Our table of the six ingredients necessary to prepare the smoked pear salad with gorgonzola for a tasty twist.

Refreshing smoked pear salad with gorgonzola and our easy to follow recipe only requires six ingredients.

SMOKED PEAR SALAD WITH GORGONZOLA

When your craving salad but our tired of the same boring options, take it a step further and feed all your senses with the Smoke Pear Salad with Gorgonzola from SmokinLicious®!

This is a very simple salad once you’ve followed our segment on smoking fresh pears.  With pears in season during the colder months, it’s a great time to get your serving of greens.  So, let’s get started with what you will need for Smoked Pear Salad with Gorgonzola:

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 smoked pears (see our previous series on smoking pears)
  • 1/2 cup of Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar – I prefer a flavor infused one – I am using tangerine balsamic vinegar but anything in the citrus line would work well
  • 1 head of lettuce in my case, I am using Boston lettuce
  • fresh pepper

Preparing the Smoked Pear Salad with Gorgonzola:

Taking your previously smoked pear halves, time to remove the skin and prepare to cut these for the salad.  Now, this is where you need to make some decisions on how you want your salad to look.  You can either slice the pears to add to whole Boston or Romaine lettuce leaves or you can cube them to add to chopped lettuce.  I will be chopping my lettuce and cubing my smoked pears.  Ideal sizing is ½ inch thickness for your pears to provide the right balance between the boldness of the smoked pear and the savory bite of the Gorgonzola.  I’ll be balancing the two out with my vinaigrette.

Specially Diced Lettuce Arranged in a Bowl

Chopped Boston Lettuce

Boston lettuce is ideal for forming its own bowl and is an ideal choice for this pear salad.  If you want to use the leaves whole, lay 1-2 for a good personal size salad.  I am chopping my lettuce for a full side dish platter.  Be sure to clean the lettuce and pat dry prior to using.  The lettuce, if cut, should be rough cut in order to hold the pears and hold the vinaigrette.

Assembling the Salad:

Once the lettuce is cut or laid in whole leaf form to the plate, it’s time to add the cubed or sliced pear.  Be sure you try to keep the pears in a single layer.  Now it’s time to add the Gorgonzola cheese.  Depending on your preference for this very strong cheese, begin sprinkling it all around the salad or if using the lettuce as a bowl, providing an even layer of cheese.  It’s that simple!  Now you’ll see just how well these colors all work together.  Pleasing to the eyes and mouth!

Specially Diced Smoked Pears Placed on Lettuce Awaiting the Zesty Gorgonzola

Adding Gorgonzola

Making the Vinaigrette:

Now that the salad components are plated it’s time to prepare the vinaigrette.  I like to mix my dressings in a 2-cup measuring cup in order to make it easy to add to the salad.  You will need a small whisk as well.  First, add 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil to the measuring cup.  Then add 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar – I am using a tangerine infused balsamic vinegar for a citrus flavor to this salad.  To the liquids, grind some fresh ground pepper and then whisk until combined and thickened.  Do not mix the vinaigrette unless you’re ready to serve the salad otherwise you’ll get a breakdown and thinning.

 

The Finish of the Smoked Pear Salad with Gorgonzola:

Vinaigrette Spritzed Over Smoked Pears and Gorgonzola- Adding the Finishing Touch to a Savory Salad

Finished Salad

Here is the final component to this great salad – drizzling a tangerine vinaigrette over the smoked pears, Boston lettuce and Gorgonzola.  It’s your choice how much to add but just be sure you get most of the components coated with a bit or you’ll be missing out on the fantastic balance of all the flavors.  Smoky depth of the pears, bite of the Gorgonzola, crisp freshness of the lettuce and the tang of the oil and vinegar.  A perfect way to get heartiness in a salad while enjoying the benefits of healthiness.  Bon appetito!

The Culinary Crew wants you to know …

… that although grilled or smoked pears are the featured “star” ingredient to this salad, just about any type of seasonal fruit can add a nice taste zip to salads when grilled or smoked.  Grilling and smoking fruit brings out a caramelized flavor dimension that is rich, a touch earthy and very pleasant to your taste buds.  Try apples, peaches or even grapes with this recipe!

SmokinLicious® Products used in this recipe:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

For more reading related to

For more reading related to Smoked Pear Salad with Gorgonzola

More recipes to try:

-GRILLED PEACHES FOR THE PERFECT SALAD ADDITION

-STEPPING UP RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE

-WOOD GRILLED VERSION OF CHEF WATERS’ GOAT CHEESE SALAD

-THE SMOKED PEAR BELLINI COCKTAIL

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke

 

 

 

 

 

Video references to our social media posts

pinterest widget for the pear salad

pinterest for the pear salad follow our links

you tube link to our pear salad instructional videos

Twitter pear widget linking to our video instructions

Facebook widget linking to our instructional videos

 

Look at these wonderful bright green chives that we will be adding a pinch of smokey flavor by our stove top smoked chives techniques

