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leah elisheva

Master of the Pit
Original poster
Sep 19, 2013
Seacoast of New Hampshire
Happy Sunday Great Smoky Cookies!

We're having a heatwave over here at 13 degrees and so it feels as if we're practically in the islands!!!!!!!!

Hence more mollusk madness and fun!

So in case anyone hasn't seen so far, I like to eat a red garnet yam or sweet potato every single day! Creature of habit I suppose.

So I started it in the microwave for 6 minutes and then sliced it up, and coated those "discs" with grapeseed oil...

They got smoked on my mini gas smoker with some hickory chips for 20 minutes...

Half way through however, at the ten minute mark, I was getting some smoldering ideas!!!!

I whisked together a WON-DER-FUL and healthy dressing, of TURMERIC (about 2 tsp, although I don't measure) and almost the same amount of freshly ground black pepper, and lots of olive oil...

Then, I had this bizarre desire to attempt smoking an AVOCADO!

So I took my New Zealand Green Lip Mussels, that were already cooked (steamed) and on the pretty half shell; and just put those with the raw avocado (peeled and halved - stone removed - first) in a little perforated grill dish, just plain) and let that smoke for the remaining ten minutes that the potato had to go!

Meanwhile, I layered my turmeric tasty sauce over bountiful greens...

And then I added the yam and mussels and avocado...

The appearance of the avocado was a little bit brown though still solid enough and in tact. (If serving to company you would want to tell them it is SMOKED so that they don't think you gave them a rotten avocado etc.).

I added more chopped parsley and raw elephant garlic and another batch of turmeric sauce over the whole things - shells, yam slices, and all!

And it was so amazingly lovely! Healthful and hearty and packed with so many beneficial things, and with a great "burn" of the turmeric-black-pepper and garlic when it popped out here and there...

The potatoes, smoked, were just DELIGHTFUL! They are soft and yet some crispy ends are so good - almost caramel tasting - and the skins are fantastic!

As I savored every bite, the turmeric sauce kept coating the greens as they became more tossed and it was sensational!

Alas, that "happy yellow" stain, proof that much turmeric was indeed involved, was evident on my plate, the walls, counter, table, my tongue, the UPS man's elbow (don't ask) and my nails as well! 

Thus if someone asks if I'm a smoker or jaundiced, neither is the case. A turmeric fan however? INDEED!

OK sweet smokers, happy Sunday!!! Please make today delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers! - Leah
Looks great Leah! I wonder if spritzing the avocado with lemon or lime juice prior to smoking would help it stay green? Just a thought. I spritz lime on sliced avocado when making salads.
Hey Dirt!

Although truth be told, at this stage of things, is there something else which I could possibly be allowed to call you, instead of "Dirt?"

(I didn't even call my ex's that word you see, as it didn't sound NEARLY as colorful as such names should aptly be, but all kidding aside, I just crack up when addressing people with some of these hilarious sign-on names). Such funny stuff.

Anyway, YOU have a fabulous idea! And I like lime! I'm anti-lemon mind you. But I do love lime! I'll try that next time!!

Meanwhile, happy Sunday to you and thanks for nice comments on my daily dinner!!!!!! And thank you for a very good idea!

Cheers!!!!!!!!! - Leah
Another great meal, Leah. Two questions, did you take any design courses? Your food is always so well plated.

Do you grow your own greens? This time of year around here we never see leafy vegetables that look that fresh. They look more like someone strapped the leaves to your feet and walked them here from California.

Thank you so much Disco!

I have not had any design classes, but skipped algebra and any math courses whatsoever (played hookie) throughout school, as to run to the art room and paint for hours on end and be spared that evil substance called "math."

If that rebellion led to any of my simple albeit healthful and fun plates of minimalistically arranged food, then I'm delighted. Maybe some day still, I'll even learn how to count! Smiles.

But thank you indeed. So very much.

At our temporary dwelling right now, we do NOT grow our own produce, as masterful a gardener as my husband quite surely is however. Hopefully thus when moving, we will do this with many things - your wonderful garlic doings are already on my future home grown desired list!

Happy Sunday!!!!!! Cheers! - Leah
Wow, what can I say?  As always, Leah, you have made a pretty plate that had to have tasted out of this world!

Nothing but yummy on that plate!

Keep it a coming.  I shared your dishes with my wife and now the bar has been set high for me.  LOL.  I have to step up my game!

Thank you so much for sharing your skill!  The only way to get better is to exchange ideas with others whose skills are different, even better than yours and strive to match them.

First time I have weighed in on one of your posts, but certainly a kindred spirit and admirer. The dish looks perfect, but as always I feel the need to wonder and explore. I lived north of you for about 4.5 years so a couple seasonal opportunities to add/change this up a bit have me thinking. First off Mussels and I disagree, no idea why....we just don't work well together in a digestive manner. But quahogs!!! now we're talking! Fresh Gulf of Maine shrimp are in season right now, tender and sweet adding an interesting contrast to your tumeric and black pepper sauce perhaps. One last addition, most likely not smoked but at the last minute, cracked urchin. Not only do I like the taste, the bright orange roe would add a pop to the plate against all the green.

