This is the fourth month of Charcutepalooza, and I'm still in the game. You know what I have to say about Charcutepalooza? I have now made all of these things that I always had plans for but hadn't yet gotten around to it. There is so much that I jump right into, but for some reason my plans for charcuterie had been more daunting than most of my endeavors. And let's hear it for Charcuterie, the guiding tome. You know what? I finally got my copy in the mail! Finally!
As a new comer to smoking, it took me a while before I compartmentalized smoking foods into those two simple categories: cold smoking and hot smoking. Cold smoking foods does not cook them, but imparts the smokey flavor, and as such it is important to use a curing salt because cold smoking invites bad bacteria as the temperatures are less than 100 degrees F. Hot smoking, however, utilizes higher temperatures (above 150 degrees F.) and thus cooks the food, while imparting the smoke flavor, and in my mind, it is not quite so important to use curing salt. (The book recommends using curing salt, or pink salt, in all cases unless you are hot smoking at 300 degrees F.)
|You wouldn't mind being paid in bacon, would you?|
Can I talk about the pellicle for a second? Do you know how much I enjoy that word? I especially love how essential it is to smoking anything. The pellicle is formed when the once brined or cured meat is patted dry and allowed to completely dry, and get a little sticky, before smoking. I think the word sounds like oracle. And when my trout had sat over night in a nice chilled evening with a light breeze it formed a wonderful pellicle and I knew, as if it were an oracle of future goodness, that my trout would rule. Or maybe I was just smoking something. Regardless, I like that word. But dang, that trout did rule.
|Pickled green beans and pickled green tomatoes.|
I had some friends over for dinner last night, and I decided to make a few small plates with my smoked goods. It was all very simple and very tasty. Here's what happened.
Smoked Trout Dip
1/4 cup of cream cheese
1/4 cup plain yogurt
one to two whole smoked trout, depending on your tastes, skin removed
a tablespoon of capers
Let the cream cheese sit out and soften. Then add the yogurt and whip them together (I used a fork, then an immersion blender) until smooth. Add the flaked trout and capers and fold them in. Serve with crackers.
Canadian Bacon and Leek Frittata
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a large cast iron pan with a small bit of olive oil to coat it. Saute a half of a cleaned large leek, sliced thinly, until wilted and golden. Remove leeks to a plate.
|Can we squeeze a veggie in here?|
|After. Slightly 1950's Better Home and Gardens?|