We are roasting garlic in an iron skillet over hot embers

We are roasting garlic in an iron skillet over hot embers

Roasting Garlic In An Iron Skillet- Quick and Easy Click To Tweet

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One of my favorite herbs is garlic due to all the applications garlic has in cooking.  One technique that you may not have tried is ember firing the garlic using a wood for flavor and a cast iron skillet for smoke control.

Here’s what you will need to do this technique:

  • A cast iron skillet – Lodge™ has a great model
  • Garlic purchased with the stalks on as you’ll need these for presentation and control during the cooking process
  • An LP/gas grill – any model or size

Grill Preparation

Ever wonder what else you could do with the cast iron skillet other than fire place cooking?   Well, use it to ember roast garlic but on your LP/gas grill!  That’s right.  We will use the gas grill for fire proof cooking and air control without need for the LP/gas.

Place the iron skillet on the grill grates and prepare to add the wood chips.   We will be using Grande Sapore® wood chips from SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products.  The species selected is Ash for its ability to produce hot heat level and an even bed of coals.  It is one of my favorite hardwoods to use for ember cooking of vegetables because of its coal-ability and mild flavor.  You will need a ¼ cube of the chips.  Remember, we are developing a bed of coals for this cooking technique so unlit and lit coals will be used.

Adding Wood for Flavor

Grand Sapore wood chips added to skillet

Grand Sapore® wood chips added to skillet

It’s time to add the wood chips to the skillet!  Take the Grande Sapore® Ash wood chips and fill the cast iron skillet.  Light the chips using a cooking torch or match but remember not to use any other materials for lighting the wood; no newspaper and certainly no lighter fluid which is petroleum at its best.  Once the chips ignite, you need to monitor the depth as you want to end up with a 3-inch depth.  That means, add wood chips as need during the buildup of the embers.

Adding the Garlic

Once we reach a depth of embers of approximately 2-3 inches in the skillet, it’s time to add the garlic by placing them on top of the hot embers.

Take the stems and twist the whole garlic so that each garlic head seats completely in the embers.  Almost instantly, you will see smoke from the embers all around the outside of the garlic.  This is the flavor infusion at the start.  It’s now time to close the top of the grill to control the amount of airflow to the embers.

Ember Roasting Cooking Technique

Once the garlic is added to the hot embers, you will see the dry outer covering of the garlic ignite.  This is the main reason why the outer covering and stems are left on the garlic heads as its sole purpose is to protect the cloves!  You will see the great char coloring on the outside of the garlic.  The stems will either fall off and burn or burn off during the roasting process.  The entire roasting process will take 45-60 minutes depending on the overall heat level and depth of the embers.

Wood embers ignite garlic

Wood embers ignite garlic

The Break to Garlic Heaven

Now, remove the garlic heads from the pan and allow to cool before the peeling process begins.  This is the heavenly part – breaking apart all the charred outer portions and revealing the tenderized, wood charred garlic cloves!  Get ready!  These beauties are ready to be minced, diced, added whole – just about anything you can think of to add depth of flavor you’ve never experienced before.  Now, go on try Ember Cooking/Roasting Garlic In An Iron Skillet.  You know you’re just dying to try this technique yourself!

Bon Bar B Que!

 

Purchase Products:

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

Dr Smoke- "You MUST try Ember Cooking/Roasting Garlic In An Iron Skillet."

Dr Smoke- “You MUST try Ember Cooking/Roasting Garlic In An Iron Skillet.”

 

 

Our finished Grilled Asparagus Wrapped with a healthy Choice

Our finished Grilled Asparagus Wrapped with a healthy Choice

ASPARAGUS WRAPPED IN PUFF PASTRY 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!

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Wood fired guacamole by grilling the avocados before you make the guacamole will excite your taste buds! Your guests will wonder how you did this simple recipe by adding only one small step!

Wood fired guacamole by grilling the avocados before you make the guacamole will excite your taste buds! Your guests will wonder how you did this simple recipe by adding only one small step!

