Our winter squash sliced and seasoned with Cumin and ready for the grill!

Our winter squash sliced and seasoned with Cumin and ready for the grill!

WOOD GRILLING WINTER SQUASH WITH CUMIN & HARDWOOD

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Full of color, flavor and packed with nutrients, winter squash makes for exceptional seasonal dishes, whether soups, casseroles, or desserts.  Harvested in the approaching Fall, they are available all winter long due to their firm shells.  With varieties such as sugar pumpkins, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, buttercup, and red kuri, sweetness level is always present.

Naturally low in fat and calories, yet rich in vitamins A, B6, C, and E, you can’t go wrong with any variety you select.

Today, I’ve elected to make cumin squash on the grill using confetti squash, so called due to the beautiful multi-skin coloring.  Note, you may substitute any rounded winter squash available near you for this recipe.

Two-Zone Cooking

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

To allow for slow roasting on the grill, I recommend a two-zone cooking set up.  Lite half the burners on your gas grill – if an odd number of burners, decide how many you need for the cooking temperature. The lit burners should be set to medium to obtain a cooking temperature of about 375°F.  Add wood chunks to the lit burner side either directly on the heat shields or in a smoker box.  My smoker box accommodates three double filet wood chunks easily.  The prepared squash will go on the unlit side of the grill.

Tasting Notes: Your choice of hardwood will determine the boldness of the smoke infusion.  I find that the skin of the squash will take most of the smoke vapor so really any hardwood or combination of hardwoods will do.  Be sure to keep extra pieces in case you need to replace halfway through the roasting process.

Seasoning the Squash

Our mixture of seasoning and spices.

To start our recipe, first wash and dry off your squash.  Then cut in half and remove the seeds.  Slice the squash into 1-inch slices and place in a high heat tolerant pan.  Once sliced, prepare to toast 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds in a skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown.  If you’re able to locate cumin seeds, toast 1-1/2 teaspoons of cumin seeds with the browned sesame seeds.  Transfer the seeds to a bowl and allow to cool.

Now prepare the squash seasoning by combining 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, and ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper.  If you didn’t have cumin seeds, then include 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin.  Drizzle 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil on the squash slices and sprinkle with squash seasoning.  Toss to coat all the way around the slices.

Grill-Roasting with Wood

With the grill preheated, the wood chunks smoking, and the temperature gauge reading close to 375°F, I place the trays of prepared squash on the grill grates and close the lid.  I allow this to roast for 30 minutes, then I return to the grill, check the wood chunks and add more wood if needed.  Briefly toss the squash to ensure even cooking and close the lid again.

Our pan of squash roasting on the gas grill

Once tender and bronze in color, I remove the squash from the grill and plate to a serving platter.  Total cooking time is about one hour though this is dependent on the thickness of your slices and quantity of squash you’ve added to the pan. Remember, the rind of squash is loaded with nutritional value as well and will be very tender so there is no need to discard it. Consume the entire slice.

Roasting winter squash on the grill with wood is the perfect way to usher in the cooler weather and enjoy all this great flavor.

Tasting Notes:  You can serve this as is or feel free to process the slices into a puree for use in soups or as a filler to pasta or even desserts.  There are many options with grill roasted winter squash.

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

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

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

Related reading:

-ACORN SQUASH- SWEET & SMOKY

-Smoked Squash & Kale Soup

-EMBER FIRED EGGPLANT & FETA TARTS

-EMBER FIRED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA GALETTE

Dr. Smoke-add great flavor to winter squash with cumin & wood flavoring!

Dr. Smoke-add great flavor to winter squash with cumin & wood flavoring!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POTATO SALAD GETS SMOKE INFUSION

Serving bowl of Our Potato salad gets smoke infusion recipe!

Looking to add some smoky flavor to your BBQ try this Potato salad gets smoke infusion recipe and please your guests taste buds!

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Without question, potatoes are my favorite vegetable to expose to smoke vapor.   For one, it is so easy to do whether you select a gas/LP grill, charcoal grill, convection grill, or electric unit.  Additionally, it takes such a short amount of time to cook them this way.

I’ll give you my preparation for the potatoes and then my take on the traditional potato salad made with our awesome smoked potatoes.

Preparing for the Grill

The potatoes inside the Orion Cooker

The potatoes inside the Orion Cooker

 

Honestly, you can use any of your favorite potatoes for this technique and recipe.  I’ll tell you that I’m firing up my Orion Cooker as the high heat of this unit will allow my potatoes to become tender in about 60 minutes and I don’t need to do more than turn the potatoes one time.  Of course, I’m using the custom blend wood chips sold by Orion to ensure that the smoke infusion is perfectly balanced.  When using the Orion Cooker, a chimney starter of briquets should be started and the fuel pan of the unit filled with unlit briquets.  Personally, I like to use long-handled tongs and place my hot coals from the chimney started to the inner edge of the fuel pan.  That ensures that I direct the heat very quickly to the metal cylinder of the unit.

