Walleye Po'Boy with Smoked Asparagus

With Earth Day around the corner, we're thinking about sustainable seafood and local eating. Did you know there's a site that helps you choose sustainable fish to eat? Well there is - it's called Seafood Watch. For us here in Cleveland, a choice that's not only sustainable, but also local and in season is Walleye (lucky us). So we decided to fish one out of Lake Erie, smoke it, fry it, and serve it in a Po'Boy (not to be confused with a Polish Boy, which is native to CLE)          ...with some locally grown Spring asparagus.

Makes 4

- Ingredients -

1 lb Walleye
1 tablespoon homemade Old Bay

one bunch asparagus
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon homemade Old Bay

Homemade Old Bay Seasoning
10 bay leaves, ground
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon mace

1 egg, whisked together
½ cup flour
¼ cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon homemade Old Bay
½ teaspoon black pepper

Creole Remoulade
8 oz mayonnaise
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon lemon juice from ½ lemon
¼ teaspoon dry mustard

¼ cup olive oil, for frying

baguette or sandwich buns
arugula/mixed greens
½ lemon, sliced into wedges for garnishing

- Tools -
Weston Smoker
wood chips
Weston Kitchen Mixer
large skillet

Smoke Walleye
Preheat your Smoker to 200°F. Soak your wood chips for 30 minutes and fill the smoker water bowl.

Once the wood chips are soaked and the smoker is preheated, sprinkle the Walleye with Old Bay. Place the Walleye into the smoker and smoke at 200°F under heavy smoke until the internal temp of the fish is at 145°. Reduce the temperature of the smoker to 150°-160° once the fish has reached a safe temperature. Smoke for a total of 2 hours.

The key to smoking this walleye is to keep the temperature down so that it's not overcooked (you'll be frying it after smoking) - while also keeping the fish safe to eat. Under 140 is a danger zone, so you'll want to bring the fish to 145 rapidly, then hold the fish right around that temp.

Smoke Asparagus
While the Walleye will smoke for 2 hours, the asparagus only needs 45 minutes. Toss the asparagus in olive oil, lay it over foil, and sprinkle with Old Bay. Place into the smoker after the Walleye has been in for an hour and 15 minutes.

Prepare Creole Remoulade
While the Walleye and asparagus smoke, prepare the remoulade by roughly chopping  the parsley and garlic in your Kitchen Kit. Pour in remaining ingredients and continue to chop until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Bread Walleye
Once the Walleye and asparagus are finished smoking, wrap the asparagus in foil tightly to keep it hot. Place the whisked egg into one bowl. Mix together the cornmeal, flour, pepper, and Old Bay in a separate bowl. Gently slice the walleye into smaller fillets (to fit into your sandwiches). Next, gently dip each fillet into the egg to coat well. Toss the coated fillet in the breading mix to completely coat.

Fry Walleye
In a large skillet over medium high heat, pour in ¼ cup olive oil. Once the oil is hot, drop in the breaded fillets. Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.

Serve the fillets on baguette over a bed of greens, smothered in Creole Remoulade. Serve the asparagus on the side - also smothered in Creole Remoulade. Garnish with a lemon.

Cleveland Remakes: Frank's Bratwurst, From Scratch

 Frank's Bratwurst is an essential stand at Cleveland's West Side Market. The stand has been there since 1970 and isn't hard to find - just look for the line of people waiting near the smell of brats. It's a staple of the Cleveland food scene. So we thought: what better way to pay tribute to this well-loved stand than by making our own version of their famous bratwurst?