TRY THE KISS OF FIRE TO GUACAMOLE Click To Tweet

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The single seeded berry, fleshy fruit we know as avocado is loaded with healthy fats, 4 grams of protein, and 975 milligrams of potassium which is nearly twice as much as a banana.  With 18 of the amino acids recommend in daily consumption, you’ll want to include avocado in your diet.

We thought we would take this fruit favorite and add a flavor level for your avocado recipes by wood-firing the avocado.  This simple step will bring all the nutritional benefits of the fruit with a bold new taste.

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Our Finished grilled hot cross buns!

Our Finished grilled hot cross buns!

Hot cross buns cooked on the Grill! Click To Tweet

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I know – hot cross buns are traditionally enjoyed during lent and holy Easter weekend.  The basic recipe dates to the 12th century and is known as a sweet dough ball.  Did you know that pretty much any recipe can be made on a grill or smoker, including hot cross buns?

I’m going to take a traditional hot cross bun recipe and make it using the grill with wood chunks for added flavor and the cooking.  Don’t worry that this is a recipe that involves yeast.  You don’t have to know everything about bread making to make this recipe work.  You can add the dried fruit of your choice to customize the flavors as well as selecting the hardwood you like best.

Let’s get started so you can enjoy the SmokinLicious® version of Hot Cross Buns Wood Fired any time of year!

Yeast Makes Dough

our covered yeast and flour mixture wrap to rise

#activedryyeast

These buns start with yeast blooming.  We are using active-dry yeast in our dough which means it must be re-activated in water. Start by pouring water that is between 105° and 155°F into a large bowl and sprinkle 2-1/4 teaspoons of active-dry yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar over the water.  Stir the mixture to dissolve the ingredients and let stand until foamy which will take about 10 minutes.  Then add ½ cup sugar minus 1 tablespoon, 1 cup of warm milk, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ¼ cup of softened butter.  Mix well then add 3 cups of all-purpose flour.  Beat with the paddle attachment of a mixer until smooth and elastic.

After beating the initial dry ingredients, it’s time to add the eggs.  Do this step by adding one egg at a time for a total of 3 eggs.  Once the eggs are mixed in, add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 cup of dried fruit of your choice such as currants, raisins, chopped apricots, and/or candied citrus.  I’m including currants in my dough.  Once mixed well, add 3 cups of additional flour ½ cup at a time, until a soft dough emerges.  Next, it will be time to turn the dough out on a work surface.

Tasting Notes:

These are traditionally a drier sweet dough.  That means you want to use dry fruit items in order to prevent the dough from becoming too moist.  Feel free to expand on the options for the fruit and use combinations that are pleasing to your palate.

Patience Is Key

slicing our dough into smaller amounts

#portioningdough

After adding all the ingredients to our hot cross bun dough, it’s time to turn the dough out and begin to proof also known as rising of the dough.  Start by turning the mixed dough out on a lightly floured work surface.  Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, then form into a circle.  Grease a large bowl and place the rounded dough into the greased bowl, turning the dough once to ensure it is coated with the grease on all sides.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until double in volume.  This will take about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Once the dough has proofed and doubled in size, it’s time to punch it down.  This is a step that releases some of the gas bubbles that have formed by the yeast during the rising time.  Once the dough has the gas released, cover it with a bowl on a dry surface and let stand for 10 minutes.  After that time, divide the dough in half and then quarters.  For each quarter, cut into six equal pieces.  Roll each dough portion into a ball and place on a greased sheet pan, spacing 1-1/2 inches apart.  This is a good time to start the grill by lighting only half the burners and placing a smoker box with wood chunks on the hot side.  We’ll be aiming for a grill temperature of 375°F.

Grill-Baking with Hardwood

Our sheet pan of dough on the grill with wood flavor

#gasgrill #woodchunks

With our grill lit using a two-zone cooking method and wood chunks of maple, white oak, and cherry in the smoker box on the hot side of the grill, it’s time to finish off the hot cross bun dough.  After spacing the dough balls on a sheet pan, I allowed them to rise for about 30 minutes.  Using the white of one large egg and a teaspoon of water mixed together, I brush each of the 24 dough balls with the egg wash.  Using a small, sharp knife, cut a cross in the top of each roll no more than ½ inch deep.  Place one sheet pan of rolls on the unlit side of the grill and cook until golden brown which takes about 25-30 minutes.  I like to rotate my sheet pan ½ way through the cooking time for more even coloring to the rolls.  When finished, transfer the grilled rolls to cooling racks.

