Marmalade marinade – part 2

Hi all,

This is the completion of the previous blog. It is a very simple recipe for orange marmalade marinated chicken thighs (In Israel this is a ‘delicacy cut’ and is called ‘Pargit’)

Ingredients

1kg (2.2lb)  boned chicken thighs
1 teaspoon marmalade
Tablespoon soy sauce
1.5 heaped tablespoons curry paste
1 teaspoon (approx) of tomato ketchup

Method

Clean up the thighs and remove any excess fat.
Mix all the ingredients together.
Baste both sides of the chicken thighs and leave to marinade for between 30 minutes and 2 hours – not more – in the fridge.

Set up your barbecue/grill for direct high heat cooking and grill the thigh on both sides for a couple of minutes.
I really like my chicken thighs almost over cooked. They stay moist and taste really good when they are slightly more charred – this is a personal taste option and would require another minute or so on each side.

Boned chicken thighs (like very thinly sliced chicken breast or steaks) work very well at the start of a bbq/grilling session as they are forgiving of the higher more intense heat during the first 10/15 minutes of grilling. Remember sausages are always last unless cooked indirectly!!!!

Alternatives

First of all, the amount of marmalade used depends on how bitter it is. In this recipe you can hardly taste it (but it is there) you can easily add more and reduce the curry paste.
This marinade with addition of a little silan (date syrup) or honey would be amazing on indirectly cooked duck breasts.
As always – the recipe is a base for your experimentation. It is not a strict set of rules that must never be broken on pain of death. Play, play, play. Then play some more!

That’s it for this short blog. Hope you enjoy the food.
See you next time.

Adam.

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Marmalade Marinade in Two Parts

Hi all,

I just realised how long it has been since the last post. In this weather that we are having it is time to make something quick – or better yet inside! So this post is simply (but painstakingly) how to make marmalade from fresh bitter oranges that are still on the trees here. If you are unlucky enough to have a bitter orange tree – this is about the only thing that we have found to do with the fruit…..unless you are diabetic as there is a LOT of sugar involved just to make this palatable! If anyone else knows what else to do with bitter oranges we would love to hear from you!

The second post in this two part series will be a simple grilled chicken using the marmalade within a marinade.

First of all – if you do not have bitter oranges you are certainly thinking of the fruit at the moment. They are very small – just about an inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. They are thin skinned and very – very – bitter. They also tend to ripen (according to my garden at least) approximately a month before my other citrus trees – all 8 of them. In fact my lemons have finally all now ripened – I just need to decide what to do with approximately 500 lemons (as a guess). We had approximately 4 kg of bitter oranges – and we used about 2 kg in this recipe. This probably made a few litres of marmalade which we dutifully distributed to our friends. We kept a very small pot for ourselves as a basis for marinades. I wonder what it would taste like on duck or goose breast?

OK, and now for the recipe. Please note this is a lot of work, but it tastes so much fresher than the store bought products.

Ingredients

First things first, do not take these measurements as 100% gospel. You are taking the oranges off a tree in your garden, maybe from a friend, maybe you just came across a tree in the middle of a hike.  Therefore the amounts here are more ratios. I used 2 kg of fruit, but this can be done with 200 gm, 500 gm or any amount as long as you have enough space in your pot (and enough patience for the proper preparation)

2 kg Small Bitter Oranges
2 kg Sugar
4 cups of water
1/2 cup Peaty Single Malt Whisky (1/4 cup per kg fruit)
teaspoon vanilla essence

Method

Marmalade
Cut the oranges in half and juice them. (They are so small it is easiest to do by hand even if you have an electric citrus juicer). Put the juice aside and put the pulp and seeds into a heavy bottomed pot). Save the rinds
halved oranged

Boil the water, orange pulp and seeds for between 30 minutes to release the pectin.
The beginning - pips and water