Makes 5 lb

- Ingredients -

4 lbs venison (or, more traditionally, pork), as cold as possible
1 lb pork fat, frozen
3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons onion powder
3 tablespoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons white pepper
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons nutmeg
2 tablespoons coriander
1 tablespoon marjoram
¼ cup heavy cream

hog casings

olive oil, to fry

Bertman's stadium mustard
sandwich/hoagie buns

- Tools -
Weston Meat Grinder*
Weston Meat Mixer*
Weston Sausage Stuffer*

*Keep all metal parts in the freezer until ready to use

Mix together all dry seasonings. Grind together the venison and pork fat through the coarse Meat Grinder plate. Hand mix the seasonings into the ground meat or use a Meat Mixer. Grind 2/3 of the meat through the medium plate, then again through the fine plate. Pour the heavy cream into the ground meat and mix the coarse and fine grinds until the meat looks uniform.

Weston Realtree 650 Watt Meat Grinder

Use a Sausage Stuffer or your Meat Grinder to stuff the ground meat into casings. Brats are traditionally a thicker sausage, so allow the casing to fill up, without bursting. Twist and tie them at 6 inches, or make one giant link and tie the links afterward.

We used our Weston Realtree No. 8 650 Watt Grinder to stuff the brats

Here's a quick video how-to on tying sausage links:

Cook the bratwurst and sauerkraut in a pan with an inch of hot oil, covered, until browned on both sides - 5-10 minutes.

Serve the brats on hoagie buns with kraut and stadium mustard.

Gefilte Fish from Scratch

Gefilte Fish is a traditional Passover dish of fish "meatballs" in a light fish stock. Making the stock from scratch and grinding your own fresh fish takes this dish from a required tradition to a requested favorite. While this is by no means the traditional version, it can absolutely be made in a way that is Kosher for Passover - be sure to check your ingredients. 

Makes 12 medium-sized fish balls

- Ingredients -

3 lbs fresh white perch, whole

1. Other whitefish like pike and carp are classic picks - we chose perch because it's fresh caught in Lake Erie, local for us.
2. We purchased our fish from West Side Market's Dani's Seafood, where we can purchase whole fish, have them fillet it for us, and request the bones and heads in a separate package - and they're happy to do it. We recommend you also purchase your fish from a local fish market. Note that it may be a good idea to order ahead of time.

bones & heads from fish
2 large white onions, quartered
1 large carrot
1 bulb fresh fennel, quartered
4 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 cups water
6 oz Kosher white wine
juice from 1 lemon
4 bay leaves
3 cardamom pods
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Gefilte Fish
meat from the fish (should be about 1 ½ lbs after filleted)
½ white onion, chopped
handful curly parsley, stems removed
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 egg, whisked together
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup matzo (make sure it's labeled kosher for passover)

1 tablespoon smoked paprika + more for sprinkling (optional - not traditional)*
*be sure to purchase Kosher-for-Passover paprika if making this dish for Passover

- Tools -
Weston Meat Grinder
Weston Cone Strainer

Roast the fish bones & heads, onions, carrot, fennel and garlic - drizzled with the olive oil - at 500°F for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Prepare the stock by combining all stock ingredients in a stock pot, bringing to a boil, then simmering for 30 minutes. Taste for fish flavor - continue simmering until the broth is to your liking for fish flavor. Remove the fish heads and bones, then continue to simmer for three hours to develop the other flavors.

Use a Meat Grinder with a fine plate to grind the fish, onion, and parsley together. Fish is watery, so there's no need to coarse grind it first, nor to grind it several times. Mix the ground fish with the remaining ingredients. Form the fish mixture into balls. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Once the stock is ready, use a Cone Strainer to strain the stock to a clear broth.

Return to a boil, then gently lower the fish balls into the stock. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour. Allow to cool, then refrigerate. Serve the gefilte fish balls cold, with sliced carrots atop each fish ball, and a little broth in the bottom of the bowl.

If you so choose, stir the tablespoon of smoked paprika into the broth, add the gefilte fish, then sprinkle with a little paprika on top.

