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!

Our Fresh peas get all smokey for a terrific pea mash

Our Fresh peas get all smokey for a terrific pea mash

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

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

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

The Longest Prep

Fresh peas ready for the grill

#freshpeas

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

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

 Two-Zone Grill Smoking

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

#twozonecooking

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

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

Making Mash

our smokey peas and other ingredients in the blender

#peamash

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

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

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

Serve!

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

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

What’s your favorite use for fresh peas?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

SmokinLicious® products used for this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Other recipes you may like:

-SMOKED FAVA BEANS MAKE THE PERFECT DIP OR CONDIMENT

-CHARRED PEPPER DIP

-Smoked Snow Peas With Cucumber Salad

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

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

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

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

A must try is this smoked Beet Hummus!

A must try is this smoked Beet Hummus!

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

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

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

Beet Preparation

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

#freshbeets

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

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

Two-Zone Grill Smoking

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

#twozonecooking

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

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

A Bright and Flavorful Hummus

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

#beethummus

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

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

What’s your favorite recipe for beets?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

SmokinLicious® Products for this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

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

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

Check out these recipes you might like:

-DEVILED EGG FEATURING WOOD-FIRED SMOKED BEETS

-SPICY-CHAR HUMMUS

-SMOKED FAVA BEANS MAKE THE PERFECT DIP OR CONDIMENT

Dr. Smoke- really smoked beet hummus is delicious!

Dr. Smoke- really smoked beet hummus is delicious!

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

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

GRILLED PARSNIPS TASTE LIKE FRENCH FRIES Click To Tweet

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

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

Got 5 Minutes?

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

#grilledparsnips

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

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

 Two-Zone Grill Smoking

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

#twozonecooking

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

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

Grilled Parsnips Glaze ‘Em for Added Flavor

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

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

#grilledparsnips

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

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

What’s your favorite parsnip recipe?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

SmokinLicious® products used for this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

For more reading related to

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

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PAN COOK ZUCCHINI ON THE GRILL WITH WOOD FLAVOR

"Dr.

RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE- it will totally change the taste. Try some in a refreshing salad for extra flavor

RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE- it will totally change the taste. Try some in a refreshing salad for extra flavor

STEPPING UP RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE Click To Tweet

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RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE- The peak season for radishes is April thru July so I’m taking advantage of this great seasonal vegetable and putting them on the gas grill with some wood chunks to smoke up the flavors.   I’ll first provide you my technique for bringing a wood flavor to these red beauties on a traditional gas grill, then I’ll use the finished product in a smoked radish and cannellini bean salad that is perfect as a side dish or for those vegetarians, add some non-animal protein to be a main dish favorite.  Let’s get started!

Turning A Gas Grill Into A Smoker

Using an LP or natural gas grill makes this such an easy yet highly flavorful way to add wood-fired flavor to radishes.  First, I heat my grill using all burners (I have 4 total on my unit).  I add 2 double filet wood chunks from SmokinLicious® to one of the heat tents of the grill.  Heat tents diffuse the heat evenly throughout the grill area.  These also go by names such as flame tamers, diffusers, flavor bars.   Once the grill is to temperature, I will leave the burner with the wood chunks on medium and add my grill pan insert to the grill.  A vegetable pan ensures the radish pieces won’t fall thru traditional grill grates and allow for more even cooking and smoke flavor.

How To Purchase & Clean Radishes

Spring harvested garden radishes in a bowl ready for our RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE

#radish

When purchasing radishes look for plump, firm and smooth ones without any cracks or blemishes.  If purchasing with the greens intact, know they should be used within 2 days.  Those purchased in plastic bags remain fresh for up to a week.  My preparation of the radishes is very simple.  I remove the green leaves and stems – remember, these are highly nutritional as well so they can be added to a mix leaf salad or in a smoothie – and cut away the stem head and pointed tip.  Then wash the radishes well in a colander making sure all signs of dirt are removed since these are a root vegetable.  Pat dry and then cut into thin wedges as this sizing will be needed for my smoked radish and cannellini bean salad recipe.  Now, off to the grill which should be hot and ready to go.

