November 14, 2010

Smoked Turkey

As we will be hosting Thanksgiving for the first time, I wanted to do a test run on the Turkey before the big day!  As usual, the Traeger fills anything it touches with magic!  I'll be using the bones and bits here to make stock for the brine and gravy prior to Thanksgiving.  But first, I get to eat a lot of turkey!


1 pound of kosher salt (weigh it, not all salts weight the same)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 quarts chicken, turkey or vegetable stock
1 bag New Orleans Crab Boil
1 tablespoon chopped candied ginger
1 ½ gallon heavily iced water

Combine everything but the water in a pot.  Boil until salt and sugar are well dissolved.  Refrigerate overnight.  12-24 hours prior to cooking, put the brine into a bucket with the iced water and the turkey.

Day Of Cooking


1 red apple, cored, sliced in 1/8ths
1 medium onion, quartered
1 cinnamon stick
1 clove garlic
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage

Heat the grill on high for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, remove turkey from brine and discard brine.  Pat turkey dry and place on roasting rack.  Rub with olive oil, then with your favorite poultry rub.

Combine the aromatics in a bowl and microwave 5 minutes.  Stuff the aromatics into the cavity.

Put the bird on the grill, lowering the temperature to smoke.  Smoke for at least 5 hours, then at 300 until the breast reaches 170.

November 7, 2010

Smoked Tomato Soup

I used to think that I hated tomato soup.  Whenever we had tomato soup for soup night as a kid, I would make my mom make me a small pot of chicken and noodle.  Everyone else could eat that icky tomato stuff, but not me!

Then I had a revelation at Campobello.  I do not hate tomato soup.  I hate Campbells tomato soup!  REAL tomato soup is actually quite good.  Since it is quite good, I must try to make it better.  How does one make something better?  One smokes it on the Traeger.


1 lb tomatoes
1 dozen grape tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
1/2 onion
crushed red pepper
1 pint chicken stock
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
4 T gorgonzola crumbles
heavy cream

First, slice and core the tomatoes.  Place them in a pan with the garlic and onion.  Sprinkle with red pepper and smoke until tender.  Remove tomato skins.

Place vegetables in a pot with the stock, bay leaf, and salt and pepper.  Simmer 30 minutes, then carefully puree.  Stir in the gorgonzola and put the whole pot on the smoker for 1-2 hours until thickened.  Remove and stir in heavy cream to taste.  Enjoy!

November 3, 2010

Smoked Chex Mix

"What did you do to it?  Did you like... cook it in bacon fat?!  It's SO GOOD!"
- My boss

Chex mix was a constant during my childhood.  We'd make a giant batch for the holidays, or before any long road trips.  Well, my friends, with the traeger and a bit of cayenne, I have brought chex mix to a whole new level of deliciousness.  And it doesn't even involve bacon (though I'm sure that would be tasty).

Some of you are probably saying "But Heather, that picture isn't chex mix!  It's just chex!"

You are correct.  But guess what?  I'm a grown up and I can make my chex mix however I want!  And I don't actually like all the nuts and pretzels, so unless I'm making it for other people, it's just chex.  Your mileage may vary.


9 c chex (corn, rice, wheat, whatever)
1 c mixed nuts
1 c pretzel bites

6 T butter
3 T Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 t seasoned salt
3/4 t garlic and wine seasoning
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t cayenne

Melt the butter and stir in the Worcestershire and seasonings.  Place the chex, nuts, and pretzels in a large pan.  Pour the sauce over and stir until evenly coated.  Cook on smoke for 1 hour and medium for 1 hour, stirring every 30 minutes during smoke and 15 during medium.  I used a mix of alder and apple pellets.

Spread out on towels to dry.  Enjoy!

Caramel Apple-Cranberry Gingerbread

Excuse the horrible picture.  I'm using the little point and shoot and it came out bad so I had to fudge it a bit, but it was too tasty not to post!  Thanks to Bay Area Bites for the idea!

Tip: if your apple slices are too big, a round cookie cutter will fix them!


Gingerbread - use a mix or mix your own!

1 apple, minced
a dozen cranberries, minced

1 dozen apple slices

2 T butter
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 dozen cranberries

Mix up your gingerbread.  Stir in the minced apples and cranberries.  Grease or line your muffin tins and preheat the oven.  Fill the muffin tins.  DO NOT OVERFILL!

In a skillet, melt the butter.  Add in the brown sugar and cranberries, stirring until a caramel is formed.  Dip each apple slice in the caramel, then lay on top of each muffin.  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean!

Butternut Squash Soup

I'm just getting into this whole squash thing.  I've never had butternut squash soup before, but it sounded good and it is!


1 butternut squash, sliced and quartered
1 sliced apple

1 pint chicken stock

2 cloves garlic
1/4 c onion
2 stalks celery, sliced

1 can garbanzo beans, pureed

Salt, pepper, oregano, cayenne

Shredded mozzarella or cheddar

Preheat oven to 350.  Roast the squash, apple, and carrots until tender.  Peel and slice the squash, then add it to a pot with the apples, carrots, garlic, onion, celery, and 1/2 c chicken stock.  Simmer until everything is soft.  Transfer to food processor and puree.  Return to pot with the rest of the stock, pureed beans, and season to taste.  Add the cheese to taste.  Simmer until it reaches the desired consistency.