Bourbon Apple Glazed Ham with Apple "Stuffing"

Serves 10-12

- Ingredients -

one fresh 15 lb ham (you may need to order this ahead of time from your local butcher)

3 cups apple cider
2 cups brown sugar
1 ½ cups kosher salt
3 teaspoons pink salt
1 stick cinnamon (Ceylon or "Canela" is preferred)
1 tablespoon whole cloves
zest from ½ large orange

3 cups apple cider
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cloves

¼ cup apple cider
2 oz bourbon whiskey
1 cup brown sugar

zest from ½ large orange, for sprinkling

handful of whole cloves, for studding

Apple Stuffing
6 sweet apples, peeled, sliced, and cored with an Apple Peeler
1 yellow onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, peels completely removed
2 coins fresh ginger root, skin removed
handful curly parsley

- Tools -
Weston Vacuum Sealer & Bag, for brining
Weston Smoker
Weston Marinade Injector
Weston Apple Peeler
Weston Kitchen Kit

Combine brine ingredients in a pan and bring to boil, then simmer, stirring constantly, until the sugar and salt is dissolved.

Let cool completely.

In a large Vacuum Sealer Bag (we used a 15" roll & cut it to size), drop in the fresh ham, then pour the brine over the ham. Seal and refrigerate for 3 days to allow to brine (if not using a Vacuum Sealer, give it 7 days, or a day for every 2 lbs).

Once the ham is cured, preheat your Smoker to 250°F, fill the water bowl, and soak your wood chips. While the smoker preheats, prepare the marinade. After 30 minutes, place the ham into the Smoker and fill the wood chip box. Use a Marinade Injector to inject the ham with the marinade, then allow to smoke for two hours. After two hours, inject the ham again and raise the temperature to 325°F. Smoke for another 3 hours. While the ham smokes, prepare the glaze. After 3 hours, or once the ham has reach 135°F, remove the ham from the smoker to score, stud, and glaze it. Sprinkle the ham with the orange zest and return it to the Smoker to smoke another hour, or until the ham reaches 155°F. Slice and serve while hot.

During the last hour of smoking, prepare the apple stuffing. Roast all ingredients, except the parsley, by drizzling with a little olive oil and broiling in the oven at 500°F for 5 minutes, or until they are browned. Toss, then return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

In the Manual Kitchen Kit, with the chopper attached, chop together all ingredients until the apples are diced into small pieces.

Serve with the ham, hot.

Closeup on the Apple Stuffing

Five Reasons to Make Your Own Pasta

By Hank Shaw

Weston's Homemade Venison Ravioli Recipe

Making pasta at home isn't as effortless as opening a package and dropping it into boiling water, but learning this simple skill is one of the easiest ways to elevate your home cooking. Beyond the pride you can take in showing off your handmade noodles, here are five reasons you should consider making your own pasta.

You can take mastery of the pasta you make, from flour to what you moisten it with, to shape and size. For example, most of the pasta you buy is just semolina flour and water. But there’s no law that says you couldn't moisten your semolina with eggs, which will give the dough a little more spring. And if you want an egg dough that’s white, leave out the yolks – conversely, leave out the whites for a rich, luxurious yellow dough called tajarin.

Making pasta dough yourself allows you to create any shape, dough, dough consistency and flavor you want. You can literally tailor your pasta to whatever else is on the plate or in the dinner. Sure, you could try to find a barley dough tagliatelle in a store, but you won’t succeed. If you want this noodle, which, incidentally, pairs perfectly with duck, goose or venison, you’ll need to make it yourself.

Making your own pasta allows you to sub in any sort of flour or make any shape you choose. Want rye flour gnocchi for an Alpine Italian dish? How about a buckwheat dough for German spätzle? Easy. What about a dough with pureed spinach for St. Pat’s Day? No problemo. Like squid ink pasta but are bored with the tagliatelle it always seems to come in? Make your own dough (squid ink is easily available online or in Italian specialty shops) and shape the pasta however you wish.

