How to Make Smoked Salad

You may be privy to the Grilled Salad trend, but have you ever tried Smoked Salad?  
Now you will!

1 small bunch asparagus
1 tablespoon Weston Black Pepper & Garlic Jerky Seasoning (any of our dry jerky seasonings work well for this recipe)
1 head romaine lettuce
6 slices crisp bacon
¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
⅛ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
(or balsamic vinegar if you prefer - probably use a little more)

- Tools - 
Weston Vacuum Sealer
Weston Smoker & wood chips (we used hickory)

Step One | Marinate Asparagus

Use a vacuum sealer to marinate the asparagus. Place asparagus into a quart vacuum bag. Sprinkle in the Jerky Seasoning, then seal the bag. Place into the refrigerator and allow to marinate 4-6 hours.

Step Two | Smoker Prep

Soak your woodchips for 30 minutes. Preheat your Smoker to 200ºF. Just before you're ready to smoke it, place the head of lettuce into a gallon vacuum sealer bag. Pour in 1/2 cup water. Vacuum seal so that the water gets sucked into the lettuce, but do not crush the lettuce. Remove the lettuce from the bag immediately - it's ready for the smoker.

Why seal the lettuce with water? Two reasons: To keep the lettuce crisp in the smoker and to adhere the smoky flavor to the lettuce quickly. Infusing the lettuce with water will keep the stems and leaves strong. Smoke tends to get trapped in moisture, so the flavor will be locked within the water in the lettuce. You must be careful not to go through the full vacuum process and crush the lettuce. You just want to pull the water in, not break the cell walls (which is what makes lettuce mushy). 

Step Three | Smoke
Fill the wood chip box. Place the lettuce head and asparagus into the smoker and smoke for 20 minutes.

While they smoke, bake your bacon at 400ºF for 15-20 minutes.

Step Four | Assemble Salad

Remove the lettuce and asparagus from the smoker and allow to cool. You may want to chill them in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Chop the lettuce & asparagus, crumble in the bacon, toss in the blue cheese, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze. Enjoy!

DIY Freeze Pops: Cucumber Lime Mint

You can make this recipe with any juice you like. We used our juicer attachment for our meat grinder to make our own fresh juice from cucumbers, limes, and mint — for a refreshing, grown-up freeze pop. You can mature the recipe even more by adding a couple ounces of tequila, vodka, or rum. 
makes twelve 6 oz pops

- Ingredients - 

4 cucumbers
¼ lime
1 oz fresh mint
½ c sugar

- Tools -
Weston Meat Grinder & Juicer Attachment
or another Home Juicer
Weston Vacuum Sealer (Our Chamber Sealer is ideal, but you can do it either way)

| Step One: Prepare Juice |

Use your Juicer to juice the cucumbers, quarter of a lime and mint.

Making the cucumber lime mint juice with our juicer attachment

Closeup of the ingredients

Closeup of the resulting juice

Pour the sugar into the juice and stir rapidly until sugar has dissolved.

| Step Two: Make Pouches | 

Use your Vacuum Sealer to create pouches. We recommend using quart sized vacuum bags for this. You can make the pouches in a couple of ways:

Option 1: Freeze Pop Packs 
1. Use a permanent marker to mark the bag width at every third (or however wide you'd like your freeze pops to be). We used 8" bags that had a 7" opening. So we marked the bag at 2.3" and 4.6". 
2. Use the sealer to divide the bag into 3 separate 2.3" wide pouches. To do this, lay the bag onto the seal bar so that the length of the bag is parallel with the seal bar. Align the 2.3" mark with the seal bar and close the lid. Press start, then press seal to create your first seal. Repeat for the 4.6 mark. You will now have a freezer pop 3-pack bag.  
Here you can see how we used the sealer to separate our quart bag into 2" compartments
*note: while not necessary, rather than making one seal at each of the 2.3" & 4.6" marks, we made seals on either side of the two marks. This gives you more space in between the pouches. This way, you don't have to be as precise when you cut the pouches apart.
Option 2: Individual Freeze Pop
This option is ideal because your seals will be more quality. That said, you will have to individually seal each pop (which doesn't take much time at all). The freeze pop packs allow you to seal three pops at a time. 
For option 2, follow the same steps as in option 1, then cut the bag apart into 2.3" strips by cutting down the middle of each seal. 
We cut the compartments apart to make individually packaged freeze pops

| Step Three: Fill Pouches |

Use a funnel or a pitcher to pour the juice into each pouch. We filled each pouch with 6 ounces, or about 2/3rds of the way full.

| Step Four: Seal Pouches |

There are also a couple of ways to accomplish this.