Remove and discard the seeds.
If you are being proper then you carefully shred the rinds by hand. After three years of doing this and having aching hands by the end I have started throwing all the rinds into a food processor and doing this inelegantly in seconds rather than a VERY long time.
Add the juice, rind and vanilla essence to the pot and boil for about a quarter of an hour.
Ingredients added

Add the whisky and sugar, boil and stir until it becomes very thick. It should darken and turn translucent. In theory this takes 20 minutes – but I have been on this stage for up to an hour sometimes. Do not let it catch and burn at this point!
Boiling marmalade
To test – place a small bit of the marmalade onto a cold plate. It should congeal.
Ladle the marmalade into pots (if glass make sure they are sterilised). I tend to use throwaway plastic containers as can be seen in the picture at the top of the post.
Leave to cool and then put in the refrigerator. I am not sure how long this lasts – but it is the same as jam. You can see if it shouldn’t be used anymore. I keep it for a few months at least. Most people who take it from me finish it in a matter of weeks.

That’s it for now. Next week we will take the marmalade and cook with it – as this was only the preparation stage.
Have a good new year,

Adam.

Smoked goose breast in netting

Hi all, happy new year 🙂

This recipe is part of the collection that I cooked simultaneously about 6 months ago which allowed me to annoy my neighbour for the shortest time possible whilst producing multiple posts…… I also used a netting that I bought in my local Makolet (equivalent of a local convenience store) from a company called “Meat and Chicken”. Goose breast is something that I tasted at a BBQ taster event about a month previously. This was done very plainly but tasted great…. I thought that I would try something a little different (In Israel it is very easy to buy small frozen goose breast from any supermarket – no matter how small)
Without further ado – on to the recipe.

Sliced, smoked goose breast

Ingredients

2 goose breasts – fat and skin layer still attached
1/2 cup of a good Speyside whisky (I used Tomintoul)

2 tablespoons sugar
10 gm freshly ground pepper
1/2 tablespoon nutmeg

Netting if used

Method

Put the goose breasts and the whisky into a small zip-lock and leave to marinade in the fridge overnight. turning every so often.
The next day, remove the goose from the whisky and pat dry. Mix all the other 3 ingredients and massage them into the goose breasts.
waiting to be trussed goose breast
Put the goose breasts into the netting (The netting is not essential but will slightly change the texture of the finished product) with the fatty skin layer on top with both breasts.

Trussed goose breast
Put the goose breasts back into the fridge until ready to cook (it can be anywhere between an hour to a day).

Prepare your smoker to cook at 105C (220F) – I used oak as both my source of heat and smoke flavour.
Cook the breasts low and slow with the fatty layer on top (to allow the fat to moisturize the meat during cooking) until an internal temperature of 63C (145F).
In my case this took about 90 minutes – but use an accurate thermometer like with almost all of my recipes.

cooked goose breast
The goose breast can be served hot or cold – but will come out of the netting (and slice easier) when cold.

A little about the netting

Chicken and Meat 8/12cm netting

Many recipes call for meat to be trussed up. This can be done with specific butchers string or these kinds of nets.
The nets are very simple – The netting does stretch but it can still take a bit of effort to get the meat into them.
I liked this net and found it very easy and convenient to use.

Until next time,

Adam.

A dog’s treat

Hi all,

As I said in my last post, I made a lot of smoked items in one go a couple of weeks back. One of the things that I made were some smoked bones for our new dog.
We adopted a dog about 3 weeks ago. She came from a shelter and appears to be some mix between a shepherd and lab. She is very cute but a little naughty…..
Now on with the blog, if you go to a pet shop you can pay quite a large amount for smoked marrow bones – so I decided to make my own. Bones can be bought fairly cheaply from supermarkets and butchers around here – the only issue was that I wanted to get some use out of the bones first – so I made some bone broth. The recipe for the broth and the smoked bones are below:

Ingredients

Approx 1kg marrow bones
1 onion chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
celery leaves (if you have)
couple of large mushrooms
parsley
teaspoon of peppercorns
any other vegetables that you fancy
2 tablespoons apple vinegar

Method

The stock ingredients

When making bone broth the taste is supposedly improved by roasting the bones first. I didn’t do this as the bones that I had were very full of meat and I wished to add this flavour to the stock.
In a large stock pot add all ingredients except the parsley and add water to close to the top of the pot.
Bring to the boil and simmer for at least 18 hours. Add water if necessary. If you do not wish to leave the gas on all night – you can put the pot into a normal oven at 90C (200F).
During the first hour or two – you may find that a brown frothy scum is produced on top of the water. This should just be removed with a spoon.
Add the parsley for the last 30 minutes.
When ready strain and reserve the stock , eat the vegetables and leave the bones to cool down (in the fridge).

Prepare your smoker at whatever temperature that you are using – I was cooking at 105C (220F) – and put the bones in for between an hour and two to allow the smoke flavour to permeate.
The bones in the smoker
That’s it – really simple. I was hoping to collect some photos of our dog eating the bones – but she devoured them so quickly that I didn’t manage to capture the moment!

Once you have the bone stock you can use it for any recipes that you require. A smoker suggestion is to place it in a container under ribs or brisket that is being smoked and then use this reduced stock as the base to make some gravy.

That’s all for now.

Adam.

Traeger flexible skewers and Mexican inspired beef

Hi all,

Last week I warned my delightful neighbour that I would be smoking all day and I used the opportunity to prepare photos for my next 4 blogs. If my plans do not go awry I will release a blog every two weeks over the next month and a half. I know that I will not keep this pace up for long – but in the meantime I will give you some recipes, reviews and dog treats…..

A while back I did a generic review of the Traeger “goodies” which are sold in Israel and I commented there that my favourite item by far was the flexible skewer. Traegers’ importer was nice enough to give me a free set at a tasting event that they ran last week (If any other suppliers are out there – especially the suppliers of the new wifi enabled thermometer/fan set being sold at BBQ Europe 🙂  I am willing to review your items for you….)

So, back to the blog. I want to review the skewers – but I feel that a review of such a simple item would be pointless as you need to use them to review them. Therefore I am going to include the recipe that I used to test them out. I took a fajitas marinade that I often use off the bbq and then I smoked the resultant meat. It worked great.

Cooked 'fajitas'

My skewed impressions

As I said in an earlier post – I love this idea. The skewers are pure braided metal and appear to be very strong. Time will tell if they get affected by the humid smoking environment – but I am hopeful that they will not rust. When I used the skewers I actually made a loop of meat (you will see this in the pictures) and this could either be placed on a rack – or even hung if you have a lot of meat to smoke. Please note that I used the term “meat to smoke” – this is my only worry with these skewers – We all know that flat skewers are the best for grilling as the food item does not slip when you turn it around to cook all sides. The obvious solution to this would be to put the wire through all the skewed items – then bend it and pierce each item again. This should work, but I haven’t tested it. This solution would also more than halve the length of the skewer, this is not such an issue as it is very long – just over 67 cm or approx 2 foot 3 inches.
Traeger skewers
When I used the skewers I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to thread the meat onto them, I also found the meat relatively easy to take off afterwards – especially as I did not find the metal loop at the end too hot to touch even straight after cooking.
The only other thing to say about such a simple (but useful) tool is that I found it very easy to clean with wire wool. The dark smoke colour that encompasses everything placed into a smoker came off easily. I do not know if it can be washed in a dishwasher as the packaging does not say.

