For this grilled pork chops recipe, don’t be afraid of developing a good char - the fresh and fiery chile lime drizzle will balance it out.
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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