 Your plate and dish look and sound awesome, my offering is a humble attempt at a similar seasonal adjustment. I would love to try it myself, but as I am landlocked for another 12-18 months on this project, I cannot get the fresh Maine shrimp or urchin easily I will have to live vicariously through your posts. 

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Another fantastic looking exotic dish Leah. Would not surprise me to see a rattlesnake arm on that smoker to add to your alien recipes.:biggrin:

I see you took the elephants garlic again.


All kidding aside, very nice,

As usual it's a great looking dish, I can see the "art" in it.A lot of my stuff looks like it crash landed on the plate! What you call yam Is sweet potato here.Very Polynesian ingredient ,I eat it a lot.
We get fresh turmeric here,I haven't tried growing it but I can grow,galangal lemongrass & those flowering gingers .I am an average gardener.
I would like to see you let loose on some SE ASIAN ingredients , I think they would really suit your cooking style. There are some great things in the basil family,eggplants,kaffir lime, water spinach,betel leaf,snake bean, lotus flower,banana blossom ,peppercorns,the list goes on.
The som tam ,green mango/ pawpaw salads that FrankBe has on his doorstep are really close to your style but just Thai ingredients.
I will do a smoked fish som tam for you soon.
It's all sunshine & lawn mowers here !
Step warm. Mick
As everybody know by now , it looks great again !

Although avocado isn't my thing , but the rest : YES !

And with the turmeric dressing you even created a special for older people.

Here they say turmeric helps with joint pains.

Mick , I all ready had a thought about Leah living over here
Happy brand new and beautiful week to all!!

Thank you tons for nice comments!

MEL, I am delighted that "bar has been raised" in your home (smiles) and that my food brought some enjoyment to you both in any way! So very kind!

VAQ, Thank you for the nice comments! As you'll see in the photo here, I am a sea urchin FAN! I prefer it raw, but add a "smoked" quite gorgeous glob from time to time, to many things, just for that creamy pop of color, as you astutely pointed out, and for the flavor! Such delightful stuff! I admire your great taste!

Fred, thank you tons! Indeed, it is exotic (albeit healthful and minimalistically arranged - those two elements a MUST) foods which I prefer!

I haven't eaten rattlesnake but would certainly sample some if given a nice healthful (no gunk, no mayo, no butter, no breading etc.) opportunity!

I love smoked alligator and have of course eaten lion and some "exotic" things...Zebra chops are on my "wish list" to try, along with raw horse meat steak tartare, starfish or seahorse on a stick, (although I bet those would be deep fried), and roasted peacock intrigues me some, but isn't as tempting as the ZEBRA.

In any event, who is that ADORABLE creature (is it a Yorkie) in your profile photo???? Amazing!!!

MICK, I would love to explore more with such and perhaps during 2014 you and FrankBe can help guide me toward such spices and ingredients more! It all sounds so fabulous!

I've made what I used to refer to as "orgasmic chicken" (can I type that on here or will I be kicked off) which was roasted in grapeseed oil and OYSTER brine, and then had crunchy Szechuan peppercorn on it, and it was delicious! It will be fun to learn, and do more!

Bear55, Thank you for sweet sentiments! Happy 2014!

And FrankBe, thank you, as always! It's these winter seasons which do TEMPT me to start drifting into fabulous imagery of moving to some moister place filled with fish and fantastic and healthful ingredients! For now plugged in Humidifiers are a must!!! Thanks for gracious comments! Your recent seafood looked superb too!

Happy marvelous Monday to all!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers! - Leah
I see the fresh herbs & greens from SE Asia as a fit for your cookery style. I don't think it's a big jump. Then it's the dressing which is really only a few ingredientsThat great Cajun cookery that Foameart does uses is a few essential ingredients ,Thai dressings for those salad dishes is fish sauce,lime juice,sugar,rice vinegar, chilli,cilantro. Garlic,ginger,lemon grasss sure buts its just chopped & added .
When I am forced to go back to work I have this East meets West som tam I will post.
In my head I will brine fish but flavour the brine with coconut,lemongrass,lime leaf,fresh turmeric ,palm sugar.then hot smoke
Then shredded green mango,cress,etc smoked fish on the top dressing over that.
What do you think?
Hey Mick!

Some of those flavorings/spices sound wonderful!

If fish sauces, or oyster sauces or even some vinegar blends have added sugar however, or color, or salt, or lots of corn syrup, soy, wheat, I don't want it.

(I know my meals are SOOOOO VERY BORING to most, and are the same bloody rotation of the same things, or so it must seem to all).

BUT, I love exotic albeit minimalistically arranged foods and am a "Purist" in the sense that I don't want added salt or sugar in things, or chemicals.