By our stove top smoked chives techniques we will be adding a pinch of smokey flavor to these wonderful bright green chives

STOVE TOP SMOKED CHIVES FRESH FROM THE GARDEN

 

Fresh chives are in season so why not do something different with this wonderful herb and try your hand a smoking them!  One of the easiest methods for controlling the heat and smoke level to a delicate item like herbs is to use a stove top smoker or stove top smoker set up with a cast iron pan.  The point of smoking the chives is to add a depth of flavor to any recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

Minuto® Wood Chips

STOVE TOP PAN PREPARATIONS:

Our favorite stove-top smoker

Be sure your smoker base pan of the stove top smoker unit or of your cast iron pan is clean of any previous wood chips or food scraps.  Add the SmokinLicious® Wood Products Minuto® Smoker Wood Chips in Size #6 in the base of the unit or skillet, about a dessert plate full of chips. Be sure to select a wood flavor that will not overpower the chives flavor.  My choice is Sugar Maple.  The chips should be left dry as stove top techniques work best with dry wood product.

HEATING THE PAN:

After adding the wood chips turn the heat level of your stove to medium.  Put the cover of the unit on or a lid on the pan and let the chips begin to smoke.  On the stove top unit, keep the vent top open about ¼ turn.  You can alter the position of the lid on a skillet so it isn’t air tight.  Remember, you’ll want to trap most of the smoke into the unit or pan.  Once you see smoke vapor exit the vent, it’s time to add the chives.

Putting the chips in the bottom of the pan

PREPARING THE CHIVES:

Gently wash the chives and trim the bloom heads of the stalks as well as any dry bottoms.  Pat the chives dry and place in the food pan.

SMOKING PROCESS:

Using a stove top smoker will be the easiest way to get smoke flavor to each chive as the food pans have evenly placed vent holes to ensure great flavoring to every part of the food item.  Maintain a temperature of about 150°F to ensure that you don’t burn the chives.  About 10 minutes into the infusion, check the chives by lifting off the cover and see if they have taken on a golden hue.  If so, you’re about ½ way there!  At this point, the chives will begin to lose moisture and become similar to a dried herb.

After about 20 minutes, you’re ready to remove the chives and start on the next batch.  Once the smoking process is finished, starting thinking of all the uses for this flavorful smoked herb. Be sure to check out our recipe postings to give you inspiration. Please try using our stove top smoked chives technique on this seasonal herb for a wonderful smokey flavor.

Note the smokey color on the finished product

Bon-Bar-B-Q!

 

SmokinLicious® Products:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

For more reading related to

For more reading related to stove top smoked chives

More blog posting you might enjoy:

-ADDING A SMOKY INGREDIENT FOR SAVORY CORN MUFFINS

-SMOKED HERBS FLAVORS WITH SMOKED HERB DUST

-MUSHROOMS GO SMOKY-WOOD FIRED

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke- “Smoking chives adds a distinctively great flavor to this versatile herb.”

Our Hearts of pleasure are filled with great Smoked chocolate! You or your favorite person must try Smoked Chocolate!

Our Hearts of pleasure are filled with great Smoked chocolate! You or your favorite person must try Smoked Chocolate!

Imagine a puffed pastry filled with Smoked Chocolate and Nuts! Click To Tweet

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Sometimes you need a special dessert or treat for that occasion that you want to express your love or appreciation.  An anniversary, Valentine’s Day, Sweetest Day, or even as a thank you gesture.  I have the perfect treat that is simple to make and allows you to customize the ingredients to fit the preferences of the recipient.  I’ll give you my version of the Heart Puffs of Pleasure but know too, you can change the shape of this treat to any cookie cutter shape you find adorable to use.  It all starts with adding a bit of smoky flavor to some of the filling ingredients so let’s start there.

DIY Stove Top Smoker

I’m using my DIY stove top smoker technique which uses a standard stock pot and a round roasting rack for the smoking.  You can visit our previous posting on this technique on our Tips & Techniques Blog.

Our stove top smoker is a simple stock pot with wood chips in the bottom and rack on top

#stovetopsmoker

I placed Sugar Maple Minuto® Wood Chips in the base and will smoke 2 of my filling ingredients: milk and dark chocolate and peanut and cashew pieces.  I’m also including shredded coconut in my filling but I’ll just do a light toasting of this in the oven.

Before smoking, I break up the large chocolate bars to allow for easier smoke infusion and place in heat tolerant containers.  The nuts will be smoked first since I’m using a hot smoking technique for them, then I’ll remove the pot from the heat and put the chocolate pieces in to infuse with the remaining smoke vapor.  It’s important that you quickly remove the nut container and reseal the pot in order to keep the smoke vapor generating.  If needed, keep the pot on the burner for a few minutes after the nuts have been removed.  Then take off the heat, allow the pot to cool slightly, then add the chocolate pieces container.

