I been wanting to do this for a long time but didn’t have a proper equipment or the correct weather conditions. I recently bought an A-MAZE-N smoking tube.
It was expected to get down to 41 degrees (fairly cool nights for Southern California) and it was only 67 during the day so I decided to give this a try. Around 4:00 PM I started by cooling the kamado down by placing 5 pieces of Blue Ice in it.
Around 8:30 it reached 50 degrees outside, so I started up the A-MAZE-N smoking tube in my gasser so as not to heat up the kamado.
Once it ignited, I let it burn for a few minutes
before blowing out the flame.
I let it smoke while I went in and prepared the cheese. I had purchased 2 lbs. of Gouda, Colby Jack and Sharp Cheddar at Costco.
I took them out of their wrappers.
I cut them up into smaller sizes so they could absorb more smoke and placed them on a wire rack.
I then placed the A-MAZE-N smoking tube in the bottom of my kamado. I next put in both of my ceramic heat deflectors, then the grill grates and then the rack of cheese. (You can see some of the smoke coming up around the deflectors)
I closed the lid and observed a small amount of smoke coming out the top vent.
An hour later it looked like this.
After two hours in the smoke I opened the lid. WOW!
I brought the rack in the house where I could see a subtle change in the cheese color.
I vacuum packed them all and placed them in the fridge to age and mellow for 3 weeks.
This morning I when out to see how much of the pellets were left in the A-MAZE-N smoking tube. It looks like approximately 1/3 was left unburnt. I’m thinking it could’ve gone at least another hour.
I can’t wait to try them but will wait to let time do its thing on them first.
Thanks for looking.
A Poblano, Chorizo & Cheese Layered Casserole
On a Restaurant Depot run to pick up a packer brisket and other supplies, a 5 lb bag of beautiful large fresh poblano peppers and a 5 lb chub of 'mild' Mexican Chorizo somehow managed along with some cheeses to jump into the cart – well assisted by my son and I in making that leap.
This is what we (well my son anyway, as he was lead chef on the meal) prepared from those fixings:
I blistered the poblano peppers on Big Joe over direct heat and then steamed them in a covered bowl. Next was peeling and seeding. Since we were going for a casserole rather than stuffed, the peppers were slit open to seed – much easier that way.
2.5 pounds of the chorizo was browned in a pan with the largest poblano chopped up for extra flavor, plus diced bell pepper, chopped onions and some garlic. We had not used this chorizo before ( La Paloma brand ) and we really liked the flavors of the sausage.
The peppers, meat mixture, Chihuahua and Queso Fresco cheeses along with some sharp cheddar were layered in the greased Lodge 7.5 qt dutch oven. A topping of cheddar and queso was the final addition – with the cheddar acting as the melting cheese to bind the queso as the topping browned.
The dish was baked, uncovered and indirect, on Joe at 375 degrees with application of mesquite wood smoke for about 35 minutes – until it looked and smelled just right.
Served with a simple side salad. Delicious for dinner and quite filling. These particular poblanos has just the right "heat" level to pair with the mild but flavorful chorizo.
The casserole reheated was great for breakfast the next morning, too!