Option 1: Chamber Vacuum Sealer 
If you have a chamber sealer, you can seal these while the freeze pops are still liquid. 
1. Set the vacuum pressure to minimum & the seal time to 6.
2. Fold the pouch until you get to the liquid. Hold the bag there tightly. Gently lay the bag into the chamber, still holding it tight. Quickly unfold it and lock the open end of the bag down with the bag holder, then close the lid down tightly and quickly (so that the seal bar is holding the liquid back, rather than allowing it to spill into the chamber. 
This individual freeze pop bag is ready to be sealed in the Chamber Sealer

3. Press the start button. If liquid begins to escape, press the seal button to quickly seal the bag, otherwise allow the cycle to run its course. Repeat for the remaining packs of freeze pops, then you're ready to freeze them!

All sealed and ready for the freezer

Option 2: Vacuum Sealer  
Sealing liquids with a regular out-of-chamber sealer can cause damage to your sealer. To seal these freeze pops with a regular sealer, you'll need to freeze them first.  
1, Simply place the liquid-filled pouches into your freezer (prop them up so that the liquid doesn't spill) for about 3 hours, or until the juice is completely frozen.  
2. Now you can use your sealer to seal the pops. Press the start button, then press seal immediately. Your pops are ready to be stored in the freezer.  
You can also use this method with your Chamber Sealer if you're having trouble keeping the liquid in the bag. 
That's it. Making homemade freeze pops is as simple as making juice (if you so choose), preparing your special freeze pop bags, pouring in the juice, sealing and freezing.

The sealed freeze pop posing with our Chamber Sealer

Here are our 3-pack of freeze pops

Pasta Salad with Weston Seasonings

One of the many great things about our seasonings is that they're highly versatile. We used Sweet Italian and Black Pepper & Garlic in this pasta salad, but you can get creative and use just about any of our seasonings in the right flavor combinations. 

- Ingredients -

Homemade Pasta
1 cup flour (we used whole wheat, but you can feel free to use all purpose here)
1 extra large egg

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar (we used our Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 small cucumber, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
¼ cup black olives, sliced
a handful shredded Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Weston Sweet Italian Sausage Seasoning
½ teaspoon Weston Garlic & Pepper Jerky Seasoning

- Tools -
Weston Pasta Machine

Step One | Homemade Pasta

In a large bowl, pour in the flour and make a mound from it. Dig a well into the center of the mound. Break the egg into the center, then use a fork to gradually mash the flour into the egg. Continue until you have a stretchy, uniform dough. Let rest 30 minutes, covered in plastic wrap, or placed into a plastic bag.

Put a pot of water on to boil.

Use a Pasta Machine to roll the dough into a medium-thick sheet (setting 4 on our manual machine).

Using our Red Traditional Style Pasta Machine to roll out whole wheat pasta dough

Roll the dough through the Spaghetti rollers.

Fresh whole wheat noodles spill from the Red Pasta Machine

Once the water is boiling, drop in the fresh noodles. Boil 3 minutes, or until al dente.  Strain, then rinse in cold water for 1 minute.

Step Two | Mix

Toss the noodles with the cucumbers, tomatoes and black olives, then pour in the oil & vinegar and toss again to coat. Sprinkle in the seasonings and cheese and toss a final time to coat.

Our Sweet Italian and Black Pepper & Garlic seasonings sit back and marvel at their work

Refrigerate until you're ready to serve.

The Most American of Apple Pies: One with Bourbon & Bacon.

- Ingredients - 

2 lbs apples (6-8)
½ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon cloves
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 oz bourbon
1 pie crust
12 slices bacon

- Tools - 
Weston Apple Peeler
Weston Cone Strainer

Use your Apple Peeler to peel, slice & core your apples. Saute the apple slices in the ½ cup water with vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and cloves for 6 minutes, until soft. Once soft, stir in the flour and sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat, and pour in the bourbon. Place the apples into a covered container and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Once preheated, place the crust into a pie tin, pierce the crust, then pre-bake 10 minutes. Remove and allow the crust to cool.

While the crust cools, prepare your bacon lattice.