The recipe

The ingredients

cheap cut of meat (I used #8 – Shoulder)

2 hot green chillies chopped into small pieces (keeping or discarding the seeds depending on required heat)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cumin
20 grinds of pepper
1/2 bottle of Mexican beer (I used corona)

The method

Cut the meat into 3mm (1/8 inch) slices and remove as much fat as possible. As in the photo below cut the slices of meat lengthways into 1 cm (0.4 inch) wide strips.
Cut meat with the fat and sinew on the side
Add all the ingredients (including the meat) into a ziplock back and shake until mixed.
Leave in the fridge overnight turning every so often.
Marinated beef

Prepare your kettle grill for smoking using wood chips (or your smoker as normal) to a temperature of 105C (220F). I used oak as my source of heat and smoke. Thread the meat onto the skewer piercing each strip of meat 2 or 3 times.
Meat on a skewer
Cook for 45 – 60 mins.

The finished 'fajitas'
Enjoy,

Adam.

Bishique – Review

Hi all,

Something a little different. I went to a restaurant on Thursday night that I have seen advertised as a BBQ restaurant (in a yishuv 10 mins from Latrun) – and I thought that I would do a review. The restaurant is called Bishique and their number is +972 50 99 89 199. You need to book in advance. According to their website page they only open 3 nights a week. It is under local regular hashgacha.

The Restaurant - Bishique

The setup in this restaurant is simple. The cost is 225NIS a person. This includes a table full of salads, pitta, a continual delivery of different meats and as many drinks as you want. When I say drinks, this includes all soft drinks, red and white wine (locally produced by a small winery) and beer (multiple types produced by the same owners of the restaurant).
The food is plentiful and overall it is very tasty. The food is definitely worth the money and this is one of the better restaurants that I have been to in Israel (This was my second visit). Most of the meats are cooked on a grill (what most people would call a BBQ) and there was one chicken dish that was smoked. A few were cooked in a normal kitchen though.

Below is a list of all the meat dishes (with photos) and a general overview of the salads.

The Salads
Above, you can see the initial round of salads – This was only about half of the options that came out. The green salad (not here) came dressed – and when I asked for the same salad undressed it came within seconds. The service was great. The first meat dish we got is not actually photographed. It came with the salads – it was a hummus plate with a sauce on top with small bite size pieces of meat. This was a delicious taste of what was to come. The salads were all tasty and freely replaced as requested/required.

Felafel, Carpaccio, chicking wings and hatzil biladi
The photo above shows 4 more dishes. In the top left you can just about see a dish of falafel and techina. These are probably one of the most tasty falafel balls that I have ever had – and this restaurant is a carnivore’s delight! The techina wasn’t too bad either 🙂
Below the falafel is the carpaccio. For those that do not know this is a raw meat that has been “cooked” using acid (usually lemon juice) and spices – it tasted as good as normal.
When I started this section of writing I nearly wrote about “four” great dishes – unfortunately the KFC style wings let this down – for some reason it had a very watery taste, but this was made up by the “Chatzil Biladi” which is charcoal grilled aubergine (great smokey flavour) with techina on top. There are many other additions that can be added but this was left plain. To be honest with the plethora of flavours just begging to tasted this was the correct choice. The aubergine was simple – very tasty and one of the few dishes I took multiple servings of.

Pita with mince

This is quite a strange choice – but was ok. It is basically a pitta with a thin layer of flavoured mince (ground) meat inside. It was OK but nothing to write home about.

Smoked Chicken

The only real BBQ (dish) on the menu was smoked chicken breast. I do not know if this was cooked low and slow or faster (chicken is one of the few meats that can be smoked quickly) but it was very tasty and the breast was moist. It was quite delightful. I took a piece without the skin – so cannot comment on that.

Brisket

The brisket was not smoked (you can tell by the lack of a smoke ring) but it was still very tasty and moist. It was not smothered with the BBQ sauce which is good (for me) as the taste of the meat is much better than a (correctly) sweet sauce in my opinion.

Sausages

In my opinion one of the best parts of the meal. I definitely took too many sausages….. These sausages are grilled normally and are flavoured with ground almonds and pine kernels (they do tell you about this before they are served). Anything with “Snobberim” (The hebrew for pine kernels) has to be great just because of the name. I really wish that I could buy a few packs of these sausages (or at least get the recipe) but I am still too English to ask.