True Wood Flavor Even On A Gas Grill

Cut radishes in vegetable pan ready for our RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE

#cutradish

With the radishes cut into thin wedges and placed on a vegetable tray, mine is the vegetable tray insert for the Stōk® grill system, I’m ready to place the insert on the grill.  First, I keep the burner that the wood chunk pieces are on lit as well as the burner next to that one.  The other two burners are turned off as I will use the accumulated heat to cook the radishes in an indirect method.  Closing the grill hood allows the radishes to tenderize and infuse with wood smoke vapor.  I am looking for these to be tender but still have a bit of bite to them.

Gather Your Ingredients for Radish Salad with a Wood-Fired Flare

Now that my radish wedges are tender and full of wood-fired flavor, it’s time to remove them from the grill, allow them to cool and begin assembling our RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • 2 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 2-1/2 cups packed fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 2 bunches of radishes that have been smoked in thin wedges
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3- 15 ounce cans of cannellini beans, rinsed
  • ¾ cup oil cured black olives, pitted & quartered or you can use standard canned  pitted black olives

Blending The Dressing

Homemade dressing is added to the smoked radishes

#salad

In a blender, combine the anchovies, oil, capers, and 1 cup of parsley and blend until a coarse puree forms.  Transfer this blended mixture to a large bowl; mix in ¼ cup vinegar, and season with salt and fresh ground pepper.  You can add more vinegar if the mixture appears dry but usually the recommended amount is perfect.

Bringing It Together for RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE

Our puree mixture will be the dressing for our salad.  Once the puree mixture is added to a bowl it’s time to bring in all the other aromatics.  First, add the smoked radish wedges followed by the scallions, beans, olives and remaining 1-1/2 cups of parsley and toss well to combine.  Despite having both anchovies and capers in the mix, this is not a salty tasting bean salad so those with sodium concerns can relax and enjoy.

We’ve taken our previously grilled and smoked radish wedges flavored with SmokinLicious® double filet ash wood chunks, and produced a rich, flavorful bean salad packed with the flavors of fresh parsley, olives, and layered in flavors from capers and anchovy.  This salad can be made 4 hours ahead, covered, and chilled until ready to serve.  It is the perfect compliment to fish, poultry, and steak.  For a vegetarian take, add hard-boiled egg or tofu.  We’ve even added seasonal strawberry and grapes, as fruits add a nice sweet level that works very well. Take advantage of seasonal radish’s high nutritional value, and put your take on this great recipe.

Close up of radish salad with beans and parsley leaves

#springsalad

Did we stimulate your imagination with this RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE recipe?  Leave a comment and don’t forgot to follow us and subscribe so you don’t miss anything.  We always welcome suggestions on future recipes you’re looking for.

SmokinLicious Products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

For more reading related to

For more reading related to Smoked Radish Salad

Related recipes:

-GRILLED PEACHES FOR THE PERFECT SALAD ADDITION

-FIRE ROASTED PEPPER MAKE THE PERFECT SALAD

-SPICY-CHAR HUMMUS

 

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke- “Smoking changes this vegetable by tempering the licorice flavoring for a more subtle taste edition to a salad.”

Our finished Grilled Asparagus Wrapped with a healthy Choice

Our finished Grilled Asparagus Wrapped with a healthy Choice

WRAPPED ASPARAGUS WITH A HEALTHY CHOICE Click To Tweet

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

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

Vegetable Prep

our two main vegetables fresh asparagus and ripe carrot

#asparagusspears #Carrots

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

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

Asparagus Twists

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

wrapping our Asparagus with carrot peel in preparation for the grill

#puffpastry with #carrotpeel

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

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

Two-Zone Grill Smoking

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

#grillcooking

 

