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Smoked Potato “Lasagna”

Winter 2018
F201801014.jpg
food and drink

BY: Christopher St. Onge

A tricked-out potato casserole that borrows inspiration from good old lasagna, this one takes some planning, just like lasagna. Make all of your components ahead of time and assemble on the day, or even the day before you want to eat. It’s all worth it! Make fast work of the finely chopped vegetables by using your food processor. If you’d prefer to avoid a big project, make the smoked potatoes and use them for buttery hash browns, home fries or grating into a frittata—seriously delicious.

SAUCES
6 slices double-smoked thick-cut bacon, finely chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
3 cups (750 mL) milk, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
8 oz (250 g) ground pork
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
3 tbsp (45 mL) chopped sage
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped thyme
1 cup (250 mL) dry white wine
1 can (796 mL) Italian tomatoes and their liquid, tomatoes roughly mashed or chopped
Pinch nutmeg

CHARD FILLING
1 lb (500 g) Swiss chard
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb (500 g) ricotta
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Pinch nutmeg

SMOKED POTATOES
4 large Yukon Gold potatoes, 3¼ to 3½ lbs (1.5 to 1.6 kg) total weight
2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable or canola oil
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
4 tsp (20 mL) fine maple smoking chips

TO ASSEMBLE
⅔ lb (350 g) mozzarella, coarsely grated
1 cup (250 mL) finely grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a large skillet, fry bacon over medium heat until just beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon; reserve.

2. Pour off all but 2 tbsp (30 mL) bacon fat; return to heat. Stir in flour. Slowly whisk in 2 cups (500 mL) milk. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, pour into a heatproof bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble (béchamel may be made up to 3 days in advance).

3. Heat olive oil in a clean skillet over medium heat. Cook pork until no longer pink, breaking apart with a fork as you go. Return reserved bacon to pan; stir in onion and garlic. Cook 3 minutes longer. Add carrot, celery, sage and thyme to skillet and cook an additional 5 minutes. Pour wine over; reduce by half. Stir in remaining 1 cup (250 mL) milk; once again, reduce by half.

4. Add tomatoes to pan, stir and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until thickened and flavourful. Stir in nutmeg; taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Scrape into a heatproof container, cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble (tomato sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance).

5. For the chard filling, trim centre stem from each leaf of chard; cut into ½-inch (1-cm) lengths. Chop leaves. Set both aside keeping stems and leaves separate.

6. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and chard stems; cook for 4 minutes. Stir in garlic; add chard leaves to pan. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring from time to time until tender. Turn out into a large bowl, let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in ricotta, then eggs and nutmeg. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble (ricotta mixture can be made one day in advance).

7. For the potatoes, peel and cut in half lengthwise. Toss with oil and salt. Arrange in a single layer on smoking rack. Place smoking chips in bottom of smoker; top with drip tray then rack containing potatoes. Seal with lid or foil and set over high heat for 1 minute; reduce to low and smoke for 40 minutes. With kitchen fan running, remove to a non-reactive dish, cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days (chilled potatoes are easier to slice).

8. To assemble, slice potatoes ⅛ inch (3 mm) thick; set aside. Use one-third (roughly 1½ cups or 375 mL) tomato sauce to cover bottom of a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33-cm, or 3-L capacity) baking dish. Top with one-third (about ⅔ cup or 150 mL) béchamel. Arrange a layer of potato overtop, using about one-quarter of the potato slices. Top this with roughly one-half the chard filling and then another layer of potato slices, again using another one-quarter. Repeat the 2 sauce layers; sprinkle with half the mozzarella and half the Parmesan. Once again, top with a potato layer, then remaining chard filling. Finish with the remaining potato, tomato sauce, béchamel and cheeses.

9. Cover dish with foil, preferably nonstick, and bake in a preheated 375°F (190°C) oven for 1 hour. Remove foil and continue to cook for an additional 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbling and top is golden. Let stand for 20 minutes before cutting into pieces to serve.

Serves 8

 

Make Your Own Stovetop Smoker

1 Line the inside (sides and bottom) of a large heavy-duty pot or wok with foil, to protect your pot from scorching.

2 Sprinkle foil with amount of fine wood chips indicated in recipe. If a drip tray is required, place a foil pie plate directly over chips inside the pot, leveling as best you can.

3 Top with a footed metal steaming basket. A perforated pizza pan works well in woks, too. Place food in basket, or on pizza pan, cover pot with lid and seal with foil.

4 Get things going with an initial hit of high heat, then reduce heat and smoke according to recipe instructions.


Tips for Success

• Don’t overload your smoker with chips! In most cases, more isn’t better.

• Check for smoke leaks during the high heat phase (before your pan gets too hot to handle) and patch up by pinching foil to seal.

• If you lack a powerful kitchen exhaust, let your smoker sit, covered, for 15 minutes after removing from This allows the smoke to settle before opening.

• If you only purchase one type of smoking chip, purchase maple. It’s a great all-purpose choice.

• Look for very fine, sawdust-like smoking chips made specifically for stovetop smoking. If unavailable, you can grind small chips (but not chunks!) finer in a spice grinder.

