Ember Fired Eggplant on the rack cooking above a bed of hot coals. This technique provides the heat for cooking and the aroma of the wood smoke

Ember Fired Eggplant on the rack cooking above a bed of hot coals. This technique provides the heat for cooking and the aroma of the wood smoke

EMBER FIRED EGGPLANT WITH FETA TARTS Click To Tweet

You’ve heard me mention before how great it is to ember or coal fire certain foods, with a good majority of those items falling in the fruit category.  One of the best fruits to use this technique with is eggplant.

Not of Nutritional Value

we selected two nice and plump eggplants for our ember cooking Eggplant, also called aubergine, is part of a flowering plant grown for its edible fruit.  This is a thick-skinned fruit that has a meaty quality to its flesh.  In fact, it can make for a filling meal.  Eggplant contains a lot of water – 92% to be specific!  It is not known to be a contributor for daily nutritional intake.  Despite all that, Eggplant remains a favorite ingredient to cook with.

Nestling is Key

When cooking in the coals, it is best to use medium sized eggplant.  It doesn’t matter what variety you select, the technique for cooking in the coals will remain the same.

Starting the fire

First, you need to start with a good wood fire, using clean hardwood.  In order to do this technique successfully, you need to ensure that there are no flames left in the fire, just hot coals.  You’ll know the coals are ready for the cooking when they are completely grayed over.  If your grilling area is large enough, you can stage a couple of burning wood pieces to provide additional heat to the area.  Just don’t cook directly in those flames.

preparing the hot coals for the eggplant. you want these to burn down leaving only the heat and no flame to burn the eggplant. Ember cooking is only over hot coals.When the coals are ready, make sure the embers are in an even layer and then place the eggplants side by side in the embers.  I like to use a fine screen in the bottom of my charcoal area to aide in heat retention.  Now, leave these untouched for about 10 minutes.  After that time, you can turn the eggplant to ensure all sides get evenly charred.  If you make a large enough fire, you can bury the eggplant completely in the hot coals and not have to do any turning.  That technique will require about 30 minutes of cooking time.

Chef Bert teaches Neighbor Tom about ember cooking

#chefbertandtom

Blackened, Charred Skin Makes It Ready

Once the Ember Fired Eggplant has tenderized in the coals, it’s time to carefully remove it. Cool the eggplant, so it won’t burn and can be handled.  Then, slice each eggplant open from end to end, and gently scoop out the flesh.  Be sure to leave all the charred skin behind.  If you’re ready to use this in a recipe, then no need to do anything more to the eggplant.  If you plan on using it later, you must prevent the eggplant flesh from turning dark by incorporating 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and enough water to cover the flesh.  When finished, it’s best to store the Ember Fired Eggplant in a glass jar, bowl, or other container.

6 Needed Ingredients

To make the Ember Fired Eggplant with Feta Tarts, you’ll need a muffin pan and the following food ingredients:

  • Flesh from 1 medium size coal-fired eggplant
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped pistachios, plus 2 tablespoons for topping the tarts
  • ground coriander about ¼ teaspoon
  • ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 5 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
  • Extra virgin olive oil for brushing dough and preparing muffin pan

Wood Flavored Eggplant Mixture

removing any char from the fire and then chopping up the eggplant to be added as the tart fillingRoughly chop the wood fired eggplant.  Then transfer to a medium bowl and add feta, 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios, coriander, red-pepper flakes, and mint.  Season with salt and fresh ground pepper and stir gently to combine.

Making the Tarts

Lightly oil the muffin pan cups.  Lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough on a board and lightly brush with oil.  Stack 4 more phyllo sheets on top, brushing each with oil.  Cut the stacked sheets into 6 equal squares.  Carefully, pick up each square and place in a muffin cup, gently pressing in place.  Fill each dough cup with about ¼ cup of eggplant mixture.  Gently fold over the corners of the dough to enclose the filling as a tart.  Brush tops with oil and sprinkle with crushed pistachios.  Then Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve.

showcasing the finished product! Our ember roasted eggplant within the feta tart- yummy

 

 

 

 

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What can I roast over a fire?

Just about any fruit or vegetable can be roasted over a fire.  Vegetables and fruits with a dense, husky outer skin do very well when grilled with gas, charcoal and wood fuels.  Eggplant is ideal for roasting over an open fire or directly on hot embers (ember cooking).

Additional reading:

-EMBER FIRED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA GALETTE

-SUCCULANT WOOD FIRED STUFFED TOMATO WITH HERB RICE

TOP 10 VEGETABLES TO COOK IN HOT EMBERS

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Our wonderful Single Filet wood chunks are featured in this ember fired eggplant recipe

#woodchunks

Wood Chunks- Single Filet

Dr Smoke- "Try this because it's a really tasty appetizer and easy to make."

Dr Smoke- “Try this because it’s a really tasty appetizer and easy to make.”

¡Nuestro costillas cortas terminado con adobo de soya y hoisin!

¡Nuestro costillas cortas terminado con adobo de soya y hoisin!

Uno de mis cortes favoritos de carne de res para ahumar y hacer a la parrilla es la costilla flanco de carne de res. Estes son cortes de costillas cortas de carne de res conocido como flanken. En el estilo flanken de costillas cortas, este corte delgado que es de aproximadamente 1/2 pulgada de espesa, va a través de los huesos para que cada rebanada contiene unos trozos de hueso en lugar de entre los huesos como se hace en las costillas cortas tradicionales.

