Welcome to my BlogSpot. I have created this blog in hopes of inspiring everyone to cook. I have found my inspiration from living in both Southern and Northern California. My influences in flavors have come from family recipes and meals with emphasis on healthy foods, marrying into an Italian family and the ethnic flavors throughout California. There are so many wonderful memories connected to our family dishes as well as new memories in the dishes that have been recently created. My husband, Randy who is recently retired, has been my biggest supporter and inspiration in our kitchen. He is my taster, my sous chef, and has created some really great dishes himself, which will be added to this blog. It is my hope that you too will be inspired to cook and create your own dishes for your loved ones and enjoy the craft of cooking.

One thing I ask of you is if you print out, email and pass out my recipes, please include my name and link.

Be sure to check out my Sweaty Equities blog about the ups and downs of crafty projects and our DIY remodels.
You can find it at http://sweatyequities.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pan Seared Cold-Smoked Shrimp

Pan Seared Cold-Smoked Shrimp
First off, soak a handful of apple wood chips.
3 Pounds large Shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
½ Teaspoon Salt
Pinch Crushed Red Pepper
Dash of Black Pepper
Combine the above green ingredients and toss together with the shrimp. –Set aside for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, set up your smoker to cold smoke.
Make a pan of ice water and place directly beneath where the shrimp will smoke.
Place 8 Charcoal Briquettes in a charcoal chimney and burn until light gray in color.
Place your marinated shrimp on a pizza pan with holes in it, or directly on the grill one rack above the ice water so that the ice water keeps the shrimp cool.

Place the briquettes on your smoker tray and put the handful of wet chips on the briquettes, then close the smoker and smoke for 20 minutes, being careful that the smoker stays cool as not to cook the shrimp.
A little Smoke action.

Preheat a cast iron pan to medium/high. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan 1/8 of an inch. Place the shrimp (in batches) in the pan, remembering the order you placed them in and cook for 1 minute on each side. It should sizzle a lot and get crispy. Be careful not to crowd the shrimp or it will steam instead of getting crispy.

Place the cooked shrimp on a cooling rack with a paper towel under the rack to catch the oil drips.

I have served this shrimp with risotto, on salads, and in tacos.
-Susie Tronti
I haven’t tried this recipe over an open campfire instead of the smoker, but am excited to try it. Instead of cold smoking the shrimp, I thought, after marinating them, I would place them in a grill basket like this one,
and putting over hot oak coals and maybe serving with baked potatoes, wrapped in foil over the coals then making a nice crispy salad. If I do this, I’ll link the blog to this post.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Honey-Lime Spiced Cherry Wood Smoked Salmon

What makes this dish successful is the sweetness of the honey combined with the smoky flavor of the cherry wood and spices. If you don’t have a smoker you could always use a charcoal grill and add in some cherry wood chips for the flavor. Some gas grills have containers for smoking as well. If you do grill, use the hot part of the grill to get a nice sear, making sure not to overcook the inside. It is best served medium rare.
Ladies, do not be intimidated by outdoor cooking. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll never want to cook in your house again. I have a page dedicated to outdoor cooking for reference.

Honey-Lime Spiced Cherry Wood Smoked Salmon
3 Pounds Salmon
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Lime
1 Bottle Honey
Cherry Wood Chips
Soak ½ cup of cherry wood chips in water.
Combine the White Spice Rub, olive oil and lime. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Pat dry the Salmon with a paper towel then liberally brush the salmon with the spice rub mixture. Lightly squeeze a thin stream of honey over all the salmon making sure to cover a good amount of the fish. Allow to marinade for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Preheat the smoker to 375 degrees and add the cherry wood chips.
Place the salmon directly on the grill of the smoker, or on a pizza pan with holes in it. Smoke at 375 for about 15 minutes.
-Susie Tronti