Hickory Smoked Cheese Snacks - Italian, Mexican & California Style

These fun and easy smoked cheese snacks are delicious as an appetizer or a light meal.  The trick is toasting the bread first, then cooking on the upper grill using low heat so the cheese doesn’t melt to fast.

Ingredients:

1 large loaf Italian or French bread, 1 inch slices
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 hickory wood chunks
4 cups water for water pan

Italian Style:

3 ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, ¼ inch slices
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Mexican Style:

1/2 cup refried beans
4 pickled jalapeno peppers, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, ¼ inch slices

California Style:

6 cloves garlic, minced
3 avocados, sliced
1 sweet red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. Swiss cheese, ¼ inch slices

Lightly toast bread slices. Brush top sides of toast liberally with olive oil. Evenly distribute toppings on toasted bread, building the ingredients in the order listed with cheese on top.

Place wood chunks on charcoal or lava rocks, and pour into water pan. If using a charcoal smoke, use only about ¼ pan of charcoal to keep cheese from melting too fast. Place cheese bread snacks in baking pan and set on upper level grill. Smoke cook until cheese is melted, checking frequently to avoid overcooking. If using an electric or gas smoker, I recommend turning the smoker off once the cheese snacks are inside (you can always turn the smoker back on for a few minutes if more cooking is necessary). Serve warm. These snacks can also be prepared in advance, refrigerated, and reheated in the oven.

Serves 4