Esta es una manera popular de cortar las costillas cortas si vas a una barbacoa coreana, similar a lo que estamos haciendo con nuestro adobo que tiene influencias asiáticas. Recomiendo hacer alrededor de 4 libras de costilla corta estila flanken aunque hoy estoy haciendo 8 libras, lo que significa que estoy duplicando la receta. La mejor parte es que estas costillas no tardan mucho en ahumar en la parrilla.

Utilizo un método de cocción de dos zonas que permite que este sea un método de ahumar debajo estrés. Pídele a tu carnicero un corte de costilla de flanqueo de carne de res y encendamos la parrilla u horno para ahumar para nuestra versión de costillas de carne res con soya y hoisin adobo.

Se trata sobre todo el adobo

Lo que me gusta sobre estas costillas es que el carnicero hace todo el trabajo.Vienen listos para ser marinados-ningún recorte adicional para obtener el mismo tamaño que un buen carnicero ya sabrá hacerlo para tiempo uniforme de cocción.

Nuestro adobo de hoisin

#adobo

Para que estas costillas de flanco prueben muy tierno y sabroso, necesitamos hacer un adobo que se queda en las costillas por 24 horas.

Primero, preparo bolsas de almacenamiento congelador para el adobo, colocando aproximadamente 8 costillas por bolsa. Quieres que el adobo todo alrededor de las costillas. Para el adobo combinar:

  • 3/4 taza de salsa de soya baja de sodio
  • 1/2 taza de azúcar moreno claro lleno
  • 1/2 taza de vinagre de vino de arroz sin sazonado
  • 1/2 taza de salsa hoisin
  • 1/2 taza de agua
  • 2 cucharadas de aceite de sésamo
  • 2 cucharadas de ajopicado
  • 1 cucharada de raíz de jengibre fresco pelado y picado
  • 1 cucharada de cebolla en polvo

Vierta cantidades iguales del adobo en cada bolsa de almacenamiento, expulse el aire extra de las bolsas, selle y refrigere por 24 horas.

Notas de degustación: Este es un adobo básico que tiene sabores asiáticos. No es picante, así que, si quieres un poco más calor, piensa en añadir una salsa asiática de ajo y chili. Sólo tiene que reducir el ajo picado a 1 cucharada y añadir 2 cucharadas de salsa de ajo-chili o una cantidad al nivel de calor que desee.

Parrilla de dos zonas para ahumar

Cuando configuras una parrilla o un horno para ahumar con un método de cocción de dos zonas, puedes asegurarte de que los alimentos no son ahumados demasiados ni se secarán. Mientras preparo las costillas en las rejillas, precaliente la parrilla a 350 grados Fahrenheit encendiendo solo la mitad de los quemadores. En esos quemadores, pongo una caja para ahumar con trozos de madera de roble directamente en los blindajes del quemador.

Nuestro cocción de parrilla de dos zonas se preparan con nuestros trozos de madera

#coccióndeparrilladedoszonas

Voy a usar una bandeja con rejillas para cocinar las costillas ya que estas costillas tendrán mucho adobo que no quiero lixivian en el área de la parrilla. Esta es una manera de evitar tener mucha grasa en la unidad de captura por goteo y recolección de grasa de su parrilla.

Pongo las costillas en el lado sin iluminar de la parrilla y cierro la tapa. Dejaré que esto se vaya aproximadamente 12 minutos antes de voltear. Otros 8-10 minutos y estos están listos. Reponga los trozos de madera según sea necesario para mantener el sabor del humo. Estoy haciendo 8 libras de costillas así que esto será alrededor de 5 rotaciones de cocción en total.

Notas de degustación: Sin duda se puede cocinar directamente en las rejillas de la parrilla si no le importa un poco de limpiar a las rejillas cuando termines y la necesidad de vaciar la bandeja de recogida goteando. Además, asado de carbón de estas costillas es simplemente fácil mediante el uso de la cocción de dos zonas característica en esa parrilla también.

¡Costillas cortas listos en un instante!

Puede medir el tiempo de cocción buscando dorado en el exterior de las costillas. Cuando un lado se haya dorado, la vuelta y deje que el otro lado colorea. Retire las costillas terminadas y pone en un plato y agregue un poco de cebolla verde fresca picada y semillas de sésamo blanco. ¡Estos están listos!

Nuestro costillas cortas terminado

#costillascortas

Si necesario con anticipación, simplemente recalentar las costillas en un horno debajo temperatura – me gusta 275 grados Fahrenheit- en una sartén cubierta de papel de aluminio, pero añadir la cebolla y las semillas de sésamo sólo cuando esté listo para servir. Si es para el entretenimiento de verano, la planificación de la fiesta, la fiesta de entremeses, o simplemente para traer los sabores de la cocina al aire libre, ¡esta es la costilla perfecta hecha en un instante!

¿Cuál es tu receta favorita de costilla de flanco? Déjanos un comentario para opinarse y suscríbete para obtener todas nuestras publicaciones sobre los consejos, técnicas y recetas. Aportando innovación a la cocción a fuego de madera con recetas, técnicas y la ciencia detrás del fuego, el humo y el sabor. Eso es SmokinLicious®.