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

Optional Dipping Sauce

Adding a hint of lemon juice to our dipping sauce

#dippingsauce

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

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

What’s your favorite asparagus recipe?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

SmokinLicious Products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

For more reading related to

For more reading related to

More asparagus recipes:

-Flank Steak Pinwheels with Ember Roasted Asparagus

-Crostini with Smoked Asparagus

-Ember cooking fresh Asparagus

Dr. Smoke

Dr. Smoke

Fresh seasonal asparagus

 

EMBER ROASTING FRESH ASPARAGUS ON A HIBACHI OR OTHER CHARCOAL EQUIPMENT

 

Its Asparagus season and that means you should get the most out of this sensational vegetable while it’s fresh!  Learn how easy it is to ember roast this thick skinned vegetable to bring out the fantastic flavor of this vegetable as a side dish, or used as an ingredient in other recipes like a refreshing dip, soup, or stuffing for meat or fish.

SmokinLicious® Grande Sapore® Wood Chips

SmokinLicious® Grande Sapore® Wood Chips

INGREDIENTS:

 

PREPARING TO EMBER COOK:

Clean the Hibachi or small charcoal grill unit of all previous ash, as well as any leftover wood and charcoal.  Add the SmokinLicious® Culinary Wood Products Grande Sapore® Wood Chips in the base of the Hibachi on the charcoal grates. If not using a Hibachi unit, then place the wood chips in the charcoal area of your small charcoal grill. I like to use Wild Cherry Grande Sapore® Chips to bring a balance to the asparagus’ flavor.  Since I plan to use my roasted asparagus as an ingredient in other recipes, I’m using the chips in their natural state rather than soaking in a flavored liquid but feel free to soak in wine, alcohol, juice or other liquid of your choice.

Items need for this recipe

Items need for this recipe

LIGHTING THE FIRE

After loading the Hibachi or other unit with my Grande Sapore® Cherry Chips, I light the chips using a small kitchen size torch.   I let the chips burn down until I have about 2-3 inches of hot embers to cook with.  I need the layer long enough to accommodate the spears of asparagus and deep enough to ensure the embers encircle most of the spear.  I keep plenty of extra Grande Sapore® Cherry chips on hand to ensure I get the depth and size of the ember bed throughout the cooking process.  This includes maintaining a perimeter of unlit chips around the hot embers.

 

PREPARING THE ASPARAGUS

While I wait for the chips to burn down into embers, I start preparation of my fresh asparagus.  First, I gently clean the spears and then trim the bottoms just where they are a bit dried out and tough.  I gently pat dry and leave them in a tray to wait on the fire.  I drizzle some oil over my asparagus spears and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.  The oil will help the seasoning stick to the spears and also ensure an even cook on the asparagus.  Letting the asparagus sit while you wait on the embers allows the seasoning to penetrate the stalks, giving it additional flavor.

EMBER ROASTING FRESH ASPARAGUS TECHNIQUE

Once I have a bed of hot embers, I’m ready to cook!  I won’t be needing the grill grates as asparagus has a nice thick skin so it’s an ideal vegetable to be placed directly on the hot coals.  Prior to adding the asparagus, I add some more wood chips to the outside perimeter of my cooking area so that I will be able to bring in new embers as needed.  In addition to providing new embers, the unlit chips will provide additional heat to the grill as they ignite.

Asparagus cooking directly on the embers

Asparagus cooking directly on the embers

I lay my asparagus spears into the hot embers allowing the coals to wrap around the majority of each spear.

As I’m using very thick diameter spears, I will let the asparagus cook in the embers for about 10 minutes prior to

checking on the char level.  Just like with conventional cooking, you’ll see the asparagus get a brighter green sheen as they cook through.  Once I see a nice layer of char develop to the skin, I will turn the spears with tongs. The oil will also give a nice golden hue.

Ember roasted fresh asparagus

I’ve turned the asparagus spears only as the char develops on each side until they are fully charred and the spears have tenderized. You’ll know the perfect tender level when you prick the spear with a knife tip and it just penetrates.

