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

Gratin takes a smoky turn by using smoked brussels sprouts

GRATIN TAKES A SMOKY TURN

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

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

Smoky Meets Creamy Goodness

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

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

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

▪ 2 tablespoons butter

▪ 2 tablespoons flour

▪ coarse salt

▪ fresh ground pepper

▪ 2 cups whole milk

▪ 1/3 cup shredded Asiago cheese

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

▪ 2/3 cup grated Parmesan

▪ 1-1/2 pounds of smoked Brussels sprouts

First up, making the béchamel sauce.

Béchamel Sauce

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

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

Layer on the Flavor

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

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

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

 

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Single Filet

Additional reading:

-SMOKED CHEESE & BACON QUICHE FEATURING COLD SMOKED CHEESES

-TORTELLINI GETS A SMOKY MATE

-STEPPING UP RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE

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

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

Tortellini Gets a Smoky Mate with the addition of Cherry wood smoked Brussel Sprouts! This is a medly and yummy recipe for the winter blues

Tortellini Gets a Smoky Mate with the addition of Cherry wood smoked Brussels Sprouts! This is a medley and yummy recipe for the winter blues

 

TORTELLINI GETS A SMOKY MATE

listen to the audio of this blog posting

There is something about the perfect pasta dish that isn’t necessarily loaded with a ton of ingredients.  I’ve found that the perfect pasta often features only 2-3 ingredients in addition to seasonings.  For me, the perfection is in how each of those ingredients contribute to the overall dish.

This is a pasta dish that features the smokiness of Brussels sprouts paired with the citric acid of lemon peel.  Mix in the sweetness of caramelized onion and a full-bodied dish emerges.

A Smoky Start

TBrussell Sprouts on the grill soaking up the flavors of the cherry wood pieces we added to the grill. he simplicity of the ingredients is what makes this such a flavorful and pleasurable dish. Start by smoking about a pound of Brussels sprouts – you can see our previous series on how to smoke these on the gas grill, an extremely easy and quick method.  Then gather 3 tablespoons butter, 1 medium yellow onion that is thinly sliced, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or flavored olive oil, 1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, 1 lb. of cheese tortellini, and the zest of 1 lemon.  With the Brussels sprouts already smoked, the cooking time for the rest of the dish is about 20 minutes.

Producing Aromatic Flavors

Put a pot of water on for the tortellini to cook according to the packaged directions.  What keeps this recipe extra simple is you can use frozen tortellini or fresh packaged rather than making your own and it will be just as spectacular a dish as if you made every ingredient yourself. We start with thinly sliced yellow onion in melted butter, releasing the sweetness of the onion.  Once translucent and browning, add the smoked Brussels sprout quarters. Toss together just until the Brussels sprouts heat through.

Cooking the onion in the skillet until they are translucent.

While the onion and Brussels sprouts cook, our water for the tortellini is salted and brought to a boil.  Once at a rolling boil, the pound of cheese tortellini is added.  I’m using a frozen variety but you can certainly use fresh.  Remember, tortellini is a filled pasta that does not take much time to cook to al dente so don’t turn your back on the pot.  It will only be a matter of minutes once the water regains boiling level.  Tortellini has the proven sign of being cooked when they float.  Once cooked, transfer to a large bowl.

 

 Easy Finish

With the tortellini cooked, it’s time to pour the cooked smoky Brussels sprout and onion into the bowl.  Once combined, add the tablespoon of olive oil.  I’m using a Tuscan flavored olive oil for just a bit more refined flavor but plain EVOO will do.  Time to finish this off with fresh ground pepper and salt.  The final ingredient – grated lemon zest.  Zest right over the bowl.  I like a lot of lemon zest so I zest the entire lemon.

After smoking Brussels sprouts using cherry wood, we made a hearty pasta dish that blended the flavors of sweet onion, smoky Brussels sprout, and lemon zest.  Added to cheese tortellini gets a smoky mate, this is so flavorful and easy to make.  Think of the many variations you can give this dish: adding butternut squash, or zucchini cubes, or perhaps chestnut when in season.  Even artichoke hearts.  So many opportunities to put your own fingerprint on this dish.

This recipe is sure to give you a great start on incorporating your favorite ingredients.  We’d love to hear what you think about our blog post “Tortellini Gets a Smoky Mate” 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 Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Related reading:

-STEPPING UP RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE

-HOW TO TURN YOUR LP/GAS GRILL INTO A SMOKER

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke- “This is an easy way to bring smoke flavor to a pasta dish.”