Productos SmokinLicious® utilizados en esta receta:

Foto de nuestros trozos de madera de filete único

#trozozdemadera

Trozos de madera: Filete “único”

Chunk hombre: Para más lecturas relacionadas con costillas cortas

Chunk hombre: Para más lecturas relacionadas con costillas cortas

Otras recetas que puede disfrutar:

-Crostini con espárrago ahumado

Dr. Smoke- ¡pruebe nuestras costillas cortas!

Dr. Smoke- ¡pruebe nuestras costillas cortas!

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

Chef Bert explains the indirect cooking method.

#chefbertandtom

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.

The Culinary Crew wants you to know…

about the great results had from indirect cooking or the two-zone grilling technique, as referenced in this recipe blog.  When it comes to this particular recipe, you will find that wood fired clams done on a charcoal grill with indirect heat and a simple brick heat conductor will add a distinctive smoky flavor twist to your clams casino.  This appetizer promises to be a fan favorite for any seasonal or football party!

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

The best of charcoal and cooking wood is SmokinLicious® Charwood.

#charwood

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!

Our Cast Iron pan on the gas grill with double filet wood chunks flavoring our smoked peaches into the upside down cake!

Our Cast Iron pan on the gas grill with double filet wood chunks flavoring our smoked peaches into the upside down cake!

Smoked peach upside down cake! Click To Tweet

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Hopefully, you enjoyed our previous segment on adding smoke flavor to seasonal peaches.  We sure have had fun providing you with different techniques to add the natural flavor of wood. Now is the fun part where you take those smoked fruit pieces and turn them into something great.

I’m going to introduce you to a super flavorful and balanced peach cake done in the style of the traditional pineapple upside down cake – only with peaches!  For this recipe you’ll need three peaches but don’t waste the perfect time to do some extras so you can make all our great smoked peach recipes.

 Skillet Cooking

Our cast Iron pan on the grill

#castiron

Be sure you follow our posting on how to smoke peaches on a grill with wood or on a traditional smoker.  Our cake recipe starts with 3 tablespoons of butter.  Melt the butter and coat a cast iron skillet with it.  Be sure to get the butter up the sides of the pan as this will be the non-stick guarantee for removing the cake.  Place a ¼ cup of sugar evenly on the bottom of the pan and allow to brown for about 3 minutes.  While the sugar is browning, slice the peach halves into ¾-inch thick slices.  Once the butter/sugar mixture is ready, arrange the peaches around the edge of the pan on top of the sugar.  Then fill the center of the pan with the remaining peach slices.  Cook just for a few minutes until the peaches are sweetened by the butter and sugar mixture.  Remove the skillet from the heat.  Now, time to prepare the cake batter.

 Tasting Notes: Keep in mind, we will be cooking the cake on the grill which means you must use a high heat tolerant cookware.  Cast iron is ideal for this purpose but feel free to use another piece of cookware that will tolerate a grill or smokers heat.

Our upside down cake on the wood fired grill set up for a two zone cooking method.

#twozonecooking #cheftbertandtom

 Upside Down Cake Batter

Our dry ingredients ready to become the dough

#ingredients

The cake batter starts with the dry ingredients.  You’ll need a medium bowl for these ingredients.  Start by whisking 1 cup of coarse yellow cornmeal with ¾ cup all-purpose flour.  Keep in mind, you can use polenta if you prefer.  Add 1 teaspoon baking powder, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh lavender or 1-1/2 teaspoons of dried lavender, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.  Mix well and set aside.  Next, we’ll work on the wet ingredients for our batter.

It’s important to mix the wet ingredients separate from the dry to ensure each ingredient is mixed well.  Start by getting a large bowl.  Add 6 tablespoons of softened butter and ¾ cup sugar to the bowl.  With a hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy.  Get 3 large eggs and add one egg to the batter at a time, beating well after each addition.  The batter will slowly become thinner.  Mix in ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and ½ cup heavy cream.  Now, taking the medium bowl of cornmeal mixture, add ½ the dry cornmeal mixture to the large bowl of wet ingredients.  Be sure to use a low setting on the mixer and scrap down the sides of the bowl to get a complete mix.  With the batter ready, we’ll be adding batter to our cast iron pan loaded with peaches.

A Beautiful Finish

Our upside down cake baking in the cast iron pan on the gas grill

#castironcooking

What’s great about making cakes in a cast iron pan is generally, the batter is dropped into the pan rather than poured.  Using a large spoon, drop the prepared batter over the peaches and spread with a spatula.  Time to add flavor to the entire cake by cooking it on the grill with wood chunks in a smoker box.

Cook until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean; this should be 20-25 minutes with a steady grill temperature of 350°F.  Transfer the skillet to a wire rack and let stand for 10 minutes.  Run a knife or spatula around the edge of the cake and invert onto a serving platter.  Tap the bottom of the skillet to release the cake and remove the skillet slowly.  Let cool slightly, then serve.

Although this is a sweet cake, I like to add a bit of unsweetened freshly whipped heavy cream.  Feel free to change the fruit in the cake to something else that is in season like plums, strawberries, blueberries – you get the picture.  For all you camp cooking lovers, this is one to try at the camp as well.  Just gather some hot coals and place your cast iron near those coals and you’re on your way!

