Summer cooking, men and barbecues.
Somewhere, deep in the bowels of history, there must be a buried document that stipulates that women slave over the hot stove and all other areas of domesticity that take place back in the steamy kitchen.
In order to do their fair share, men must stand outside on a pleasant evening, chatting to the neighbors, sipping an ice-cold beer whilst keeping one occasional eye on the barbecue grill.
Mon mari takes his work seriously.
a kettle grill that he uses for chicken, pork chops, fish and light smoking.
a gas grill that he uses for potatoes and other vegetables, sausages, and hamburgers
a small hibachi-type charcoal grill that gets very hot that he uses for lamb chops and steaks
a proper smoker that he uses for long-smoking of salmon, pasta (smoked pasta recipe) and pork roasts
Sometimes he uses 2 or 3 at the same time.
As long as he's going to be outside, in the pleasant evening, he might as well cook the whole meal, right?
Nowhere, in that buried document, does it say that I can't sit on the bench, sipping my gin and tonic, watching him whilst he wields his tongs.
We both like the flavor a few wood chips add to barbecued foods.
He doesn't like to get out the big smoker unless he's doing a big meal.
Here are his methods for light smoking using the the regular barbecue grills:
First: Soak your wood chips. He leaves a few in a bowl of water next to the grill, replenishing them as he uses them. They can't get too wet, and this way, they are always ready. Use commercial chips or bits from that apple tree you cut down last summer.
Smoking with a kettle=type charcoal grill: Put the charcoal off to one side and light it. When the coals are hot and you are ready, put the food on the side opposite the hot coals (do not spread them out) Throw some wood chips on the coals and cover. Replenish the chips as needed and depending on how well smoked you want the food. A thick piece of fish will take 20 minutes, a pork tenderloin or chicken breast will take about 30 minutes.
Smoking with a gas grill: Only light one side of the grill. Wrap the soaked wood chips loosely in foil. Poke a few holes in the foil and place on the grill over the hot side. Put your food on the opposite side, and close the grill cover. Leave it slightly vented or propped open an inch or so.
In all cases, once it's smoking resist the urge to lift the cover and look…. Keep it closed.
There you have it: Smoking 101.
At this point I should add that all of that work (standing in the pleasant evening, chatting ans sipping) really builds up an appetite in a guy…. So I never get much of a chance for fussing with photos….
But, trust me, this was good, The pinkness of the pork is a result of the smoking.
Smoked, Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
1 pork tenderloin, 14oz (400gr)
1 tbs chopped capers
1 tbs chopped dry-cured Greek olives
1 tbs whole grain mustard
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tbs molasses
1 tbs soy
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
wood chips – we used apple
Carefully slice the pork tenderloin in half the long way, almost all the way through. Leave about 1/3" (1cm). Open it flat, like a book. Spread the mustard on 1 side. Sprinkle the paprika, olives and capers on the mustard. Close the pork and tie securely with kitchen string.
Make basting sauce
Smoke on a kettle-type grill for 30 minutes. Baste once when you put it on the grill, once when you open the grill after 15 minutes to add wood chips and once when you take it off.
Remove pork and let rest 5 minutes. Remove string, slice and serve.
The nice thing about smoking, besides the great flavor, is it's a no fuss method of grilling outdoors and the meat stays moist and tender.