Wed 26 Dec 2018
Read other related stories: Cooking With Wood , General Smoking Information , Smoking Tips
HERBS SMOKED AND ICED MAKE THE PERFECT WINTER FLAVOR CUBE
Here’s the perfect way to keep great flavors on hand for when you need them. I’m going to show you how to make smoked herb flavor cubes which consist of our previously smoked fresh herbs and, in my case, bone broth. Whether you smoke all the components of these flavorful cubes or not is up to you. I happen to like the combination of smoked bone broth and smoked herbs for some of my soups, sauces, and glazes. These are the perfect little flavor gems for all your recipes and the prefrozen cubes make adding so simple.
Here is all you need to make these flavorful cubes . Silicone ice cube trays, your choice of herbs and spices, as well as broth or stock. It will take about one quart of broth to make 40 flavor cubes.
To make portioning the cubes a snap, I use a measuring cup for the liquid. As I previously smoked my herbs and placed them in spice jars, I can portion out the herbs directly from the jars. Today, I’m using smoked parsley and oregano dust for infused broth cubes. These are two of my more popular blends for sauces, soups, and extra flavor to vegetables. Be sure your broth or stock is well strained before adding to the cube trays.
Tasting Notes: Don’t forget about fruits as well. These make perfect flavor cubes and can be cold smoked using a handheld food smoker .
1-2-3 And Done!
The best part of making flavor cubes is the freezer does most of the work. I simply place previously smoked herbs of my choice into the bottom of the silicone tray compartments and pour in the broth. I like to put my cube trays on mini sheet pans for easy placement and removal from the freezer. Just be sure to label the trays so when you go to un-mold, everything will be easy to identify. That’s it! How easy is that??
Tasting Notes: You do not have to use silicone cube trays but I prefer these to metal or plastic. I find they don’t taint the flavor of the cubes and they are extremely easy to release.
A New Umami
After adding smoked herbs to silicone ice trays and pouring in smoked bone broth, these flavor cubes just take hours of freezer time to set and then they are ready for use. I like to un-mold mine and place in storage bags that allow me to reach in, grab what I need, and reseal the rest. The depth of flavor these little cubes add to soup and sauces, whether for meats and poultry or vegetables, is fabulous.
Don’t forget to experiment with a variety of tastes and don’t feel you are restricted to just one herb or spice per cube. Make flavor blends like Indian flavor cubes with curry, ginger, allspice, and cumin. Or an Italian blend with oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme and rosemary. Or, combine fruit and spices for cocktail-like blends. There are no rules to the combinations you can use so find the flavors you love and flavor cube away!
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