Buy a few pasta making gadgets and you can stretch even further. Beyond the essential pasta machine, there are all sorts of little tools out there to help you make innovative shapes: Gnocchi boards, garganelli combs, guitar-like contraptions for making square spaghetti, even extruders ranging from the ancient torchio, a relic of the 19th century, to ultra-modern machines that do all the mixing for you. Yeah, there are pasta-making “gear heads,” and I am one of them. I got all the gadgets…

Pasta can either be a vehicle for the sauce, or it can be the star itself. Sometimes you can get there with perfectly made egg or semolina pasta, but more often cooks boost the prominence of pasta on the plate with flavors in the pasta itself.

You do this by adding something to the dough besides flour and water. Eggs are common, as is milk or cream. You’ll see tomato powder or pureed spinach all the time; I like to use pureed stinging nettles for an even more vivid green. Adding squid ink will not only turn your noodles black, but it will impart a distinct briny taste, too. Adding powdered kelp also will give you that seaside flavor.

Just be careful about adding wet ingredients to the dough. If your vegetable isn’t pureed absolutely smooth, the remaining fibers will break the gluten bonds in the pasta and make it fall apart.

The flavor factor gets even more intense when you make filled pasta. Good luck buying a venison ravioli, but if you know how to make ravioli, or tortellini, or German maultaschen or Russian pelmeni, you can fill them with anything you like.

The McGyver Factor 
Armed with just a gnocchi board, you can be in deer camp or at a friend’s house and make cavatelli or gnocchi with no other equipment. Don’t even have that? You can make all sorts of pasta – including cavatelli and orecchiette – with no equipment at all. There is nothing more impressive than making fantastic pasta with nothing more than your hands and a tabletop.

Fun… and a Secret Trick 
Once you get the hang of making pasta at home, it will move from being a “project” to something you just want to do. You’ll start thinking about the making pasta an integral part of the food you feed yourself and your family, not as a throw-away starch to bulk up a plate of meat or fish. And what’s more, once you master the basics, you can make a batch of pasta in literally minutes – if you have a vacuum sealer. The secret? Vacuum seal your freshly made dough and it will hydrate instantly, so you no longer need to wait an hour before rolling it out. This is a chef’s trick. You’re welcome. ;-)

Author of two wild game cookbooks, Hank Shaw runs the award-winning website Hunter Angler Gardener Cook (honest-food.net). He lives, hunts, forages and fishes near Sacramento, California.

Greek Easter Bread (Tsoureki) with Beet Jam

Tsoureki is a braided sweet bread easily recognized by the decorative red eggs between its braids. We dyed our eggs naturally with beet juice, then made use of the beet pulp in an accompanying beet jam. The result is an ultra sweet, perfectly festive Easter loaf.

Makes one large loaf

- Ingredients -

Beet Dyed Eggs
3 eggs (you can decorate your loaf with as many eggs as you like - you can fit up to 6 eggs into this amount of beet dye at a time)
3 fresh beets, sliced, stems and leaves removed
1 quart water
2 tablespoons white vinegar

6 cups bread flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon anise seed
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 cup milk
1 packet yeast (follow instructions on packet)
1 orange, zested and juiced
¼ cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla

1 egg, whisked together, for wash
¼ cup sliced almonds, for sprinkling

Beet Jam
½ cup sugar
juice from ½ orange
1 cinnamon stick

- Tools -
Weston Cone Strainer
Weston Vacuum Sealer + Canister
Weston Kitchen Mixer
Weston Baking Mat

Hard Boil Eggs
Bring water to a boil, gently drop in the eggs, and allow to boil 8 minutes, or until hard boiled. Set aside and allow to cool.

Prepare the Beet Dye
In a large pot, bring the beets and water to a boil. Reduce to a gentle boil and allow to steep 30 minutes. Strain the liquid with your Cone Strainer, into the Vacuum Sealer Canister.*

Stir the vinegar into the beet juice. Gently drop in the hard boiled eggs, cover, and seal with a Vacuum Sealer. Set aside.

*You can soak the eggs overnight instead of vacuuming. Soaking the eggs overnight will achieve the same rich red. The vacuum helps speed up the dying process (1 hour vs. overnight).