I drink way too much sugar as it is (via wine) and occasionally find a good Dijon mustard that doesn't have flour and added junk, and hence deal with the added white salt. (Versus adding my own black salt etc., or no salt).

But I don't even have sugar in the house except for "date sugar" (which is literally pureed dates and that's it) which I have in case someone comes over who doesn't take their coffee "black" like me. (I offer them goat milk and date sugar for their coffee, if they need something in it).

My "way" is hardly for everyone. Granted. Nor must it be.

But I do love how I eat, and will share that my husband's cholesterol dropped 100 points, (yes his doctor was quite astounded and shared that medicine couldn't have even made that large of a drop), and he lost some 20 plus pounds, and got off all blood pressure meds and any meds or even supplements of any kind actually, once we met and he ate what I did feed him each day.

(Our doctor continually asks, "WHAT are you eating??? As these numbers are outrageous!!!" (In a good way, thank God).

And so I'm very grateful.

Taste wise, I actually love what I eat as well - even if I'm the only nutcake on here who doesn't brine with salt and sugar and such. Everyone's food looks tremendous and I am a big believer and supporter of everyone eating what THEY do love and what loves THEM.

I just really like the authentic pureness of things without a lot of things I doesn't make me or it "better" - it's simply different.

Case in point, I went out of my way to track down some EEL some weeks ago - alas out of state no less - and had been assured on the phone that while it was already cooked (and thus frozen) it was plain.

Upon opening the package, it had soy sauce, sugar, corn syrup, color dye, wheat gluten, and a host of other junkie things which I most certainly don't want to devour nor would I allow my dogs to ingest such inflammatory garbage. Sigh.

And so, if all kinds of sugary stuff, and soy, mayo, butter, cream, and more must be added, then I wouldn't enjoy it, but if it's really about fresh herbs and veggies, and fish, and pure sauces, I'd love it! Here's to learning more!

And forgive the length of my editorial sentiments today (smiles) as I just get so passionate about eating very simply, purely, and still exotically (is that a word) via the actual item/animal itself.

But I LOVE seeing everyone's quite beautiful version of whatever it is which THEY love! It keeps this world interesting!!! And I realize my rotation is very BLASÉ for many, and that's OK. (So long as my personality isn't considered beige, I can fathom that my eating may indeed put some to sleep)!

Now, now, here's today's even QUICKER version of lunch. (Same ingredients as yesterday in fact, but just steamed, pulled out of the shells for easier eating today, a microwaved potato instead of smoked, and some squeezed lime, as per dirtsailor's great suggestion yesterday).

Simpleton aside, I still loved today's quickie meal even too!

Happy all!

I am certainly open to learning more about the pure ingredients you mention! That part sounds fabulous!

Cheers! - Leah

I have no allergies except to MSG & some of the preservatives in those bottled sauces.
I cut way back on sugar but find I need to balance the citrus with palm sugar when cooking Thai.
A previous partner turned me into a label reader & I am with you on the junk that gets added to food.
Let me see what I can come up with that fits your model.
Once again beautiful job Leah. We love mussels and after you did them on your edition of "What a mermaid eats for breakfast episode 22", I was inspired so I picked some up at the store. My wife has issues with inflammation in her joints and with mild arthritis so I took your advice and steamed some up. (but she loves white wine and shallots so I had to use those!). They were phenomenal of course, so thanks for the motivation. I didn't think we could eat the whole 2 lbs bag, but we destroyed it!

As for your the length of your editorial above; don't ever stop! I love reading your stuff because I love food the way you do and not many people around me understand that. However, my fat fingers don't type fast enough to get it all out, so reading your passionate soliloquy's about your meals lets me know I'm not the only one out there. Also, I think you do a great job keeping things fresh (pun intended). I read your blog and I've seen every episode of your vlog (five or six of them more than once. I even make that little "choo-choo-choo" sound every time I use olive oil now!)

Lastly, I gotta try some of that elephant garlic!!!!! With a name like that, I know it will be a memorable experience!

Keep up the awesome work!

PS-Congrats to Moikel for his 2,000th post!
I see the fresh herbs & greens from SE Asia as a fit for your cookery style. I don't think it's a big jump. Then it's the dressing which is really only a few ingredientsThat great Cajun cookery that Foameart does uses is a few essential ingredients ,Thai dressings for those salad dishes is fish sauce,lime juice,sugar,rice vinegar, chilli,cilantro. Garlic,ginger,lemon grasss sure buts its just chopped & added .
When I am forced to go back to work I have this East meets West som tam I will post.
In my head I will brine fish but flavour the brine with coconut,lemongrass,lime leaf,fresh turmeric ,palm sugar.then hot smoke
Then shredded green mango,cress,etc smoked fish on the top dressing over that.
What do you think?
Hi Mick.

That coconut - turmeric combi sounds interesting !

If you have young coconut trees there , you can use some part of the tree to replace the papaya in som tam also , further more that "meat" is delicious in curry's as well.

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