Now I’m ready to use these beauties in my recipes but only after a few spears are enjoyed as is.  Ah, the perks of cooking over hot embers.  Bon-Bar-B-Que!

Please go to- Smokinlicious Instagram #smokinliciousasparagus for the audio instructional series

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- ember roasting Fresh Asparagus on the Hibachi is adding a charcoal side burner!

SmokinLicious® Products used in this recipe:

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

More recipes using asparagus:

-Flank Steak Pinwheels with Ember Roasted Asparagus

-Crostini with Smoked Asparagus

-Top 10 Vegetables to Cook in Hot Embers

Marrying smoked Broccoli with flavors from India finished dish

Marrying smoked Broccoli with flavors from India finished dish

Smoked Broccoli with Flavors from India Click To Tweet

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So far, we’ve shown you how to cook and flavor broccoli on the gas grill using wood chunks and a direct method of cooking.  That is a very fast means of cooking and charring broccoli quickly and is convenient for most of us who own a gas grill.

My second method of cooking and wood flavoring broccoli is using a stove top smoker.  I enjoy using my Nordic Ware Kettle Stove Top Smoker as this is one little unit that packs a punch when it comes to infusing smoke flavoring.  Plus, using this process, I don’t have to babysit the smoker.  Just set it up on the stove, turn on the overhead stove vent, and come back in about 20 minutes and the broccoli will be tender and full of flavor.  That means, it’s ready for all your recipes.

Now that the broccoli is ready, I’m going to make an India-type curry using tomato, potato, onion and smoked broccoli.

Tasting Notes: I’ve only mentioned two methods of smoking the broccoli but note you can also do this on a portable grill, charcoal grill, traditional smoker and electric smoker.  You can also use a handheld food smoker if you don’t want complete penetration of the smoke vapor into the broccoli.  Note that the stove top and charcoal methods will provide the boldest smoke flavors.

A Tomato Sauce

the ingredients for our smoked broccoli with india spices

#ingredients

The first thing to prepare for our curry dish is the tomato sauce that will flavor the dish along with the smoke flavors.  To start, I take two tomatoes – I’m using vine tomatoes – and dice them.  To the diced tomato, I add one teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon garam masala, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, ½ teaspoon chili powder, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper.  This mixture needs to be mashed down which you can either do with a food processor or food masher.  Be sure the mixture is smooth as this will be the sauce or gravy type quality to our dish.

I’ve elected to use a mini food processor for my tomato mixture.  This sauce mixture can be set aside until the other vegetables are ready.

Tasting Notes: Another ingredient that I like for this sauce is and Asian garlic-chili sauce.  If you elect to go with a tablespoon of so of this ingredient, eliminate the minced garlic clove and cayenne pepper.

Developing a Curry

To make the actual curry contents, you can use a skillet or a Dutch oven.  I’ll be using a Dutch oven as I prefer the ease of being able to heat up the cast-enamel which retains heat well.  Be sure you are comfortable with regulating the temperature setting on the Dutch oven if you chose to use this cookware as it does retain heat well.

Place one tablespoon of safflower or olive oil in your cookware and allow to heat.  Add one small chopped onion, two cloves of garlic which you’ve minced.  Allow these to sweat and tenderize.  Be sure you don’t burn the garlic so stir often.  To this add one medium size chopped potato.  You can decide if you want the skin on for extra nutritional value or peeled.  Stir these contents well and frequently, adjusting the heat of the Dutch oven if using this cookware (I went from a medium-high setting to a low setting by the time the potato had cooked for just a few minutes).   After tenderizing the potato for a few minutes, add one head of chopped smoked broccoli.

