episode six

Roasted Rhubarb with Mascarpone, Honey and Wild Mint

Serves 2

I saw the brightly ruby colored rhubarb stalks at a local market and Bozeman and grabbed them because I just couldn’t not. When Ranga and I found the wild mint I knew we had the makings of a perfect dessert. One that was just sweet enough to consider itself dessert but not too sweet and heavy.

Late season rhubarb can get a bit tough so you may want to do a quick poach the rhubarb in a light simple syrup before grilling if you’re not using early season rhubarb.

3 rhubarb stalks, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup mascarpone
2 tablespoons honey (or more to taste)
1/4 cup wild mint leaves

Set a grill grate about 6 inches above the hot coals.

Grill the rhubarb until deeply charred on the exterior while the interior softens and becomes very tender.

Add the rhubarb to a bowl along with about 1/4 cup mascarpone. Drizzle with as much honey as you see fit then top with gently torn mint leaves.


Grilled Asparagus, Smoked Egg Gribiche

Serves 4

Asparagus and smoke are great friends and this dish shows off that relationship quite nicely. The sauce is rich, bright and memorable.

1 lb asparagus, trimmed
8 ounces cattails, trimmed
1 small bundle of juniper branches
Olive oil
Flake salt

Set a grill grate about 6 inches above hot coals.

Grill the asparagus until char marks appear and they are tender. If the asparagus are quite large I recommend blanching them at home before bringing them along on your adventure. Not necessary though.

Just before pulling the asparagus and cattails off the grill set the juniper branches directly on the coals. Let the smoke bath the grilling vegetables for a minute or two before removing from the fire and setting on your platter.

Drizzle olive oil and flake salt over the top then finish with a generous amount of the smoked egg gribiche.

Smoked Egg Gribiche

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon   wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped cornichons
2 smoked hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped chopped parsley
¼ cup finely chopped dill
Flake salt

In a medium size bowl combine all the ingredients and stir well. Taste and season to your liking.

Ember Cooked Cheese with Rosemary Ash

Serves 4 -If you’re looking for something that will truly impress but over the fire cooking still intimidates a bit then I urge you to give this “recipe” a try. I say recipe loosely because really it’s more of a method. And even to call it that gives me pause. Cheese goes in a pan and fire melts the cheese. Boom. Done.

It’s the perfect snack for lingering around the fire. If the cheese firms up simply return it to the fire. By the end of the meal it may not look as appetizing but the taste continues to wow.

1 wheels Camembert, triple cream or Brie cheese
4 rosemary sprigs
Bread or crackers for serving

Place the cheese in a small cast iron skillet and set in the fire. Surround the cheese with a few hot coals. Burn the rosemary in the fire then scatter over the cheese.

Sri Lankan Style Trout with Homemade Curry Powder and Charred Lemon

This recipe was provided by Ranga Perera
Serves 3-4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes

1 Whole Head-On Rainbow Trout, about 2 lbs, Cleaned and Patted Dry
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
½ Teaspoon Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
2 Teaspoons Favorite Curry Powder, or see recipe below
1 Fresh Lemon, cut in half
6-8 Whole Garlic Cloves, Skin On
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

Pre-heat the Coconut Oil in cast iron skillet or large sauté pan on Medium Heat.

Add Garlic Cloves and sauté until dark golden-brown, about 3-4 minutes.

Evenly sprinkle half the Curry Powder, Black Pepper, and Salt into the inner cavity of the trout. Sprinkle the remaining seasoning evenly on outside of the trout, making sure to cover both sides.

Place trout in the skillet, and cook until skin is crispy, about 5 minutes.

Using a spoon, baste the inner cavity and outer fish with the garlic-coconut oil. Flip the fish and repeat on the other side, until skin is crispy and meat flakes easily from the bone.

As the trout is cooking, heat a small, non-stick pan, on Medium-High heat.

Place the lemon halves on the pan, cut-side down, and cook until charred and black, about 5-7 minutes.

To finish, peel garlic skin off the cooked cloves. Cut cloves into small pieces or leaving whole, garnish the trout. Squeeze Charred Lemon to taste.

Homemade Sri Lankan Curry Powder

4 Tablespoons Whole Coriander Seeds
2 Tablespoons Whole Cumin Seeds
2 Tablespoons Whole Black Peppercorns
1 Tablespoon Black Mustard Seeds
2 Teaspoons Whole Cloves
2 Teaspoons Cardamom Seeds
1 Teaspoon Whole Fennel Seeds
2 Tablespoons Basmati Rice

Pre Heat small non-stick pan on Medium Heat.

Add the Basmati Rice, and stirring gently, sauté until fragrant and light brown.

Add the remaining ingredients, and stir continuously, toasting the spices until well-browned and fragrant, 4-5 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat and pour spice mixture into a bowl to cool off.

Once cooled, grind the mixture in a mortar and pestle, or a spice grinder, until fine. Store in an airtight container for up to a few months.

"Trial by Fire” Cocktail Recipe

This recipe was provided by Ranga Perera

2 Ounces of Wild Rye Apple Pie Moonshine, or your favorite apple moonshine
1 Cup Unfiltered Organic Apple Juice, or Water
2-3 Tablespoons of Burnt Cardamom Caramel Sauce. See recipe below.
1 Whole Ceylon Cinnamon Stick, or substitute Mexican Canela
½ Lemon, Charred in a Non-Stick Pan or grilled, and juiced

In a small pot, gently heat the Apple Juice or Water over Medium Heat.

While liquid is warming up, use tongs to ignite the Cinnamon Stick over a grill, open fire, or gas stove. Once the stick is on fire, place an inverted glass or camping cup over the Cinnamon and essentially, let the cinnamon smoke the glass for about 1 minute.

Pour the warmed Apple Juice, Apple Pie Moonshine, Cinnamon Stick, Lemon Juice, and Caramel Sauce into the smoked cup.

Add more Caramel Sauce if you like it sweeter.

Stir and enjoy!

Burnt Cardamom Caramel Sauce (Serves: 4-6)

2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 ¼ Cups Heavy Cream
1 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom Powder
1 Teaspoon Maldon Sea Salt, or your favorite flaky sea salt
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces

Heat Sugar in a heavy-bottomed pot on Medium Heat.

The sugar will slowly start to melt, and then will turn color.

Allow the color to turn a dark golden-brown.

Grab another pot while the Sugar is melting, and heat Heavy Cream, Sea Salt, and Cardamom Powder on Medium-Low heat until simmering. Cover and keep warm.

Once the sugar is dark and melted, slowly whisk in the entire Cream Mixture; be careful, the cream will splash and sputter at first.

Slowly whisk in the chunks of butter, one piece at a time, until all the butter is thoroughly mixed in.

Allow Caramel Sauce to cool completely before using.

It will keep in the fridge, in an airtight container, for at least one week.

Trial by Fire Cocktail