Tag Archives: food

Paris Cheeses

Of course, if you go to Paris, you simply must go to a cheese shop and buy a selection of beautiful cheeses. Here are some of the ones I tried…

Rocamadour cheese

Pungent, sharp, and creates a strange sensation at the back of the throat.

Crottin Super Meme cheese

Crottin Super Meme: a fresh tasting, unctuous raw milk goat cheese

Dome de Vezelay cheese

Dome de Vezelay: creamy, a little bit goaty…leaves a tingle on the tongue…would be really nice in a dessert (like cheese cake).

Bleu d'Auvergne cheese

Bleu d’Auvergne: semi-firm,  not too pungent blue with some creaminess. Good!

Compte 12 mois cheese

Compte 12 mois: If you’ve never tried Compte I’d say it’s like a sophisticated swiss cheese.  I’d recommend going for the 18 month old, though,  as the favour is a bit more pronounced.

Emson Smoker, Round Two: Smoked Tomatoes

So, for my second experiment with the Emson smoker,  I decided to try smoking some tomatoes.  I bought some organic cherry tomatoes that I found on sale at Vert Pomme Fruterie, and some brown tomatoes, both grown in Canada (yay!).  After a bit of research, I decided to leave the cherries whole, and cut the brown tomatoes in half, before smoking for ten minutes on the hot-smoke cycle.  My boyfriend suggested we also try smoking some sun-dried tomatoes.  So, we loaded everything into the smoker:

Tomatoes about to be smokedThe cherries were too small to stay on the rack, so we decided to put them on parchment paper. My boyfriend punched holes in the parchment paper, but I’m not sure that’s really necessary. I left him to start up the smoker while I went to attend to other things.

Unfortunately, he thought he had to soak the wood chips- so they never lit and didn’t actually smoke.  The tomatoes only smelled a bit smoky due to residual smoke inside the smoker.  So let this be a lesson to you; don’t soak wood chips when using the Emson Smoker!

However, all was not lost!  When we learned of our error, I suggested that we try cold-smoking the tomatoes for 10 minutes.

Tomatoes about to come out of the smokerThat worked out well.  The cherry tomatoes and the brown tomatoes were delightfully sweet and smokey.  The smoked sun-dried tomatoes were amazing.

The smell of smoke is a bit more prominent during the cold-smoking process, but it’s certainly not overly invasive, nor is it strong enough to set off smoke detectors.

Smoked Tomato SoupI used the smoked cherry and brown tomatoes to make a tomato soup.

I topped it with some chopped eggs that we had also smoked, cilanto, sour cream, and avocado oil.  The flavour was really nice.

Anyway, that’s it for now.  Until next time,


Emson Smoker

emson smokerSo, my boyfriend and I were at Walmart today (not the most sustainable store, I know, but sometimes you have to pick your battles), and we came across the Emson Smoker/pressure cooker on sale for $70. I’m not exactly sure why it was so cheap, since even on Amazon.com the list price is $179.99. Based on the the cheap price, and the pretty positive reviews, we decided that it would be a good buy. Anyway, Emson bills this as ‘the only combination pressure cooker and indoor smoker’. What’s really cool about this device is that you can both hot and cold smoke with it, and it can be used indoors. Whilst hot smoking, food will cook more quickly, due to the combination of hot smoking and pressure cooking. You can also use this device as a regular pressure cooker. Another feature that’s pretty cool is the option to program the smoker to first cold smoke, then hot smoke, automatically.

For my first experiment with this machine, I decided to do smoked baked potatoes (one of the recipes provided in the Emson smoker instruction and recipe booklet). All I had to do was put some wood chips in the little wood chip container (I decided on apple chips), put 1/2 a cup of water in the bottom of the cook pot, scrub the organic PEI yellow-fleshed potatoes that I had decided to use, place them on the racks provided, put the lid on the smoker, and place the weighted knob on the pressure cooking valve to seal it. I programmed the machine to hot smoke for one hour, as per the recipe.

The smoke smell, though detectable, was mild, kind of like shisha smoke, and did not set off the smoke alarm. However, according to some of the reviews that I have read (again, on amazon.com), the cold smoke setting releases more smoke into the surrounding area than does the hot smoke setting (I suppose because during hot smoking, you are pressure cooking, whilst during cold smoking, you are not). I plan to try cold smoking with the smoker soon, perhaps with eggs.

Potatoes in the smokerSmoked potatoes

The potatoes were perfectly cooked, and had a nicely smoked taste, almost like potatoes cooked on the BBQ (at least, that’s how my boyfriend put it). I used the minimum number of wood chips recommended in the recipe, so as not to overpower them with smoke flavour the first time around. Obviously, the amount of wood can be adjusted for more or less smokiness. I’m sure the the potatoes will be delicious with some salt, pepper, and sour cream!

smoked potatoSo far, I’m quite satisfied with this purchase and am excited to try smoking cheese, tofu, tomatoes…the possibilities are endless. My boyfriend has a littlechef smoker, but it cannot be used inside, and stays at his house, because there is more outside space at his place. This little Emson Smoker provides a lot more flexibility and possibility for experimentation.  I look forward to said experiments!

Till next time,