What’s your favorite iron skillet dessert?  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 & Single Filet

For more reading related to

For more reading related to Smoked peaches using our cast iron pan on a gas grill- try these recipes

 

More yummy recipes to try:

-GRILLED PEACHES FOR THE PERFECT SALAD ADDITION

-WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

-ZUCCHINI BREAD & CAKE ON THE GRILL

Dr. Smoke- using our cast iron pan for our smoked peaches!

Dr. Smoke- using our cast iron pan for our smoked peaches!

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This simple but delicious recipe combines smoked bananas double bits with chocolate and crushed nuts

Finished smoked banana double bites (combining smoked bananas with chocolate and crushed nuts)

listen to the audio of this blog posting

SMOKED BANANA DOUBLE BITES

If you joined us for our series on  a smoking banana , now it’s time to learn just what you can do with this flavorful fruit.  This recipe for Smoked Banana Double Bites makes for a perfect snack, kid loving dessert, or even a sweet party item.  Gather together the following:

Ingredients:

You’ll also need a saucepan for melting the chocolate or a microwave safe bowl, Popsicle sticks or similar disposable handle for inserting in the banana segments, and a small cake spatula for spreading the chocolate.  I would also keep on hand some hot water in case the chocolate should seize or harden on you.  If that occurs, simply add 1 teaspoon of hot water at a time, mixing well, until you restore the smooth consistency.

Preparing:

It’s important that you get the other ingredients ready prior to melting the chocolate as you want to prevent the chocolate from hardening.  Take your 4 ounces of slivered almonds and add to a storage bag.  I am the old school so I will crush my almonds using a canned good.  You can use a kitchen mallet or rolling pin, whatever is the easiest for you.  Be sure you just crush the almonds – don’t make almond dust or flour!  Then prepare a sheet pan with wax paper and get your popsicle or other wood stick ready for putting the Smoked Banana Double Bites together.  I named this recipe after the average bites it takes to get one of these little flavor explosions into your tummy.

Melt the Chocolate:

Once the other ingredients are at the ready and your sheet pan with wax paper is set, it’s time to melt the semi-sweet chocolate.  You can do this a couple of ways.  In a double boiler which is the preferred method, in a saucepan set to a low temperature, or in a microwave.  Your choice- just be sure you get a consistency that is not too thin or thick so the banana will coat easily.  I add 2 tablespoons of butter to the chocolate to produce a shiny result.  Melt until just smooth being careful not to go beyond that stage or the chocolate will harden.  If you do go too far, simply add 1 teaspoon of hot water to the mix to thin and recover it.

Assembling the Bites:

With the chocolate melted we are now ready for assembly of our Smoked Banana Double Bites!  Taking your Popsicle stick or similar wooden item, insert into the center of a banana segment.  Remember, I had cut my bananas into 2-inch segments when I did the smoking process.  Now dip into the melted chocolate and begin to spread into an even layer using a small cake spatula.  Just get the top and sides coated so they can roll in the next two ingredients.  Again, if your chocolate should seize or harden on you, simply add 1 teaspoon of hot water to bring it back.

With our banana segment covered in chocolate, we are now ready for “the roll”.  First, place some crushed slivered almond on a piece of wax paper.  Then roll the chocolate covered banana into the almonds being careful not to press down.  Just allow the almonds to stick on their own.  Next, a trip to the shredded coconut.  You can put the coconut on a wax sheet as well or leave in a small container that can accommodate the size of your banana.  Let the coconut fill in all the spaces between the almonds then lay on a sheet pan covered with wax paper.  These will need to harden a bit in the refrigerator.

This simple but delicious recipe combines smoked bananas double bits with chocolate and crushed nuts

The Yummy, Creamy, Chocolate Finish:

So here we are.  The finale!  After taking our bananas to a smoky place using SmokinLicious® Minuto® Wood Chips for smoking, we gave them a bath in luscious dark chocolate.  Then the roll – into the crushed almond and shredded coconut – 2 fantastic flavor pairings for the banana.  Then off to the sheet pan covered with wax paper to set everything up in the refrigerator.  You just need about 45 minutes of setting time then it’s off to the party, or for a snack or that great dessert.

Don’t forget to put your own spin on this recipe by swapping the dark chocolate for white, the almonds for pistachio or pine nuts.  Always keep the holidays in mind too.  Use pastel dyes for the coconut or white chocolate for a great Easter dessert, green and red dyes for Christmas, and blue for Hanukah.   Make this great, simple recipe your own.  You can even do whole bananas, set them up, and then slice them over ice cream or pound cake with a hint of fresh cream.  Get your imagination going and expand on the great use of the smoked banana.

The Culinary Crew wants you to know …

… that you can add a nice smoky twist to just about any fruit easily by using any hand-held food smoking device.  We’ve found that fruits with more of a dense, semi-porous consistency like bananas, peaches or strawberries do very well in accepting wood smoke vapor and retaining superb smoky flavoring.  Go ahead and give your favorite fruit-based holiday desserts a hint of smoky richness!  You won’t be disappointed!

SmokinLicious® products used:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

For more reading related to

For more reading related to

Additional reading:

-BEST GINGERBREAD MEETS THE GRILL

-BANANA’S ULTIMATE SMOKY CREAMY GOODNESS!

Dr Smoke

Dr. Smoke “you will love this take on bananas”

*Please leave us a comment*

We love this Winter cocktail, because of its smoky twist!

We love this Winter cocktail, because of its smoky twist! Simple ingredients and easy to mix.