Prepare the Bread Dough
Sift together the dry ingredients for the bread. Pour into your Kitchen Mixer. Pour in remaining ingredients and turn the handle to mix.

Once the dough is uniform, drop it onto your Baking Mat. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes. Separate into three equal sized balls. Roll each ball into a long strand. Twist together one end of the three strands, then braid them together. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to rise for one hour.

Prepare the Beet Jam
While the dough rises, prepare the jam. Use the pestle to mash the beets in the Cone Strainer. Transfer the mashed beet into a sauce pan with a cinnamon stick and ¼ cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Bring back to a boil, then stir in the sugar. Once it returns to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Once the jam has set, pour in the orange juice. Remove from heat, transfer to a sterilized jar, and allow to cool. Once cooled, you can refrigerate the jam or can it (we served ours immediately with the bread, so there was no need for either).

Bake the Bread
Once dough has risen, brush the outside of the loaf with egg wash. Remove the colored eggs from their dye, pat dry, and slide them between the braids of the bread dough. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake at 400° for 20-30 minutes, until the top is browned.

Serve, sliced and slathered with beet jam.

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce

Butternut Squash Ravioli Recipe
This ravioli is made by hand with fresh pasta dough pressed with a Roma Ravioli Maker, filled with butternut squash strained with the Roma Tomato Strainer, and topped with a savory brown butter sauce. 


1 butternut squash, cut into 1" pieces
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon sage
¼ cup Parmesan cheese

1 cup Semolina
1 large egg

½ cup butter
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon dried sage
¼ teaspoon salt

collapsible steamer
medium saucepan
Roma Tomato Strainer with Pumpkin/Squash Screen
Roma Pasta Machine
Roma Ravioli Makers
Roma Stainless Steel Colander

Steam the butternut squash until soft, about 15 minutes. Once soft, load the squash into the Roma Food Strainer with the Squash Screen intact. Turn the handle until all of your squash has been pureed.

Roma Tomato Strainer

Place the squash puree into a medium saucepan with nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, and sage, and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside and allow to cool while you prepare the ravioli dough.

In a medium bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix together the semolina and egg until dough begins to form. Place the dough onto a cutting board and begin kneading it until uniform, smooth, and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest 20 minutes.

After dough has rested, pull off a palm sized chunk, flatten with your hands, then feed into a Roma Pasta Machine on the thickest setting. Feed it through a few times to shape it. Next, run the dough through the machine until you reach the second to last setting (2 on the Roma Manual Pasta Machine, 8 on the Roma Electric Pasta Machine).

Lay out your pasta sheet, then cut circles into the dough using the bottom of the smallest of the Roma Ravioli Makers. Once you are done, grab a small bowl and fill it with water (or egg, if you prefer, but water will do the job). Place a dough circle on the top of the Ravioli Maker, place a teaspoon of your squash filling in the middle, sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese over that, then dip your finger into your water bowl and lightly coat the edges of the dough with water to better seal it. Close the Ravioli Maker tightly, and the result will be a perfect ravioli. Repeat for all of your dough and filling, taking care to work quickly as it is more difficult to work with the dough if it dries out.

Squash Ravioli made with Roma Ravioli Makers

Once you have made all of your ravioli, you may either boil them for 3 minutes or steam them for 8 minutes. Steaming reduces the risk of your ravioli falling apart (plus you should already have the steamer out from the squash anyway). While the Ravioli Maker will ensure that your ravioli are tightly sealed (particularly if you use egg to seal), homemade ravioli are more vulnerable.

While boiling or steaming, place a pan over medium heat and begin to melt your butter. Sprinkle in the sage, nutmeg, and salt. Cook until the butter and seasonings have browned, making sure to stir to keep the spices from sticking to the bottom, about 5 minutes.

Once your ravioli is done cooking, pour them into a Roma Stainless Steel Colander and allow to rest while the butter sauce finishes up (unless it's already done).