Chef Bert and Tom planning dessert Chef Bert & Tom are excited to make hot cross buns on the grill! Chef Bert follows SmokinLicious' blogs for all things grilled and smoked

Tasting Notes:

I’m using a ½ sheet pan for my cooking but note that standard cookie sheets will work well.  If using the ½ sheet pan, your grill area may not be large enough to accommodate the pan while closing the lid completely.  I simply grill with the lid partially open, adjust my temperature control knobs to ensure the 375°F remains stable.

While the buns are cooking on the grill, you can prepare the icing that will go on top of the finish buns.  Start by mixing together 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and 1-1/2 tablespoons of milk.  You can adjust the thickness of the finished icing by adding drops of milk if you want it thinner.  Just be sure that when you add this to a pastry bag, you will be able to push it out in a steady stream and don’t find that it pours out on its own.

Tasting Notes:

Here’s my tip for filling a pastry bag.  Tip-I like to use the disposable bags for icings. Click To Tweet I simply roll down the bag about half-way to form a cuff.  I place the pointed side of the pastry bag into the opening of a roll of paper towels.  This allows me to scrap every bit of icing from the bowl without worrying about the pastry bag.  I leave the filled pastry bag in the roll until the buns are cool enough for applying the icing.

The Perfect Sweet Dough Treat with a Kick of Wood Flavor

basket of our hot cross buns

#hotcrossbuns

After making our hot cross bun dough from scratch, allowing the dough to proof, then dividing into our individual buns.  We baked these on the gas grill set up two-zone method: a hot side that we added three hardwood chunks to using a smoker box on the grill grate.  The buns were placed on the unlit side of the grill and baked at 375°F for approximately 30 minutes, rotating the pan just one time.  Once cooled, we added lemon icing crosses to each bun.  We do this by working with twelve buns at a time, lining them up on the sheet pan tightly to each other.  Using the pastry bag of icing, I place a steady stream of icing vertically on each bun, then do the same horizontally for each row, forming a cross.  Allow the icing to set and then serve.

Although hot cross buns are associated with a specific time of the year, SmokinLicious® feels these are a sweet dough treat to be enjoyed any time of the year.  And, they are best when made on outdoor equipment that can include natural hardwood for unbelievable flavor.

Tasting Notes: 

If served warm, you’ll pick up more of the wood smoke flavoring Click To Tweet these buns were exposed to on the grill.  Adding a bit of butter makes them even sweeter!

What’s your favorite dried fruit to add to hot cross buns?  Comment to let us know.   Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

Can you use a grill to bake?

You certainly can!  Anything baked in an oven can be baked on a grill.  Any kind of grill, gas, charcoal or electric can be used. Have fun with the versatility of your grill by baking cakes, pies, turn-overs, muffins and hot cross buns.

To kick up the flavor threshold, including a bit of cooking wood will complement grill baking and give you and your guests a splendid hardwood-fired taste!  Be sure to follow the temperature instructions of the recipe.

Also, use the indirect or two-zone cooking method.  Here’s a link for two-zone instructions- https://www.smokinlicious.com/blog/why-two-zone-cooking-method-lets-you-walk-away-from-the-grill/.

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

For more reading related to

For more reading related to- how to bake on the grill.

More recipes similar to Hot Cross Buns:

-BEST GINGERBREAD MEETS THE GRILL

-SMOKED RICOTTA-CINNAMON PASTRY HORN

-LOVE PUFFS OF PLEASURE WITH SMOKED CHOCOLATE

 

Dr. Smoke

Dr. Smoke-  the grill is perfect for cooking Hot Cross Buns

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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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!

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

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 ON CHARCOAL OR GAS GRILL Click To Tweet

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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.