Kebabs

The kebabs (Americans would probably call them sliders) were very tasty. They were a plain flavour and nothing too fancy. In fact that is the style of the whole restaurant – good, plain and high quality food. I liked it and think that it works really well. It is definitely a formula that would encourage people to come back again and again.

Entrecote skewers

The entrecote skewers were tasty and flavoured only with salt. In my opinion too much salt – but as I believe in no salt in food at all I may be the only person with that opinion.

Asado

The asado (or beef ribs) were definitely slow cooked as they were very soft and melted in the mouth. They were also very meaty relative to most ribs that you get in Israel. I felt that the sauce on top was too sweet for me – but again that is probably just me…. Again though , the sauce was lightly administered and so did not damage the delight of really well cooked ribs.

Chicken Thigh skewers

Chicken thigh skewers. These were definitely lightly marinaded and tasted really great. In Israel “Pargit” is counted as one of the best “cuts” off a chicken and in this case that was definitely correct.

Steak - sinta

The steaks were sinta – fairly plain – and really tasty. There is something special about a nicely grilled steak – and these didn’t disappoint. Just a little about the portions here – in any restaurant in Israel, you could reasonably expect 2-3 of these size steaks as a portion costing 160NIS. The whole meal here (with drinks) only cost 225NIS and this was only 1 of 13 or 14 different meat dishes. They would have also very happily brought more steaks if asked. The value here is fantastic.

Lamb Ribs

Then we come to the piece de resistance. In most of the “eat as much as you wish” restaurants they start with the cheapest cuts and slowly move on to the more expensive meat cuts. Generally Bishique doesn’t do this except for one exception – the lamb ribs. As they serve a whole rack to your table I know that they are actually just building you up the best part of the meal. The ribs were really well cooked and very – very tasty, being lamb they were also fatty – but without the fat they wouldn’t be so good.

Now we are at the end of the meal we come to the desserts.

Dessert platter

The first time that I came to this restaurant we were served a large platter of watermelon for dessert. This time we were give a plate of different desserts. I normally do not eat wheat but very occasionally I “cheat”. I had half of one of the chocolate souffles and it was good. Need I say any more?

Tea

The meal was finished with a choice of coffee or mint tea. This was a nice relaxing finish to a meal that was served slowly over time without any feeling of pressure to leave the table for the next guests. In fact, I expect that as we were told that our table was for between 8 and 11pm when we booked there was only one sitting a night.

The food was great and amazing value for money. This is a restaurant that we have already been to multiple times – something that we cannot say for many of the higher-end restaurants in Israel. A restaurant has to be worth going back to when you have an almost unlimited choice in front of you.
The only issue that I have is that after 5 days and over 100km of bike riding (both on road and singletrack) I still have another 200g to lose to get back to my weight before this meal… so…if you are on a diet – don’t go to this restaurant before a formal weighing.

Adam.

Jerky

The weather has been bad for the last few weeks and so I decided to take advantage of this and cook something that needed fairly low temperatures.
Jerky.

Cooking Jerky

For those that don’t know jerky is basically marinated, smoke dried strips of meat. There are many different recipes out there but most of them are lacking due to the fact that they use liquid smoke to give the true barbecue flavour. We have smokers and barbecues – we can do it ourselves…..

There are only three steps to making jerky – and they are very simple.
Step 1 is to cut and marinade the meat
Step 2 to to smoke/dry the meat
Step 3 is to keep the jerky away from my son if I want any left to eat myself…..

The Preparation

Both of the marinades that I am including are designed for 500g of meat.
The meat should be relatively fat free (fat will make the meat taste rancid very quickly after drying) and should be cut into thin strips approximately a couple of cm wide.
If you are cutting the meat yourself – then place it in the freezer for a short while so that it is getting frozen (but isn’t there yet). The additional rigidity of this cold meat will make it easier to cut thin slices. If you cut the meat with the grain it will come out relatively more chewy than if you cut it against the grain. This is a personal choice.
I was actually lazy and bought sliced beef shnitzel which is cut very thin like minute steaks – I then just cut these into my required strips.