Tasting Notes: Although you can select any ingredients you want for your stuffed puff pastry design, be sure you understand which ingredients are appropriate for hot smoking and which would require cold smoke application.  Remember, items that traditionally melt with heat will melt from any temperature above 80°F.

Cookie Cutter for Easy Design

our heart shaped cookie cutters, you can do any design

#cookiecutter

Here’s the fun part of this treat!  Selecting the design shapes you want to encase your great fillings in.  I’ve decided to do heart shapes in two sizes: a 4-inch and 3-inch heart using cookie cutters.

Using store bought puff pastry sheets, I thaw according to the package directions and then lay one sheet out on a board.  I place my cookie cutters on the pastry sheet spacing accordingly so I end up with four hearts per sheet.  Remember, you will need a top and bottom pastry heart for each treat.  I’m using a total of four pastry sheets which will provide me with three large finished hearts and six smaller.  Simply cutout the heart shapes and place on a parchment lined sheet pan.  Keep the pastry cold until you are ready to fill them, with a damp cloth placed over the hearts to keep the pastry from drying out.

 

all the goodies inside, smoked chocolate and nuts!

#smokedchocolate #smokednuts #stuffedpuffpastry

Ready to Fill!

With our filling choices smoked, it’s time to start assembling the pastry hearts.  Start by placing three pieces of smoked chocolate on a pastry heart followed by the other fillings.  In my case, that’s a spoonful of smoked nut pieces and toasted coconut.  Place a second pastry heart over the first and pinch the edges together.  I secure the edges in place by using the tines of a small fork which also adds a decorative edge.  Then egg wash your finished pastry heart.  Continue with the other pastry cutouts until complete, noting that the smaller hearts will take just two pieces of smoked chocolate.  Do not allow the fillings to go to the pastry edges.

Once all the puff pastry hearts as filled, sealed, and egg washed, it’s time to place the prepared sheet pans into a 375°F oven.  These will take between 15-18 minutes to become golden brown and “puffed”.  It’s important that you check the bottom of the pastry hearts to ensure they are golden as well so there are no raw dough segments.  Once baked, remove from the oven and place on cooling racks.  These must be cooled completely through before attempting to ice.

 Dessert Means Icing

While the pastry hearts are baking, you can make icing to drizzle over the tops.  Be sure you cool the hearts completely before icing otherwise you’ll end up with a thin, melted icing.

To make the icing, combine powdered sugar with milk or cream.  I take about 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar to 1 tablespoon of milk or cream and mix well.  I like a consistency that is the thickness of gravy so I can control the drizzle on my finished pastry.

For coloring, I like to use gel food colorings which require much less coloring and have a greater variety of colors available.  I decided to use violet, pink, and red though my red was more of a deep pink as I used such a small amount.  When the pastry is completely cool, I use a spoon to drizzle the colored icing over the top of each heart.  Allow to dry for about 10 minutes and you’re ready to serve.

finished stuffed pastry will icing added

#puffpastry #mothersday #Valentines_day

Here’s the best part about our puff pastry hearts.  They can hold any fillings you can think of.  Whether sweet, savory, spicy or other, you can make these with all types of ingredients.  And the pastry can be cut into any shape and size. Consider the person you’re making them for, the special event or occasion, and then have fun customizing them.   Even with the stove top smoking components, these can easily be made in under two hours.  Try our technique and create a truly unique and flavorful result that will be appreciated by the recipient!

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

Smokinlicious® products used in this recipe:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

For more reading related to smoked Chocolate and other great recipe ideas!

For more reading related to smoked Chocolate and other great recipe ideas!

More recipes you may like:

-SMOKED RICOTTA-CINNAMON PASTRY HORN

-SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE

-WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

 

Dr. Smoke-Dr. Smoke- I Love the taste of Smoked Chocolate! Try these puff pleasures for your favorite person or just for yourself!

Dr. Smoke- I Love the taste of Smoked Chocolate! Try these puff pleasures for your favorite person or just for yourself!

 

Our pastry horns in the over baking getting ready to be filled with our Smoked Ricotta Cheese we made in our tips blog

Our pastry horns in the over baking getting ready to be filled with our Smoked Ricotta Cheese we made in our tips blog

CINNAMON PASTRY HORN- SMOKED RICOTTA ON THE STOVE-TOP Click To Tweet

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Have I got a great treat for you!  Featuring smoked ricotta, I’m making a pastry horn filled with the sweetness of cinnamon infused smoked ricotta with a touch of crushed almond and shredded coconut.  I have an easy method of making the puff pastry horns that don’t require purchased molds and helpful hints on filling these light, golden horns of goodness.

Be sure to follow our previous tips posting on how to smoke ricotta using a DIY stove top smoker technique, and you’ll be ready for our smoked horns of ricotta goodness!

