Now for those of you, much like my smart-ass friends, who learned I was smoking cheese over the New Year holiday, this is not a euphemism for smoking marijuana. What a dumb euphemism, anyway. You all need to turn in your smart-ass cards.
No, actually, I learned to use my gracious father-in-law’s electric Little Chief Smoker. We did a batch of salmon on Alder chips first, which we learned that Grandpa Rothe’s blanket covering of the smoker changes the recipe, and, well, we’ll do things slightly different next time. Regardless, the salmon turned out fabulous, and was gobbled up over Yule. (Shhh!!! I froze some in the freezer to bring out for my beloved’s birthday coming up later in January.)
Check out the photo of our smoked salmon attempt, please. How do you think our salmon turned out? We used this for appetizers. Also, I made a salmon, cream cheese and green onion omelette the other morning. Life is supposed to taste good, and this definitely qualified.
Then we decided to do cheese.
I will never eat cheese that has not been smoked again. The Irish Whiskey was my favorite. Eaten with a little bit of salami and cracker and your favorite adult beverage, you have just created heaven on earth. No, really.
We did Irish Whiskey Cheddar, Welsh Cheddar, Tillamook Medium Cheddar, Provolone, and…Goat Cheese! The last of which is so fabulous, you may want to roll around in it naked. Okay, maybe not. But, it is so tasty, especially given that I was worried the goat cheese might “melt,” the fact that it turned out better than expected is sheer delight.
We used hickory chips, which I honestly think is absolutely perfect for cheese. We put a pan of ice cubes in the bottom of the smoker. Then, we used the on for ½ hour, off for ½ hour in a complete rotation totally 2 hours. In the photo you’ll see we made a separate alumninum foil bed for the goat cheese. You’ll remember, we were afraid it might melt. So this way it was contained. Although, in the end, the goat cheese didn’t need it. Again, I couldn’t have asked for it to turn out more perfect.
A plague has descended on our house, or I’d be trying out smoking Pepper Jack, Fresh Mozzarella, and Havarti. Next weekend, I’ll be smoking cheese again, for sure, once the minions are healthy again.
This is what it looked like before we smoked it.
This is what it looked like after.
Notice the nice smoky, golden hue to the cheese. The cheddar goes very well with beer. I used the smoked goat cheese in a frittata for New Year’s Breakfast. Divine with mimosas.
If you have access to one of these electric smokers, I wholeheartedly suggest you learn how to use it. I’m also going to do some Brisket real soon, too. This process makes me wish I had my own goat for making goat cheese. But, first, I need to get chickens.
Have you used a smoker before? If so, what’s your favorite recipe? Favorite chips? Something unusual? Please tell me! As the garden needs little attention right now, it’s definitely smoking season.