WINTER COCKTAIL GETS A BIT SMOKY

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As we wait for warmer days, I have a perfect winter cocktail that will make you content as you bear the cold.  Featuring just 4 ingredients, I’m taking a single ingredient and cold smoking it to give a smoky flavor.  We’ll use a handheld food smoker for a quick, easy means of infusing the smoke flavor.

Ingredients and Smoke

an image of our ingredients

#coldsmoking

Our Smoked Winter cocktail has just 4 ingredients:

  • cream of coconut
  • vanilla vodka
  • crème de cocoa
  • ice

By using a handheld food smoker, you can make quick time of smoking the cream of coconut needed for our Winter Wonderland cocktail.  I’m making a full batch of drinks to serve about 6 so I’ve placed 6 ounces of cream of coconut, (I like the CocoLopez brand), into a container.  That container is placed inside a plastic bag.  I’m using The Smoking Gun® by Breville which is a stand-alone, easy to control cold smoke appliance.  I simply place the smoking hose into my container, cinch the bag around the hose, lite my Piccolo® wood chips while the food smoker is turned on, and allow the smoke to fill the container.  I then turn off the unit, remove the hose, cinch the bag tight, and allow the smoke to sit for a few minutes to infuse the coconut cream.  That’s it!  Now time to assemble our Winter Wonderland cocktail.

Tasting Notes: Although I elected to smoke the cream of coconut, you can smoke one of the alcohols or even the water to make the ice cubes.  For those looking for a bolder smokiness, feel free to smoke the entire cocktail mixture before serving over ice.

Quick Shake to Yum

After smoking the cream of coconut, it’s time to mix the cocktail.  This is best done in a shaker.  For a single cocktail, fill the shaker with ice, add 1 ounce of the smoked cream of coconut, 1-1/2 ounces of vanilla vodka, and 1-1/2 ounces of crème de Cocoa.  Shake until well chilled and the flavors marry.  Strain into an ice filled glass and serve.

This is one winter cocktail you’ll enjoy sipping as you wait on those warmer days.

The Culinary Crew wants you to know …

… that the hand-held smoker can do “smoky wonders” to just about any of your favorite cocktails or drinks.  Just make sure that you have the right size of smoking wood chips in the unit and don’t overpack the vessel!  Remember, if you choose to enjoy any alcoholic beverage, drink responsibly!

Do you have a favorite smoked cocktail?  Leave us a comment to let us know and subscribe to our channel to get all the tips, techniques, and recipes we bring your way.  Always eager to share our expertise on all things wood fired, that’s SmokinLicious®!

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Wood Chips- Piccolo®

For more reading related to

For more reading related to how we made other winter cocktails and added a twist of Smoke!- #handheldsmoker

Related reading:

-JACK FROST GOES SMOKEY-THE COCKTAIL

-THE SMOKED PEAR BELLINI COCKTAIL

-STRAWBERRIES GET SMOKY FOR AN AQUA FRESCA COCKTAIL

Dr. Smoke- This winter cocktail is fun even in the summer!

Dr. Smoke- This winter cocktail is fun even in the summer!

Our Cooked Spatcock Chicken with Fresh Curry

Our Cooked Spatchcock Chicken with Fresh Curry

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Spatchcock Chicken– One of the questions I field the most is how do you keep chicken moist when you grill?

Today’s feature is intended to answer that question with both method of preparation to allow the chicken to cook evenly and method of wood firing to get exceptional wood flavoring yet be able to walk away from the grill.  I’ll be offering my version of spatchcock chicken with a curry flavor cooked two-zone set up on a gas grill.  Once you try this method of cooking, you’ll want to grill chicken this way all the time, even during the coldest months of the year.  And it will come out perfectly moist and cooked evenly every time.

Go pick up your ideal whole chicken, preferably fresh, and let’s learn the simplest method of cooking and flavoring whole chicken.

Flatten to Even Cooking

The chicken needs to be flatten, so some knife skills will be required

#spatchcockchicken

Spatchcocking, by definition, is the removal of the backbone in a chicken so you can flatten it for cooking.  This ensures an even cooking of dark and white meat in the bird, while also guaranteeing moisture is maintained.

To start, you’ll need a whole chicken with the organs and neck removed.  Turn the chicken so the breast is down on the cutting board.  Locate the backbone and cut along one side of the bone with kitchen shears.  Then cut along the other side until the entire backbone is removed.  Turn the chicken back around so the breast is facing up.

With the backbone removed, I prepare a sheet pan lined with foil for cooking.  I place the palm of my hand on the breastbone of the chicken and push downward to break the cartilage.  The chicken will now lie completely flat.  I remove the chicken from the cutting board and place on my prepared sheet pan breast side up.  Be sure to wash all cutting tools and boards at this stage to remove any contamination of the raw poultry.  Let’s get ready to make our curry sauce for the spatchcock chicken.

Tasting Notes: If fresh whole chicken is not available, you may substitute frozen whole chicken.  Just be sure it is completely defrosted and pat dried before starting this recipe.

