Smoke Signals: The ghoulish grill
Why did the skeleton go to the barbecue?
To get some spare ribs.
And that lame joke more or less sums up barbecue’s relationship to Halloween.
Slow-smoked meats don’t play much of a role in annual spookathons. Me, I don’t get it. Sure, there’s the weather, which is unpredictable. But lots of folks smoke a turkey for the equally unpredictable weather at Thanksgiving. (Watch for a Smoke Signals recipe in the Nov. 17 Food section.)
Even I, a barbecue fanatic, tend more toward stews and chili for Halloween.
I think it may have to do with the mobile nature of the event, all those comings and goings. It’s easier to have a pot on the stove than to watch ribs on the grill.
Casting my eye toward the pumpkin on my front stoop, I began to wonder what might happen when the iconic Halloween fruit is paired with a little woodsmoke. After fiddling with a pumpkin-flavored barbecue sauce (which failed, although I think I can formulate one worth eating) and rejecting a smoked pumpkin puree (much like smoked butternut squash), I took a spin on the Internet for inspiration.
I came across two unconventional dishes that strike me as perfect for the barbecuer who wants to try something different yet and fairly quick.
One is Smoky Pumpkin Bisque with Soy Glazed Scallops, on the recipe site of Cookshack.com, a manufacturer of high-end smokers. The dish, which is decidedly for the upscale ghoul, can be put together in stages that would make it easy to serve.
The other is a fiendishly good-looking Smoked Brie With Pumpkin Chutney, as seen on a video from Food Network's “BBQ With Bobby Flay." Cedar planks are soaked in wine, then set on the grill. Once they are hot, a wheel of pumpkin-chutney-topped brie is placed on the planks, covered and allowed to smoke for a few minutes.
It looks wonderfully decadent. Find Flay's pumpkin chutney recipe here.
If neither of those do it for you, you can always try an old standby:
What did the ghoul eat for Halloween?
Thank you and good night.
-- Jim Shahin
(Follow me on Twitter.)
| October 26, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Smoke Signals | Tags: Jim Shahin, Smoke Signals
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