First things first, smoking, and we're starting from square one. Don't let anybody tell you that your kitchen keeps you from doing smoked foods. You can build a stove top smoker for hot smoking, and with some crafty maneuvers, you can do cold smoking as well.
To build a stove top smoker, you can go cheap or expensive. The cheap way consists of aluminum foil covering the bottom of your biggest pot, with a wire rack over the top of the pot, sealed by more aluminum foil. Put your wood chips in the bottom (apple is a great smoking wood), crank the heat, build some smoke, and hang anything you want from the rack. The "expensive" way is going to a local restaurant supply store and spending roughly $20 on 2 hotel pans, a grate insert for said pans. Put one on the stove top, put down your wood chips, put the grate over the top and the 2nd hotel pan on top upside down as a lid. Build up smoke and place your food items on the grate. For those interested in cold smoking, you will need to purchase some ductwork from Home Depot, Lowes, or any store of that nature. To cold smoke, you simply need the smoke to travel far enough so it cools down by the time it reaches your food. These setups can be difficult to jury rig in a home environment.
Now that you've got your smoker ready, let's chat for a minute about all the things the can be smoked. Just about anything. From cheeses to meats to fish to fruit, almost anything can be smoked. Today, I'm just going to give you one recipe (dinner service is starting and I'm supposed to be at my station in like 4 minutes).
1 Salmon Filet
1/4 cup Salt
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Paprika
1 Tablespoon Thyme
2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
Mix everything together (except the salmon), and rub it on the salmon. Let it rest in the fridge for a few hours, then rinse it off gently. After rinsing, sprinkle all the black pepper over the flesh and let it sit for another 20 minutes in the fridge. You're doing this because after it's been salted/sugared, the black pepper will help a pellicle (a tacky skin) form on the outside of the fish. After that's done, throw it into your smoker for about 30 minutes with good smoke, and from there, enjoy! It goes great with a very simple chevre "mousse", recipe below.
1 cup Chevre
1 Teaspoon Shallot (minced)
1 Teaspoon Chives (cut very small)
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
1/8 cup Water
Throw everything into the food processor and blend it smooth. The water is purely for texture, so feel free to add as you see fit.
Til next time!