 Curry Sauce & Wood Infusion

Fresh curry from our garden

#freshcurry

Although I’m referring to this as a Curry Chicken recipe, note this is not a recipe that cooks for hours like a traditional Indian Curry.  It is fast but highly flavorful.  It all starts with 1 stick of butter melted in a saucepan over medium heat.  To that I add about 2-3 tablespoons of curry powder.  Then 3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard and 3 tablespoons of honey.  Whisk until well combined ensuring the butter does not separate.  I then remove from the heat and grind fresh black pepper into the mix.  I also have fresh curry on hand that I will be topping my sauced chicken with for added fresh curry flavor.

Time to take our great sauce and begin coating our spatchcocked chicken.  Using a basting brush, add a liberal amount of sauce to the entire chicken, ensuring you get under the wings and legs.  Be sure all crevices are coated.  Then top with fresh curry leaves.  While I’m completing the sauce step, I’ve been preheating my grill to 300°F using burners on only one side of the grill.  On that hot side, I’ve added a smoker box that contains four wood chunks.  I’ve used a combination of hardwoods including cherry, maple and ash.  With the grill hot and the wood chunks smoking, it’s time to grill!

Tasting Notes: Fresh curry can be difficult to find so feel free to eliminate this step if it’s not available.  Remember, when two-zone cooking on a grill, the total number of burners will determine how many to turn on.  If the unit is only a three burner, just turn one burner on.  For a four-burner grill, turn on just two burners.

Ready in a Flash!

With our prepared spatchcock curry chicken readied, the sheet pan is added to the grill and the lid is closed.  I leave this to cook on its own for about an hour before returning to rotate the pan and coat on some additional sauce.  I also change out the wood chunks as you’ll find that they have completely charred, which means they no longer are giving off smoke flavor.  I only add 2 new wood chunks to finish the grilling.  Another 20-30 minutes and this should be cooked to 165°F internal temperature.   I then remove from the grill and begin carving.

Our finished curry chicken from the grill

#currychicken

I remove the leg quarters first, then the wings.  Then I slice the breast meat and serve everything on a platter.  You’ll find a small amount of meat will clings and become pulled chicken.  That’s it!  I like to serve mine with rice using the residual juices as flavor for the rice.  This is absolutely a full proof way to get moist flavorful chicken from the grill in a relatively short period of time.

What’s your favorite spatchcock chicken 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 & Single Filet

For more reading related to

 More recipes to try:

-SALT-FREE DRY RUBBED CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS

-SMOKED POTATO CURRY SMOKINLICIOUS® STYLE!

-CORNISH GAME HEN MEETS

-SMOKE A TURKEY- LEARN HOW

Dr. Smoke- our Spachcock Chicken with Fresh Curry from our Garden is a yummy treat!

Dr. Smoke- our Spachcock Chicken with Fresh Curry from our Garden is a yummy treat!

Our Savory Corn Muffins on the cool down rack. Just waiting to be served!

Our Savory Corn Muffins on the cool down rack. Just waiting to be served!

ADDING A SMOKY INGREDIENT FOR A SAVORY CORN MUFFINS

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Ready for a savory take on the standard corn muffin recipe?  I’m adding a smoked chive to bring these muffins to a whole new level.

You may have seen someone bake cornbread in a cast iron skillet on the grill but that’s just cast iron cooking.  I’m taking fresh chives that have been smoked on the stovetop with hardwood chips from SmokinLicious® and adding them to a favorite buttermilk cornbread recipe for a sweet-savory combination.  You can read about our technique for smoking the chives in Dr. Smoke’s Tips and Technique blog.

We are pouring our batter into the muffin pan and topping it off with our smoked chives in preparation for bacon.

A Flavorful Batter

To make 12 muffins you’ll need the following:

  • 1-1/4 cups fat-free buttermilk
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup yellow cornmeal, medium ground
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3 oz. grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons finely chopped smoked fresh chives, divided

Preheat the oven to 400° F.  Combine the buttermilk, olive oil, and egg in a small bowl.  Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground red pepper in a medium size bowl, stirring well with a whisk.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour into that well the milk mixture, stirring just until moist.  Stir in ½ cup of the cheese and 2 Tablespoons of the smoked chives.  Spoon into 12 muffin cups that have been greased.  Sprinkle muffins with the remaining cheese and chives.  Now bake in the oven for about 13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.  Remove from the oven and the remove the muffins from the tin to a wire cooling rack.

Tasting Notes

Our finished muffins hot from the oven on our plate to be served with your favorite jam or butter.

There are so many variations you can add to this standard recipe while keeping the smoked chives.

  • Add fruit such as blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries and leave out the cheese and pepper.
  • Go meaty with bacon or pancetta but hold the sugar and think about adding a different cheese such as Gruyere or Swiss.
  • You can also change the flavor by swapping out almond flour or coconut flour for the all-purpose.

The Culinary Crew wants you to know …

… that smoked herbs, as noted in this “great comfort food” recipe can really add a flavor dimension that pleases many a palate.  Be adventurous this holiday season when it comes to your favorite recipes featuring herbs like chives, rosemary, thyme and sage by enhancing their flavor appeal with a touch of wood fired smoke.  You and your guest will be treated with awesome tastes!

SmokinLicious® products:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

Additional reading:

-EMBER FIRED EGGPLANT & FETA TARTS

-ROOTING FOR GLAZED SMOKED TURNIPS

-Crostini with Smoked Asparagus

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke -You will love these corn muffins with a touch of smoky flavor!

 

Our photo of the turkey with herbs shows the golden brown from the cooking process. Follow our smoke a turkey instructions in this blog so you can produce great results on your next turkey cook.

