Smoked Beets

One of my favorite kitchen tools sits outside and doubles as grill and low-tech smoker. Get smoked beet recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
One of my favorite kitchen tools doesn’t live in my kitchen: It sits outside the front door, looking weathered and well used. It’s both, whether the summer heat has made me abandon the oven or we’re digging it out of a snowbank for a winter meal. I’m talking about an old charcoal Weber kettle grill, handed down and repaired so many times it’s probably had nine lives.

For years it was just a grill, regularly loaded with fish, shellfish, and many kinds of vegetables and fruits. Then we discovered it made an easy, low-tech cold smoker for cheese. Add a few more briquettes, and we’re smoking chilies, beets, nuts, and more.

I got excited about smoking beets after falling for a vegetarian Rueben sandwich created by a local deli. But when I started harvesting my first beets a week ago, we’d already gobbled up the winter’s stash of sauerkraut. Fortunately, smoked beets are delicious with fresh greens and sourdough bread.
Learn to make Roasted and Smoked Beets and Smoked-Beet Sandwiches

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Winding Down Year 2

As 2017 winds down, it’s time to look back at a second year of Twice as Tasty and share a few things to come. Read more about what to expect in 2018.
Like any toddler, it’s hard to believe how Twice as Tasty has grown in a year. As 2017 winds down, indulge me in looking back at a second year of Twice as Tasty—or skip down the page to read about the year to come.

Twice as Tasty grew with 55 posts this year. The blog now offers 135 recipes and 25 pages related to techniques for preparing, storing, and eating well year-round. The number of email subscribers and WordPress and Facebook followers more than tripled in the last year, and membership in the companion Facebook group almost doubled. All I can say is “wow and thank you” for being so supportive.

Offline, I taught the first Twice as Tasty workshop in March and have followed it with a steady flow of classes. One of the most popular topics was beautifully featured in the local newspaper. The current roster boasts 16 workshops, including several seasonal ones, and I’m preparing to launch more options next month. With your participation, I hope to teach even more workshops in 2018.
Read more about what to expect in 2018

Chilies

You could call this week’s main recipe a food fail. A couple of years ago, I set out to make homemade sriracha. I had grocery bags full of hot peppers that season, and I thought some were destined to become chipotles for Grilled Tomato Chipotle Salsa and others would be fermented to replicate the flavor of the classic Thai chili sauce and paste.

Then we started smoking chilies and attempting to find the perfect balance of smoke and heat. Suddenly I had grocery bags of smoked chilies—which would not ferment. Even at the low temperatures used for smoking, the heat was high enough to kill off the natural bacteria in the peppers that are essential for fermentation. But I was too stubborn not to try. And although my chili paste never fermented, it was delicious.

So now I make Home-Smoked Chili Paste every year and have yet to miss that bottle sriracha on my shelf. I’ve since learned that adding a culture could allow me to smoke and then ferment, so expect more experimentation down the road. But for now, what could be called a food fail has turned into a favorite kitchen staple.
Learn to smoke chilies and make Home-Smoked Chili Paste

Grill It, Roast It, Smoke It

And just like that, September is here. Long before I’m ready for summer to be over, the month that signals the start of fall rolls in. But even though a few of August’s garden-fresh favorites are finished for the season, September’s list of harvestable fruits and vegetables is the longest of year, with the last of the summer beans, berries, and corn bumping up against the first of the fall greens, plums, and winter squash.

If August is the month for enjoying fresh fruit and veg, September is the month for adding a bit of charred, caramelized, and smoky flavor to the produce on the table. We’ll be grilling, roasting, and smoking all month at Twice as Tasty—mostly thanks to some incredible response from recent Twice as Tasty workshops.

Although my September schedule is quickly filling up, it’s not too late to get in on the current lineup or featured workshops locally. And Twice as Tasty will be on the road again in late October! For more details, click here.
Read more about grilling, roasting, and smoking