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Project Smoke

Project Smoke: Seven Steps to Smoked Food Nirvana, by Steven Raichlen, (Workman Publishing; $22.95)

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Reading Project Smoke, a thought comes to mind: Is there anything I can’t smoke? The recipes go well beyond the usual suspects of ribs, brisket, and chicken and include such items as smoked slaw, potatoes, Camembert, bread (you smoke the flour and water before making the dough), chicken livers, meatballs, a Manhattan, and even cheesecake. While I may forgo the cheesecake-despite the claim that it’s “the most interesting cheesecake you’ll ever set fork to”-the book has plenty of enticing recipes and lots of lip-smacking photos. I’m planning to make some Smokehouse Char Siu (Chinese barbecued pork strips) soon and want to try the Salmon Candy, smoked salmon glazed with maple syrup, which the author, who hosts a PBS show also called Project Smoke, suggests to serve as a snack with vodka or aquavit. The detailed directions, instructions, illustrations, tips, and charts contained in this well-designed book will help guarantee success, too. I especially like that each recipe comes with a sidebar highlighting prep time, brining time, smoking time, fuel, gear, and other handy hints filed under the heading: “What Else.”
A classic revived: Deviled Smoked Eggs. The timeworn hors d’oeuvre gets a new lease on life when made with smoked eggs.

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