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Planked-smoked cheese is a delicious and impressive looking appetizer. It’s also really easy to melt the whole wheel of cheese off your plank and into the depths of your grill, possibly causing a grease fire, and wasting all of your lovely ingredients. We discovered that by shoring up the round of cheese with strips of cedar wraps, it not only preserves the structural integrity of the dish, it makes the cheese taste even more like cedar. We used candied pecans to top off this wheel, but you can use your favorite chutney, tapenade, salsa or compote to change it up.
1 8oz. wheel of Camembert cheese with rind
1 Fromagier Line Cedar Cheese Plank
1 Cedar Wrap
1 tsp. Instantly Fresh Thyme
1 tsp. Instantly Fresh Oregano
1 cup Pecan, halved
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
All natural twine (provide in the cedar wrap package)
Combine balsamic vinegar and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Cook on medium heat for two minutes. Add pecans. Cook pecans in syrup for 5 minutes or until mixture is 2/3 reduced. Take off heat and drain. Spread pecans evenly on a baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator.
Soak Cheese Plank for 1-8 hours in water, making sure that the plank is completely submerged.
Score top of cheese and stuff the score marks with fresh herbs. Press herbs into the sides of the wheel of cheese. Tearing with the grain of the wood, tear off two 2” strips and secure to the cheese with twine (see image).
Preheat grill to 400ºF (high). Place soaked plank on grill and let it start to smoke. Add wrapped cheese to the smoking plank and reduce grill heat to 325ºF (medium). Smoke cheese for 10-12 minutes, checking often, until cheese is very soft and the top has darkened.
Serve immediately with candied pecans on top and plenty of crusty bread for dipping
* Keep a spray bottle close to douse any flare-ups.