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Our Finished Zucchini Rolls, Rolls that are easy to prepare, prepare your appetite for this great vegetable!

Our Finished Zucchini Rolls, Rolls that are easy to prepare, prepare your appetite for this great vegetable recipe!

Try these Zucchini Rolls wood fired for special flavor! Click To Tweet

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Zucchini Rolls– For those of us who love to grow zucchini you know just how heavy a harvest you can end up with.   Then the question is: what to do with all those zucchinis?  Let me offer up a suggestion.  Zucchini ribbon rolls are a super easy way to make a quick appetizer or a great side dish.  In fact, if you don’t need the fanciness of the ribbons, you can modify this recipe which I’ll cover in this posting.  I’ll be taking the zucchini ribbons to the gas grill which I’ve equipped with wood chunks and provide a subtle smokiness to the zucchini before filling with a flavorful ricotta-basil-Parmesan mixture that easily could be smoked as well.  Pick out some of your larger zucchini and get ready to make a super appetizer or side dish with your harvest.

Become a Ribbon Maker

Making the Zucchini Ribbons

As you likely know, zucchini grows on a vine so when you start, you will find an end that has a growth nub and then a rounded bottom.  Both ends need to be trimmed after the entire zucchini has been washed and pat dry.

Although you can make the ribbons on a mandolin, I’ve elected to use a wide vegetable peeler.  I located the flattest portion of the zucchini and begin at the stem top down in one peel.  This will produce a ribbon of about 1-inch in width.  I continue peeling on this side until I begin seeing seeds.  I then rotate the zucchini and begin peeling on the opposite side.  You can produce as many ribbons as the zucchini will make until it begins to reach tender inner flesh that won’t support a single ribbon peel.

With the long ribbons of zucchini made, I lay them out on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  I then brush each ribbon lightly with olive oil before placing on the grill.  Since my grill is set up for two zone cooking, the zucchini pan will go on the side with no direct heat meaning all burners on that side are off, while my wood chunks are smoking in the smoker box on the direct heat side.  These will only take about 12-15 minutes to flavor with smoke and they do not require any flipping.  Just a quick rotation of the pan about halfway through the cooking process.

Tasting Notes:

Remember, zucchini has a lot of water content which makes it ideal of attracting smoke vapor.  That means, you need to use hardwoods that are more mild or medium in boldness so the intensity of the smoke flavor is pleasant and not bitter.  I like maple, ash, alder, and cherry either alone or in combination.

A Creamy Filling for our Zucchini Rolls

Making the creamy filing

While the zucchini ribbons are cooking with wood flavor, I begin working on the filling for my ribbon rolls.  I start by placing 1 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese in a sieve over a bowl to remove any excess liquid.  Once transferred to a bowl, I work on chopping some fresh basil from my garden, until I end up with about 3 tablespoons worth.  I add that to the ricotta bowl along with 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic.  A drizzle of white truffle oil and some fresh ground pepper go in next.  Finally, about a ¼ cup of grated Parmesan is added and mixed in well.

Tasting Notes:

You can substitute many other fillings for the one I’ve included.  Other ingredients that would work well include goat cheese, chives with some chopped nuts for crunch.  Even a dried fruit like cranberry or golden raisins would be a great addition. 

Time to Roll

Zucchini Ribbons on the grill with wood chunks using a two zone cooking technique

With our filling well mixed, it’s time to return to the grill and remove our ribbons in preparation for filling.  If the ribbons are still oily, simply take a paper towel and wipe the residual oil away.  You don’t want the ribbons too wet or they won’t hold up when placed back on the grill.  Working with a single ribbon at a time, lay a generous dab of the filling in the center of the ribbon and spread to within ½ inch of each end.  Starting on one end, gently roll the zucchini ribbon until you have a small spiraled log.  Place on a parchment lined sheet pan leaving 1-inch spacing between rolls.  Continue with the rest of the ribbons until all are filled.  Then return the pan to the grill just to heat the filling up.

