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The BlueSmoke Gazette, Issue #001 -- Monthly Newsletter - February, 2006
February 02, 2006

Welcome To The BlueSmoke Gazette!

First and foremost, I'd like to thank you all for subscribing to The BlueSmoke Gazette.

In this first issue, I've included a couple of non-meat recipes I think you'll enjoy. If you like tomatoes and portobella mushrooms, these recipes are just what the doctor ordered!

Due to space limits, the recipes highlighted in The BlueSmoke Gazette are condensed, but complete. The full version can be seen by clicking on the links under each recipe.

In This Issue You'll Find

  • Website Updates
  • Recipe: Smoky Portobella Mushrooms
  • Keeping Records
  • Complimentary Recipe Log Download
  • Investment and Return
  • Food Safety
  • Recipe: Smoked Roma Tomatoes
  • Take A Peek At My New Website

Website Updates

During the last month, there have been many additions and updates to . I've added several photos, and included new pages, including...

All About Salt

Gas Smokers

If you haven't seen these new pages, stop by and take a look!

Smoky Portobella Mushrooms

Portobella mushrooms can be a side dish or the main entree. Many folks enjoy them as a meat substitute. What you'll need are six large portobella mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and butter.

Pop out the mushroom stems and remove the gills with a spoon. Combine two tablespoons each of melted butter and Worcestershire sauce, and brush this mixture onto both sides of the mushrooms. Lightly season with salt and pepper, then pop them into a smoker at 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. For smoke, use a small amount of light flavored wood, like alder or apple. Smoke for one to one and one-half hours. Brush with more of the butter baste before serving.

ps. These make great sandwiches!

Visit the Smoky Portobella Mushrooms page

Keeping Records

To consistently whip up great tasting, high quality foods, faithfully maintaining a recipe log is a must. Recording the ingredients, the preparation method, the cooking time, and the cooking temperature has to be done so poor results can be improved upon, and great results can be easily duplicated.

All of this information and more is recorded so after "critically studying" (look at, smell, taste, feel, eat, etc.) the smoked food and deciding what needs improvement, you can refer to your log and make the needed adjustments for next time. And if the food is perfect, you can duplicate the procedure easily.

Find Out More About Keeping Records

So to make your smoker cooking life a little easier, (and as a Thank You! for subscribing to The BlueSmoke Gazette) I'm including a complimentary download of my Smoker Cooking Recipe Log and Results Form in this issue. This is a small PDF file that should download very quickly. Right click the link, and save target to your computer so you can print one out any time you need one.

Click Here for Your Smoker Cooking Recipe Log

Investment and Return

A wise investment of time and resources can provide you with profit, pleasure, or both. If you've ever had the desire to have your own website, I highly recommend...

It's how I built, and in fact, as you'll see below, I've just started a second site!

Smoked Dried Tomatoes

Have you ever eaten sun-dried tomatoes? This recipe creates something similar, but with a smokey flavor. Just about any tomato can be used, but remember. You can't turn a flavorless tomato into a tasty smoked tomato. Find the best tasting tomatoes you can to use in this recipe.

To prepare the tomatoes, halve them and remove the core and seeds. Leave on the skin. Season with just a bit of salt. Place them on the smoker grate skin side up, so liquid will drain out of the hollow. These need to smoke at a low temperature...between 140F and 160F is about right.

Light smoke is all these need. They can easily turn bitter if oversmoked. After the first couple of hours, begin to check them every half-hour, rotating as needed, and removing the ones that are done. When finished, they will be leathery and pliable.

Smoke drying tomatoes concentrates the tomato flavor, and with the bit of added smokiness, these are Good!

Visit the Smoke Dried Tomatoes Page

Food Safety

Foodborne illness at the least is not fun, and at its worst is deadly. To prevent illness, it's important to keep things clean and sanitary around foods. There are several ways that contamination can reach finished foods.

  • The finished food is put back on the same plate that it was on before it was cooked.
  • A utensil used to handle raw food is used to handle or serve finished food.
  • Used marinade is used to baste the food.
  • A towel used to wipe up raw food juices is used to wipe hands, which in turn contact finished food, clean utensils, plates, and towels.
Steps can be taken to prevent you and those you cook for from getting sick. Here are some tips that will keep you cooking safely.
  • Never put finished food on the same plate the raw food was on. The raw meat juices may contain bacteria that can cause sickness, and getting those on your finished food can be disasterous.
  • Did you use your tongs or another utensil to put the raw meat on the smoker? Wash it before you use it to pick up the finished food.
  • You can baste your food with used marinade, but it needs to be boiled first. Five minutes is enough to kill any disease causing organisms.
  • Don't use a towel that has been used to wipe up raw food spills and juices, unless it's to wipe up more raw food messes.

In a nutshell...

Keep plenty of clean utensils, plates, and towels handy. Once the food is on the smoker, remove anything that's been used with the raw food...plates, utensils, and towels...and replace them with clean ones. Boil any used marinade before using it to baste with. And wash your hands often. After handling raw food or dirty utensils, plates or towels, wash your hands in hot, soapy water before using the clean replacements. If you get raw juices on your hands, be aware of what you touch.

Following these tips should help you cook safely for yourself, your family and your friends.

My Newest Website

I'd like to invite you to take a look at a brand new website that I am building. I just can't seem to get off the subject of food!

It's only been online for a couple of weeks. At this point, there are several pages of recipes and tips for making venison jerky. Many more pages are in the works, so visit often!

And thanks again for subscribing to The BlueSmoke Gazette, the official newsletter of

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