Cold smoked cheese and chilli and an Italian sausage casserole
After the success of hot smoking pork belly in the Beast we wanted to cold smoke something. The first thing that came to mind, and in unison, was cheese.
You can smoke pretty much any cheese and done right it adds a lovely, smokey flavour to the soft cheese.
Cheese for smoking
There was later an addition of red Leicester cheese.
The cold smoker is a small but very clever device.
After some deliberation we chose beech wood for the smoking.
This year has been great for chillies and I brought some along for smoking with the cheese, am feeling all experimental.
The smoker loaded with cheese and chillies
The cold smoker is lit with a tea light.
As soon as it starts smoking blow the flame out, close the door and let it do it’s magic. The door was closed for five hours. We all went about doing our things and got together again to open the Beast and we were so excited we had a glass of wine.
The smoke was still going.
There was no time to waste and we quickly cut a piece of the cheese, all curious what it would be like.
The taste was delicious. The beech wood and the cold smoking added a lovely soft, smokey flavour.
I used some of the cheese to make mac & cheese, it tasted so good I forgot to take a picture!
I looked at the chillies and decided to give them a go. They have a faint smoky taste and I thought it would go well with some Italian fennel sausage that I had in the fridge.
I had a good look in the veg box and decided to make a hearty vegetable and sausage casserole. The casserole was just based on what I had in the fridge and you can use anything you have at home and like.
Italian sausage and green tomato casserole
preparation time 10 minutes
cooking time 25 minutes
- 8 Italian sausages
- a handful of cauliflower florets
- 1 small butternut squash
- 2 celery stalks
- 6 cherry tomatoes
- 4 green tomatoes, cut in quarters
- 1 tbsp capers
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
- 2 smoked chillies
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 15 pitted olives
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- salt and pepper to taste
Take the sausage meat out of the casing and brown it in a pan with onion, celery, cumin seeds and garlic. Let simmer for 5 minutes and add the remaining ingredients and simmer for another 10 minutes. taste with salt and pepper and serve.
I served with smoked cheese sandwiches and the smoky flavour was great with the casserole. It was quick to make and a perfect weeknight supper.