Cold Smoking: Oak Smoked Rosemary and Thyme Olive Oil

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Another idea for your cold smoker – adding your cold smoked herbs to olive oil. As an Outdoor BBQ Chef I have created my own range of flavoured oils, these are oils that can cost a lot of money in the shops but so easy to make on your own.

What do you need to do ? Follow my smoking herbs recipe and just add one or a combination of herbs into a good quality extra virgin olive oil. I really recommend plastic sauce bottles – they’re not pretty but chefs use them a lot as they are so easy to use and not very expensive.

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Once the smoked herbs are added, just leave alone for at least a week. This gives the oil time to become infused with the smoked herb flavour – longer you leave it, stronger the flavour. Just imagine the flavour combinations you can make !

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Cold Smoking: Oak Smoked Rosemary, Thyme, Mint and Basil Dry Herbs

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Buying a cold smoker is a major foodie investment, so to get your money’s worth it is important to know its true versatility. Traditionally we cold smoke fish, meat and cheese but that’s only the start of it. I love playing around with my cold smoker and creating ingredients that add extra smoky flavours to my recipes.

I grabbed some fresh Rosemary, Thyme, Mint and Basil and cold oak smoked them in my Bradley Smoker for 2-3 hours.

073I air dried them overnight in my kitchen – made my kitchen smell delicious.

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I carefully shredded my herbs, making sure not to include any stems or stalks and put them into a Kilner jar.

I use these smoked herbs with nearly all my recipes, they add an amazing herb smoked flavour and aroma to my stews, soups, dry rubs, marinades, salts and pizzas. So please give this a try with your cold smoker – certainly worth it.
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Cold Smoking: Green and Red Peppercorns with Oak Smoked Chilli Flakes Oil

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Making your own flavoured oils is incredibly easy but it does help to buy some oil bottles which can be bought at most kitchen shops. As I travel a lot I prefer the clear squeeze sauce bottles – easier to use and safer than glass.

Put enough extra virgin olive oil into a pan and gently warm it up with some green and red peppercorns, dried whole chillies and some of the oak smoked chilli flakes.

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Once it starts to simmer, turn off the heat and leave to cool down. Heating it up allows the flavour to diffuse quicker  into the oil. Once cool, add to your bottle and you’re ready to go – your own chilli oil.

Your oil will absorb more of the chilli as time goes on – so expect it to get hotter with time.

 

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Click on the following link for my Oak Cold Smoked Chilli Flakes

Cold Smoking: Oak Cold Smoked Chilli Flakes

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Another one of my Bradley Smoker cold smoking experiments – resulting in amazing smoky chilli. Perfect for adding to my recipes.

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Set up your Bradley Smoker to its cold smoking setting and add your bisquettes, I used oak this time but I’m looking forward to trying out all the different wood flavours. I used some chilli flakes that I got from Forest Produce but you can buy chilli flakes in most supermarkets.

Bradley Smoker: Cold Oak Smoked Sea Salt

Cold smoke for up to two hours and allow to rest for 12 hours before putting into a sealed container. I will be using this in my recipes – sauces, rubs, brines etc –  to add extra smoky flavour.

Cold Smoking: Cheese

005The Bradley Smoker’s versatility makes it a perfect tool to cold smoke cheese, which means at temperatures ranging from 70°-100° F. tops. The goal is to infuse the cheese with your choice of smoke flavour – not to cook it.

Trying what cheeses smoke well is part of the fun but these seem to be the most popular: cheddar, mozzarella, swiss, gouda, pepper jack, fontina, provolone and parmesan. I used a basic mature cheese from a supermarket just to see how well it would take on the flavour – I’m really impressed with the results. The taste was totally transformed.

You only need between 1-2 hours to smoke cheese, but that is a matter of choice. Smoke for a shorter period of time the first time and increase slightly until you’ve reached your desired level of smokiness.

Bradley Smoker: Cold Smoked Oregano Sea Salt

I always suggest you let your cheese rest for at least 12 hours, allowing the smokiness to settle. After that you are free to add your smoked cheese to your favourite recipes….

Cold Smoking: Oak and Apple Cold Smoked Salmon and Avocado Mousse

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Making homemade smoked salmon is incredible easy with a Bradley Smoker and then the fun starts making all sorts of recipes with your salmon. This time I’m making mousse and ended up making a delicious smoked salmon and avocado mousse terrine. Great for a summer’s day treat.

My cure mix is large crystal sea salt, white sugar and 1 tbsp of fresh finely chopped dill.  I use the ratio 1 cup sugar to 3 cups salt. You need enough salt/sugar mix to have the salmon sitting on a layer as well as be completely covered.

Layer the bottom of a dish with the mix and then add the salmon skin side down. Use the remainder of the mix to cover the salmon entirely, making sure all the salmon surface is in contact with the mix. Place in the fridge and leave overnight.

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Rinse the salmon off completely at least 2 – 3 times to remove all the salt and sugar. Pat dry with a paper towel and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours.

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Start your Bradley Smoker with the cold smoking attachment. For this recipe I used a mix of oak and apple bisquettes, leave to smoke for at least three hours.

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Once the salmon is smoked, remove from the smoker and allow to rest overnight. You can use it straight away, however I find the smoke flavour at this point overly strong. However, it is all a matter of personal taste. Also leaving the salmon overnight allows the smoke to mellow and the salmon flesh to tighten – making it easier to slice.

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Now here’s how I made my mousse: peel and remove the pip from the avacado, place in a blender with 50g of the cream cheese, 1/2 the lemon juice and zest and blitz till you have a nice green puree. Season with salt and pepper. Do exactly the the same with your smoked salmon and remember to cut up your salmon into small pieces to blitz.

Using a piping bag, layer the salmon at the bottom of the glass or bowl and gently tap the sides so it settles evenly, do the same with the avocado and then layer the top with some cucumber, lettuce and and spring onion. Or do the avocado first, the choice is yours.

Good piping takes practice and I’m still perfecting the art but it is a lot of fun – whether you are piping into your shot glasses ( does everyone have shot glasses or is it just me ? ), into a wine glass or straight onto biscuits.

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Place your glasses back in the fridge and allow to chill for at least an hour before serving, serve with some biscuits or fresh toasted bread and enjoy.

Recipe

100g smoked salmon, 1 ripe medium avocado, 1 whole lemon juiced and grated zest, 30g peeled and finely cubed cucumber, 30g finely chopped ice-burg lettuce, 1 finely chopped spring onion and 150g full fat cream cheese.

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Cold Smoking: Cold Smoked Rosemary Sea Salt

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I love exploring the world of cold smoking, not just as a way of cooking but as a way of creating smoked ingredients to add to my recipes. My Bradley Smoker is like my experimenting lab where I can chuck all types of food in and see how it comes out. The fun is in the trying and the tasting.

I put a large clump of rosemary into the Bradley Smoker and cold smoked for a couple of hours using oak briquettes.

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After a couple of hours, I took it out and allowed to dry for another hour. Rub some leaves between your fingers and smell – amazing. Pick off enough leaves and mix with your sea salt in a sealed container – give a good shake and the smoked rosemary will slowly add its flavour to your salt.

What could be easier – producing your own range of flavoured salts for your recipes. Here is a great link to explain the difference between sea salt and table salt – worth a read:  sea-salt-vs-processed-table-salt

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Cold Smoking: Oak Smoked Sea Salt

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My Bradley Smoker is playtime for me, allowing me to produce my own smoked ingredients for my recipes. This recipe is really simple and can transform your sea salt. I do a lot of curing and cooking and having a stock of smoked salt is brilliant – also saves money !

Simply put your sea salt into your Bradley Smoker and cold smoke for at least eight hours, longer you smoke – stronger the smoky flavour. Bradley also offers a range of wood bisquettes so you can choose to smoke in different woods. It is just a matter of taste. Put the salt into an air dried container and it’ll keep for months.

Bradley Smoker: Cold Smoked Oregano Sea Salt

 

Cold Smoking: Beetroot Cured Oak Smoked Salmon

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Gravalax ( Gravad Lax : Gravad is Swedish for buried and Lax or Laks means salmon ) was a method used by Scandinavian fisherman to preserve fish. Simply enough they buried some of their catch on the beach below the tide mark, Gravalax is so easy to make and definitely worth trying at home.

In my family we all love smoked salmon and I am always on the lookout for new ideas and recipes.  I saw beetroot being used during curing on one of the many festive cookery programs over Christmas and I immediately thought of a way of enhancing the flavours and that was by cold smoking the salmon at the end so taking it to a oak smoked beetroot cured salmon.

Bradley Smoker: Beetroot Cured Oak Smoked Salmon

Firstly, I started with curing the salmon and for this I mixed all the ingredients together ( I advise gloves for this unless you like red stained hands !) and then covered my salmon fillets with the mix, ensuring that the salmon was skin down in the container and sitting on some of the mix. I then left it in the fridge for about 12 hours. If possible have a weighted container pressing down on the salmon as this helps the curing process.

After 12 hours I washed it thoroughly in cold water, patted it dry and left it in the fridge for a further 2 hours till the flesh had a “tacky” feel to it. The surface of the salmon will take on a nice beetroot red colour and will have absorbed into the salmon flesh by a couple of millimetres.

The Gravalax at this point is done and ready to eat, however I wanted to enhance the flavour by using my Bradley Smoker,  I cold smoked the fillets for 6 hours using oak pellets.  I then left one fillet overnight in the fridge to allow the flavours to settle and the second went into a freezer bag and into the freezer. This will keep for a couple of months and  all you need to do is defrost and eat when needed.

Bradley Smoker: Beetroot Cured Oak Smoked Salmon

I serve this with either fresh or toasted bread and a nice mayonnaise, chopped dill and lemon juice dip. The colours are vibrant and the smoked salmon is incredible either as a starter or a main course.

Recipe

2 full salmon fillets with skin, 4 shredded medium beetroot (cooked or raw), a cup of sugar, 3 cups of sea salt, a medium handful of finely chopped dill, 30ml Vodka and the zest from a lemon

Cold Smoking: Alder Home Smoked Salmon

Alder Home Smoked Salmon

My home made cold smoked salmon using my Bradley Smoker.

Smoked Salmon has always been one of those dishes brought out only on special occasions. Why I am not so sure.. maybe the price ?..which is a shame because it is so easy to make and is a delicious addition to so many recipes. I have just spent the weekend making my own and it has been so easy – especially with a Bradley Smoker. Not only is it easy but I choose the quality of the salmon, create the curing mix ( no chemicals, additives or artificial flavours) and, just as importantly, I add the flavours I want.

DSCF4345My curing mix is large crystal sea salt, white sugar, fresh dill, roasted pepper corns and juniper berries – I use the ratio 1 cup sugar to 3 cups salt.

I am very familiar with juniper berries from my gin soaked days in France but recently came across them as a replacement for pepper, they really add a spicy peppery kick. I have used roasted juniper berries in my brining solution and love the result.

Layer the bottom of a dish with the mix and then add the salmon skin side down. Use the remainder of the mix to cover the salmon entirely, making sure all the salmon surface is in contact with the mix. Place in the fridge and leave overnight.

DSCF4347After the salmon has been cured rinse well again and again, as the salty mix can really over power the salmon. Place in your  cold smoker, select the wood for smoky flavour and smoke. The Bradley Smoker has an automatic feeder so you added the pellets and walk away for 4- 6 hours.

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It is always tempting to try tasting it as soon as it leaves the smoker but remember that your smoked salmon needs time to rest. The smoky flavour can be overpowering at first, but it soon settles down so make sure you leave overnight before eating.

The hardest part is not having the right carving knife to shave long thin slices as you see in the shop – there is an art to slicing smoked salmon and I’m still working on it.

Choosing a wood to smoke with is part of the fun, there really isn’t a right or wrong wood – it is all a matter of personal taste and don’t let anyone tell you there is a right or wrong wood flavour. Bit like wine, it all depends on you. The fun is making your own mind up about which wood you prefer, experimenting is what it is all about.

I have kept this recipe simple by serving with a fresh dill, lemon juice and mayonnaise dip with fresh bread and with an obligatory glass of chilled Sancerre . Sometimes simple is the best…