Now add in your tomato sauce mixture stirring well.  Here’s the important part of the dish – be sure you don’t allow the mixture to dry out.  Add water intermittently as needed to maintain moisture and convection.  For those who like wine flavor infusion, you can also add about ¼ cup of red wine of your choice.

mixing the spices

Tasting Notes: Don’t get hung up on the exact quantities of any given ingredient.  If you like spice, think about increasing the cayenne pepper or adding a garlic-chili paste to this.  You can also alter the type of chili powder used.  Use this recipe as a guide and make the end result your own.

A Beautiful Finish

Essentially you can have this dish cooked in 30 minutes following the 20 minutes smoking process of the broccoli.  However, I prefer to keep the pot on low and cook for a couple of hours to intensify the flavors.  Just be sure you add water as needed to keep everything moist and only in small quantities to prevent the vegetables from becoming mushy.

This is a vegan menu option but you can certainly alter the basic recipe to make this your own.  The nutritional value of these vegetables using very little oil makes it a healthy smoked alternative than traditional barbecue.

What’s your favorite broccoli recipe?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Wood Chips: Minuto®

Wood Chunks: Double Filet

For more reading related to smoked Broccoli and its many uses

For more reading related to smoked Broccoli and its many uses

More broccoli recipes:

-BROCCOLI PESTO WITH A WOODSY NOTE

-SMOKED BROCCOLI CASSEROLE WITH APPLE & QUINOA

-CHARRED BROCCOLI SOUP!

Dr. Smoke- using our smoked Broccoli and adding flavors/spices from India provides a tasty twist

Dr. Smoke- using our smoked Broccoli and adding flavors/spices from India provides a tasty twist

This simple to prepare dish with our Woodsy flavored Broccoli Pesto sauce

This simple to prepare dish with our Woodsy flavored Broccoli Pesto sauce

Woodsy Broccoli Pesto from the Grill! Click To Tweet

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I purchased several heads of broccoli recently and decided to smoke them using one of my favorite short cut methods for smoke vapor infusion.  My Nordic Ware Kettle Stove Top Smoker allows me to get the flavor level I like in about 20 minutes using only my stove for fuel.

Once I have my broccoli smoked, I’m going to produce a smoked broccoli pesto that is perfect for so many foods and purposes.  This is super easy and doesn’t take a lot of time to make and it keeps well in the refrigerator.

Easy Smoking Technique

Here are the steps I used for smoking in the Nordic Ware unit but you can adapt these to pretty much any stovetop unit.

our stove top smoked broccoli

#smokedbroccoli

I’ve placed the unit on the largest burner of my stove top, added about ¼ cup of Minuto® Wood Chips #4 from SmokinLicious® in the base pan, topped with the drip pan, and then added the food tray with the broccoli cut into florets.  Total time to smoke and tenderize the broccoli will be about 20 minutes.  Usually a medium-high heat setting generates about 275°F of heat for the cooking process just target to be in the 275-300°F range.  With the broccoli smoked, it’s time to make the pesto.  In addition to the smoked broccoli, there are 6 additional ingredients: salt, pepper, basil leaves, olive oil, lemon juice and grated Parmesan cheese.

Tasting Notes: You can use any method of smoking the broccoli based on the equipment you have available but if you do want to try a stove top method without having to purchase a ready-made unit, try our method using a standard 2-quart stockpot.

A Quick Process to Pesto

Pesto ingredients

#pesto

Pesto is one of those items that is simple to make but so many people will buy ready-made from the store.  You’ll get a much fresher taste quality when you produce your own.

Start by getting a large capacity food processor with a standard blade.  Place the smoked broccoli florets in the processor bowl, followed by a ¼ cup grated parmesan, ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves, 3 tablespoons olive oil, juice from ½  a lemon, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper.  Process all the ingredients until smooth.  You likely will need to add a bit more olive oil to reach the right consistency for your taste.  Remember, this is going to produce about 2 cups of pesto so start with a lighter amount of oil as this ingredient can be added later when you decide how you’re planning to use the pesto.  For me, I’ll be starting with a simple pesto noodle that I intended to add some sliced pork to.

