Cold Smoke

Anyone have any ideas on how to turn the kamado into a cold smoker? There a bunch of potential applications, particularly cheese, peppers, ketchup, salt, not to mention tons of other things.
There are a couple of principles to keep in mind.

1. Wood typically contains a bunch of water. Until you exceed that boiling temp, the wood isn’t going to ignite. 212F/100C in case you forgot.
2. Wood ignites at the 500F range. This is obviously much higher than the optimal smoking temperature, but consider that you’re only following the dome temperature, not the fire temperature. It’s a gradient, and we typically just follow the dome temp at the top of the cooker.
3. I’ve heard of using a coffee can (who has those anyway? hipster coffee comes in bags, man…) to keep the fire small, thus the temp down.
4. Would a small crockpot hit the temperatures necessary to fire the wood? Sounds like an experiment that needs to happen.
5. The temperature at the cooking grid level has to be <100F.

Let's hear your ideas.

bde portland, ’14 edition

Things were definitely consumed.

This is more of a travel log and commentary, I don’t really have a lot of visuals. Click on the links to the websites to check out what’s going on.

Lovejoy bakers
Lamb meatloaf sandwich with harissa
Beef goulash with herb dumplings
Roast beef sandwich
Chickpea sandwich
Grilled organic (aka grilled cheese)

Apizza Scholls
Veggie plate: artichokes, marinated olives, red peppers, pappdew peppers, sundried tomatoes, bread, mozz
Margherita pizza
Margherita with shaved prosciutto
Pig and pineapple: pork shoulder with pineapple
Sausage with Lil Mama’s sausage

Slappy cakes
Make your own whole grain, sweet potato, and regular pancakes
Scramble with goat cheese, greens, lardons, eggs, onion
Toad in a hole

Mio sushi
Harmony roll
Coco roll
Ocean’s spring roll
Rainbow roll
Portland roll
Assorted nigiri including scallop, salmon, hamachi, uni, and mackerel

The Hazel Room
Breakfast burger
Smoked salmon crostini
Fresh grapefruit juice
Secret aardvark habanero sauce

Bread and Ink
Greek salad with chicken
Mac and cheese

Salt and Straw
Caramel and salt ice cream
Olive oil ice cream
Pear and blue cheese ice cream

Andina
Esparagus peruanos
Empanadas de carne
Anticucho de pollo
Morada
Conchas a la parrilla

University seafood
Halibut
Dungeness crab
Yearling oysters
Smoked salmon

Lettuce-less salads

Some of the best “salads” contain no lettuce at all. A few if my favorites -

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Celery, Pistachio, Parmesan, EVOO, Champagne Vinegar

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Zucchini, Sea Salt, EVOO, Lemon Zest

Not pictured, cauliflower that has been tossed in a Sriracha vinaigrette then roasted.

Any non-lettuce favorites for you all?

Reasons not to skimp: Best thing I’ve made in a while.

For whatever reasons, I become a cheap ass over the stupidest things. For example, I will buy foie gras from Hudson Valley Farms and during the same month think twice about buying peanut oil for deep frying because it’s “too expensive”. It makes no sense, but probably explains my wardrobe and other things that my wife and friends are too kind to point out.

This soliloquy brings me to the best thing that I have made in a long while. And had I been a cheap ass, I might have ruined the entire thing.

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Pictured is a homemade aioli made with grapeseed oil and a splash of Spanish olive oil. It totally made the dish that I am about to describe, but for some reason, more than once mind you, I nearly substituted pre-made mayonnaise. Why? Because I only needed 2 tablespoons and thought it would be wasteful to make an entire batch of aioli. After all, one cup of grape seed oil probably set me back $2!!! Never mind that I used $5 of saffron, but I hope you understand where I am going here. Not wanting to “waste” $2 worth of oil, I was willing to comprise the quality of dish that was going to cost $30 or $40. But I digress…

That brings me to the best dish I have made in a LONG time. Fideos in the style of paella. I like paella, but generally prefer jambalaya, probably because I can make jambalaya in about 45 minutes, while paella seems to take forever. This fideos dish takes just as long as paella, but for my taste is worth the effort.

Fideos are essentially chopped up vermicelli noodles. When the Moors brought pasta to Spain, the people didn’t know what to do with it, so they chopped it up and used it like rice.

This dish can be broken down into 3 parts for the mise en place. 1) make the aioli. 2) make the sofrito. 3) fry the fideos.

This aioli totally made the dish – 1 whole egg, 1 egg yolk, splash of champagne vinegar, dollop of Dijon mustard, good bit of ground saffron, clove of garlic, and oil. Blend everything sans the oil for about 15 seconds. Drizzle in 1/2 cup of neutral oil and about a tablespoon of EVOO until an emulsion forms. Add a pinch of salt and refrigerate until needed.

Sofrito – cook 1/2 diced onion and 1 side of a diced red bell pepper in EVOO until the onion starts to brown. Add a diced Roma tomato and a clove of minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and a big pinch of smoked paprika and cook until fragrant. Set aside until needed.

“Toast” the fideos – (they come as a 7 ounce package which is perfect amount) heat a 1/4 cup of oil over medium heat and add 7 oz of fideos. Stir constantly until the fideos start to brown. Drain on paper towels.

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For the dish. You will need:
1/2 lb chicken thighs cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup diced Spanish chorizo
12 mussels
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken stock
Sofrito
Fideos
1/2 cup frozen edamame
Aioli
Saffron
Parsley for garnish
Additional 1 to 2 cloves minced garlic

Place on oven rack near the top and heat to 500 F.
Sauté the chicken in some EVOO until lightly browned. Add about 1/2 of the garlic and cook until fragrant, the. Deglaze with the wine. Cook until the liquid has almost evaporated. Set chicken aside and wipe out the pan. Heat another tablespoon of oil over medium heat and add the sofrito. Once the sofrito has warmed, add the chorizo and additional garlic and cook for about a minute. Add back the chicken and it’s juices. Add the fideos and stir to combine everything evenly. Sprinkle with saffron and add enough stock to barely cover the fideos. Bring to a simmer then transfer to the oven for 10 minutes. Add the mussels and cook another five minutes. Transfer pan to stove top. Set the mussels aside and stir in the edamame. Let mixture sit 5 minutes, then stir in 2 tablespoons of aioli. Nestle the mussels back into the fideos, sprinkle with parsley, add a pinch of salt, and serve immediately.

Jen and I could not stop eating this dish. Really good. There is plenty of toasty roasty flavor that in paella is the result of the soccarat, so this shouldn’t be total heresy to MAB.

Saturday Morning Continental Breakfast Buffet

It’s free, so eat up.

  • Drones.  I wonder if this is next development in take-out or maybe even grocery delivery.  Forgot the carrots and onions for that braised lamb shank recipe?  We’ll have them right over Mr. Big Dawg.  I also wonder how it maneuvers around the 80ft trees, power lines, and the small engine aircraft flight path directly over my house.
  • If you don’t mention bacon in casual conversation at least twice per week, then you aren’t my friend.  I realize this is from 2009, but is Super Bowl weekend, and WOW that’s a serious Bacon Explosion.  We did already talk about bacon this week, right?
  • Thankfully, this is NOT where found homemade sausage, wine, and cheeses in Italy last summer.
  • But this is.  And it’s on TOP of the hill – so no boulders – and excellent everything else too.
  • I’ve written previously on this blog about the lemon trees I’m growing.  Not as prolific as they once were.  I currently have one (1) lemon that is ripe, so I may only be able to make one of these recipes.  Difficult decision.