I will tell you that you can grill smoke the ribbons to the consistency you prefer you just need to ensure that they stay flexible enough to roll.  It is sometimes beneficial to dry these out a bit more before grilling so making the ribbons a day ahead of the actual grill-smoking is helpful.  Once tender and warmed inside, remove from the grill and serve.  I prefer to place mine on a base of vodka sauce with some fresh basil leaves.  These are slightly smoky, creamy and easy to eat.  They can be served easily as an appetizer or a side dish to your choice of animal protein.  I like these served with a rich short rib or a nice flaky fish like snapper or sea bass.  Oh, and don’t forget about that leftover zucchini you’ll have after you’ve made the ribbons.  I like to matchstick cut my leftover zucchini and add the remaining cheese filling with a bit of sauce and make this for another side dish or healthy lunch.

What’s your favorite zucchini recipe from the grill?  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®.

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SmokinLicious® Products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

For more reading related to Zucchini rolls and other great vegetable dishes to wood fire!

For more reading related to Zucchini rolls and other great vegetable dishes to wood fire!

More recipes to try:

-SMOKED AVOCADO LOAF FROM OUR AVOCADO RECIPES

-PAN COOK ZUCCHINI ON THE GRILL WITH WOOD FLAVOR

-EMBER FIRED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA GALETTE

 

Dr. Smoke

Dr. Smoke- Prepare your appetite for the Ricotta filled, tomato sauced, Zucchini rolls with a touch of wood fired flavor

Getting ready for a Grilling/Roasting Broccoli extravaganza!

Getting ready for a Grilling/Roasting Broccoli extravaganza!

Summary:

Using Smokinlicious® double filet or single filet wood chunks on your gas grill for a grilling/roasting broccoli experience. Grilled Broccoli using broccoli florets adds woodflavoring for broccoli vegan! Call it Roasted broccoli, wood roasted broccoli or smoked fresh broccoli just add it to your roasted broccoli recipes!

Grilling/Roasting Broccoli on the Grill

Ready to add a new flavour twist to your average Broccoli?  Then get your LP/Gas Grill ready and find out how easy this method is using wood chunks for great char flavour.  All you’ll need for this easy cooking experience is:

Equipment/Ingredients:

Preparing the Grill for the Grilling/Roasting Broccoli technique

Adding special wood flavoring to your LP/Gas grill can be so easy by following these simple steps: make sure your grill is clean from significant grease build up.  Remove the grilling grates and determine how much space is between the diffuser and the grilling grate.  The diffuser is the plate covering the units gas burner (do not remove the cover).

Once you have the measurement select the SmokinLicious® wood chunk size that will best fit the area.  Based on your measurement, select either the Single Filet which is ~4 inches or the Double Filet which is ~2 inches.

Wood Preparation

Remove the cooking grates from the grill.  Then strategically place the wood chunks over the heat diffuser.   This is the metal piece covering the actually gas burner(s).   If the SmokinLicious® wood chunks are fresh, then you can add them directly to the unit without pre-soaking them.  If not, you may want to consider a lite soaking of about 15 minutes.

Wood chunks above diffuser

Wood chunks above diffuser

Today, I want my broccoli to just have the natural flavour of the wood so I’m using them un-soaked.  Know that you can add additional flavouring through the soaking process by soaking the wood in a liquid  like wine, beer, or juice.

Then replace the grills back over the SmokinLicious® wood chunks!  Make sure the grates are securely seated back on the unit.  If there is a lot of space on your unit between the diffuser and the grate you may want to consider a SmokinLicious® single filet or block item.

Now light the unit and set to a low heat setting. Bring the unit up to a temperature of about 180 degrees F.  Do not overheat the unit as the goal is to delay ignition of the wood.

Preparing the Broccoli

I slice up the broccoli head into what I call serving slices (you can get to make individual florets or larger sizes, totally up to you) and add them on the grill grates.  Keep in mind, you want to be able to move the finished product from the grill to the serving dish without too much issue.  The actual sizing of the pieces doesn’t matter as all sizes will take in the natural wood flavour.  It’s best to break down the head into florets in order to ensure charring on all portions of the broccoli.

Then I close the cover of the grill for the cooking/smoking process.

