Friday, February 26, 2010
Smoke 'em If You've got 'em: Stovetop Smoker Soup
In the mood for something infused with that delicious hardwood smoked flavor, but not in the mood to pull out the grill in sub-freezing weather?
A stove top smoker is your solution.
I have this Nordic Ware Oven Essentials Indoor and Outdoor Smoker version.
The pan has a ridged base, a tray to put wood chips, also known as 'dust'. (cover the tray with foil first for ease in cleaning).
A perforated tray sits over the base and smoking tray, and it's all covered by a domed lid that traps the smoke. The hole in the lid is to insert a thermometer, and there is an adjustable vent as well.
The chips come in an assortment of varieties: Hickory, Apple, Oak, Cherry, etc. Unlike outdoor smoking, they don't need to be soaked first - they go into the tray dry.
And don't worry, it doesn't really stink up the house either. I used the lowest setting on the exhaust fan, and it didn't smell smoky at all.
There's even a cookbook devoted to recipes for your stovetop smoker -Smokin': Recipes for Smoking Ribs, Salmon, Chicken, Mozzarella, and More with Your Stovetop Smoker
I rubbed a couple of pork tenderloins with my newest Penzey seasonings, one with Cajun Seasoning, and one with Bicentennial Rub, and smoked them until they reached 145 degrees.
I had a little bit of one for dinner, then refrigerated the rest to make the Monster Minestrone recipe from the book.
It makes a ton of soup, so I am going to share some, and try and wedge some in the freezer. Which should be getting less full from the Cook What You've Got Challenge, but in fact is getting more, not less, full.
Here's my adaptation of the recipe, including changes I'd make in the future.
Monster Minestrone with Smoked Pork Tenderloin - adapted from Smokin, by Christopher Styler
2 pork tenderloins, silver skin removed
2 T. smoking chips (I used Apple)
flavorful spice rub - your choice (I used Cajun and Bicentennial Rubs)
Rub pork with desired seasoning rub and allow to rest at room temp while the smoker heats up and just begins to smoke. Place pork on smoker tray, cover with lid, and smoke 'til 145 degrees internal temp. (Check after 20 minutes). May smoke a day ahead; cool and refrigerate.
1/3 c. olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced (about 3 c.)
2 large leeks, cleaned, sliced thin
3 medium carrots, peeled & diced (about 1 1/2 c.)
2 stalks celery, trimmed and diced (about 1 c)
3/4 # white or cremini mushrooms, trimmed and diced (I am not crazy about the texture of the mushrooms in this soup - I used white; will probably omit in future)
Half a small head of savoy cabbage, core removed, leaves shredded 1/2" thick (about 6 c.)
2 large parsnips, peeled and diced (about 2 c)
2 quarts of homemade chicken stock
2 small zucchini, trimmed and sliced (about 2 c)
1/2 # small green beans, trimmed and halved (about 2 c)
One 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen); in the summer, I'd smoke some tomatoes
One 15 oz can cannellini or red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (maybe 2 cans, or one of each - 1 can gets kind of lost with all the veg)
1 c. frozen peas
1 c. small pasta, cooked according to pkg directions; don't add to any you are going to freeze
Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium. Add onions, leeks, carrots, celery and mushrooms and season with salt. Cook stirring often, until vegetables begin to soften, 10-15 minutes. Stir in cabbage and parsnips, cook and stir until cabbage wilts.
Add broth and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes til tender. Add zucchini, beans, peas, and smoked pork and simmer an additional 10-15 minutes.
Cook pasta separately, and stir into individual servings. Don't add to portions to be frozen - it will suck up all the broth.
Check and adjust seasoning. Don't over salt, especially if you plan to finish the soup with shredded parmesan or pesto, or my favorite Borsari Seasoned Salt - Original Blend.
Remove pork and chop after resting for 5 minutes or so. To cool soup for refrigerator or freezer, pour into shallow pans (9x 13) and stir occasionally before packaging and labeling in individual containers.