stuffing.  Taking a medium bowl, combine the seeded and diced tomato, chopped greens, and capers.  In a small bowl, make the dressing by whisking together the 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, lime juice and zest, salt, and pepper.  Drizzle over the stuffing mixture and toss to coat.

Stuffing the SquidAfter stuffing the squid we're usin toothpick to hold it closed during the cooking process.

Taking one squid body at a time, fill with the stuffing mix using a teaspoon within ½ inch of the open top.  Then lace a toothpick through the top.  Brush all the bodies with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil.  Then they’re ready to place on the hot plancha.

Plancha CookingThe stuffed squid on the plancha ready for smoke infusion by our Smokinlicious Piccolo Beech smoker wood chips.

With the wood chips hot and releasing smoke vapor, I place the readied stuffed squid on the cooking racks.  These will cook and smoke for about 7 minutes before I will turn them.  Another 4-5 minutes on the other side, and you’ll see a golden hue and plump shiny bodies emerge.  Turn off the heat to your plancha and carefully remove the squid.  Cut into 1-inch slices and serve warm.

There are many variations to stuffing squid bodies but this is one that is essentially vegetarian in design so it can be enjoyed by everyone.

 

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Piccolo®

Additional reading:

-WOOD FIRED CLAMS MAKE THIS THE PERFECT BITE

-BBQ SHRIMP INSTANT GRATIFICATION!

-SUCCULANT WOOD FIRED STUFFED TOMATO WITH HERB RICE

Dr Smoke- "This is a must try appetizer combination and very easy to do on the plancha."

Dr Smoke- “This is a must try appetizer combination and very easy to do on the plancha.”

 

Wood fired Clams-Showing the different stages of color and flavor for smoking clams over the grill. Add a little chunk of wood. The taste is amazing

Wood fired Clams-Showing the different stages of color and flavor for smoking clams over the grill. Add a little chunk of wood. The taste is amazing

WOOD FIRED CLAMS MAKE THIS THE PERFECT BITE

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Clams are at peak season and the perfect time to add some wood flavoring to this hot season favorite.  We’ll show you how on a charcoal grill then use our golden, crispy clam meat in a super light and flavorful dish we call ‘Wood Fired Clams in Orzo with Dijon Caper Sauce’.  The best part, you can use fresh clams that you remove the meat from or simply buy clam meat from the store’s seafood department or in cans in most grocery stores.   A simple, delicious and oh, so flavorful dish that will be a hit with everyone who tries it.

Cooking with Ease on the Charcoal Grill with Wood

chimney starter for the charcoal

As we will only be using the clam meat, I’ll be setting up my charcoal grill with a sauté pan.  First, light a chimney starter full of charcoal.  Add the hot coals from the starter to one side of the grill and then add some unlit charcoal to the other side.  Add one chunk of SmokinLicious® wood – I’m using cherry – to the hot coals.  Line the sauté pan with parchment paper and put 2 cups of clam meat in the pan.  Drizzle oil, plain or flavored, to the clam meat and then place the pan on the grill.

Wood Flavors Add Crisping

As the wood smolders and releases its flavonoids you’ll see the clam meat change color and crisp up.  The grill will steam out the water in the clams and produce a unique flavor that only hardwood can give.  The total cook time will be less than 20 minutes.  About half way through, you will need to stir the clam meat to ensure that every piece gets browned.  Keep in mind, all charcoal grills vary in the heat output so monitor closely after 12 minutes.  Once cooked, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.

Recipe Ingredients

It’s time to take the flavorful wood-fired clam meat and make something special!  For our Wood-Fired Clams in Orzo with Dijon Caper Sauce, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups wood-fired clam meat
  • 1-1/2 cups peas, fully cooked
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream or crème fresh
  • 3-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup capers, reserving 2 tablespoons caper juice
  • 12 ounces orzo
  • Fresh parsley, roughly chopped

In addition to the ingredient list, you’ll also need a sauté pan or saucepan, and a pasta cooker.

Getting Things Started on the Stove

Add the 2 tablespoons of butter to a medium-high heat pan and melt completed.  Add the minced shallot.  Allow the shallot to cook until translucent.  While this is cooking, place a stock pot with water on high heat and allow to boil.  This pot will be for cooking the orzo.  I prefer to use a pasta basket for cooking pasta especially smaller cuts, so they are easy to unload from the water.