No Purchase Necessary

There’s no need to purchase horn molds as I have a very inexpensive way to make the perfect sized horns for filling.  Start by purchasing a box of sugar cones and aluminum foil sheets that are precut.  For each sheet of foil, cut in half.  Place one cone on the ½ sheet of foil and start to roll the foil around the cone until the final edge meets the cone.  Take the excess foil and push it into the top of the cone.  Continue covering all the cones – most cartons will have 12 cones total.

Tasting Notes: These foil-wrapped cones can be used again and again, as long as you keep them preserved.  To do that, keep the foil on the cones and place in a storage bag, with all the excess air removed from the bag.  I use my cones until they either become too soft or break apart.

Wrapping the Molds

wrapping the puff pastry around our cone

#pastryhorn

This recipe is easier when you use ready to use puff pastry sheets that are readily available in most freezer sections of the grocery store.

Start by following the thaw directions for the pastry.  Using a pizza cutter, I make roughly 3/8-inch strips of pastry.  Taking a foil wrapped cone, I start about ¾-inch from the pointed end and begin wrapping the mold with the pastry strip, overlapping each edge as I progress.  Add a 2nd strip, overlapping the end of the first until completely covered.  You do not have to cover the entire cone.  Set on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and finish covering the rest of the cones.

With all the horn molds wrapped with puff pastry strips, it’s time to ensure they get golden brown when baking.  That means they need an egg wash.  Taking one slightly beaten egg, brush each horn with the egg.  Use the egg wash to secure any loose ends as well.  Then bake according to package directions which usually is at 400° F for 12-15 minutes.   I usually rotate the sheet pan half way through the baking time to ensure even color.  Remove from the oven when golden brown and gently remove the foil cone from each horn.  Allow to cool prior to filling.

Ready to Fill!

our pastry bag filled with Smoked Ricotta Cheese.

#smokedricotta

With the pastry horns baked and cooling, it’s time to make the filling for the horns.  Start by adding powdered sugar, cream, cinnamon and cinnamon chips to the smoked ricotta. Mix well and then place the filling in a pastry bag.  I prefer the disposable kind to allow for easy clean up.  For the 3 pounds of ricotta I’ve smoked, I’ll need about four pastry bags of ricotta mixture.  In addition, I’m going to have two options for the ends of my horns – shredded coconut and chopped almond.  Be sure you refrigerate the ricotta mixture for at least 30 minutes prior to piping into the horn shells.

 Tasting Notes: For the 3 pounds of smoked ricotta I used, I included ¼ cup cream, 3-1/2 tablespoons of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, and 1/3 cup of cinnamon chips.  You can use these measurements as a guide if you elect to decrease the amount of ricotta used.

 Horn of Flavorful Plenty

Now comes the fun part.  Assembling the pastry horns.  Starting with the large opening on the horn, begin piping the ricotta mixture into the horn in a circular fashion.  Allow the mixture to go just past the end of the horn.  Then pipe additional ricotta into the smaller end opening.  Next, dip the ends or sprinkle using a spoon with the shredded coconut or chopped almond, or both – one on each end.  Then place the finished horn on a serving tray.    Repeat with the other horns until all are filled.  Remember, work with only one bag of the ricotta mixture at a time keeping the others refrigerated until needed.  Use your imagination and think of other great ingredients to use with the smoked ricotta like peppermint extract and chocolate mint chips.  This is a recipe that is highly adaptable and don’t forget, food coloring small batches of the ricotta mixture will give you a colorful serving platter of delight.

Our finished pastry horns filled with Smoked Ricotta cheese

#smokedricottadessert

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

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

 

For more reading related to- Learn how to do Smoked Ricotta Cheese by following our method in our Tips blog

For more reading related to- Learn how to do Smoked Ricotta Cheese by following our method in our Tips blog

Additional reading:

-Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

-SMOKED BANANA DOUBLE BITES

-EMBER FIRED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA GALETTE

Dr. Smoke- We love Smoked Ricotta Cheese filled Pastry Horn!

Dr. Smoke- We love Smoked Ricotta Cheese filled Pastry Horn!

Our Charred Broccoli soup ingredients, in the pot and finished soup

Our Charred Broccoli soup ingredients, in the pot and finished soup

CHARRED BROCCOLI SOUP WITH GRILLED BROCCOLI FLORETS

listen to the audio of this blog posting

Known as the mini tree, broccoli is part of the cruciferous vegetable family that includes cabbage, Brussels sprout, cauliflower, and kale to name a few.  Broccoli is low in calories and packed with nutritional value including Vitamin K, C, folate, and potassium.

Although popular as a steamed or stir-fry vegetable, one of the great things when grilling broccoli is it doesn’t lose any nutritional value and you gain great flavor.

I’m going to give you two easy ways to bring wood flavor to broccoli using the equipment of your choice.  Then I’ll tell you how to make an easy broccoli soup that is loaded with hearty flavors of the wood fire.

Gas Grill Method

We are roasting our broccoli on the grates on the gas grill over a wood chunk placed on the diffuser.

