In the middle of nowhere, culinary preservation is essential. In the process of looking for means to preserve ingredients evolutions occur. For example, we have been smoking salt-fleur de sel, sel gris, maldon-for years. We also have an incredible purveyor Steve Stallard who has been curing sea trout, brook trout and salmon roe with fleur de sel. One thought led to another and we asked Steve to cure his roe with smoked salt. He accepted our offer and smoked roe was born. Steve then mentioned that the roe is amazing drizzled with his whiskey barrel aged maple syrup. A smashing combination--think bacon drizzled in maple syrup-- and one which inspired our most recent culinary evolution. (We have much more to talk about in the world of roe and working with Steve, but if I get to far off track...)
So with the idea of maple, smoke and flavors bouncing about I decided to load up our smoker. Maple syrup in one tray, Antique apples and cider in another, cocoa nibs on the third and rice paper on the forth.
Smoked apples became smoked apple sauce.
We had already smoked soy sauce to great suceess so the smoked maple as a flavor base in our repetoire was thrilling.
The smoked cocoa nibs have not found a home yet, perhaps ice cream or a crust for scallops with figs.
The smoked rice paper, now more delicate than ever will be a great crust for cod or hake roasted "en papillote"
--further thoughts to come