The Marinade

There are many marinades for jerky out there – you can choose whatever takes your fancy. You can definitely taste the flavours.
Here are the two that I used – each is for 500g of meat.

Put the ingredients of one of the marinades in a Ziploc bag and shake to mix.
Add the meat and leave in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours.
Marinading Jerky
After the meat has marinaded. It needs to be patted dry before being placed in the smoker.
Patting dry the Jerky

Cracked Pepper

1/4 cup soy
1/4 cup water
tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder

Bourbon

1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 tsp prague powder
1 tsp molasses
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cracked black pepper
2 tbsp soy
2 tbsp Worcester sauce

Cooking

This is really simply – set your bbq/smoker up for smoking with wood. I used oak as both my heat source and for the smoke.
You want a cooking temperature of approx 70C/160F  –  so bring the smoker to about 80C/180F and then add the meat to the racks. The temperature should cool down when you add the meat and you can always close the vents a little to keep the temperature low once the meat is in.

Total cooking time is approximately 10 hours. I smoked the jerky for 3 hours and then did the last 7 hours in the oven – as it is easier to keep a low temperature, and the meat will already have the required smokey flavour.

Plate of Jerky

The jerky is ready when it bends easily just cracking without breaking as can be seen in the picture below.

When jerky is ready

Jerky is a great protein snack to take on extended bike rides or hikes, and can be stored for up to 3 months in a cool  shady cupboard.

Traeger’s Toys

Hi all,

I am sorry that I haven’t posted for a while – but I have been busy with Chag – plus trying to work around a neighbour that complains every time that I light up my smoker.

Working Traeger Smokers

On Thursday evening I went to a Traeger evening at their Israeli base in Netanya and whilst there I decided that I would post about the toys they have. I have not used any of these items so I do not know how well they work – but I can discuss what they are and how to use them – which is what I am going to do below

Traeger Toys
Above you can see the main display of toys that Traeger sell in Israel. I have chosen a few of these (and some from elsewhere in the same room) to describe in a little more detail. Everything that is mentioned below is something that I am tempted to buy…

Woodpit

Working Traeger Smokers

I have always loved woodpits, I even have a real wood fireplace in my house (yes – it does get cold on the edge of the desert sometimes).
There is just something magical about a wood fire – even if this feeling is due to the little pyromaniac in all boys.
Although I would love one of these – I know that I wouldn’t use it a lot, and anyway – my wife completely banned the idea when I brought it up 3 years ago – and this definitely wasn’t worth an argument about.
But saying that …..

Pellets

Working Traeger Smokers
This is important for all you people out there with pellet smokers. You can get reasonable quality Traeger brand pellets in Israel directly from Traeger themselves – and there are lots of different flavours available – examples are oak, pecan, cherry, alder, game mix, maple and more.

Chicken Throne

Working Traeger Smokers
There is a standard smoker recipe that I haven’t yet written on this blog. It is called beer can chicken.
In simple terms you are supposed to brine a whole chicken (I do not as kosher chickens are too salty for me anyway), tie up the wings and legs and then stick the chicken on a half full can of beer. Typically the recipe tells you to drink half a can first – but with this Chicken Throne you do not need to do this.
Just pour half the beer into the throne and then stick a chicken on it. You can then stick another chicken on the half empty can – two for the price of one.
If you are using the throne – it will also allow you to use different liquids as a flavouring/moisturiser – ciders, juices, wine, amaretto or other liquors or even just some chicken or lamb stock that you have in the fridge.
Just to finish the recipe off – cook the chicken to an internal thigh temperature of 74C or 165F with the smoker at approx 125-150C (250 – 300 F approx). It should take around 4.5 hours

Flexible Skewers

Working Traeger Smokers
Out of everything I saw – this is something that I am the most tempted to buy. Just having flexible skewers makes the idea of threading food onto skewers much more practical. This is something that I would probably use most times I grill (as long as they clean up relatively easily)

Injector

Working Traeger Smokers
Something else that I have not covered on this blog so far – There is a school of smoking that will inject liquid (marinade/beer etc) into meat before and during cooking to both add flavour and moisture to the meat. Using a meat injector is the solution to this method.

