Summer Trio of Smoky Flavors

summer trio of smoky flavor

Summer is the best time to fire up the smoker and discover how this amazing cooking technique can change the flavor profile of vegetables as well. My friend, Kristen and I, had rescued a smoker by the side of the road about a month ago and this is our third foray into intense smoking. We have gathered all the crazy things we want to play with and then spend the afternoon cooking and smoking and making up crazy combinations. Below are just a few of the smoky concoctions we got up to yesterday. Yum!

PS a Harcha is a Morrocan crumpet but not as sweet, more savory.

Summer Harcha Trio with Adjik (mint relish),

Smoky Nectarine Salsa and Smoky Tomato Jam

Trio of smoky flavors | Chef Gretchen Hanson



1 ½ cup semolina flour, fine grind (Bob’s Red Mill)

2 ears of fresh sweet corn

¼ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp sugar

¾ cups boiling water

5 TB unsalted butter softened

½ cup Greek yogurt unsweetened

5 TB extra virgin olive oil


Cut of kernels of corn and milk ears with flat of a knife,. Set aside. Whisk dry ingredients together in a big bowl, make a well in the center and pour boiling water in and melted butter. Whisk quickly till incorporated then let rest for five minutes. Stir in the corn and yogurt. Separate into ten small dough balls and cook two at a time in 1 TB of olive oil over medium high heat. Let crisp. Top with different toppings.


Mint Adjika


5 cups fresh mint leaves, cleaned no stems

4 smoked Pasilla peppers, seeds and stem removed

8 smoked or roasted garlic cloves

2 tsp smoked sea salt

1 tsp coriander

½ tsp cumin

3 TB extra virgin olive oil

Smoke peppers and garlic but if you don’t have a smoker then roast peppers and char over an open flame. When blackened put in a paper bag to steam and take off peel when cool. If you don’t smoke garlic then roast instead by doubling the amount of olive oil and putting over medium heat. Add cloves and let cook slowly until a dark tan. Remove from heat and measure out 3 TB of oil to put in mixture, keeping the extra for another use. Thoroughly wash mint leaves and process everything together till chunky puree. If you are storing more than a day, cover with extra olive oil over top.

Trio of smoky flavors | Chef Gretchen Hanson

Smoky Nectarine and Green Tomato Salsa


2 nectarines

2 large green tomatoes, scored and smoked

1/3 red onion, finely chopped

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

2 TB dark brown sugar

¼ cup chopped Thai basil

Smoked sea salt


Smoke nectarines and green tomatoes till medium tender. About 90 minutes at 100 degrees. Remove and let cool. Peel and chop nectarine and set aside. Chop green tomato and put in pan with brown sugar, rice wine vinegar and smoked sea salt. Bring to a boil and let rice wine vinegar completely evaporate. Turn off pan and let cool. Fold all ingredients together. Check for balance.

Trio of smoky flavors | Chef Gretchen Hanson

Smoky Tomato Jam

½ lb of nitrate free bacon OPTION: you can leave this out

2 TB dark brown sugar

12 medium tomatoes scored and smoked

1 onion smoked

1 cup Gran Marnier

2 tsp smoked sea salt

8 smoked garlic cloves


Smoke everything in smoker or if you don’t have one roast tomatoes in 350 oven till soft. Caramelize garlic and onion by the same technique in Adjika using olive oil as needed. Mash tomatoes and chop bacon and onion. Put everything in pot and heat to a high simmer. Cook until mixture is thick. Cool.

Trio of smoky flavors | Chef Gretchen Hanson

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