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, while at the same time making food that’s delicious, fresh, local and healthy. I take the same approach to smoking sessions with my Bradley Smoker.
When I fire up our Smoker, I like it to put in a full day’s work! If I can, I strive for the “No Rack Left Empty” approach. As I am cooking in our midsized urban garden and am generally cooking for two or for a small dinner party, my smoking sessions are small scale. And I am always excited to try new things in the Bradley. Here are 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. Use a mild wood for the smoke. I used applewood. Buy natural, dry pack scallops. Do NOT use the scallops packed in the milky liquid. They will not benefit from smoking. Frankly, I advise that you not use them at all!
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 the scallops on a lightly oiled rack.
Smoke the scallops 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, I decided to smoke a couple of them with some large, new jersey tomatoes that I had purchased that morning at the Farmer’s Market.
The Bradley was already set to 225 – 250 and using applewood for smoke.
Slice the tomatoes in half. Remove the seeds and membrane (you can do this in a bowl of water, it goes faster).
Peel the eggplants. Slice the eggplants 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.
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. I decided to hold them for the next evening’s meal: a version of a lasagna. I started with a layer of eggplant slices, added some ricotta cheese (make sure the cheese is drained if it’s watery), some fresh basil and a few sprinkles of extra virgin olive oil. Then I added a layer of smoked tomato and did the same cheese and seasoning process. Depending on how many vegetables you smoked, you should have at least three or four layers. I topped the lasagna with more ricotta, some grated parmesan, and some 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, be sure to remove that. Give it a good muddle, you want the smoky cherry flavor released. Then, add your favorite Manhattan Cocktail
recipe, add another smoked cherry for garnish.
By The Philly Foodist