One of the benefits of using a gas grill is the heat level control and speed at which the grill can do what you want.  For this method of grilling, I’ll first get four wood chunks from SmokinLicious® in the double filet size and place on one of the grill’s heat shields.  This will be the easy way of adding wood flavor to the broccoli while it cooks.  Set the burners to medium and allow the grate to heat up and the smoke to generate from the wood chunks.  Then place pre-cut broccoli florets on the grill grate keeping some space between the pieces.  I usually can close the lid for the first 5-8 minutes before things start to cook rapidly.  At that point, you’ll need heat-safe tongs to turn the broccoli so it cooks and colors evenly.  Once done, remove to a bowl and allow to cool.

Stovetop Smoker Method

Our Nordic Ware® stovetop smoker adding flavor to our broccoli

Stovetop smokers are perfect for the person who lives in a location that a grill isn’t possible, or who prefers to cook indoors but craves smoke flavor.  I’m using the indoor kettle smoker from Nordic Ware® which uses a wood chip product to produce the smoke.  SmokinLicious® offers a great assortment of wood chip sizing with recommendations specifically for stovetop smokers.  I am using a custom blend of Minuto® Wood Chips in #4 White Oak, #8 Wild Cherry and #6 Hickory.  You can view our series on the specific steps of this method in Dr. Smoke’s Tips and Technique blog.  Unlike the gas grill method, with this one, just load the broccoli florets to the smoker tray, put the cover on and come back in about 40 minutes for the finish.

Bring on the Soup!

After wood firing the broccoli, it’s time to gather the additional ingredients to make our charred broccoli soup.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 cups of baby spinach
  • 6 cups of wood-fired broccoli, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1-1/2 fresh avocado, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups of broth plus extra for thinning soup
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil
  • Salt & fresh ground pepper

To start the soup, place the oil in a pot and add the diced onion, red pepper flakes, and minced garlic.  Allow time to cook until tender, about 6-8 minutes.  Then add the 4 cups of broth and bring to a boil.

After tenderizing the aromatics and adding the broth, add the 6 cups of chopped wood fired broccoli.  Allow the flavors to marry for about 5 minutes on boil, then turn the heat off.  Add the 3 cups of baby spinach, mixing to combine.  Allow the mixture to cool until just warm.

Place ½ the mixture in a blender or food processor with some of the diced avocado and pulse until pureed.  At this stage, the soup mixture will be thick.  Once the ingredients are completely pureed, transfer back to the pot and place on low heat.  You can alter the thickness of your final soup by adding broth as needed.  Season again with salt and pepper to taste.

We now add our spinach to the pot.

Happiness in a Bowl

Once the soup has been returned to the stove on low heat, you can start to alter the consistency and flavors to suit your taste.  If you prefer a thinner soup, add broth.  Don’t like quite that much smoke flavor?  Add a touch of cream or sour cream to balance out the flavors.  Like a bit more kick?  A drop or two of hot sauce works great.  Once the consistency is achieved, top each serving with a drip of cream and some chopped avocado.  Or, if you want to be dairy free, add a stream of olive oil and chopped avocado.  This is a soup that you can make your own.

I’ve gone cheese-free but you certainly can add that as well.   Frankly, this soup is even yummy served cold.  No matter if you pick the gas grill method or the stovetop method, you’ll have a flavorful, hearty broccoli to use in this soup recipe or other recipes featuring this healthy cruciferous vegetable.

Tasting Notes on our Charred Broccoli Soup recipe:

To tone down the boldness of the smoke, always reach for hardwoods that are noted to be lighter in flavor tones.  These would include Alder, Ash, and Wild Cherry.

If you want to make this a cream-based soup, simply add ¾ cup of light cream or ½ cup of sour cream to the finished soup.  Allow for marrying with the other ingredients for 10-15 minutes before serving.

If you’re looking for a broccoli-cheese version, good choices for cheese include white cheddar, Gruyere, Asiago, Maasdam.

If you want a thinner soup consistency, add an additional 1 cup of broth.

For a spicy kick, add 2 teaspoons of hot sauce or a tablespoon of Hoisin sauce.

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Wood Chips- Minuto®

Additional reading:

-SMOKED BROCCOLI CASSEROLE WITH APPLE & QUINOA

-Smoked Squash & Kale Soup

-NO, IT’S NOT SLAW JUST SMOKED CABBAGE!

-PEACHES WOOD FIRED FOR A SMOKY FLAVORFUL GAZPACHO

Dr. Smoke- you must try our Charred Broccoli Soup!

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

listen to the audio of this blog posting

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.

Culinary Crew 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.

Purchase 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!

 

The Finished Glazed Smoked Turnips are garnished and ready to be served

The Finished Glazed Smoked Turnips are garnished and ready to be served

ROOTING FOR GLAZED SMOKED TURNIPS

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It may not be the preferred choice in vegetable but it is one you should get to know as the health benefits noted from turnips are amazing.  Known to improve bone health, protect your heart, and be an active cancer fighter, turnips are also known to reduce inflammation and optimize digestion.