Butcher’s paper

Working Traeger Smokers
When cooking large pieces of meat especially in a wood smoker but also in other smokers you may wish to impart a specific amount of smoke flavour to the meat. Let us say 2-3 hours. But the meat itself will take 7 – 9 hours to cook. There are two solutions to this. Silver foil (Aluminum foil to the Americans) which is what I have done up to now – or butcher’s paper which I had never seen before in Israel. As you can now buy butcher’s paper here – this is another option. Butchers paper will remove some of the grease from the meat plus allow the moisture to escape which will help to preserver your crust – especially if you are only wrapping the paper to keep the meat warm until serving.

Cold Smoking and Thigh/Wing stand

Working Traeger Smokers
First the cold smoker – this is an add-on to the Traeger grills. The addition of a second compartment which is much cooler (due to distance) than the cooking compartment. Cold smoking adds flavour without cooking and is mainly used as a preservative. Common examples of cold smoked food is smoked salmon and cheese. But you could also smoke crisps, nuts etc etc.
The only issue with cold smoking in Israel is that during the summer the temperature within the smoker is generally above the cold smoking temperatures – so it is generally suggested not to cold smoke in Israel except with a way to cool the smoker. This would be the same with this addition as well.
The stand is a simple rack to hold wings and thighs (polkers) whilst they are cooking. This doesn’t really save you space – but will allow the chicken fat of the chicken to run down the length of the chicken portion creating an automatic self basting mechanism.

The ultimate accessory

Working Traeger Smokers

Need I say more ….

Conclusion

I know that this blog reads a little like an advertisement – but it isn’t meant that way. There are many accessories around – but they are not easy to find. I thought that I would round up a few of them together from a single shop and let you see some of what is available. There are BBQ shops that will have some of these items – and some that will have other items. You just have to go out and look until you find those little gems that you didn’t even know that you wanted.

Until the next blog,

regards,

Adam.

Hot Smoked Salmon

Time for another recipe.
We have just completed the nine days – and still cannot eat meat for another few hours and so I have decided to post a hot smoked salmon recipe that I made last week.

Hot Smoked Salmon cooked in a smoker

When you buy smoked salmon (lox) in the shops it is generally cold smoked. In Israel this is almost impossible and definitely not safe unless you have a methodology to keep the cooking/smoking temperature below 25C (77F). Before I even started a fire when I made the hot smoked salmon the temperature in my smoker was already over 50C (122F) showing the issues with trying to cold smoke in Israel!

There are many stages in hot smoking salmon and all of them are important. I will work through all the stages (with ingredients) one by one.

The Ingredients

The piece de resistance

3 pieces of salmon fillets about 5-8 cm (2-3 inches) wide

The Brine

1/5 litre (approx half quart) cold water
1/6 cup coarse salt (I actually used orange/chilli flavoured course salt that I had in the cupboard)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup

During the smoke

Water/white wine bath
pineapple liquor for basting

The Cure/Brine

Salmon marinating in a brine

As with many smoked reciped it is adviseable to cure the “meat” first to draw out some moisture.
Mix all the brine ingredients in a plastic container (or zip lock) and shake until the ingredients dissolve. If you have to heat the brine to do this – let it cool again before you add the fish.
Put the fish into the brine and leave refrigerated for between 4 and 36 hours depending on the thickness of the fish and how salty you wish the final taste to be. I used just 4 hours.

