Posts Tagged ‘Cheese’
Well my day was filled with some lovely cold smoking. Ian McKend sent me this unit to review. See the above You tube video for more information about the product. Also here is the Company’s website.
I chose 5 types of cheese I already had in the fridge. Haloumi, cream cheese, a Maclarens Imperial Aged cheddar, and a couple of inexpensive blocks of Marble and Old Cheddar.
For the cheese project I decided to use my own smokin dust. The kit comes with Oak however I am not a huge fan and thought for the cheese that something a little more delicate would be better. I had a couple of bags of Smokinlicious products in the garage, pecan and mango. I think they were an excellent combination.
The kit isn’t very large at all. I will admit I really had my doubts about it effectiveness. How could such a simple tray filled with dust and a tea light impart that lovely smoky goodness on my cheese?
I filled in the two flavors of dust and got it started
So I loaded up my Traeger rib rack with the cheeses and set off for my nearest grill my little Tex. Its right at my backdoor. It has been heavily used over the years. I don’t take this one on the road with me it is my home unit.
About an hour into it I went to check on the cheese. I realized I had made a critical mistake in the placement of the cheese. I had put my beloved Aged cheddar directly over the unit causing some of it to melt.
A quick rearrangement of the cheese and we were once again on the road to cold smoked cheese.
After another hour and a half I pulled the cheese off.
the temperature never varied much above 90F the entire time. At 2.5 hours I think I had enough smoke on it – however next time I will let the aged cheddar go longer.
I am really impressed with the simplicity of this unit and how wonderful the flavor is on the cheese.I am already planning on lots of experiments this summer with it. I highly recommend this unit for how effective and its ease of use. Now if you will excuse me I have to go make some smoked cheese nachos in preparation for the Canadian US hockey game tonight. It will be fun to watch Canada WIN while enjoying some of this smoked cheese.
Was craving a comfort dish so decided to make my ultimate Mac n Cheese. I only make this dish about once a year. Its a real treat to eat it. This year I made one for tonight and another for the freezer. It freezes and keeps well for about a month. (1 month is about as long as it has ever lasted in our freezer)
- 1 lb dry elbow pasta cooked (*please do not boil past about 7 minutes this should be just a little harder than al dente)
- 6 cups Colby Cheese Shredded
- 1 cup Cendrillon Goat Cheese Shredded
- 1/2 lb bacon
- 1 small red onion diced
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1/2 c flour
- 1/2 c butter
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons dried chives
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon fine grind black pepper
- 3 cups skim milk
- 2 cups 1/2 & 1/2 cream
- salt to taste *depending on the cheese you use this can vary wildly
For the topping
- 1 pkg 170 gr panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
I start by melting the butter then adding the flour on medium heat. I cook the flour and butter mixture for about 5 minutes. Then I add the milk and cream. Make sure you keep an eye on it so it doesn’t scorch the mixture. I usually have it on about medium low.
Fry the bacon in small pieces. Remove from the bacon fat. Fry the onion in the bacon fat. Don’t even think about draining in the bacon fat from the onions. Bacon fat is wickedly good in Mac N Cheese. Just add the onions and the warm bacon fat to the milk and cream mixture and whisk to combine.
Really it is really simple from this point on. Add everything else (other than the cooked bacon) and cook until all of the cheese has melted. I prefer the Colby and the Cendrillon since they give it a great deep cheesy flavor. I consistently whisk this making sure there are no lumps. This is where you should be taste testing for salt. Since the salt levels can vary so much in cheese it will be left up to you to determine how much.
I used two corelle dishes for layering.I use a layer of macaroni, a layer of the cheese mixture then sprinkle on some of the bacon. Repeat until both dishes are full.
For the topping simply melt the butter and mix with the Panko breadcrumbs and the smoked paprika. Spread liberally on both casserole dishes.
Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Make sure to let this rest at least 10-15 minutes.
This is great cold the next day or even made into mac balls rolled into flour then an egg wash and even more panko then deep fried. Its creamy bacon cheesy goodness.
Day 23- 25 Days of Christmas BBQ Blogging……
I received in the mail today a product sample of Frogmats.
I opened the package to find two very lightweight mesh sheets that claim to be non stick and perfect for delicate items for the BBQ or grill.
From their website the description:
We have all experienced the frustration of grilling delicate foods on the Bar B Que. The food immediately sticks to the grates and tears or crumbles when you try to turn it. The food falls through the openings in the grate and you have one big mess.
Frogmats solve this problem. Food will not stick to the Frogmats and is easy to turn without crumbing.
Frogmats are great for preparing fish and Ka Bobs. Fish will lift off the Frogmats with ease as does the vegetables in Ka Bobs. The open matrix of the Frogmats will eliminate to a large degree any food from falling through the grates.
The Frogmats will not pick up odors from fish,. therefore each time it is used there will be no left over taste.
Our Frogmats are FDA compliant for direct food contact.
Easy to clean with a warm water spray by the outdoor hose or in the kitchen with sink sprayer. The Frogmats will last for years.
Prepare picture perfect fish dinners like the pros with Frogmats
Frogmats are USDA approved for food processing and handling, and are FDA compliant (21 CFR177.1550). In addition, the fabrics can operate in temperatures from -400°F (-240°C) under static conditions and -100°F (-73°C) under dynamic conditions up to 550°F (288°C).
The timing for me worked well as I had a new experimental BBQ item I had made for tonight. Heres the link to the sausage wrapped hard boiled eggs that were prepped yesterday.
Frogmat on the Traeger Lil Tex
Frogmat with sausage balls.
I have to say they worked great. Absolutely non stick from the cheese that was gobbed out at the bottom to the grease that accumulated. I think these are an excellent product for the BBQ. I will also be using them in my oven. I already own silpat sheets and these will just add to my arsenal of non stick happiness.
Additionally the website claims are accurate in regards to cleanup. I washed mine in the sink and it was simple and easy with no scrubbing involved. Gotta love anything that works well and cleans up easy.
Easy Clean up
They are available in a variety of pre-cut sizes to suit your individual BBQ needs as well as custom sizes.
Bottom line I would recommend them highly, I have a few other projects in mind over the winter with them such as jerky.
Now as for the rest of my day it was a whole lot of prep for tomorrow Christmas Day and some great eats from tonight. Heres the pics.
Prepping the brine for the 4 turkeys
Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes prepped for Christmas Dinner
Acorn squash with butter cinnamon maple syrup and brown sugar.
Par boiling the parsnips to get them ready for the grill tomorrow.
Some of our Christmas Eve Eats
A couple of Tourtieres (done on the traeger)
MMMM the eggs rocked however next time more cheese.
Some cheeses and fruits and more munchies
Awesome Taco dip. So very yummy. Thanks to my friend Louisa for bringing it over!
My favorite insalata Caprese.
Wicked good. This puff pastry with brie, fig and walnut wine preserves plus a ton of smoked garlic knocked it out of the park. Just awesome.
Thats it for tonight.
Merry Christmas eve everyone.