Cooking Process

Open the lid of the LP/gas grill after about 4-5 minutes of cook time.  Remember, your heat setting should remain on low.  You should see that the SmokinLicious® “Double” filet wood chunks have ignited!  The burning of the wood will produce heat and smoke within the unit.  Open the lid every 5 minutes or so and move the broccoli florets around to make sure you have an even searing on each piece. 

After 7-10 minutes, the broccoli should be showing a color change due to the wood flavonoids infusion. You should see the charring on the outside of the florets as well as see the smoke being produced by the wood that is burning under the grate. I use these ‘hot” spots to move the food over them which will ensure complete “char” on the outside of each floret.

A great smoky taste to the finished result!

A great smoky taste to the finished result!

Final Product

All that’s left is to move the florets to a serving dish, add  some butter, salt and fresh ground pepper to complete the dish.  Feel free to experiment with different variations on a finish as everything is fair game.  Keep in mind too, that broccoli freezes really well, especially when broken down in to florets.  Be sure to take advantage of the growing season and freeze your finished wood roasted broccoli for use when fresh broccoli is unavailable.

The Culinary Crew wants you to know

that the flavor charm of grilled and roasted broccoli can be extended to an array of great, traditional or family favorite recipes featuring this healthy, tasty vegetable.  There are many, many excellent recipes with broccoli as the main player.  Freeze and save an amount of your grilled, wood-fired broccoli to “flavorize” those broccoli-based soups, casseroles or dips!

Bon Bar B Que!

 

Dr. Smoke-do this great Grilling/Roasting Broccoli techniqueoked beef broth with our simple techniques.

Dr. Smoke-do this great Grilling/Roasting Broccoli technique

 

SmokinLicious Products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

For more reading related to

For more reading related to Grilled/Roasted Broccoli, try these recipes

More broccoli recipes to try:

-MARRYING FLAVORS FROM INDIA WITH SMOKED BROCCOLI

-BROCCOLI PESTO WITH A WOODSY NOTE

-CHARRED BROCCOLI SOUP!

Wood flavoured grilled Corn on the Cob Topped with Fresh Parsley

Wood flavoured grilled Corn on the Cob Topped with Fresh Parsley

Have you ever thought of roasting fresh corn on your lp/gas grill and adding wood flavouring?

Our culinary team has produced a two-part video series outlining how we Wood flavoured grilled Corn on the grill!  It is so easy to do, especially this time of year when the corn harvest is abundant!   Add this as a great side to your dinner,  make a wood-fired salsa with the corn, freeze the corn for grilling enjoyment in the middle of the winter season.  Unless you are like us and we ate the full dozen just after the grilling and pictures.

Ingredients:

  • Gas/LP grill
  • 1-2 dozen ears of corn with husks
  • 8-12 double filet Smokinlicious® wood chunks.  (We used Sugar Maple but any species will work- consult the flavour chart)
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup of fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 hour of fun grilling time, the noise of the corn popping on the grill is free and will excite your guests!

Video one grill set up

Video two cooking process

BON BAR B Q

The Culinary Team wants you to know …

… that char-grilled corn on the cob has many advantages of adding smoky flavor to your summer and early fall food enjoyment.  Give this simple smoked corn salsa a try.  Slice off the charred kernels of four ears of corn, dice a Spanish onion and a grilled sweet pepper.  Combine the mixture with an 1/8 cup of balsamic vinegar, a teaspoon of olive oil, dash of worcestershire sauce, juice of a lime and a few shots of hot sauce.  It’s that easy and so good! 

SmokinLicious Products Used for the Recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

For more reading related to Wood Flavoured Grilled Corn, try these recipes

For more reading related to Wood Flavoured Grilled Corn, try these recipes

Related recipes:

-SPICY BUTTER FOR SMOKY GRILLED CORN

Ember cooked Sweet Peppers

-FRESH CORN ON THE COB- GRILLED

Dr. Smoke

Dr. Smoke- How we Wood flavoured grilled Corn on the cob with a gas grill! Using our best wood chunks for smoking-add this to your smoky corn on the cob recipes!

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