I'm Bringing Smokey Back

I'm a joker.
I'm a smoker.
I play midnight poker. (OKnotreallybutI'msurekidsreadthisblogtoo)
I sure don't want to hurt no one.

But I sure put a hurtin' on this pork this weekend...

Me and my little stovetop smoker had a date on Saturday.

We brought along rosemary sprigs for skewers, vidalia onions, baby carrots, yellow squash, zucchini and citrus baked rice.

The pork tenderloin was cubed and marinated in orange juice, olive oil, fresh sage, and fresh lavender flowers.
I threaded the pork and veg on the naked rosemary sprigs and using a mix of cherry and alder woods, smoked them for 15 minutes before moving them to a 350 degree F oven to finish them.

For the rice, I added 2 cups of orange juice to 1/4 cup of reserved marinade. I added a slurry (cornstarch and water, to make it thick during cooking) and stirred it into 2 cups of long grain rice. I added another 1/2 cup water and baked the rice for 30-35 minutes.

Yum. If only every date I have could taste this good.

Remember, rosemary is a strong little lady who goes a long way when used a little. The same goes for lavender, as well. I'm in love with lavender right now. I'm going to ask my favorite butcher for a whole rabbit so I can pair it with some lavender.

I really don't like fall, but I think I might start to get into it if I start using cool herbs every week...

This is a submission to Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging. Only my 2nd time participating, I always enjoy reading and learning about new herbs every week.

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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  1. I do think that herbs make the autumn a little bit warmer. I love what you've done here, and I'll keep it in mind for all that lavendar I have growing out back. Superb.

  2. I envy you that smoker. This looks delicious.

  3. Nikki, delicious rice and ribs. It's so you to make everything look so good.

  4. Wow Nik! You outdid yourself with this one. Man, that plate is making me hungry and it's only 5am!

  5. Lo: I think herbs will be my inspiration for this season. Squashes and soups are fine, but I need something to make mine stand out.

    Rachel: Why don't you get one, too? They're not expensive. Get the little baby one. It's like $16. Big enough for a piece of salmon. I can see you in a shiny, sleek new one. Riding down the street-- wait, that's a car...

    Teresa: Thank you! I especially like that 1st pic. It came out well.

    CC: Thaaanks! Gotta luh da kids

    Don: I'm glad you like my "date". Boy, you really are a military man, being up at 5.

  6. LOL - I'm totally loving the title of the post - now that's hilarious.

  7. I thought you meant Smoky Robinson, but then you went quoting Steve Miller Band.

    You are so right about rosemary. Just a dab'll do ya.

  8. ~sighs and pouts~
    now I'm hungry...gosh this looks good!

  9. D: It takes me FOREVER to come up with post titles. I appreciate the nod.

    Heather: Ha ha. I know nothing about Smokey Robinson, except the fact that he has tears of a clown. Yeah, that's about it. Oh, and I think he was Aretha Franklin's neighbor when they were kids. Kinda like Capote and Harper Lee.

    Christy: Oh why thank you, girl! It must look good to out-do what you do at your place!

  10. Citrus baked rice, huh? I'm intrigued...

    A friend brought me culinary lavender from Seattle once, and I left it in my pantry unopened for a year and a half because I think lavender smells like old people. Then when I moved, she was helping me pack and found the unopened bottle. Boy, did I have egg on my face. So I used it. I've found it makes good lemonade. Lemonade that takes me back to the good old days at the old folks home.

  11. How creative! Sounds delicious.

  12. Kristie: Yeah, it's good stuff, the rice. I'm a sucker for culinary lavender nowadays. I'll have to try it in lemonade. Or maybe some sweet tea, since I'm Southern and all.

    Emiline: Thaaanks. It was delicious. More than I could've ever imagined.

  13. ok how yummy does that sound?!

  14. Nice song... are you a space cow boy... er girl too? :)

    I really like lavender too. I think I did turkey meatballs with them once, and like feta cheese. It was pretty good. But um, you still win.

  15. Kat: I'm glad you think so too!

    Adam: Um...I'm not really sure if I am or not. But I like peaches. And I like shaking trees. Your meatballs sound like an awesome idea. I want to write this down, but I think I'll lose whatever piece of paper I put it on. You'll have to remind me about this.

  16. pork + orange = one of my favorite combos. and when you add smoke? kock me over with a rosemary sprig.

  17. I want a smoker too, besides the one I share my bed with!

  18. Okay, I'm putting you on notice, much like I did Darius T. Williams; I have started trying to cook for my family on the one day a week I go to vistit.

    The thing is I only know how to cook three things well. Next week will be that third item. After that I will be looking around for food ideas.

  19. Gorgeous! Now, I have a rabbit in the freezer, but I don't like lavendar! Can't wait to see what you do with yours.

  20. I do love rosemary skewers for pretty much everything (I last used them for eggplant kebabs). Interesting and creative use of your stovetop smoker, something that is definitely on my Christmas wish list!

  21. I'm with Laurie, I'd love to have a smoker like that. I keep meaning to try using rosemary as skewers, and I still have some in the garden, so time to try it!

  22. Nikki, fascinating. The kind of skewers makes a huge difference!


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