After taking a class at the CIA in NAPA on smoking olives, reading Diana Henry's Salt, Sugar, Smoke (Perhaps one of my all time favorite books by her) and Smoking Hot and Cold by Charlotte Pike , I've been trying different ways to smoke my food. I tried indoors and outdoors, outdoors are honestly, the best because you can let the fumes escape and your furniture won't smell like the aftermath of a fire pit or a dragon lashing. Liquid smoke and smoke guns are good options and a friend of mine, swears by the latter.
I recently got a Traeger smoker/grill which is pretty amazing. It's upped my smoke game up at home by several notches. We've tried steak, pork chops and chicken with a variety of different woods such as cherry to oak to pecan each infusing its own unique perfume on the food it kisses. While, meats are a sure hit when it comes to smoking, you can do a lot more than just that. I recently experimented and smoked young carrots with cherry wood pellets and then served them over a bed of turmeric infused creme fraiche with a little amchur. Amuchur is a tart fruity powder obtained from sundried unripe mangoes, it's also my best friend when it comes to barbecues. While cooking and smoking times, will obviously vary by the type of smoker you use, this method worked rather well for me with my Traeger grill.
And on a related note, if you want to make Kalua Pork at home and also check out my most recent trip to Maui, Hawaii, head over to Taste Cooking!
smoked carrots with turmeric creme fraiche
makes 4 servings as a side
1 lb young carrots, tops trimmed
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup creme fraiche
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes of any kind or color
1 tsp amchur
1 tsp red chili powder
flaky salt such as Maldon
Prepare the smoker as per the manufacturer's instructions. Fill the wood pellet chamber with cherry wood pellets.
Set the heat to 350F. Brush the grates with a little oil.
In a large bowl, toss the carrots with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Then place them on the grate of the preheated grill and let them cook for 45 minutes to 60 minutes, flipping them halfway through cooking using a pair of tongs. The carrots will be done when tender and golden brown.
Once the carrots are cooked, remove and transfer them to a tray.
In a medium bowl, whisk the creme fraiche, lemon juice, turmeric, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
To serve, prepare 4 serving plates, place a generous 1/4 cup of the creme fraiche in the center of a plate. Put 4 to 6 smoked carrots in the center along with 1/4 of the halved tomatoes. Dust with 1/4 tsp of the amchur and 1/4 tsp of the chili powder. Sprinkle with a generous amount of Maldon salt and serve.
(Note these instructions are for the Traeger grill, please adjust the method to work with whatever brand you use)
Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by Traeger. All opinions expressed are solely my own.