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Great indoors

For fall-off-the-bone, smoky meat, just head to the nearest stove top.

March 04, 2010|Noelle Carter

6. Prepare the smoker: Spread about 2 teaspoons wood chips in the center of the base of the smoker, directly over the burner. Place the drip pan (if using) over the chips, and a rack on top of the drip pan. Place the scallops on the rack (place them off to the side, not directly over where the chips will be smoking), leaving enough room around them so all sides smoke evenly. Place the lid on the smoker, leaving about 2 inches uncovered.

7. Place the smoker over medium heat just until the chips begin to smoke. Cover the smoker entirely with the lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to smoke the scallops just until they firm up slightly and are barely opaque in the center, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and uncover the smoker.

8. Divide the fennel salad between 4 chilled plates. Place a few orange segments over each salad, and top each portion with 2 smoked scallops. Sprinkle a few almonds over each, and drizzle any extra salad dressing around each plate. Serve immediately.

Each serving: 240 calories; 20 grams protein; 15 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 11 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 37 mg. cholesterol; 4 grams sugar; 360 mg. sodium.

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Tea-smoked game hens

Total time: 1 hour, plus overnight marinating time for the hens

Servings: 4

Note: There will be considerable smoke at the end of the recipe when the lid is removed; open a kitchen window or turn on the exhaust fan. This recipe calls for a lidded wok; a commercial smoker or roasting pan can also be used, provided it can be used over high heat. Five-spice powder is available in the Asian section of well-stocked supermarkets. Lapsang souchong and Earl Grey teas are generally available at well-stocked and Asian markets.

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon five-spice powder

4 teaspoons brown sugar, divided

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

4 (1 1/4-pound) Cornish game hens, thawed if frozen

1/2 cup black tea, preferably Lapsang souchong or Earl Grey

1/2 cup uncooked white rice

1. In a medium bowl, combine the salt, five-spice powder, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, orange zest, ginger and garlic to form a dry rub. Set aside.

2. Wash and dry the game hens. Divide the dry rub between each of the birds and massage it onto each of the birds (use most of the rub on the outside of the birds, but be sure to season the cavities as well).

3. Place the birds, uncovered, on a rack on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 24 hours.

4. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the birds from the refrigerator and leave at room temperature (still on the rack on the baking sheet) for about 20 minutes while the oven heats.

5. Roast the birds until the meat is firm and a thermometer inserted in the thigh near the hip reads 160 degrees, about 30 minutes. Rotate the tray halfway through for even roasting.

6. While the birds are roasting, prepare the smoker. Line a 14-inch lidded wok with foil (this will help with cleanup). Make sure the foil tightly lines the pan or the tea mixture will not smoke. In a medium bowl, combine the tea with the rice and remaining 2 teaspoons sugar. Place half the tea mixture evenly into the bottom of the wok (over where the burner will heat). Place a round rack over the tea mixture.

7. When the birds are roasted, remove from the oven and immediately place two of the birds on the rack in the wok (keep the remaining birds warm on the baking sheet). Loosely cover the wok with the lid and set the wok over high heat.

8. As soon as the tea mixture starts to smoke, cover the wok tightly with the lid. Smoke the birds for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the lid (it will be smoky) and move the birds to a platter. Carefully remove the foil with the tea mixture (it will be hot), and set aside until it cools before discarding.

9. Repeat with the remaining tea mixture and birds, lining the wok with foil, spreading the tea mixture and smoking the birds. Serve immediately.

Each serving: 717 calories; 60 grams protein; 6 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 49 grams fat; 14 grams saturated fat; 351 mg. cholesterol; 4 grams sugar; 1,433 mg. sodium.

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Maple-bourbon hot-smoked pork belly

Total time: 1 1/2 hours, plus 3 days brining time

Servings: 8 to 10

Note: Pork belly can generally be found at Asian markets. Make sure the rind (skin) is removed before marinating. This recipe calls for a commercial stove-top smoker; a heavy-duty roasting pan with a rack and lid can be substituted.

3 pounds pork belly, rind or skin removed before weighing

2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon toasted and crushed mustard seed

2 tablespoons bourbon

Black pepper

Small hardwood apple-wood chips

1. Wash and dry the pork belly. Place the pork belly in a large, sealable plastic bag.

2. In a small bowl, combine the salt, maple syrup, mustard seed, bourbon and several grinds of black pepper to form a marinade.

3. Pour the marinade in the bag, massaging it into the pork belly. Seal the plastic bag, pressing out all of the air.

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