Howdy, all. For the first time, I'll be documenting my smoking today. It's College Football Conference Championship Saturday (CFCCS), so we needed to celebrate, and that means getting up early to eat late. I decided to make a couple fatties, one for a friend who raved about the one I made some months back (I think that one was stuffed with Zatarain's cheesy jambalya), as well as some straight-forward wings. And while doing all that prep, I thought I might take a first-try at cold-smoking some gouda that was on sale.
Since this is my first photo-journal, naturally, MASSIVE bumbling occurred. I can't believe the foolish decisions I have made already this morning. I offer the play-by-play as a lesson in what not to do, no matter how delicious the final products turn out.
So, I put maybe a 1/3 of a chimney of coals in one side of the pan of my trusty ECB, with a bunch of pecan shells in a loose tin-foil wrap nearby. I let it cook a bit before putting the smoker on top of the pan and adding the cheese. I went in to make the fatties. The last fatties I made were stuffed with apples and onions, seasoned with cinnamon and brown sugar.
The wife just bought us a peeler-corer-slicer. They're awesome, and I can't praise them enough. Put a peel-catcher of some sort on the floor below it, because it makes a little mess.
So, diced apples, onions, cinnamon, and a big fat rounded tablespoon of brown sugar, and we're ready to roll. The timer just went off, let's make sure that cheese is okay!
Yeah, not okay. Weepy cheese makes me sad. So, the smoker got too hot. But, the cheese is still pretty gouda. Let's salvage it.
(I love cheese puns. My wife tells me, "Havarti heard enough cheese puns! It's more than I Camembert!")
I figure the best way to get it back into shape is to roll it like a fatty, since I already have that skill, plus all the equipment readily at hand.
I say it is in the spirit, if not the letter of the law, Your Honor. I sentence this smoky blob to serve some cool-off time in the fridge. Back to the fatties.
I like a loose bacon weave, so the sausage gets a bit of bark going. However, AND THIS IS IMPORTANT: Low sodium bacon is just bacon they slice thinner. You get less sodium in a 2-slice serving, because the slices are see-through. (It's also true that when I fried up the last of this bacon, it achieved melt-in-your-mouth crispiness, and I may or may not have had 4 servings, thus eliminating any low-sodium benefits).
The wings were thawed in a makeshift brine of about 2 tbsps turbinado sugar and kosher salt, plus maybe a 1/4 tsp of cayenne, and some leftover apple slices (why not, at this point, I'm clearly making it up as I go along). I paper-towel dried the wings, sprinkled them with Emeril's Rib Rub (I think his secret ingredient is SALT, but it was on sale.)
So, that all went on an hour ago. I'll post a follow up if I remember to take the pictures. It's noon now in Savannah, 63 degrees outside, and the first games have started. Let me dump out this cold coffee and crack open a colder beer.