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

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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

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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.

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.”

Bringing smoke flavor to stuffed squid done on the plancha will provide wonderful and unique flavor to this appetizer.

STUFFED SQUID COOKED ON THE PLANCHA

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We love demonstrating the versatility of SmokinLicious® products with all types of equipment.  We’re taking our Piccolo® wood chips to the plancha to smoke infuse some stuffed squid for a unique appetizer.   Don’t own a plancha?  You can do the same thing with a standard stovetop griddle and a small roasting rack.  Or, use a charcoal or gas grill with some wood chunks for the same smoky flavor.

Plancha CookingOur plancha on the stove ready for us to add smoker wood chips and the stuffed squid.

A plancha is a flat top grill made of heavy metal that can be placed on any type of heat source: electric, gas, infrared, induction, charcoal grill, gas grill.  Basically, a plancha is a griddle made of metal.

What’s great about a plancha is you can do simple hot smoke infusion using a micro wood chip that is quite fast due to the intense heat these quality metal cookware pieces produce.

My plancha is made by the French company, Mastrad.  I prepare the plancha by placing it on my heat source – in this case my gas range – set the heat level to medium-high, place a handful of SmokinLicious® Piccolo® Wood Chips in Beech size #10 on the plancha, and place the two smoking racks on the griddle.  I’ll give the wood chips about 5 minutes to heat up and start releasing smoke, then it’s time to place on the stuffed squid bodies.

Stuff Squid Ingredients

For our stuffed squid you’ll need to gather the following ingredients in addition to SmokinLicious® Piccolo® Smoker Wood Chips (Beech):

  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1-1/2 heads of frisee or other green lettuce, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds squid, bodies only, rinsed – should be about 8 bodies

Making Stuffing

Time to make the squid stuffing.  Taking a medium bowl, combine the seeded and diced tomato, chopped greens, and capers.  In a small bowl, make the dressing by whisking together the 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, lime juice and zest, salt, and pepper.  Drizzle over the stuffing mixture and toss to coat.

Stuffing the SquidAfter stuffing the squid we're usin toothpick to hold it closed during the cooking process.

Taking one squid body at a time, fill with the stuffing mix using a teaspoon within ½ inch of the open top.  Then lace a toothpick through the top.  Brush all the bodies with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil.  Then they’re ready to place on the hot plancha.

Plancha CookingThe stuffed squid on the plancha ready for smoke infusion by our Smokinlicious Piccolo Beech smoker wood chips.

With the wood chips hot and releasing smoke vapor, I place the readied stuffed squid on the cooking racks.  These will cook and smoke for about 7 minutes before I will turn them.  Another 4-5 minutes on the other side, and you’ll see a golden hue and plump shiny bodies emerge.  Turn off the heat to your plancha and carefully remove the squid.  Cut into 1-inch slices and serve warm.

There are many variations to stuffing squid bodies but this is one that is essentially vegetarian in design so it can be enjoyed by everyone.

 

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Piccolo®

Additional reading:

-WOOD FIRED CLAMS MAKE THIS THE PERFECT BITE

-BBQ SHRIMP INSTANT GRATIFICATION!

-SUCCULANT WOOD FIRED STUFFED TOMATO WITH HERB RICE

Dr Smoke- "This is a must try appetizer combination and very easy to do on the plancha."

Dr Smoke- “This is a must try appetizer combination and very easy to do on the plancha.”

 

The photo of our golden brown smoked cheese & bacon quiche was prepared with our homemade smoked cheese and baked at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Smoked cheese & bacon quiche was prepared with our cold smoked cheese. This golden brown beauty looks appetizing.

SMOKED CHEESE & BACON QUICHE FEATURING COLD SMOKED CHEESESlisten to the audio of this blog posting

We’re putting a new flavorful twist to traditional quiche by adding a cold smoked cheese combination that’s perfect with this egg and cream based recipe.  Be sure to see our previous series on cold smoking cheese on the stove top, then bring your favorite cheeses to this easy, basic recipe.  We’re making smoked cheese & bacon quiche!

Our arrangement of 5 different textured cheeses put through our stove top cold smoking process. This method imparts great color and smoky flavor

Simple Ingredients Are Best

Quiche is one of those recipes that doesn’t have a lot of rules.  The base is eggs, cream and pie shell or pastry.  The fillings are yours to experiment with.  For our Smoked Cheese and Bacon Quiche, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Sweating the Onions

We start off our recipe by first cooking the onion.  Taking 1 yellow onion, peel the skin and dice this.  Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a hot skillet.  When melted, add the diced onion.  Let this sweat for about 3 minutes until translucent, then stir.  Cook until the onion browns and crisps slightly.  This should take less than 6 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside while you begin to prepare the wet ingredients.

In the glass mixing bowl we have all of the ingredients for the basic recipe measured and ready to blend into a wonderful, creamy, smooth batter.

