Smoke Once. Dine Twice. And A Cocktail, Too!
In my Blog, The Philly Foodist, I am always urging readers to make the most of their cooking efforts and to make things as easy on themselves as they can. Believing that it’s possible to make food that’s delicious, fresh, local and healthy, the same principle applies to smoking sessions with my Bradley Smoker.
Small Scale Smoking Sessions
When I fire up our Smoker, I like it to put in a full day’s work! The approach is “No Rack Left Empty”. As I am cooking in our mid-sized urban garden, and generally cooking for two, or for a small dinner party, my smoking sessions are small scale.
Always excited to try new things in the Bradley, I’ll share two dinners and a delicious cocktail – all from one smoking session.
Most recently, I decided that some wonderful sea scallops that I picked up at the Farmer’s Market should go into our Bradley Smoker. I hadn’t done scallops in the smoker before, but I have to say, they turned out perfectly. So, here is my technique for delicious smoked sea scallops.
Meal Number One – Smoked Scallops
Get your Bradley Smoker to 225 – 250 degrees and use a mild wood for the smoke, like apple wood.
Never buy scallops packed in the milky liquid because they will not benefit from smoking. By all means, avoid them. Buy natural, dry pack scallops, instead.
Wrap each scallop in a thin slice of the best bacon you can get. I used a cherry wood smoked bacon from a local producer. Put a toothpick through the scallop to hold the bacon slice in place. Put them on a lightly oiled rack and smoke for 45 minutes to one hour.
Remove and enjoy!
These are great with some good local corn on the cob and some lightly salted tomato slices.
Meal Number Two – Smoked Tomato and Eggplant Lasagna
This year my eggplants are coming in like crazy and are beautiful. So, since I had the smoker ready and eager to work, why not smoke a couple of them? And what about those large, new jersey tomatoes I had just purchased at the Farmer’s Market?
The Bradley was already set to 225 – 250 and using apple wood for smoke.
Slice the tomatoes in half. Remove the seeds and membrane. If you do this in a bowl of water, it goes faster.
Peel the eggplants and slice them into 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch rounds.
Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil and some salt and pepper over all of the vegetables.
Lightly oil some racks.
Put the tomatoes on the rack cut side up.
Put the eggplant slices on another rack or two.
Use them for a Lasagna
Put the racks in the Bradley Smoker. Smoke for one hour or until the eggplant is dark and tender to the touch, and the tomatoes are bright red and also tender.
When they are done both the tomato and the eggplant are soft, smoky and delicious. For the next evening meal, you could turn them into a version of lasagna.
Starting with a layer of eggplant slices, add some ricotta cheese, fresh basil and a few sprinkles of extra virgin olive oil. Make sure the cheese is drained if it’s watery.
Next, add a layer of smoked tomato and the same cheese and seasoning process. Depending on how many vegetables you smoked, you should have at least three or four layers.
You can end it with more ricotta, some grated Parmesan, and red pepper flakes. Bake in a regular oven at 375 for 50 minutes to an hour. Let it stand for a few minutes when you remove it from the oven. Cut the lasagna into wedges and serve.
And lastly … . .
The Cocktail: “The Smoky Manhattan”
While you have the Bradley working on the scallops and the vegetables – or right after you have pulled them out – put a tray of sweet cherries, with their pits, into the smoker. Let the cherries smoke for 20 – 30 minutes.
Muddle one cherry in a glass – as you muddle the pit will release – and be sure to remove that. Give it a good muddle, you want the smoky cherry flavour released. Then, add your favorite Manhattan Cocktail
recipe and add another smoked cherry for garnish.
By The Philly Foodist