Drying the fish

Take the fish out of the brine and pat it dry.
Between curing the salmon - and creating the pellicle - the salmon needs to be dried
Put the fillets on a drying rack skin side down and then you need to leave the fish to create a pellicle.
The pellicle is a thin – laquer like substance that covers the fish after drying. It is also slightly sticky giving the smoke something to adhere to.
There are two ways to create this pellicle – depending on how much time you have and if you have cats within your house.
The time consuming method is to put the salmon in the fridge and leave it over-night for the pellicle to form.
The traditional method is to leave the fish in a cool and windy place (in front of a fan or air conditioning unit) for between 2 and 4 hours. As long as you keep the fish below 21C (70F) the curing will stop the fish from spoiling.
putting the salmon in the fridge to create a pellicle

Preparing the smoker

Set up your smoker to smoke at as low a temperature as you can manage. I cooked the salmon in my offset smoker at approx 95C (200F) using oak logs. The smoke flavour came out very subtle, if you like a stronger flavour use either wood chunks or better yet use a kettle bbq and cook indirectly using wood chips as the wood source.
Hot Smoked Salmon cooked in a smoker

Cooking

Cook the salmon as far away from the heat source as possible. Between the heat source and the fish place a container filled with water and white wine.
Every hour baste your salmon with the pineapple liquor.

At 95C the salmon took a little over 2 hours to get to the internal cooked temperature of 60C (140F).
If you have enough control (and outside temperatures allow), I would start cooking as low as 50C (122F) for the first hour, then raising the temperature to 60C (140F) for the next hour, finally finishing off the salmon at the higher temperature of 95C (200F)

As you are aware, sometimes when you cook salmon – a white substance builds up on the surface. This is caused by cooking the fish too quickly (or at too high a temperature) – this is the reason for the preferred low temperature. You can also use the fish basting as an opportunity to brush away this substance.
The final product

Small Changes

As I have said on many occasions. it is the small changes that you do to make this recipe your own that are important.
Simple places for a change are:
The brine – The brine that I used is very simple. You can add your own ingredients to this – bay leaves, lemon (or orange) rind, pepper corns or other spices.
The water bath – Anything you add into the water bath will come through, try quartered lemons or limes, pineapple, garlic, beer or other alcohol etc etc.
The baste – I used pineapple liquor, you could use Limoncella, Amaretto, maple syrup, silan (date syrup/honey), fruit juices (apple, lemon, orange, pineapple) etc etc.

As always,

Enjoy,

Adam.

Apple Turnovers

OK, it’s time for a recipe.
This is an experiment that I did on Yom Ha-atzmaut and it worked out well. It makes 12 turnovers.
I actually smoked this dessert but it can also be cooked indirectly or in the oven.

Plate of Apple turnovers

Ingredients

Puff pastry sheets
2 apples
1/6 cup brown sugar
Tablespoon of flour
Sprinkling of cinnamon
1 egg (beaten)

Method

Prepare your grill for indirect cooking at about 180C (350F) (or if you are like me – at the end of your smoking add some coals and 2-3 lumps of peach wood directly into the firepit)

Cut the puff pastry into 10 cm squares (approx 4 inch a side). Using a pastry brush, brush egg around the four edges of each square.
Chop up the apples relatively fine. Mix the apples, sugar, cinnamon and flour together in a bowl. Divide this mixture into 12 portions and place a portion in the middle of each puff pastry square.
Filling for turnovers
Fold the puff pastry square into a triangle and using a fork make indents on the joined edges (using a fork helps to seal the edges).
Place on greased baking paper and brush the tops with egg and sprinkle with sugar.
Apple turnovers waiting to cook
Put the turnovers in the smoker/grill/oven for about 30 minutes.

Take out and enjoy hot. If smoked with large lumps of wood there will not be too strong a flavour due to the high heat.

Apple turnovers coming out of the smoker

Enjoy,

Adam