Use a Cone Strainer (or colander) to separate the apples from the liquid. Reserve the liquid in the refrigerator (it will be a syrup that goes over the pie later).

Layer the apple slices into the crust.

Bake at 350ºF for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, layer the bacon lattice over top, then increase the temperature to 400ºF and bake another 20 minutes, until the bacon is crisp.

Once the crust is golden brown and the bacon is crisp, remove from heat and allow to cool for at least one hour. Then, either refrigerate it or serve it.

When you're ready to serve the pie, remove the liquid from the fridge, warm it, then drizzle it over the top of the pie.

How to Make Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

- Ingredients -
1 cup fresh whole wheat sour dough starter (instructions below - you'll need 1 lb flour & a gallon of distilled water if making the starter yourself)
½ cup water
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup honey
1 cup + 1-2 cups whole wheat flour

- Tools - 
Weston Manual Kitchen Mixer
Weston Baking Mat

Step One | Starter - skip if you already have starter

For the starter, you will need a packet of sourdough culture, distilled water, whole wheat flour, a mason jar, a rubber band, and a piece of Cheesecloth.

Start by mixing together the packet of starter to a tablespoon of whole wheat flour and a tablespoon of water in your jar. Cover the jar with the cheesecloth and wrap a rubber band around the mouth of the jar to secure the cheesecloth. Let sit in a warm place that's 70-85 degrees for 12 hours.

Add 2 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of flour to the jar and stir. Let sit another 12 hours.

Add ¼ cup of flour and ¼ cup of water to the jar. Let sit another 12 hours.

Add ½ cup of flour and ½ cup of water to the jar. Let sit another 12 hours.

Pour the starter into another glass jar until you have just ½ cup of starter left in your original jar. Add ½ cup water and 1 cup flour to this original jar with ½ cup of starter.

For the next 3 days, repeat this process of discarding down to ½ cup of starter and adding the ½ cup of water and 1 cup flour every 12 hours. Your starter will be ready to use at the end of this process.

Step Two | Make Dough

In your Kitchen Mixer, combine your 1 cup of starter with the ½ cup of water. Add in the honey, salt, and 1 cup of flour and continue to mix.

Drop the dough from the mixer onto a floured surface. Knead the dough 10 minutes, adding flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Cover and let rise in a buttered dish for 2-8 hours, until doubled. Punch the dough down, then allow it to rise again until doubled.

Step Three | Bake

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Make a round from the dough, then make slashes in the top of the dough.

Bake on a Baking Mat at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until browned. Enjoy, perhaps with Homemade Cilantro-Lime Butter.

Smoked Iced Coffee with Bourbon & Molasses

Dad likes his coffee. Dad loves his bourbon. What better treat for Father's Day than a Bourbon-spiked Iced Coffee? ...Oh yeah, and did we mention we smoked the beans?

- Ingredients - 
4 tablespoons (pre-grind) whole coffee beans, smoked (directions below)
16 oz water
1 oz bourbon
½ oz molasses
optional: cream

- Tools - 
Weston Smoker
wood chips for smoking (we used apple - use something similar that's sweet & not harsh)
coffee grinder (we used our Manual Food Grinder - you could also use our Grain Grinder)
coffee maker or press (a French Press is perfect for this recipe)

How To

Step One | Smoke the Coffee Beans

Soak your wood chips for 30 minutes. Preheat your Smoker to 200 degrees. Fill the water bowl. Once the smoker is preheated and the wood chips are ready, load the wood chips into the box.

Layer a smoker rack with foil and poke small holes all over. Pour on the coffee beans in one layer. Smoke for 1 hour at 200. You can feel free to smoke a whole bag of coffee beans in a batch - you simply only need 4 tablespoons for the coffee.

Step Two | Grind Beans

Once smoked, grind the coffee beans coarsely (like breadcrumbs - not finely like powder).

Step Three | Make Coffee

Bring the water to a boil, then let cool for 1 minute.

Pour the grounds into your French press, then pour the water over them. Stir vigorously, then place the lid onto your press. Let steep 4 minutes, then push down the plunger and pour the coffee into a jar. If you're not using a French press, simply use your coffee maker or press as you usually would.

Step Four | Concoct

While the coffee is still hot, stir in the molasses. To expedite the cooling process (and also get some air into the coffee), pour the coffee back and forth between two jars for about a minute, then place the jar into the fridge until you're ready to use - or if serving 'immediately,' place it into the freezer for 15-30 minutes.