As soon as the butter sauce is ready, transfer the ravioli into bowls and cover with brown butter sauce. Serve immediately.

Tip Tuesday: 5 Ways to Use Your Meat Slicer Smarter

1. Slice More Than Just Meat

You can slice more than meat with that slicer, ya know. Create perfectly uniform pepper rings, onion slices... anything you'd use a mandoline for, this works for. And when you're going for ultra-thin, it's an awful lot easier with one of these babies than with a knife. You can also shred lettuce and cabbage with it. Heck, you can slice bread and cheese.

Slicing Swiss cheese with the Weston 7 ½" Meat Slicer

2. Use a Serrated Blade for Bread & Cheese

Speaking of bread and cheese, you can still slice those with a straight blade, but serrated blades work much better on those two food items - less sticking and crumbling.

Slicing through a loaf of Italian Bread with our 7 ½" Serrated Blade

3. Let It Do Its Thing

Don't force it! People often make the mistake of pushing the stage across the blade too forcefully. It should glide right through. When you force the slicer, you wear down the motor, and slow the blade. If you go with the flow, your slicer could last you a lifetime.

Perfectly sliced goose breast

4. Keep the Food as Cold as Possible

The colder, the better. Fully frozen isn't good for any meat slicer. The ice crystals are too hard, and they will dull your blade and overwork the motor. But really cold and/or somewhat frozen is money. We often place meats into the freezer for 30 minutes before we slice (it depends on the size of the meat of course). For fish, those can be pretty darn frozen without hurting the slicer. Especially when you're trying for paper thin slices, partially frozen helps to keep the slices together, rather than crumbling the meat.

Jerky meat, sliced thinly with our 10" Meat Slicer

5. Create a Flat Surface

Slice your ham, roast, loaf of bread, cabbage... in half. It's going to be sliced anyway, you might as well slice it in half to create a flat surface. Face the surface against the blade. This will make a world of difference. If you start with an oddly shaped end, you'll get off to a bad start and have a tough time slicing uniform pieces. Trust us.
A large, freshly smoked pastrami cut in half for better slicing

Cleveland Remakes: Stuffed, Smoked & Battered Venison Burgers

These mini "burger bombs" were inspired by Melt's "Big Popper."

Melt Bar & Grilled is a culinary staple here in Cleveland. They're known for their gourmet grilled cheeses, ranging from their Kindergarten (good ole bread & cheese) to their Parmageddon (grilled cheese stuffed with pierogies and kraut). My favorite is their Big Popper: "fresh jalapeno peppers, herb cream cheese, cheddar, crispy battered & deep fried, mixed berry preserves." So I grabbed some venison from the freezer and embarked upon making my own version.
Makes 6 sliders

- Ingredients -

¾ lbs venison, elk, bison or beef
6 small cubes cheddar
2 tbsp cream cheese
1 jalapeño, sliced

Italian bread, French bread or another variety that is soft inside, but crusty outside (we used a loaf of Pane Nicolo), sliced

1 pint fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup flour
1 cup seltzer water
2 tablespoons cornstarch

peanut oil, for frying (you can use vegetable or canola oil instead)

powdered sugar, for sprinkling

- Tools -
Weston Meat Grinder
Weston Mini Burger Press (or Burger Press if you prefer to make large burgers)
Weston Smoker
Deep Fryer (optional)

Grind the venison through the coarse plate of your Meat Grinder. Grind again through the medium plate. Then grind half of that through a fine plate. Mix. Place in the fridge.

Preheat Smoker
Preheat your Smoker to 160°F, fill the water bowl, and soak your wood chips.

Stuff & Press Burgers
Remove the ground meat from the fridge. Press a rounded tablespoon of the ground meat into the bottom of each Slider Press slot. Press a jalapeno slice over top of the layer of the meat. Place a teaspoon of cream cheese over the jalapeno. Press a cheddar cheese cube into the cream cheese. Place another tablespoon of meat over the cheese. Repeat for each slot. Cover with the top of the slider press, then press down so that the meat forms a sealed patty. Repeat a second time so that you have six patties.