Smoke a Turkey with our easy to do tips will result in awesome color and flavor. Give it a try!

HOW TO SMOKE A TURKEY

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There are so many ways to smoke a turkey with the main difference found in the amount of time for both preparation and cooking.  One of the favorite methods is hot smoking whether done on a traditional smoker, charcoal grill, or gas grill.

To smoke a turkey, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Grill or Smoker plus fuel for the equipment (charcoal, propane)
  • Wood Chunks
  • Meat Thermometer
  • Dry Rub and/or Brine (about 1 cup of dry rub and 2 cups brine)
  • Whole Turkey preferably fresh and less than 18 lbs.
  • Aluminum Pan
  • Aluminum foil and towels or an insulated blanket

Preparations Before You Smoke

The cleaning of the bird is the same as when you do traditional roasting; removal of the giblets and neck, rinsing and drying the bird, and trimming any loose skin.  However, don’t truss or tie the legs as this can make it harder to cook the bird completely through when smoking.  You can use toothpicks to pin the wings in if they seem to be falling away from the bird.  If you elect to brine your turkey, be sure to start this process at least a day ahead of smoking.  Even brined birds will have more flavor if a dry rub is applied. So apply any combination of dry ingredients you prefer to the turkey, being sure to put some of the rubs under as well as on top of the skin.  Refrigerate the rubbed turkey overnight.

Once you’re ready to smoke, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and rub a small amount of oil on the skin, especially the bottom portion that will be touching the grill grates.  This will keep the bird from sticking.  Don’t apply oil to the grates as that will not guarantee the bird won’t stick!  Always place a cold turkey on the grill or smoker as cold will attract more smoke vapor.  Plan about 30 minutes cooking time per pound.

Preparing the Grill or Smoker

Charcoal Grill/Smoker:

Charcoal base with Smokinlicious® wood chunks added

When using a traditional smoker, you can simply place the charcoal and wood chunks, as normally done, for a long smoking event.  Usually, you position unlit charcoal in the firebox. Then lite a chimney starter full of charcoal and pour that next to the unlit charcoal.  Then place a few wood chunks on the lite charcoal and some on the unlit areas so you will have wood flavor infusion during the entire cooking process.  Place a disposable pan under the turkey that contains a few cups of water or mix of water and broth/stock.  This will add moisture to the cooking environment and collect all the turkey drippings if you should want to make gravy.  The goal is to maintain a cooking temperature of 225-275°F, though you can go as high as 300°F if desired.

When using a kettle-style charcoal grill, set up the drip pan and the turkey to one side of the grill, placing the hot coals on the opposite side.  You can also set up some fire bricks in the charcoal area to retain more heat and stabilize the temperature.

Gas/Propane Grill:

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

These grills need to be set up using an indirect method of cooking – heat on one side meaning burners on one side lite while the turkey and drip pan goes on the unlit side.  Wood chunks will be placed on the heat shields of the lit burners. These will smolder/burn giving off true wood flavor. Additionally, smoker wood chunks last a lot longer than using wood chips in a smoker box or foil pouch.  Still, maintain a temperature of 250-275°F which can be tricky.  You will have to see how many burners need to stay lit to do this technique. Then check the level of heat those burners need to be set to for that temperature.  Certainly, you can cook at a higher temperature if you like but you may need to replenish the wood chunks as they will likely combust faster.

Don’t Fuss

It’s important that you allow the turkey to cook on its own without fussing with the lid.  Each time you open the lid, you release smoke vapor as well as heat.  If you want the bird to cook in a reasonable amount of time, then leave the lid alone.

Never stuff a turkey that will be smoked as this causes the overall cooking time to extend and produce overcooked meat.  Heat flow is blocked by anything put in the cavity as well so try to avoid stuffing herbs, citrus slices, etc. in there.

Always use a quality digital thermometer.  You’re looking for the breast meat to register 160°F.  You can remove from the grill/smoker at that point.  Remember, if left sitting, the bird will continue to cook from all the radiant heat that has been trapped in the bones and meat.

Final Tips

If you need more than 18 lbs. of turkey, then consider smoking two smaller birds doing the same set up as above, just with two birds on the grill.

Feel free to mix some of your dry rubs with melted butter and a little oil and brush this mixture on the bird during the final hour of cooking.  It will produce a fabulous color to the bird and help crisp the skin.

Remember, turkeys labeled as basted or enhanced contain a salt solution so be sure you season lightly so you don’t end up with a salty outcome.

You do not need to foil or tent the turkey when smoking.  Let the air always circulate for the entire cooking process.

When cooking with charcoal, you will likely need less wood than with the gas/propane grill.

 

I hope I’ve inspired you to try smoke a turkey, so you can see just how unbelievably flavorful and easy this technique is.  Remember to leave a comment and subscribe to our channel.  Bringing you tips, techniques, recipes, and the science behind the fire and flavor – that’s®!

The Culinary Crew wants you to know…

that whether it’s smoking a turkey or any meat/protein food item, our recommendation to “Don’t Peek and Let the Smoker Apparatus Do Its Trick” is very important and can’t be stressed enough!  Be patient and keep the lid on!  You’ll be rewarded with incredible coloring and awesome flavor!  If you’re tempted to look, resist the urge by thinking of this in much the same light as many of us did when we saw that Christmas present under the tree days before Advent, all wrapped up nicely with a tag that beckons- ‘Don’t Open Until Christmas!’ Don’t ruin the joy by spoiling the element of surprise and satisfaction!