Tasting Notes: Each food processor is different so start on pulse and then work to maintain the motor on for a smooth result.  Feel free to drizzle additional olive oil into the mixture while the processor is running, just do so in drips rather than a stream amount.

Think Endless Uses

There are so many uses for our smoked broccoli pesto!  I’ll be adding ¼ of my 2-cup pesto production to some hot egg noodles that will act as a bed to lay some Asian marinated pork in.

Here are some other uses to consider: use in rice, pastas that have ridges for the pesto to cling to, on a sandwich, or use as a topping for chicken, fish, and pork.  I’m sure you’ll come up with other great uses as well.  The batch you make from the single head of broccoli will last for about 7-10 days if stored in the refrigerator.  If you can store in glass, it will likely last longer.  With broccoli readily available most of the year, this is a treat to be enjoyed anytime!

finished mixed Broccoli Pesto

#smokinlicious #pesto

What’s your favorite pesto recipe?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

SmokinLicious® products used for this recipe:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

For more reading related to

For more reading related to Pesto beyond Broccoli Pesto visit these pages!

Related recipes:

-CHARRED BROCCOLI SOUP!

-TORTELLINI GETS A SMOKY MATE

-SMOKED BROCCOLI CASSEROLE WITH APPLE & QUINOA

Dr. Smoke- When searching for a different pest don't forget about Broccoli Pesto but add a Woodsy twist from the grill!

Dr. Smoke- When searching for a different pest don’t forget about Broccoli Pesto but add a Woodsy twist from the grill!

This avacado recipe features melted cheese stuffed avacado inside Turkey, wrapped with Zucchini strips.!

This Avocado recipe features melted cheese stuffed avocado inside Turkey, wrapped with Zucchini strips.!

This Avocado Recipe is double stuffed for Yummy Flavor! Click To Tweet

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I love taking a basic recipe and being able to offer variations to that recipe which allows the cook to customize for those being served.  That’s why I refer to this recipe as the Versatile Smoked Avocado Loaf since you will have options in the ground meat or poultry used to surround the cheese filled avocado as well as the cheese and outer covering to the loaf.  This is referred to as a meat wrapped, stuffed avocado recipe.

I’ll walk you through my version which uses Jalapeno cheese, ground turkey, and zucchini ribbons all with whole avocado.  We’ll be smoking these mini loaves of goodness on the charcoal grill using a two-zone cooking set up.  Use my ingredients or customize for your own taste.  Either way – let’s get started.

simple ingredients, avacado, ground Turkey, jalapeno cheese and a zucchini

#meatwrappedavocado recipe

Avocado & Meat Prep

The ingredients I’m using today include 2 lbs. of ground turkey, 4 whole avocado, 1 medium zucchini, and 4 ounces of Jalapeno cheese.  To start, I make zucchini ribbons using a vegetable peeler on the length of the zucchini.  I wrap the zucchini ribbons in a paper towel as zucchini is loaded with water requiring this to dry out a bit before wrapping around our finished loaves.  Time to prep the avocados.

Start by cutting around the circumference of the avocado from stem top to bottom using a sharp paring knife.  Don’t cut into the avocado meat just into the hard, green skin.  Then twist the halves in opposite directions to separate the two halves.  One half will hold the pit of the avocado.  You can easily remove that by hitting the pit with the blade of a sharp knife then pull up which will remove the whole pit in one swipe.  Remove the skin on both halves of the avocado, leaving the avocado meat intact.

Our avacado split in half

#stuffedavocado

Avocado recipe Tasting Notes: Other options for wrapping the loaves include ribbons made of beets, carrot, leek, or eggplant.  You can also wrap these in bacon strips if you don’t mind additional fat and sodium levels.

Assembling the Loaves

With the avocados pitted and skinned, it’s time to stuff them with our jalapeno cheese.  Cut a cube of cheese that will fit perfectly into the pit hole of one half of the avocado.  Place the matching half of the avocado on top to make the avocado whole again.  Now it’s time to season the ground turkey.  Taking about 2 lbs. of ground turkey I add 2 tablespoons of Chinese Five Spice which is a premixed combination of anise, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and ginger.  I also add 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon chopped mint, and fresh ground pepper.  Mix together well as this seasoned meat will become the wrapping around the avocados.

