We all have survived the long weekend with lots of good food, great family visits, and the best times with all. I was able to fire up the smoker for some ribs again and I am always looking for something to do on the smokers that the vegetarians in the family will eat. There is something about the wood flavoring in the meat that I just love and I really want to share that with the herbivores. I apparently hit on one this week with smoked portobello mushroom caps. This was very loosely based on a recipe from Sublime Smoke by Cheryl and Bill Jamison. The smoker was running around 225 degrees using hickory. You could certainly use a grill to do this as well. I sprayed the mushroom caps (4) with vegetable oil and lightly sprinkled Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming and some salt on both sides. I put the mushrooms in a foil pan and smoked them about 20 minutes. They should be oozing liquid but not dried out. While they were smoking in a pan I sautéed 1 large shallot and 2 cloves of garlic both minced in 2 tbsp. of butter. I then added about a 1/4 cup of diced roasted red peppers. These were from a jar but fresh from the grill would have even been better. I also added about 12 diced kalamata olives, 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp. water, 1 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste and let this reduce slightly. When the mushrooms are done pour any of the ooze into the pan let it cook about 1 minute to again reduce a bit. Spoon the mixture into the caps and eat! I was told they had the smoky flavor I was looking for and the filling complimented nicely. It is interesting that when I am using the smoker all day I cannot taste the smoke or the subtile or intense flavorings that can come from it. When I eat the food the next day my senses have cleared and I get the smoke and other flavors in the food. I was only able to get the one picture (not a very good one either) before these were all gone! Anyone out there have any other vegetable suggestions for the smoker? I have tried smoked potato salad and it was fabulous also!
Those mushrooms were one of the best things I have ever had! They also had a sweetness to them. Probably the balsamic. Really, you tasted about 7 different taste sensations in one bite. Have you ever smoked corn on the cob? Or would it pop off like pop corn?
I did a few ears last year and it turned out great! I am not a fan of grilled corn or at least the grilled corn I have made but the corn remained crisp but took on the smoky taste without being overpowering. I will be doing it again when the corn hits.
How interesting! I love the idea of potato salad in the smoker. I’m finding that I really pretty much like anything grilled….that smoky goodness is to die or. It’s a wonder I’m not a smoker with how much I love smoked food!
The smoked potato salad was really good. You only smoke the potatoes and they keep the smokey flavor. It was a vinegar based salad.
Kim, I’m not sure how differently food behaves in the smoker versus the grill, but the vegetarian dishes I like to do on the grill fall into two general categories: marinated kebabs or stuffed veggies. As an example of the latter, last year I hollowed out zucchini and stuffed them with onion, garlic, tomato sauce, and spices (curry powder was involved, I believe). They were pretty yummy, and you could certainly use the same idea with hollowed out onions, potatoes, or even peppers (if Carolyn wouldn’t cringe too much from serving a stuffed pepper!).
I do have a barbecue cookbook that includes a veggie chapter if you ever want to borrow it sometime too. Or maybe I’ll dig it out and post an idea from it.
What is interesting with the smoker is that it is designed for the long slow cooking with lower temperature. Mine will get to 250 degrees. So this is great for tough cuts of meat like a brisket or pork shoulder that need to cook all day to break down the fibers. Veggies are a different matter. I do alot of veggies on the grill with the higher heat. I have a few books just for smoking that have some interesting ideas and would like to see what your grilling book has. Carolyn and I are both Cookbook junkies – new blog idea? The problem is when I fire the smoker up it takes a bit of effort (time) and I have precious little of that so I like to go for a winner. The other thing I try to do is when I am doing meats is to put something else in as it holds a lot. So I am definitely doing corn and we will see what else.
I think the corn would be so good. Bob and I almost always grill our corn. Bob just puts it on raw and keeps turning it. And then, instead of butter or salt we squeeze fresh lime juice over them.You could put a little chilie powder on the corn first. I love the lime with the grill flavor.