Turnips are a root vegetable.  The best part is they are available throughout the year.  We are going to fire up the stovetop smoker and bring some hickory flavor to our turnip cuts before letting them take a swim in a glaze that will balance out the smoky flavor with some sweetness.

Prep Your Turnips and Smoker

Adding SmokinLicious® Minuto® Wood Chips to the Nordic Ware stove top smoker.

Take a trip to the grocery store and select 6-8 medium-size turnips.  You are looking for ones that are consistent in color whether white or purple, with vibrant greens if left attached, and no bruises or brown spots.  Wash and pat dry the turnips, then slice horizontally in half then quarter the halves.  Dice into bite-size pieces.

Time to set up the stovetop smoker.  For the smoker, you’ll need to have microchips.  You can purchase these from SmokinLicious® under the Minuto® and Piccolo® Wood Chip listing.  Any of those sizes will work,  today I’m using Minuto® Wood Chip size #6.  Place about ¼ cup of the wood chips in the base of the pan which has been set over a burner.  Place the drip pan on top of the chips.  Ignite the burner to allow the chips to begin heating up.  Now place your cut turnips into the smoker pan making sure that the turnips are spread out evenly.  Add that pan to the smoker and place the lid on, keeping the vent just slightly open.  Be sure your range hood vent is on to prevent smoke from traveling around the kitchen or room.

45 Minutes Then Glaze

Our Dr Smoke clock indicates you should smoke for 45 minutes, then glaze.

I am preparing these turnips to act as a side dish which means I will smoke them until fork tender.  That will take about 45 minutes.  As I get to the final 10 minutes of smoking time, I begin preparing the glaze.

Place 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, 3 tablespoons agave or maple syrup, salt, and pepper into a saucepan.  Combine over a medium heat until a low boil begins.  Shut the heat off and add the tablespoon of tahini.  Now remove your smoked turnips from the stovetop smoker pan and place in the glaze tossing to coat.  Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle with fresh, chopped parsley.  Remember, this is just one way to use smoked turnip.  Don’t forget to try pureeing your smoked outcome and adding butter, cream, salt and pepper for a fresh take on a mashed turnip.  Please try Glazed Smoked Turnips as a side dish for your next function.

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

Additional reading:

-MUSHROOMS GO SMOKY-WOOD FIRED

-SMOKED POTATO CURRY SMOKINLICIOUS® STYLE!

-STEPPING UP RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE

 

Dr Smoke bet you never thought about smoking turnips?

Dr. Smoke-bet you never thought about smoking turnips?

Mushrooms Go Smoky- baby bellas, cremini and shiitake mushrooms are stove top smoked and served over toast with a dolop of ricotta cheese.

Mushrooms Go Smoky with Ricotta cheese on toast

MUSHROOMS GO SMOKY FOR THE ULTIMATE TOAST

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Looking for a great smoky appetizer or snack but don’t want to go to the trouble of firing up the charcoal or gas grill?  Then think stove top smoker and prepare to bring the best out of mushrooms when they get wood fired for full flavor.  I’ll bring you the easy stove top smoker technique that takes less than 30 minutes and then offer up a super easy but full of flavor smoked mushroom toast with kale and ricotta.

Stove Top Smoking

Stove top smokers are a great way to get authentic wood fired flavors into foods in an easy, quick method.  There are many options for read-made units though you certainly can use what’s available in your kitchen (see our blog on “The Kitchen Find“).  I’ll be using the unit made by Nordic Ware® that has everything included expect the wood chip product.  For that item, just visit SmokinLicious® and select your favorite hardwood in the Minuto® wood chip product line.  I’m using about 35 grams of my own custom mix of both species and chip sizing.  Equal parts of Red Oak #8, Sugar Maple #6, and Wild Cherry #6 will bring the perfect balance to my fungi selections.

After placing the base of my smoker on the burner, I add the 35 grams of wood chip custom mix.  I line the drip pan with foil to make clean up easier since the mushrooms will render some of their water.  This is placed on top of the wood chip pile.  Then into the grill pan go my favorite gourmet mushrooms – oyster, cremini, baby bella, shiitaki, porcini.  In just 20 minutes, these will be tender and full of smoky flavor that I can use in my toast recipe.

Savory Ingredient Prep

While the mushrooms are smoking on the stove top, it’s time to prepare the other ingredients for the recipe that will follow.   First, I’ve purchased a hearty country bread that just needs to be sliced and placed on a sheet pan for toasting.  Once the bread is ready for the oven, I wash and dry about 2 cups of kale leaves and then tear them into bite size pieces.  Next, I season 1-1/4 cups of ricotta cheese with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.  Other ingredients that are at the ready include one garlic clove minced, 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, and 1 dry Arbol chili that I reduce almost to powder to add that hot undertone.  You can also use a Fresno chili or other similar hot chili.  For cooking the toast topping, you’ll also need 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a skillet.

