Thursday, October 22, 2009

Smoky X3.

veganmofosewbanner
It might not be everyone's thang, but me and liquid smoke, we get along just fine. I like to use it (sparingly) in all kinds of things including my popcorn. Yes! Toss some popped corns in a bit of nooch, hot sauce, liquid smoke and salt. It's a true smoky delight. I really do eat it that way, but I also use it in a lot of my Southern cooking kinda dishes: red beans, collards, breaded protein circles (for dazee), Creole gumbo or anything I want to veganize that might have had ham hock or andouille in the meaty original.
smokes
This is my favorite brand of liquid smoke, I get it at the People's co-op. It's made in CA and is completely free of preservatives and crappy stuff, including caramel color. It's just the pure extracted liquid essence of smoked hickory--whatever that means.

Liquid smoke can be cloying if added in excess, so I use it very carefully--always remember and never forget: just a wee bit goes a long way. However, there are all sorts of other smoky elements you can add or use besides liquid smoke, to help build a smoky, but not overpowering essence to your food. I am particularly fond of smoked salt. I actually cook with it in recipes instead of using it as a finishing salt, I don't find it too strong at all and feel like it adds a much more nuanced flavor than you might get from liquid smoke alone. It's pretty spendy for salt, but totally worth it for the flavor-punch it provides (that's it all bagged up in the photo above).
smokestwo
Yesterday thanks to my friend John, I picked up a wee jar of Bakon from Food Fight, the famous vegan grocery store, which happens to be a quick jaunt from our abode. I had no idea this magical powder (smoked torula yeast) was still being produced, so I was quite titillated to scoop some up. Back in like '93, I had a huge bag of it squirreled away in my freezer, and reuniting with it will be like meeting long lost friends at a sleazy downtown hotel, with a new hairdo and a good bra--you know, the best of good times.
ingreds
See? There's nothing really bad in there folks. All vegan, all XgfX, all smoky-tasty goodness.

Once we get a little more settled in New Portleans, with a little patch of dirt to call our own, I plan on plugging in my Alton Brown flower pot smoker, to see how that action works. The premise of the smoker is brilliant, and it cost very little to put together, so that bitch better work or I am gonna be one bummed little princess (especially considering I dragged it all across this wide country of ours). My dream? To marinate a big fluffy white extremely pressed block of tofu in some liquid smoke, savory broth, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and a touch of maple syrup. Then to faithfully rub it with Bakon and hickory smoked salt, and smoke it in my homemade earthen contraption. With a little smoky love, all is possible.

xo
kittee

P.S.
I can't believe I left out my two other favorite smoky foods (thanks to readers for reminding me):
1. Smoked paprika (from Spain, mild and delicious)
2. Chipotles (smoked jalapeno peppers--buy them whole for beans or powdered for more versatility).

P.P.S. No one in the comments yesterday mentioned they wanted a Primal Strip, so there's no one to give one too. Tragic! Please help me unload these chewy snacks, the next winner gets the last gluten-free one I have. Please lemme know in the comments to this post if you want it.

24 comments:

  1. freak out! what a great post! thank you for showing me this new fancy liquid smoke... I will keep an eye out for it... though I still have a lot to go through with my bottle I've got now. Also, I may have to succumb and check out this Bakon stuff. I also read John's post and was quite intrigued!

    There's a great split pea soup recipe from Healthy Hedonist that uses a dried chipotle pepper like a bay leaf - and gives that deep smoky flavor that would have come from the ham. It's wonderful, and I've been looking for other ways to incorporate that idea.

    xo!

    ps. sorry my pizza crusts aren't GF. that sux

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  2. pps. OH! and thanks for the link to the flower pot smoker. VERY COOL. The Artful Vegan and the Millenium cookbook both have all sorts of instructions to smoke things, which has always driven me batty. Really, who has a smoker? Not too many of us. But now, hope springs anew.

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  3. i'll take that primal strip if no glutenfree-er wants it!

    and i'll also help you eat that smoked tofu that you'll eventually be making in your flower smoker!

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  4. I have been putting the Bakon Yeast on everything, and, after reading your post, I believe popcorn will be its next destination! If nooch on popcorn is good, bakon nooch should be amazing.

    If your wee jar runs out, let me know and I'll get you a big bulk bag of the stuff the next time I drive to Atlanta.

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  5. fingers crossed that your smoker kicks some booty, kittee! i might have to try making something like that - i loooove me some smoked yummies! i was never too keen on smoked things until about a year ago - i discovered smoked paprika, from there i found liquid smoke (mmmmmmm!) - and now i want to try smoked salt & some of that Bakon, too! sweet awesomeness! it's like all of a sudden i decided to love the smoked stuff. hooray! i'm also gonna have to try making myself some smoky popcorn 'cause that sounds most fantastical!

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  6. That sounds delicious! I want to see how your smoker works.

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  7. I'm a celiac and really really want to try the Primal Strips before I order some! Please...

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  8. I had never used liquid smoke before making homemade BBQ sauce. I HATE bbq sauce- but this stuff is the shizzznat! Anyway- I liked the smokiness, and added it in my homemade baked beans- and they were a big hit.. Again.. I don't like baked beans really but they were decent/ I really think when making these things from scratch- it gives you that store bought quality. Good stuff- and definitely good in SMALL portions! I've never had a primal strip, and I really have no idea what the heck it is.. but I'll give it a try?!

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  9. yes, yes, yes, i'd LOVE a GF primal strip, please!!! thanks!

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  10. I love me some Liquid Smoke, too. As I'm forever saying (no, seriously, I never shut up about it), the combination of liquid smoke, a little salt and hit of maple syrup is all you need to hit that magical sweet spot the taste part of your brain identifies as "BACON!" (And now I need a sleazy reunion with Bakon Yeast...next stop: FFOD FIGHT!!!)

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  11. I love Liquid Smoke so so very much! It's magic.

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  12. Someone asked me at my food demo if there were a vegan replacement for bacon. I was pretty stumped and came up with salt + liquid smoke. Now I just need to find some of that nonpreservativy kind--the cheap one I have is kinda gross!

    Also, I'd love to primally strip a primal strip. xgfx goodness is so exciting!

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  13. I'm trying to keep Gluten Free and I love Primal Strips!

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  14. i would take a primal strip!

    also, i love the "smokey" post! i have been meaning to get my hands on some liquid smoke for awhile, and some of that bakon goodness ever since i first heard about it a little bit ago!

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  15. I used to be able to get Bakon Yeast in restaurant size containers. EVERY time I go home now to Cali I get some to bring back to Glasgow. I'll see if I can find some of the liquid smoke, too. Fortunately, we do have smoky paprika!

    Your smoked tofu idea sounds REALLY good. We do something like that with a low oven now -- no backyard, thus no cool AB Smoker here. (18 months more! Whoo hoo!)

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  16. Whoa, I am totally going to have to build that smoker. I was actually just talking about wanting to figure out how to smoke tofu the other day. Thanks for the tip!

    Thumbs up on all the smoky goodness; it's dear to my heart.

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  17. Primal Strips, mmm! I love me some primal strips.

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  18. Oh, what a lovely post. I'm both intrigued and hesitant about Bakon and other bacony-type seasonings, but I do have a nice little jar of smoked salt that I need to dip into real soon. I'm also big on smoked paprika... Thanks for reminding me!

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  19. Grl, I love your colorful use of language. I so love reading your blog for the thrill I get over words like "popped corns" and everything "wee". You're a fab story teller.

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  20. Hey! I love your blog! And you're giving away one of my fave snacks?!? Oh, please...you can send me as many as you want, I promise I won't complain.

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  21. i'm a smoked fiend. i think i'll be smoked when i die and turned into delicious jerky

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  22. Yep - it may seem strange, but that Scrap Iron Chef episode was ... just way too fun, and made me actually squirrel away the plans for a smoker ... I've dragged them around for years, now, waiting 'til we can get someplace I can build this smoker. Do you have a back yard? Forget the liquid smoke - I'm thinking tofu fillets, hung up in place of the hog....

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  23. I'm a late-bloomer in the liquid smoke department but now I've discovered it I tend to go a little coco-loco with it!!

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  24. I love smoky things too! I am going to look for that Bakon salt because all I have is this alder smoked salt and it tastes like I'm sucking on a campfire.

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