For step-by-step instructions visit our YouTube channel

For step-by-step instructions visit our YouTube channel

Smokinlicious products used in this Blog:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

additional reading published in our blogs

Additional reading for subjects beyond Smoke a Turkey

Additional reading:

-GIVE ME THAT BEEF BRISKET!

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

-SALT CHOICES: HOW MUCH AND WHAT KIND?

Dr Smoke

Dr. Smoke- “Smoking a turkey does not have to be limited to an actual smoker unit- remember your gas grill is an oven and can be cooked on it by adding wood chunks to give it extra flavor.”

 

WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE BECAUSE OF THE UNIQUE FLAVOR BROUGHT OUT BY THE SMOKING PROCESS!

Wood Fired Apple WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

As the second most consumed fruit in the USA, apples are loaded with antioxidant benefits and have been found to have extensive benefit to the colon due to the high level of gut bacteria present in its polyphenols.  Plus, this is a fruit that is readily available all year long making it an ideal choice for cooking.

We are taking the Gala variety and putting them over a coal fire for wood-fired flavor in our apple pie cake.  Pick your favorite variety of apple and get out the charcoal grill for this fun and simple technique and recipe.

Fire Up the Grill

Fire up the Stok grill

After purchasing 12 apples of your choice, get the charcoal grill going, so the flames can reduce to hot coals.  That’s all needed for our apple cooking!  Any size charcoal grill will do, including the small portable grill.  I use a chimney started to lite charwood from SmokinLicious® as this is my preferred product when I do a short cook fruit or vegetable item.  The reason?  It is not fully carbonized, so it still releases plenty of flavonoids from the hardwood.  You certainly can use a standard hardwood charcoal but add a chunk or two of SmokinLicious® double filet wood chunks to be sure you get a wood flavor.

While the chimney starter is burning down to hot coals, I peel and thinly slice 12 apples.  I use a Gala variety for my recipe and a Stôk charcoal grill, equipped with an insert system.  I place my sliced apples in the insert vegetable basket for this simple method of wood firing the apples.  Just be sure to spray the basket with non-stick cooking spray to ensure the apples don’t stick.

A Cake by Name

With my hot SmokinLicious® charwood producing steady heat, my 12 Gala apples peeled and sliced thin, I’m ready to place the vegetable basket over the hot coals.  Remember, apples have a lot of water content, so they will steam initially.  The water will attract the smoke vapor and bring great color and flavor.  After approximately 10 minutes, I shake the apple slices in the basket to allow them to rotate for even cooking and color.  You’ll see the edges become bronzed as they cook.   In 20 minutes, these will be ready to go.

wood-fired apples make the best cake

Adding the Ingredients & Cook Time

Our wood fired apples and dry ingredients mixed in the pan ready for baking

After the apples are removed from the grill and cooled slightly, add a teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice to maintain color until baked in the oven.  Set those aside and gather together 2 cups flour, 1 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 sticks of cold butter cut into 8 cubes.

Start by combining 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of packed light brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Taking one piece of cold butter at a time, add to the flour mixture, cutting each piece using either an electric hand mixer, 2 knives or a pastry cutter.  You want to have pea-size pieces of butter mixed into the flour mixture.  Press 2/3 of this mixture into a 9-inch springform pan then add the wood-fired apple slices, spreading evenly in pan.

With the wood fired apple slices nestled in the simple cake batter of flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon, it’s time to top the apples with the remaining 1/3 flour mixture.  Be sure all areas are covered.  Set the springform pan on the foil lined sheet pan and place in a 350°F oven for 75 minutes.  Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to sit in the springform pan until cool.  Just run a knife along the edge of the cake to ensure it will separate from the pan’s ring once removed.  Remove the ring when the cake has cooled then sift a ¼ cup powdered sugar on the surface of the cake.

Cake Perfection

Our finished wood fired apple pie cake nicely golden brown

 

After giving Gala apple slices the lick of smoke from our charwood grill, mix together flour, brown sugar and cinnamon with butter for a great cake batter, and baking everything together, the ultimate in apple pie cake is born.  With a light coating of powder sugar, the wood-fired apple slices pile high for perfection in the single bite.  More like a cobbler batter than cake, you’ll love the simplicity of the construction and the unique flavor a wood fire gives to apples.  Perfect anytime of the year, just like apples are, you’ll be the envy of your neighborhood when you fire up the grill for wood infusion to apples.  Now you must also prove that Wood-Fired Apples make the best Cake – Enjoy!

The Culinary Crew wants you to know …

… that this recipe can easily be adapted with the substitution of apples with fruits like peaches, pears or even strawberries.  This switch will offer more of a traditional cobbler type baking with these moisture rich fruits taking on incredible but delicate smoky flavor.

Visit our narrated video with more pictures and step-by-step instructions.

Press above to visit our narrated video with more pictures and step-by-step instructions.

SmokinLicious® products:

Charwood

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

More recipes to try:

-Our Smoked Carrot Cake

-Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

-A SAVORY TAKE ON THE PANCAKE FROM SMOKINLICIOUS®

 

Dr Smoke- "

Dr. Smoke- “This is a MUST try recipe”!

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