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Yield: 2 servings

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Pat,

FROM: MICHELLE BASS

Brian and I have had a smoker for about 14 years now. We really have gotten quite used to it and use it at least once or twice a week all year round. There are things that we cook on it that have really become staples ++ turkey, tasso, eye of round roast (a cut I've never enjoyed in the oven), tomatoes, onions... With the purchase of the Weber smoker a few years ago, we've begun doing something that has made cleanup a lot easier, too. Perhaps others have been doing this all along. We now cover the water pan with aluminum foil before beginning; after the smoker has cooled, we just wrap up the foil (the heavy duty type) and dispose. It's particularly nice when we've forgotten to empty it for a couple of days ++ one quick fold and the dreaded task is over. Next time you smoke something, put these on the top rack. Take some tomatoes and cut off the stem end. Quarter the tomato from the top, without slicing all the way through to the bottom, so the tomato is still in one piece. Salt and pepper it while holding the sections open; use some garlic powder or slice some fresh garlic, adding it between the sections. Also season with fresh oregano or fresh basil (mmm!). Cut a few scallions to size and push them down between the sections (they tend to hold the tomato open which is good for the smoked flavor). You can also delete the salt and use some anchovy paste in each tomato. Then finish with a tablespoon of some good fresh grated Romano or Parmesan. Put them in a pyrex dish that holds them tightly together and smoke for about 15 or 20 minutes, just until hot. They are delicious and, of course, fat free and virtually calorie free as well. Easy to experiment with different seasonings and goodies inside. We don't cover these as they cook very quickly and we want the smoked flavor. (These can also be cooked on a grill but indirect heat must be used.) Pat, we have a friend with a large garden and he smokes his tomatoes before making salsa. A very unique flavor. Another great thing to smoke is red bell peppers before making soup (or dip or sauce or salad dressing) with them. We normally use the hickory blocks (you asked in another message), Pat, as they're easily purchased. We sometimes use mesquite blocks when we see them. We also use pecan tree wood and peach tree wood that my relatives save when they trim their trees. I can't wait to see what you dream up; keep me posted. ++Michelle Submitted By PAT STOCKETT On 04-12-95

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