Sunday, May 27, 2012

Smoking Salt

Smoked Kosher salt (lightly smoked)

You always hear and read about smoked salts and what they bring to the table. Well after much reading on the subject I decided that I would give it a try. After all, I was just as curious as the next person.

My plan was to just smoke the salt lightly and experience the flavor. This would take about 4 hours because that was all I had time for on this particular day. I would later do an 8-hr smoke and taste the difference. Anyway here are the pics of what I did...

My smoker set up. It may be ugly but I love it!! You can see the tray of salt up top. I enclose the front with a hanging sheet metal when I smoke.

Here is the salt after about 4 hours.

A closer look of the results.

You can see the difference between the before and after.

All in all I liked the results. And I have been using this for seasoning on various dishes such as egg scrambles, grilled meats, and stir fries to name a few. You can really taste the subtle smokey flavor which is the effect that I wanted.

As I said next time will be an 8-hr smoke just to taste the difference. 

Until next time....

Friday, May 25, 2012

Grilled Ouzo Shrimp

BBQ'd Ouzo Shrimp (without the Ouzo)

I was going through some of my grilling magazines one day and came across this great looking grilled shrimp recipe in Cuisine at Home magazine, issue #75, June 2009. What a great issue and fantastic recipe. I just had to try this recipe out. We did and it was totally fantastic!!!

Here is the recipe:
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup ouzo (Greek liqueur) or anise liqueur
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (got to be fresh)
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 lb. jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Grape tomatoes
Note: I did not use the Ouzo because I couldn't find any. I also added in a couple of fresh hot peppers for a little extra kick.

My directions:

In a blender I made a pesto by adding all the ingredients, except the shrimp and tomatoes, and blending them together for about 30 seconds;

Then I marinated the shrimp in this for about 6 hours in the refer;

Skewered the shrimp with a grape tomato in between both ends of the shrimp as shown in the picture;

BBQ'd each side, over high heat, for a minute to a minute and a half while brushing the shrimp with the marinade at the same time;

BBQ'd until the tails were a little blackened for effect.

Served with white rice and finadene

Lemon Finadene

The flavor was unbelievable. The shrimp was moist and just melted in your mouth. The tomato was caramelized and sweet and the finadene just added that extra pop to the taste buds. It was one of those, "Suck on it for a while without biting it" kind of goodness. You know what I am talking about. We totally loved this recipe.

So if you ever get some grill time, try this out. I know you won't regret it!!!! You will need to buy a lot of shrimp because you just can't seem to stop eating this.

Until next time....

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Smoked Meat....Guam Style

Smoked Meat....Guam Style

Well folks, it's been a while since I have posted. Been so busy planting my veggies in the yard (2 acres) and everything else that goes with that. Very time consuming. But we gotta eat so I have a lot of BBQ and other cooking posts that I need to catch up on. So don't forget to pay a visit to my other food blog, Guam Firehouse Cook.

I love smoking meat. Whether it is beef, pork, chicken or fish, I just love the taste. I use my old homemade open pit for most of my smoking needs. The openness flavors the meat with a mellow, smokey flavor. I don't like a taste where the smoke overpowers the meat.

I just smoked some beef roasts. I cut them up into 1 inch wide by about 8 inch long strips. The thickness was about 3/4 of an inch. Then I brine this meat overnight in the following mix:

  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt;
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp Mortons Tenderquick Home Meat Cure
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh Ginger
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 4 quarts of water.

You should make sure that you adjust the saltiness to your liking.

I then fire up the smoker using one week old 6 to 8 inch logs providing for indirect heat. The one week old logs are not dried out yet so they provide enough smoke due to their moisture content.

Here are a few pictures of the setup that I use:

Here is my pit. You can see the meat hanging. The suspended grill is to catch anything that may fall off the hooks. When I smoke I close up the front with another piece of sheet metal.

Here is my fire. You can see that it is offset to the left of the hanging meat for indirect heat. The heat is keep at around 225 - 250 degrees F. That's close enough for government work!!

I'd say, after about 8 hours of smoking, this meat is done. Of course I have to test the tenderness by tearing off a piece.  But if you can tear a piece off you know it's done.

I fashioned some thick, stainless wire for a skewer. I skewer all the small pieces that I trimmed off onto this. Works just great.

So, as I mentioned, I smoked this batch for about 8 hours, adding more wood when needed. As the cover photo shows, and here it is again, this meat is super tender and moist and loaded with mouth watering flavor. 

Better have some hot pepper and ice cold brews to totally enjoy this.

Until next time....