Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Hickory Smoked Brisket, Slaw & Avocado Spring Rolls - TexAsian Style

You all know I've been putting the new smoker through its paces since I fired that baby up for the first time. Proteins of all ilk have done a turn through various wood smokes - orange wood chips, maple chips, hickory and even peach chips have flavored the bounty my smoker has seen. Veggies - corn, red peppers, potatoes, onions -  and even eggs have soaked up delicious smelling smoke in my backyard lately. That's a good thing. 

The downside is that there ends up being a whole LOT of smoked meat leftover even after sharing with relatives, friends and neighbors (and maybe even random strangers who happen to wander by the house on occasion). Even after sharing with nearly everyone I can think of, there's still a hefty portion to use up. 

Sandwiches were made with orange smoked chicken - both hot and cold. My mojo smoked turkey turned into hash. With hickory and maple smoked brisket there were quesadillas and nachos to create, smoked eggs became chipotle kissed deviled eggs and smoked corn was cut from the cob, sauteed in butter with chile powder and sweet red peppers, then finally graced with a generous shredding of cheddar that melted into gooey goodness. 

We've all done most of the above, haven't we? New horizons for precious surplus smoky meats needed to be conquered. What new smoky deliciousness could delight both taste buds and a sense of adventure? How about an Asian spring roll with a Texas twist? And so, the hickory smoked brisket spring roll with pickled slaw, red pepper, purple onion, avocado and cilantro with a sweet tart orange and tamari dipping sauce was born.   

Hickory Smoked Brisket, Slaw & Avocado Spring Rolls - TexAsian Style

  • 12 rice paper spring roll wrappers 
  • 12 slices hickory smoked beef brisket (Don't have home smoked brisket? Buy some at the deli!)
  • 12 very thin slices raw red bell pepper
  • 12 very thin slices raw purple onion
  • 12 thin slices avocado
  • packaged coleslaw mix
  • pickle brine from a jar of your favorite sweet or dill pickles - I used Famous Dave's Spicy Pickles (nice sweet dill pickle with a KICK!) ALWAYS keep your pickle brine when you finish a jar of pickles to make quick pickles. Besides slaw mix, I pickle thinly sliced carrots, red peppers, cucumbers, tiny green beans, thin asparagus spears, onions...just about anything! Don't have pickle brine? Use the brine and keep the pickles in another container and when the slaw is done, put the brine and the reserved pickles right back in the jar!
  • fresh cilantro leaves

  • 1 C bottled hickory BBQ sauce 
  • 1/4 C tamari or soy sauce (I used wheat-free tamari to make this gluten-free)
  • 6 T fresh squeezed orange juice

Put 2 C coleslaw mix in a deep narrow bowl and drain the brine from a jar of pickles over top. Press the slaw down into the brine and let it sit while you proceed with the rest of the recipe. Don't throw away the pickles! Just put the brine back into the jar after "pickling" the slaw mix.

Next make the dipping sauce - BBQ sauce, tamari and oj. Set aside.

Now set up an assembly line. Find a shallow dish - a large pie plate or a 9X9 baking dish should work just fine - and fill it halfway with water. This is to soften the rice paper spring roll wrapper. Next line up the brisket and the rest of the filling ingredients for easy assembly. Also dampen a kitchen towel and lay it on your counter between the shallow dish and the rest of the assembly line. 

Starting with a rice paper wrapper, assemble the spring rolls one at a time. 

Take a wrapper and submerge it in the water, turning it until it begins to soften. Gently place it on the dampened towel. Lay the filling in the center of the wrapper starting with a slice of brisket, then red pepper next to the purple onion, the avocado slice on top of that, a pile of brined slaw that has been squeezed dry and 2 cilantro leaves. 

Gently fold the bottom of the wrapper up snugly over the filling, then fold the left side over, the right side next and finally roll the whole package up to the top. You know, just like you're making a burrito.

That's it! It's a keeping-the-kitchen-cool, using-up-the-leftovers appetizer, lunch or dinner that feels like you're dining in one of Pittsburgh's newest and trendiest restaurants. So good!

NOTE: Feel free to use any other veggies you like...spring onions, carrots, fennel, asparagus...let your imagination flow free. Just keep the veggies sliced thinly. Well except for nice thin spears of asparagus. And pickle those suckers, too, in pickle brine!

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