Once the smoker is preheated and the wood chips have soaked 30 minutes, place the sliders onto a rack of your smoker.

Smoke 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature is to your liking (130°F med rare, 140°F medium, 150°F medium well, 160°F well) - you will deep fry these, so you may want to undercook them if you'd like them to stay below a certain temperature. Our 140°F degree burgers made it out of the deep fryer medium well, so 10-15°F below your final temp is recommended, but, as always : "use caution when consuming raw or under cooked meats."

Preheat Oil for Frying
While the burgers smoke, heat your oil to 375°F. You'll need enough oil to fill your deep fryer. You don't have to use a deep fryer (we don't), you could heat oil in a large pot (fill the pot 3 inches) and use a thermometer to monitor the temperature. Just know that this is a more dangerous route to take (the oil may spatter).

Puree Sauce
Puree the raspberries. You can achieve this is a number of ways. We used our Manual Kitchen Kit with the chopper blade. If you don't like raspberry seeds, you could use our Tomato Press with the berry screen. You could simply mash them into a compote. You could also use a Cone Strainer or Food Mill. Refrigerate the puree.

Prepare Batter
Prepare your batter by sifting together the flour and cornstarch. Stir the dry mixture into the seltzer water until uniform.

Assemble Burgers
Once the patties are smoked, place them between two thick slices of bread (we sliced the bread to 1 inch with our Meat Slicer & serrated blade). Use toothpicks to secure.

Deep Fry
Immerse the burgers, bun and all, in the batter. Once thoroughly covered, submerge the burger into the hot oil. You may have to use tongs to flip the burgers, as they tend to float, frying only one side. Deep fry until the batter is crispy, about 3 minutes on each side. You can deep fry more than one burger at a time, it just depends on how much space you have. We used a large pot and fried 3 at a time. Once fried, remove from oil, and set on paper towels for a few minutes to cool, and to drain some grease.

Serve, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and with a side of the raspberry puree, for dipping. Be sure to remove the toothpicks before eating!

Orange Chili Gravlax with Lime Whipped Ricotta

Gravlax is a salt & sugar cured salmon filet, of Nordic origin. Typically dill is part of the cure as well. Instead, we added orange zest and crushed red pepper. We also sped up the process by curing in a vacuum sealer bag. After one day, we sliced the salmon thin, and served it on toast with lime whipped ricotta.

- Ingredients -

½ lb salmon filet
¼ cup brown sugar
⅛ cup kosher salt
zest from one orange
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Lime Whipped Ricotta
12 oz ricotta
zest from one lime
juice from one lime
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, smashed

bread, toast or crackers

- Tools -
Weston Vacuum Sealer & Vacuum Sealer Bag
Weston Manual Kitchen Kit
Weston Meat Slicer

Mix together sugar, salt, zest, and pepper. Rub the salmon with the mixture evenly. Place into a Vacuum Sealer Bag and use a Vacuum Sealer to seal. Allow to cure 24 hours in the refrigerator.*

While the salmon cures, prepare the whipped ricotta. Use your Kitchen Kit to zest and juice the lime. Using the chopper attachment, mince the garlic and cilantro.

Chopped garlic, cilantro, and lime zest
Add in the ricotta and puree for a minute or two, until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until you're ready to assemble the gravlax.

Whipped ricotta in the Kitchen Kit

After curing the salmon, use your Meat Slicer to thinly slice it. It's not a bad idea to freeze the salmon after curing and before slicing, to make it easier to get an ultra thin slice.

While we had the Meat Slicer out, we used it to slice our bread, before throwing the bread into a pan with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, to make toast.

Lay out your toast or crackers, spread a generous smear of whipped ricotta over it and place a slice or two of the gravlax over the ricotta. Serve cold.

*Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs, may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions.