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Start Smoking.

September 30, 2014

Food, I mean.  For quite a long time now, I’ve been relying on liquid smoke to bring out a flame-kissed flavor in my foods.  I’m sure I’ll still use it in a pinch (it’s great in a tempeh bacon recipe!), but my parents got me a stovetop smoker for my birthday and I’ve since been experimenting with the real deal!  This is only the beginning…I am going to smoke all of the foods.

The little recipe booklet that came with my smoker suggested smoking potatoes.  Potatoes!  Of course!  I happened to have some new potatoes lying around and a cookout to go to, so I decided to make a smoked potato salad.

smokedpotatosalad

This may look like your ordinary, run of the mill potato salad, but don’t be deceived!  Lurking inside of each of those little starchy cubes is an absolute wealth of smoky flavor.  I kept it simple and just used diced celery, scallions, dill, and Vegenaise to round out the potatoes.  The smoke flavor was so prominent!  While this salad was scrumptious and happily different from other potato salads that I’ve tried (and my omnivore friends gobbled it up!), I think that the smoked potatoes would be especially good in some sort of au gratin application.  I can just see thin slices of these pre-smoked taters baked to perfection with a mellow, tangy, cheesy cashew sauce, can’t you?  I’ll keep experimenting!

The thing I’ve wanted to smoke the most has been tofu, of course.  I’ve bought packaged smoked tofu and adored it in sandwiches, and couldn’t wait to try it on my own.  The only tofu I had around today was cubed and frozen, though.  While this turned out ok, next time I’ll use an unfrozen, unsliced block so that the texture is nicer.  I also went with the same cooking directions as the potatoes (medium heat, 45 minutes), and that seemed a little hot and fast for the tofu.  I’ll do it a little lower for a little longer with the block.

smokedtofusproutsrice1

I’ve heard that your best bet when smoking tofu is to marinate it first so that there’s some flavor (and namely, salt) in there before you start cooking it.  I didn’t really know what to marinate it in, so I just whipped up a quick olive oil/balsamic/soy sauce/garlic concoction.  I’ll do some research on marinades for the next go – I just don’t want anything that will interfere with the flavor of the smoke.  You can see that the cubes got a little blackened!  Definitely lower and slower next time.

smokedtofusproutsrice3

I was randomly at Aldi, and they had the most gorgeous Brussels sprouts, so I quartered and steamed those, and made some lemon-dill brown rice.  The sauce is a basic, but delicious, tahini sauce from Julie Hasson’s new vegan casserole book*.  It all goes very nicely together, and really didn’t take that much time to get ready.  Well, admittedly I did shower while the rice and tofu were cooking.  But that’s the beauty of this type of cooking – you can walk away for a little bit and get other things done!  Back to the smoker for a quick second, I’m excited to also try different types of wood chips.  It came with alder, but you can get loads of different flavors.  Applewood smoked Brussels sprouts!  Hickory smoked portobello steaks!  Maple smoked tempeh!  The possibilities are highly exciting.

*Oh, and yes, I did mention a new casserole cookbook.  Just…you…wait.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 30, 2014 5:42 pm

    Wow, a smoker! Incredible! I think I would be like you – smoking absolutely everything I could think of.

  2. October 1, 2014 1:26 am

    I would want to smoke all of the things as well. Does it make a lot of smoke that would set off our smoke alarm if you are using it inside on the stove?

    • October 1, 2014 5:55 am

      It smells smoky in my apartment, but the alarm didn’t do off. I also opened windows and turned on the stove fan. I don’t think it really makes a lot of smoke as long as the lid is tight, though.

  3. October 1, 2014 2:27 am

    Very cool! Does it make your house very smoky? What model/brand did you get?
    xo
    kittee

    • October 1, 2014 10:08 am

      I’m not at home, so I can’t check the model, but it’s a small Cameron. Like, small enough that it fits on one burner. See my previous reply comment re: house smokiness 🙂

  4. theveganmuffinwoman permalink
    October 1, 2014 10:05 am

    I must admit, this title definitely has shock value! Haha! I haven’t tried smoking (food)- but ill have to give it a shot!

  5. October 2, 2014 12:32 pm

    That potato salad sounds seriously amazing!

  6. December 8, 2014 12:14 pm

    This is great ! I will consider to try this next year! Looks fantastic! I bet taste even better!
    Thank you
    MMD

  7. January 5, 2015 7:58 am

    Reading this actually made my mouth water. It was when you started talking about the different types of wood chips – applewood is one of my favourite flavours. I have to say I’ve never considered having a smoker in my kitchen, but you may have just won me over. Is there a specific make/size that you would suggest?

  8. Pam Miller permalink
    August 11, 2016 9:17 am

    I recently got an indoor smoker and found your post on smoking while trying to find vegetarian smoker recipes. It’s been quite a while since you wrote that and I was wondering if you have posted any more recipes or found any you love. I enjoy experimenting with my cooking, but not until I have the basics figured out. In this case I’ve haven’t found much more than a few smoked tofu and mushroom recipes and now your potato salad. Thank you for that! I would sure appreciate any recipes, smoking tips or advice you could give me.
    Sincerely, Pam Miller

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