This is a great recipe for cream-in-your-coffee lovers

Once chilled, stir in the bourbon, then pour over ice. It's now ready to enjoy!

Making Homemade Butter in the Weston Manual Kitchen Kit

Making butter from scratch is so much easier than you thought it was — especially if you have a Weston Kitchen Kit. It's like a mini handheld stand mixer. You pour in the cream, start turning the easy-turn rotary handle, and in 5 minutes you have butter. 

Cilantro Lime Compound Butter Recipe

- Ingredients - 

1 cup heavy cream
zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
pinch salt

- Tools - 
Weston Manual Kitchen Kit

Use your Manual Kitchen Kit to zest the lime (mandoline attachment with small grater) and chop the cilantro (chopping blade attachment).

Remove the attachments and insert the beater. Sprinkle in the chili flakes and salt, then pour in the cream.

Secure the lid, then turn the handle to beat, about five minutes, until texture is consistent with butter. At around 2 minutes, you'll have whipped cream. At 3 minutes the cream will separate. And at 5, it will be whipped into butter.

Just about ready

You can simply scrape it into a bowl and refrigerate it until you're ready to use it at this point. You can also mold it by using plastic wrap to squeeze it together and use your hands to roll it into a cylinder or shape it into a ball. 

This technique can be used to make all types of butter, not just Cilantro Lime Butter.

Tip: Try the Cilantro Lime Butter on cornbread (like we did), grilled chicken, fish, shrimp or roasted corn.

Chilled Beet Soup for Summer

Beets are in season here in June, which makes this Chilled Beet Soup a seasonal, local, and refreshing Summer lunch or dinner.

makes one quart

- Ingredients - 

3 large beets, roughly chopped
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup tarragon vinegar (if not available, use cider vinegar and spinkle in chopped fresh tarragon)
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt

juice from 1/4 lemon
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 carrot, shredded
2 radishes, chopped
4 chives, chopped
small handful fresh dill leaves

- Tools - 
Weston Baking Mat
Weston Food Mill or Cone Strainer

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Lay the beets out on a Baking Mat-lined baking sheet. Drizzle the beets with the oil and vinegar, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 400º for 45 minutes to an hour, until the beets are soft and browned.

Once roasted, use your Food Mill or Cone Strainer to press the beets into a puree, leaving behind the skin. In a medium bowl, mix together the beet puree, lemon juice, water and cream. Place into the refrigerator to chill for one hour.

While the soup chills, shred your carrots, chop your radishes, chop your chives, and separate the dill leaves from the stem. Once you're ready to serve the soup, scoop a dollop of Greek yogurt onto the top, then sprinkle on the carrot, radish, chives and dill. Enjoy!

BLT Pasta Salad

- Ingredients - 

1 cup flour
1 extra large egg
1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup mayo
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup loosely packed Italian parsley

3 strips crispy bacon
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped romaine lettuce

- Tools - 
Weston Tube Pasta Machine
(you can also make this pasta salad with any other type of noodle, so feel free to use your traditional pasta machine instead)
Weston Manual Kitchen Kit with Chopper inserted

Step One | Make Pasta 

Assemble the Dough Mixing Kit in the Pasta Machine. Pour in the flour, oil and egg. Turn the handle to mix the dough until uniform, about five minutes. If using a traditional pasta machine, use the well method to prepare your dough.

Remove the Kit from the Tube Pasta Machine and assemble it for pasta making, using the macaroni die. Feed the dough into the auger and turn the handle to extrude the macaroni from the die. Use the included spatula to cut the macaroni. If using a traditional pasta machine, feed the dough into the rollers to flatten, then feed the dough sheet into the noodle cutter.

Once all of your noodles are prepared, put a pot of water on to boil. Once boiling, add the noodles and cook for 3 minutes, then drain.

Step Two | Prepare Dressing

While the noodles boil, combine all dressing ingredients in the Kitchen Kit, then turn the handle to chop, about one minute.

Step Three | Assemble

In a large bowl, mix together fresh noodles, dressing, bacon, tomatoes and lettuce. Chill for a few hours, then serve. If you don't plan to serve the pasta salad right after chilling, you may want to keep the lettuce, bacon & tomatoes separate from the pasta & dressing, and add them just before serving.