Tasting Notes:

If you’re using a traditional charcoal grill, try to do the cooking on hot coals only, with no flame. Start a chimney or two of hot coals and allow these to burn down until they are just hot coals.  Then pour into the charcoal area.  I often use a fine wire mesh in my charcoal area so I can retain even the smallest hot coal for my cooking.

On a gas grill, use a two-zone cooking method with wood chunks placed on the hot side of the grill, potatoes on the unlit side, and the lit burners set to low-to-medium. 

Before placing the potatoes on the grill grate of any of these units, clean them, pat dry, and pierce with a fork on both sides so the water in the potatoes can steam out during the cooking process.

No Work

As I said, potatoes are the perfect vegetable to put on the grill or smoker as their skin acts like a mini cooker and cooks them tender.  You’ll simply need to turn the potatoes just one time during the hour they grill.  While they are cooking, you can prepare the dressing to be ready to put everything together.

Tasting Notes: Always grill and smoke the potatoes with the skins on to keep the smoke vapor from getting too strong.  Remember, potatoes have a lot of water which will be an attractant to smoke vapor.

Creamy Dressing

The ingredients for our recipe!

The Ingredients for our Smoked Potato recipe

For our creamy dressing, you’ll need the following ingredients:

1-1/2 cups of mayonnaise

Rice or cider vinegar- 2 tablespoons

2 tablespoons of sugar

2 tablespoons of yellow mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon pepper

2 celery ribs, sliced

1 cup of onion, minced

5 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped

paprika

Start by combining the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and sugar.  Be sure everything is mixed in well.  Taste to be sure everything is balanced and adjust as needed.  Usually, adjustments are made to the vinegar or mustard levels.   The texture will be very creamy.

Once the potatoes are tender, you can remove them from the grill and allow to cool.  Once cool enough to handle, cut into bite-size pieces.  Now add the chopped smoked potatoes to the dressing bowl and mix until all the potatoes are covered in dressing.  Give it just a few minutes to absorb.

Final Salad Touches

The ingredients mixed with our Hardboiled Eggs on top!

Must add the Eggs for our Smoked Potato Salad

Now that the dressing has been added to the smoked potato pieces, it’s time to add the remaining ingredients.  First in, the celery and onion.  Mix this well to ensure a single bite doesn’t get all onion!  Next, the chopped egg is added.  Gently mix this into the salad to keep the larger pieces from crumbling too far.  Finally, the sprinkle of paprika over the top of the salad.  I prefer a Spanish or Hungarian paprika.   That’s it!  Now chill until ready to serve and enjoy this super flavorful take on the non-traditional potato salad gets smoke infusion!

Tasting Notes

 

You can use a smoked paprika if you want even more kick of smoke but most of the time, a traditional paprika is suitable. 

SmokinLicious Products used in this blog:

Wood Chips: Grande Sapore®

Additional reading:

-The Breakfast Potato Takes on Smoke!

-GIVING AN EDGE TO SMOKY COCKTAIL SAUCE

-CORNISH GAME HEN MEETS SMOKE IN THE ORION COOKER

-SMOKED POTATO CURRY SMOKINLICIOUS® STYLE!

Dr. Smoke- Bet you can't stop at one bit when you try our Potato salad gets a smoke infusion!

Dr. Smoke- Bet you can’t stop at one bit when you try our Potato salad gets smoke infusion!

 

We are doing our grilled tofu adding a BBQ flare recipe on a grill pan to hold the Tofu so we can add a natural smoky flavor

We are doing our grilled tofu adding a BBQ flare recipe on a grill pan to hold the Tofu so we can add a natural smoky flavor!

AN EASY RECIPE FOR GRILLED TOFU ADDING A BBQ FLARE

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When you’re ready for a non-animal protein, why not take tofu to the grill and infuse it with hickory wood smoke which is a perfect match to our spicy Hoisin sauce and marinade.   Our 6-ingredient recipe will get you on the way to a perfect healthier alternative to traditional smoked and grilled proteins.

Pressing Is Key

Made from soybean curds, tofu is a great alternative to meat for a source of protein as well as being low in calories with no cholesterol.  It is important to press the tofu to release the trapped water which is commonly packed in.  To do this, simple sandwich the tofu between multiple layers of paper towel-lined plates and weight it from the top.  Once pressed for at least an hour or longer, you can whisk together a spicy marinade that will also become our sauce for the grilling/smoking step.  Gather together ½ cup of Hoisin sauce, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and ½ teaspoon garlic powder.  Whisk all these ingredients together to be used to marinate the tofu for great flavor.

Once the marinade is made, place the tofu in a resealable storage bag and add the marinade.  Allow the tofu to marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour or more; the longer it marinates, the fuller the flavor will be.

Gas or Charcoal Grill Makes It Perfect

For this recipe, we use a grill pan instead of putting tofu directly on the grates.