With the avocados filled with cheese and the ground meat seasoned, it’s now time to wrap the avocado in the meat.  I’ll be making four avocado loaves so I divide the meat into four parts.  Flattening the meat into pancake size, I place one filled avocado in the center of the meat and begin to wrap the meat around the avocado, pressing to fill any holes.  You want the meat to cover the entire avocado in an equal thickness.  Once wrapped, it’s time to apply the zucchini ribbons around the meat.  I’m using zucchini as it has a high water content which will result in extra attraction of the smoke vapor to the finished loaf.  smoke vapor seeks out moisture! Click To Tweet  Simply lay the zucchini ribbons one at a time around the meat loaf, overlapping as you go.

turkey wrapped avacado, now applying the zucchini outter wrap to hold everything together for grilling

Avocado recipe-Tasting Notes:

Avocado and cheese go together so well which gives you so many options for the cheese filling.  There is no limit to the type of cheese you can use just know block cheese rather than shredded or a spread is best.  When it comes to the ground meat, feel free to use any type you prefer: beef, pork, turkey, chicken, lamb, veal.  You can also use a ground fish but may find you need to add a binder like panko bread crumbs to keep it from falling off the avocado.

 Two-Zone Charcoal Smoking

grill demonstrating our two zone charcoal grill set up with wood chunks

#twozonecooking

While I’ve been preparing the meat wrapped stuffed avocados, I’ve had my charcoal grill lit using a two-zone cooking method.  Since there isn’t a lot of meat on each of these loaves, I don’t need direct heat to cook.  I’ve placed my hot coals on one side of the grill and added about four SmokinLicious® double filet wood chunks.  On the unlit side of the grill, I’ve placed a disposable pan to act as a drip pan under the grill grate.  I place my four turkey avocado loaves on the unlit side of the grill grate and allow them to cook for about 45 minutes.  At that time marker, I brush the loaves with a sweet chili sauce and allow to cook for about 15 additional minutes.

After cooking for nearly an hour on a charcoal grill set up with a two-zone cooking method, these turkey wrapped stuffed avocado loaves are perfectly smoked and flavored.  Each loaf can easily feed two or one hearty eater!  With the creaminess of the avocado, the heat of the melted jalapeno cheese, the spiced turkey meat, plus subtle flavors of the zucchini and chili sauce, this is the perfect smoked protein that can be cooked quickly. Click To Tweet There are so many variations that can be done to this stuffed avocado which truly can make this your own creation!

Avocado recipe-Tasting Notes:  

Any equipment can be used for this recipe to add the smoke flavoring.  Just know, you need to use a two-zone cooking method for charcoal grilling, gas grill cooking with wood, or electric smoking.  If using a portable grill, try to grill over hot coals over rather than direct flame.  If using a stove top smoker or plancha, you’ll obviously cook direct method.  And of course, you can always make this recipe without the added flavor of smoke in the traditional oven.

our finished avacado stuffed turkey loaf!

#stuffedavocado wrap

 

 

 

What’s your favorite ingredients for this meat wrapped, stuffed avocado?  Leave us a comment and subscribe for more great recipes, techniques, tips, and the science behind the flavor.  That’s SmokinLicious®.

 

SmokinLicious® products for this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

For more reading related to

For more reading related to- avocado recipe and other grilling techniques

More recipes like this one:

-AVOCADO CHOCOLATE PUDDING

-SUCCULENT WOOD FIRED STUFFED TOMATO WITH HERB RICE

-EMBER FIRED FRESH ZUCCHINI

Dr. Smoke

Dr. Smoke- This avocado recipe features a cheese stuffed avocado wrapped in Turkey! YUM

 

 

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