What to Serve

LCBO#:248138
$2.80  
F201801014.jpg
food and drink

Smoked Potato “Lasagna”

Winter 2018

BY: Christopher St. Onge

A tricked-out potato casserole that borrows inspiration from good old lasagna, this one takes some planning, just like lasagna. Make all of your components ahead of time and assemble on the day, or even the day before you want to eat. It’s all worth it! Make fast work of the finely chopped vegetables by using your food processor. If you’d prefer to avoid a big project, make the smoked potatoes and use them for buttery hash browns, home fries or grating into a frittata—seriously delicious.

SAUCES
6 slices double-smoked thick-cut bacon, finely chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
3 cups (750 mL) milk, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
8 oz (250 g) ground pork
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
3 tbsp (45 mL) chopped sage
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped thyme
1 cup (250 mL) dry white wine
1 can (796 mL) Italian tomatoes and their liquid, tomatoes roughly mashed or chopped
Pinch nutmeg

CHARD FILLING
1 lb (500 g) Swiss chard
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb (500 g) ricotta
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Pinch nutmeg

SMOKED POTATOES
4 large Yukon Gold potatoes, 3¼ to 3½ lbs (1.5 to 1.6 kg) total weight
2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable or canola oil
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
4 tsp (20 mL) fine maple smoking chips

TO ASSEMBLE
⅔ lb (350 g) mozzarella, coarsely grated
1 cup (250 mL) finely grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a large skillet, fry bacon over medium heat until just beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon; reserve.

2. Pour off all but 2 tbsp (30 mL) bacon fat; return to heat. Stir in flour. Slowly whisk in 2 cups (500 mL) milk. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, pour into a heatproof bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble (béchamel may be made up to 3 days in advance).

3. Heat olive oil in a clean skillet over medium heat. Cook pork until no longer pink, breaking apart with a fork as you go. Return reserved bacon to pan; stir in onion and garlic. Cook 3 minutes longer. Add carrot, celery, sage and thyme to skillet and cook an additional 5 minutes. Pour wine over; reduce by half. Stir in remaining 1 cup (250 mL) milk; once again, reduce by half.

4. Add tomatoes to pan, stir and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until thickened and flavourful. Stir in nutmeg; taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Scrape into a heatproof container, cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble (tomato sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance).

5. For the chard filling, trim centre stem from each leaf of chard; cut into ½-inch (1-cm) lengths. Chop leaves. Set both aside keeping stems and leaves separate.

6. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and chard stems; cook for 4 minutes. Stir in garlic; add chard leaves to pan. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring from time to time until tender. Turn out into a large bowl, let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in ricotta, then eggs and nutmeg. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble (ricotta mixture can be made one day in advance).

7. For the potatoes, peel and cut in half lengthwise. Toss with oil and salt. Arrange in a single layer on smoking rack. Place smoking chips in bottom of smoker; top with drip tray then rack containing potatoes. Seal with lid or foil and set over high heat for 1 minute; reduce to low and smoke for 40 minutes. With kitchen fan running, remove to a non-reactive dish, cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days (chilled potatoes are easier to slice).

8. To assemble, slice potatoes ⅛ inch (3 mm) thick; set aside. Use one-third (roughly 1½ cups or 375 mL) tomato sauce to cover bottom of a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33-cm, or 3-L capacity) baking dish. Top with one-third (about ⅔ cup or 150 mL) béchamel. Arrange a layer of potato overtop, using about one-quarter of the potato slices. Top this with roughly one-half the chard filling and then another layer of potato slices, again using another one-quarter. Repeat the 2 sauce layers; sprinkle with half the mozzarella and half the Parmesan. Once again, top with a potato layer, then remaining chard filling. Finish with the remaining potato, tomato sauce, béchamel and cheeses.

9. Cover dish with foil, preferably nonstick, and bake in a preheated 375°F (190°C) oven for 1 hour. Remove foil and continue to cook for an additional 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbling and top is golden. Let stand for 20 minutes before cutting into pieces to serve.

Serves 8

 

Make Your Own Stovetop Smoker

1 Line the inside (sides and bottom) of a large heavy-duty pot or wok with foil, to protect your pot from scorching.

2 Sprinkle foil with amount of fine wood chips indicated in recipe. If a drip tray is required, place a foil pie plate directly over chips inside the pot, leveling as best you can.

3 Top with a footed metal steaming basket. A perforated pizza pan works well in woks, too. Place food in basket, or on pizza pan, cover pot with lid and seal with foil.

4 Get things going with an initial hit of high heat, then reduce heat and smoke according to recipe instructions.


Tips for Success

• Don’t overload your smoker with chips! In most cases, more isn’t better.

• Check for smoke leaks during the high heat phase (before your pan gets too hot to handle) and patch up by pinching foil to seal.

• If you lack a powerful kitchen exhaust, let your smoker sit, covered, for 15 minutes after removing from This allows the smoke to settle before opening.

• If you only purchase one type of smoking chip, purchase maple. It’s a great all-purpose choice.

• Look for very fine, sawdust-like smoking chips made specifically for stovetop smoking. If unavailable, you can grind small chips (but not chunks!) finer in a spice grinder.

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