Once ready to grill, preheat all burners of the grill to medium-high and collect 1-2 single or double filet wood chunks from SmokinLicious® to be placed on the heat shield.  This will add the great smoke flavor.  Feel free to cook on a charcoal grill as well.  Once preheated, leave only the heat of a single burner on medium-high which will also have the wood chunks placed on that burner’s heat shield.  All other burners should be turned off.  If using a charcoal grill, keep the wood and charcoal to one side of the grill grate area.  I am using a grill pan for my tofu which I’ve pre-sliced into 1-inch thick pieces but you certainly can place directly on the grill grate.

With our tofu placed in a grill pan for cooking on a gas grill using an indirect method of cooking with wood chunks, this will take roughly 10 minutes per side to cook.  During the cooking time, it is important to continue to brush the slices with the reserved marinade to keep the flavors intact.  Flipping the slices at least once is recommended.  Once cooked, I like to put a final layer of the sauce on the tofu slices and allow to rest.

Hearty & Filling

Providing all the essential amino acids for a healthy diet, tofu is a perfect protein to smoke.  One caution is that this product tends to require a bolder wood flavor to reveal itself through the spicy sauce.  I recommend considering such woods as hickory, oak, beech.  Once cooked, you can cut these up into small pieces to serve as a hors d’oeuvre, or add to a salad, soup, rice dish, or vegetable side dish.   Don’t forget, this is hearty enough to be a meal so feel free to serve it as the main protein with a side of salad, coleslaw, or a vegetable side.  Spicy Smoked Tofu may turn out to be your healthy protein alternative with that hearty barbecue flare!  We hope you will follow our recipe Grilled Tofu adding a BBQ Flare for your next dinner event!

 

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Single & Double Filet

 

 

Additional reading:

-ACORN SQUASH- SWEET & SMOKY

-DEVILED EGG FEATURING WOOD-FIRED SMOKED BEETS

-STEPPING UP RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE

Dr Smoke

Dr. Smoke- Yes you can grill or smoke Tofu!!

Smoked Cabbage on the gas grill using SmokinLicious® filet wood chunk is a wonderful way to add flavor to the vegetable!

Smoked Cabbage on the gas grill using SmokinLicious® filet wood chunk is a wonderful way to add flavor to the vegetable!

IT’S NOT SLAW!

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Smoked Cabbage

Bringing you another vegetable to take to the grill and smoke with wood for exceptional flavor.  This time we focus on cabbage, a fiber-rich leafy vegetable that has been known to help with so many conditions.  We will take wedges of cabbage, paint them with a spicy Dijon sauce and wood-fire them for about an hour using an indirect cooking method.  Get your gas grill or charcoal grill ready for our version of smoked cabbage that you’ll want to make again and again.

It’s All in The Sauce

Just a few simple ingredients

To bring a super flavorful taste to our wood-fired cabbage, we’ll first make the spicy sauce that will be brushed on each cabbage wedge.  Start by gathering the following ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt or kosher salt- ½ teaspoon
  • Fresh ground pepper- ½ teaspoon
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

This will be a paste-like consistency once all the ingredients are combined.

For the cabbage preparation, simply cut off the hard root end, cut in half, then cut each half in half.  In the end, you will cut 8 wedges for the grill.

One Hour of Smoky Goodness

Cabbage on the grill

After pre-heating the grill it’s time to setup the two-zone cooking using single or double filet wood chunks from SmokinLicious®.  Once heated, turn all but one burner off and place the wood chunks on the heat shield of the lit burner.  If cooking on a charcoal grill, place the charcoal and wood to one side of the grill.  Brush on the spicy Dijon sauce on each cabbage wedge.  I’m cooking the wedges on a sheet pan placed on the unlit side of the grill.  Let these cook for at least an hour.  You’ll know they are ready when I knife inserted through the wedge passes through easily.

A Sauce to Finish It Off

Ingredients on the stove top, ready to make a perfect sauce for smoked cabbage

While the spicy cabbage wedges smoke and cook on the grill, it’s time to get the ingredients ready for the finishing sauce.  Start by gathering:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced scallion
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until well combined.  Keep the sauce warm until the cabbage is ready, making sure that the butter does not separate from the other ingredients.

Once the cabbage is tender and lightly charred, it’s time to remove it from the grill, plate, and spoon on the finishing sauce.  With the tang of Dijon, the sweetness of the sun-dried tomato and scallion, and smokiness from hickory wood, this is cabbage like you’ve never had before.  This is filling enough to eat as a meal or makes the perfect side to beef, pork, and chicken.  One of the best things about this recipe is it needs very little attention while on the grill.  Enjoy not only the flavor benefits of this dish but the health benefits as well.

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

 

 

 

 

Additional reading:

-TORTELLINI GETS A SMOKY MATE

-ACORN SQUASH- SWEET & SMOKY

-FRESH CORN ON THE COB- GRILLED

 

Dr Smoke- "Yummy! Try adding this twist to your next cabbage recipe."

Dr Smoke- “Yummy! Try adding this twist to your next cabbage recipe.”