Today's post is part of the #HolidayHQ Blog Hop. Join us at 8pm EST on Twitter at #HolidayHQ for insprired summer entertaining tips.
For years, my husband has toyed with the idea of getting a smoker, but the thought of a) buying yet another piece of equipment and b) taking up already scarce outdoor space has desuaded us from doing so. I think the folks at Weber sensed our dilemma, because they've just come out with a genius book titled Weber's Smoke: A Guide to Smoke Cooking for Everyone and Any Grill.
Author Jamie Purviance (see his fish grilling tips) shares ideas for turning your charcoal or gas grill into a smoker:
1) When smoking on a charcoal grill, create a small fire on one side of the grate, then position the food on the opposite side of the grill.
2) If you're using a gas grill, light some (but not all) of the burners, the smoke the food on an area not duriectly over a lit burner.
3) Pairing wood to food is like pairing wine to food. Big, bold woods like mesquite are best with beef, whereas the mild alder goes best with delicate fish. Most commercially packaged wood chips come with a flavor intensity guide.
The recipe below is ideal for a charcoal grill, but Weber's Smoke is full of tips for gas grills as well. And if you can't get the book before the weekend, Chicagoans can pop by Better Homes & Gardens and Weber's Chill & Grill Festival this weekend at Waveland Park for tips from Jamie and other Weber experts.
Grill-Roasted Artichokes with Smoked Garlic Aioli
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: about 47 minutes
6 artichokes, each 7 to 8 ounces
2 medium garlic heads
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon water
Ground black pepper
2 large handfuls oak wood chips, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1. Prepare a two-zone fire for medium heat (350° to 450°F).
2. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a large, nonreactive bowl; fill the bowl two-thirds full with water. Reserve the lemon halves. Working with one artichoke at a time, trim the very end of the stem (if attached) and remove the smallest leaves. Using scissors, snip off the thorny tips from the outer leaves. As you work, rub the cut surfaces with the pulp side of the lemon halves. Put the trimmed artichokes in the lemon water.
3. Cut off the tops of the garlic heads to expose the cloves; discard the tops. Place the garlic heads side by side on a square of aluminum foil. Wrap the foil around the garlic, like a canoe, leaving the tops exposed. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of the oil and 1 teaspoon water and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
4. Drain the artichokes. Place each artichoke on a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the artichokes and season them evenly with 1½ teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Wrap each artichoke in its foil
5. Brush the cooking grate clean. Drain and add one handful of the wood chips to the charcoal (or smoker box, if you're using gas - Jen) and put the lid on the grill. When the wood begins to smoke, cook the garlic and artichokes over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, for about 40 minutes. Remove the garlic from the grill and let cool slightly.
6. Open the foil to expose the artichokes. Drain and add the second handful of wood chips to the charcoal. Continue grilling the artichokes until a large leaf can easily be pulled off, about 7 minutes more, turning the artichokes over once in the foil. Remove the artichokes from the grill.
7. Squeeze out the garlic cloves into a medium bowl. Mash the garlic with a fork. Add the mayonnaise and parsley and mix. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the artichokes warm or at room temperature with the aioli.
©2012 Weber-Stephen Products LLC. Recipe from Weber’s Smoke™ by Jamie Purviance. Used with permission.
More summer entertaining ideas from the #HolidayHQ crew. Join us tonight with the #HolidayHQ Twitter Party at 8pm ET!
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