Browning the meat in pork lard and using great quality sauce are the key to these "better than restaurant" venison enchiladas.
Smoked Tomato Cubes for Michelada or Bloody Mary
Imagine all the savory flavors of a smoked bloody mary captured in a single cube. These smoked tomato cubes turn any beer into an instant michelada!
I like experimenting when I fire up the smoker. I cook on an offset pit, also known as a stickburner. (In fact, mine even has my name on it). I have a good 48″ of room to cook on, and since I’m already firing it up and using all the wood, I figure the additional space should get some use. As such, this recipe started off with the attidude of: “I have no real idea what I’m going to do with these, but let’s see what happens…”.
At the grocery store that morning to pick up a few racks of ribs, I’d noticed beautiful bright red tomatoes. Sometimes all it takes is a wander through some produce to get excited. They were Roma tomatoes, which I halved and tossed in olive oil, then threw in a pan. On the way to the smoker, I walked past some Rosemary and made the impromptu decision to pluck a few stems and throw them on top.
The tomatoes smoked in the pan for a good 3-4 hours. That was enough time for them to take on an incredible smokey aroma. They were also soft enough that the skin just peeled right off. Easy. At this point, I already knew what I wanted to use them for. After peeling, I blitzed them with a stick blender and added some Bloody Mary inspired spices.
Versatility is the name of the game with these smoked tomato cubes. Really, they are a utility player – so many uses!
- Drop a couple cubes into chili for a smokey punch
- Use a cube or two in a bolognese sauce
- Add vodka for a Bloody Mary cocktail
- Add tequila for a Bloody Maria twist
- Pour a tall glass of your favorite beer and drop a cube in – instead of getting watered down, the flavor of the michelada will actually intensify!
- Mix with ranch or cream cheese for an instant smokey tomato dip
Spiced Smoked Tomato Cubes
- 2lb tomatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2-4 cloves garlic
- 3 limes (juice only)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- salt to taste
- Heat a smoker to between 250 and 275f.
- If using Roma tomatoes, halve them. If using larger tomatoes, cut into quarters. Toss the pieces in the olive oil and place in a heat-proof pan. (I use disposable foil pans for easy cleanup).
- Peel and add the garlic cloves to the pan, then place the Rosemary sprigs on top. Sprinkle a little salt over the tomatoes. Place into the smoker to cook for 3-4 hours, until the tomatoes have deepened in color and softened completely.
- Once the tomatoes have cooled slightly, peel the skin away and discard. Also discard the rosemary and garlic.
- Place the tomatoes into a blender (or use a stick blender). Add the lime juice, water, garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt and chipotle powder. Blend until smooth.
- Taste and add more salt if necessary.
- Pour the finished smoked puree into an ice cube tray, then place into the freezer to set. Use as required.
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