Basic Quiche Batter

After cooking the onion, it’s time to assemble the other ingredients to our quiche.  Start with 6 large eggs in a large bowl.  Add the ¾ cup of heavy cream and whisk until combined.  Add the cooked onion, followed by the bacon that has been precooked and chopped.  If you’re short on time, feel free to use precooked bacon strips commonly available in most grocery stores.  Whisk all these ingredients together until well combined.

The final ingredients are your favorite smoked cheeses.  In my version, I’m using Swiss, muenster, and fresh mozzarella, which have been previously cold smoked for about 4 hours.  My technique was a stove top smoking application using a cast iron pan.  You can visit our previous series on this technique.  Once all the ingredients are combined, it’s time to pour the batter into the prepared pie shell.  This recipe will make one 9-inch quiche.  Now place in to a preheated 350°F oven for 40-45 minutes.

Golden, Creamy, Smoked Goodness

After cooking in a 350°F oven for about 45 minutes, a golden crust will form on the top.  Allow the smoked cheese & bacon quiche to cool slightly before cutting it into serving slices.  Loaded with the saltiness of the bacon, the creaminess of the smoked cheese, and the sweetness of the cooked onion, this is a great dish for brunch or dinner, or even served as an hors d’oeuvre.  If you want to add more smoke flavor, feel free to ember cook the onions or smoke the bacon.  Smoked Cheese & Bacon Quiche – soon to become your favorite quiche recipe!

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Additional reading:

-SMOKED GRILLED CHEESE LIKE NO OTHER!

-EMBER FIRED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA GALETTE

-EMBER FIRED EGGPLANT & FETA TARTS

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke- “Enjoy this tasty quiche recipe featuring a cold smoked trio of cheeses.”

THE SMOKED PEAR BELLINI COCKTAIL

The Yummy Ingredients to Make a Perfect Smoked Pear Bellini Cocktail

The Yummy Ingredients to Make a Perfect Smoked Pear Bellini Cocktail

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Taking the popular Bellini cocktail featuring Prosecco to a new level, this recipe features smoked pear.  Once you’ve followed our segment on smoking fresh pears, you’ll be ready to try this distinct cocktail.  Be warned, this is not for the light, fruity drinker as this has a strong, smoky undertone giving it more of a savory flavor.

Ingredient List:

Here’s what you will need for Smoked Pear Bellini:

Making Simple Syrup to Sweeten Things Up:

The first step to a balanced Bellini is to make the simple syrup which will provide the sweet flavor to the smoky undertone.  Place a saucepan over medium-high heat and add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar.  I am using organic sugar which will give a yellow-amber hue to the finished syrup.  Be sure to keep stirring the mixture until a low boil occurs.  The sugar will be completely dissolved at that point.  Remove from the heat and pour into a measuring cup for ease in adding to the blender.  The simple syrup must cool completely prior to using in the fruit puree.

Making Smoked Pear Puree

Now it’s time to take the previously smoked pears and begin preparing for the blender.  Although the skin of the pear is high in nutrient value, when smoked with the skin on, the skin can become quite dense.  I will be removing most of the skin for this reason since we want a smooth puree.  Using a paring knife, I remove the skin of each pear half and then cut into small cubes.  I add these cubes to my blender.  Be sure there are no hidden seeds.  You will see the golden hue to the pear meat which resulted from the smoking process. If using a lower power blender, you may need to do this step in two parts to ensure a full puree.

Starting with the blender set to a low setting, begin blending the cut pears, slowing increasing the speed to a medium setting.   Beginning adding the simple syrup in a steady stream until completely combined.  Increase the blender speed to medium-high and blend until the pear puree appears fine and smooth, with no evidence of chunks.

Constructing the Smoked Pear Bellini

I like to pour the pureed pear mixture into a serving pitcher to make it easier to make each drink serving.  Get a bottle of Prosecco that has previously been chilled already.  Add about a 1/3 of a glass of smoke pear puree to each serving

glass and top with chilled Prosecco.  Then skewer a sliced smoke pear and rosemary sprig to each glass.  Serve while still chilled.

Saluté

Using seasonal pears, in this case, Bosc variety, we bring a smoky version to the standard Bellini featuring Prosecco sparkling wine.  With a simple puree of previously smoked pears, the addition of simple syrup, and a blending of the two with Prosecco, the result is a distinct, savory version of the Pear Bellini cocktail.  Enjoy the Smoked Pear Bellini cocktail and don’t be afraid to add your own special additions like pomegranate, cranberry or even a bit of vodka for those who like a strong fruity cocktail.  Cheers!

 

Dr. Smoke- you will love this SMOKED PEAR BELLINI COCKTAIL

Dr. Smoke- I love this SMOKED PEAR BELLINI COCKTAIL!

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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.

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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!

 

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Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke

 

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