Creating the Sauce

Pouring the cream for the sauce

Once the shallots are translucent, it’s time to add the 2 cups of heavy cream.  Allow the cream to come to a boil then reduce the heat to low and cook until the cream thickens stirring occasionally.  This should take about 10 minutes.  During that time, my orzo water is ready so I add my basket with the 12 ounces of orzo to the boiling water.  The orzo should be done just about the same time as the cream thickens.

With our cream shallot mixture thickened up, it’s time to add the key flavor ingredients. Remove the thickened cream from the heat and add the capers with 2 tablespoons of reserved caper juice.  Then in goes the 3-1/2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard.  With the sauce finished, it’s time to remove the orzo from the boiling water and pour into a serving dish.  Drizzle some olive oil and combine to keep the orzo from sticking together.  Just a few additional ingredients, and this dish will be ready!

Bring on the Clams!

With the orzo cooked and placed in a serving bowl, it’s time to add the final ingredients to bring this recipe together.  First, 1-1/2 cups of cooked peas are added to the orzo, then the 2 cups of wood-fired clam meat.  Now, pour in the Dijon caper sauce and combine everything.  I’ve rough chopped some fresh parsley and will top off the finished dish with this.  Here’s a tip, the orzo will absorb the sauce relatively fast so I pour about ¾ of the sauce in and let the dish sit for a few minutes.  Then pour in the rest of the sauce and top with the fresh parsley.

Layers of Flavor in One Bite

We started with clam meat that was kissed by cherry wood smoke to add a crisp, highly flavorful protein to our dish.  A creamy Dijon caper sauce bound the additional ingredients of peas, orzo, and fresh parsley.  Although I prefer this dish warm, I can’t say that it isn’t great cold as well.  As with all our recipes, you can swap out ingredients for others that are your favorites.  Wood Fired Clams in Orzo with Dijon Caper Sauce –  a simple yet highly flavorful dish that will soon become one of your favorites.

Let us know your thoughts on this recipe and technique by leaving a comment.  Be sure to follow and subscribe to us as we bring you innovative ideas for adding wood-fired flavoring to all types of foods, the SmokinLicious® way!

Purchase Products:

Wood Chunks

Dr Smoke

Dr.Smoke- “Adding the most unique flavor change to clams is done through the smoking process or wood fired clams. Try it, you may like it!”

BBQ Shrimp Smoked with a Hand Held Smoker

BBQ Shrimp Smoked with a Hand Held Smoker- Gourmia® Mini Smoker- Dr. Smoke

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BBQ SHRIMP- INSTANT GRATIFICATION!

 

The Gourmia® Mini Smoker is the perfect equipment for those who want to infuse smoke flavor into raw and cooked foods, beverages, herbs, and spices.  Using SmokinLicious® Minuto® or Piccolo® Wood Chips ensures maximum flavor infusion from a clean, 100% bark-free hardwood.  Select from 8 hardwood species and combine woods for your own customized flavoring.

SmokinLicious® Minuto® Wood Chips and the Gourmia® unit.

Minuto® Wood Chips and the Gourmia® unit.

We are going to show the versatility of cold smoke techniques by infusing smoke into some raw shrimp that have been marinated in BBQ sauce.  I’m using SmokinLicious® Sugar Maple Minuto® Chips in Size 8.  In addition to the smoker and chips, you will need to place your marinated shrimp in a bowl covered with plastic wrap or in a food storage bag, and a lighter. Get ready, for a fun, quick way to fabulous smoked BBQ shrimp, in an instant!

Tip-Using a bag and the smoker unit to infuse the flavor

Tip-Using a bag and the smoker unit to infuse the flavor

So simple to do, cold smoke generators let you direct the smoke just where you want.  I’ve taken my uncooked shrimp and marinated them overnight in my favorite BBQ sauce.  Any sauce will do whether homemade or store bought.  I set up my Gourmia® Mini Smoker with Size 8 Minuto® Wood chips from SmokinLicious®, inserting the smoker’s tubing directly into my marinade bag.  I seal the bag around the tubing, turn on the smoker, and light the wood chips.  As soon as I see the smoke start to the fill the bag, I turn the smoker off, pull the tubing out, and seal the bag completely.

 You can leave the smoke sealed in the bag until you are ready to cook the shrimp.  Any method of cooking will do – in the pan, baked in the oven, on the grill – whatever your pleasure!  So much flavor you will think you just smoked for hours on a traditional smoker.  Unlock your imagination and get smoking with SmokinLicious® and Gourmia®!

 

Finished product- Yum! Delicious!

Finished product- Yum! Delicious!

 

Purchase Products:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

Dr Smoke

Dr. Smoke

 

 

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