Making Toast Topping

With our mushrooms perfectly smoked, I remove them from the smoker pan and set aside.  Into a skillet I place the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and allow to heat.  Once hot, I add the minced garlic and allow to brown for a few minutes.  Next, the smoked mushrooms go in the pan.   Allow these flavors to blend for about 6 minutes, breaking up the larger mushroom pieces.  Finally, add the cleaned kale and chili pepper.  Toss to mix.  In goes the salt, fresh ground pepper, and white wine vinegar.  While that is sitting on low temperature, toast the previously prepared bread slices.  When the toast is done, it will be time to assemble this highly flavorful mushroom toast.

The Ultimate Toast Comes Together

With our bread toasted, mushroom-kale mixture infused with garlic and chili, and the ricotta seasoned, it’s time to assemble the toast.  First, take a generous spoonful of the ricotta and spread on the toast.  Then spoon on the mushroom-kale mixture on top of the ricotta.  That’s it!  Don’t let the simplicity of the assembly fool you.  This is one super flavorful appetizer or snack for those of us who go beyond chips and popcorn.  Pick your favorite gourmet mushrooms, favorite country bread, and let the fun begin.  Wood Fired Mushroom Toast with Kale and Ricotta.  This is soon to be your go to appetizer or gourmet snack.

We hope this recipe inspires you to try smoking more ingredients to add a balance of flavor. We’d love to hear what you think of our recipe so leave us a comment and subscribe to get all our postings on techniques, tips and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, that’s SmokinLicious®. Hope you enjoyed our Mushrooms Go Smoky blog!

for the mushrooms go Smoky

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

Additional reading:

-STUFFED MUSHROOM APPETIZER FEATURING SMOKED ARTICHOKE HEART

-SMOKED PEAR SALAD WITH GORGONZOLA

-STOVE TOP SMOKED CHIVES

-Crostini with Smoked Asparagus

Dr Smoke- "You won't be in the dark if you try this tasty smoked mushroom appetizer."

Dr Smoke- “You won’t be in the dark if you try this tasty smoked mushroom appetizer.”

Wood Fired Lobster Tails with Ash Minuto® smoker wood chips on the Plancha stove-top grill

Wood fired Lobster Tails with Ash Minuto® smoker wood chips on the Plancha stove-top grill

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When the temperatures go down and you simply can’t stand the thought of firing up the grill, but you crave something smoked, think plancha.  This is a great method of bringing wood fired flavor to foods using the heat from your gas, electric, conduction, or infrared stove top.

I’m going to add a unique flavor to traditional chili by cooking lobster tail meat on the plancha using Ash Minuto® Wood Chips.  This will give not only great sear to the lobster meat but a true smoked flavor.

Get ready as we give the SmokinLicious® take on Wood Fired Lobster Tails Chili.

Wood Fired Lobster Tails

I’ve purchased two lobster tails and removed the shells so I can get great wood flavoring into the meat.  First I lite up the plancha on my gas range as it’s simply too cold today to fire up the grill.  I use a medium-high heat setting under the plancha to ensure I get a great char on the meat.  I place Ash Minuto® Wood Chips around the outside of the plancha griddle so the wood fired lobster tails receive the intense heat of the plancha and sear.  The chips will smolder and produce great smoke vapor to infuse the lobster while it cooks.  These tails will cook about 3-4 minutes before I’ll turn them.  Just a few minutes more and they are ready to come off the heat.

Chili Ingredients

With the lobster meat smoked, it’s time to gather the remaining ingredients for the chili.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ash Minuto® Wood Chips
  • 3 medium shallots
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 8 to 10 ounces grilled/smoked lobster meat (from 2 lobster tails)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons homemade or store-bought chili powder
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup fish stock (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon seafood base seasoning paste mixed with 1 cup very hot water)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Chili Starts with Tender Vegetables

We start this chili recipe off by placing 1 tablespoon of oil into a heavy pan set over medium heat.  Once hot and shimmering, it’s time to add the base vegetables.  First up, three minced shallots followed by two minced garlic cloves, two celery ribs finely chopped, and one yellow bell pepper seeded and diced fine.  These will cook about 6 minutes until tender.  Just be sure to stir them occasionally until perfectly tenderized.

Now it’s time to add the more traditional items for chili.  Start by adding the kidney beans, chili powder and tomato paste.  This should cook for about 5 minutes with constant stirring.  The mixture will thicken as it cooks.  Next, add the fish stock stirring to combine.  The mixture should cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.  Last, add the ¼ cup of water and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

The final items go in – wood fired lobster meat that has been rough chopped and the ½ cup of heavy cream.  Now is the time to make the final adjustments to the taste – feel free to add more salt, pepper, chili powder, stock, cream – whatever brings the flavor in balance for your taste.  Don’t forget, you can swap out ingredients for others too.  You may prefer crème fresh over heavy cream or want to add a dollop of sour cream.

