With days getting shorter and the weather getting cooler, many Canadians are eager to embrace sweater-season and welcome the flavours of fall: apple, maple and everything pumpkin-spiced.
Incorporating warming spices and comforting autumn ingredients into everyday meals, most people would not typically think to pair fall favourites with a touch of smoke. Adding wood chips, or plank grilling when preparing seasonal recipes creates smoke, which can elevate ingredients and enhance autumn flavours in the most unique ways.
When augmenting the flavours of fall through complementary varieties of wood such as apple, maple and mesquite, it is important to think about aligning ingredients with the right type of smoke.
Looking to create balanced autumn dishes with hint of smoke? Experts at Napoleon Grills offer the following tips for choosing the right wood for the job:
- Maple– This variety of hard wood pairs well with pork, poultry and fish. Soak a plank of maple wood with honey brown lager and smoke filets of salmon to impart subtle warmth and sweetness.
- Mesquite– Sweet yet strong, mesquite wood produces a powerful smoke that complements richer meats like beef and pork. Elevate the punch of mesquite by infusing wood chips with malted stout and smoking whole brisket or by creating smoked honey.
- Hickory- Bold yet balanced, hickory is a hard wood that enhances a wide variety of ingredients: steak, turkey, pork, game and mushrooms. Flavour hickory chips with bourbon and smoke cured maple bacon to kick things up a notch.
- Alder- Delicate and sweet, alder is a semi-hard wood that elevates fish, poultry and vegetable dishes. Infuse alder wood chips with pinot noir and smoke root vegetables for an alternative fall side dish.
- Apple- A semi-hard wood with fruity sweetness, apple wood works wells with poultry, pork, veal, shellfish and fruit. Season apple wood chips with chardonnay and smoke spiced turkey legs for an indulgent delight.
- Pecan- Sweet and nutty, pecan is a hard wood that pairs best with fruits, vegetables and desserts. Infuse pecan wood with Guinness and use to smoke apples and pumpkin for seasonal desserts.
If you are interested in learning about adding depth to dishes though the use of smoke, visit: https://www.napoleongrills.com/blog/articles/id/1992/add-flavor-with-wood