Although you’ll likely think of this as an entrée, don’t forgot how perfect this is for parties featuring assorted hors d’oeuvres.  Fill shot glasses with this great variation and put out some crostini.  That will be the go-to pick of any party.

We hope this recipe inspires you to try smoking more ingredients to add a balance of flavor. We’d love to hear what you think so leave us a comment and subscribe to get all our postings on techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, that’s SmokinLicious®.

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

Additional reading:

-STUFFED MUSHROOM APPETIZER FEATURING SMOKED ARTICHOKE HEART

-STUFFED SQUID COOKED ON THE PLANCHA WITH SMOKINLICIOUS®

-SUCCULANT WOOD FIRED STUFFED TOMATO WITH HERB RICE

 

Dr Smoke- " Wonderful recipe for when you want a seafood chili!"

Dr Smoke- “Wonderful recipe for when you want a seafood chili!”

Stuffed Mushroom appetizer featuring smoked artichoke heart cooked on the plancha-stove top.

Stuffed Mushroom appetizer featuring smoked artichoke heart cooked on the plancha-stove top.

STUFFED MUSHROOM APPETIZER FEATURING SMOKED ARTICHOKE

HEART

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You’ve seen us use our plancha to do squid, now we’re going to smoke some artichoke hearts and mushroom caps using just one application of wood chips. This time, our plancha will be set up with Beech Piccolo® wood chips to infuse wood flavoring into artichoke hearts and button mushroom caps for the ultimate stuffed mushroom appetizer.  I’ll take you through the recipe and cooking technique using my plancha on the gas range.  Easy entertaining starts here with Stuffed Smoked Artichoke Mushrooms.

Smoking artichoke hearts on the plancha over Beech smoker wood chipsWood Firing the Artichoke Hearts

We start off with a 14 oz. can of artichoke hearts packed in water.  This will be roughly 8 artichoke hearts.  After draining, rinsing, and patting dry, we fire up the plancha on our gas range placing a small handful of SmokinLicious®  Beech Piccolo° wood chips on the plancha.  As the plancha temperature rises close to 300° F, it’s time to add the artichoke hearts to the smoker racks.  Place the cover on the plancha and let the artichoke smoke for about 8 minutes, turning one time half way through the cooking time.  Then remove the hearts from the plancha, rough chop them, and put aside for the mushroom filling.

Button mushrooms preparing to be smoked on the plancha Button Mushroom Caps

Next on the plancha go the mushroom caps.  We prepared them by first washing them, patting them dry, and then removing the stems.  The stems are reserved to be used in the filling mix.  If you want extra smoky flavor, feel free to smoke the stems as well but you should smoke them separate from the caps so they don’t shrink and lose too much water.

We’re still using the Beech wood chips that were used for the artichoke hearts as these still have plenty of smoke vapor to be released.  Again, these mushroom caps will only take a matter of minutes.  Remember, mushrooms are loaded with water so don’t let the caps stay on the plancha too long causing them to shrink and fall apart.  Just bronze them with the smoke vapor, then remove to be stuffed.  A good sign that they are ready to come off the plancha is when you see a small puddle of water forming in the cap.

Mushroom Cap Filling

With the artichoke hearts and mushroom caps smoked, it’s time to start on the filling.  Here are the ingredients need for the filling:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
  • 1 egg white

First, I chop the mushroom stems, dice the shallots, and mince the garlic cloves.  In goes the butter to a hot skillet, then all three prepared ingredients are added.  Once cooked down, the white wine is added to the mixture with cooking continuing until the wine has evaporated.  This is a highly aromatic filling that will blend well with the smoky flavors of the artichoke and mushroom.

Placing the stuffing into the button mushrooms with a spoon

The aromatics are now ready for the rest of the filling ingredients.  First, add the chopped smoked artichokes hearts.  Next in, the parmesan, bread crumbs, parsley, thyme, and egg white.  Mix everything together until it binds well.  Time to fill the smoked mushroom caps.  Using a teaspoon, I fill each mushroom cap heaping the filling on top.  Although we prepared 20 mushroom caps, there is enough filling to do 40-50 caps depending on the size of the mushrooms selected.  I place these in a baking dish and slide them into a pre-heated 350°F oven for about 30 minutes.

Soon to be the Favorite Stuffed Mushroom Appetizer

After smoking both the artichoke hearts and the mushroom caps, I infused the filling with the smoked, chopped artichoke hearts.  With the additional flavors of parmesan, thyme, parsley, garlic, shallot and wine, these mushroom caps are full of flavors including that subtle smoke undertone.  These are sure to become a favorite appetizer or snack.  Plus, when done on the plancha, they can be smoked year round without concern for the weather.

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Piccolo®

Additional reading:

-STUFFED SQUID COOKED ON THE PLANCHA WITH SMOKINLICIOUS®

-Crostini with Smoked Asparragus

-EMBER FIRED EGGPLANT & FETA TARTS

Dr Smoke- "

Dr Smoke- “This will most likely be one of your favorite recipes once you try it.”

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