Garlic Dill Pickles

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Bolstered by my success with the bread and butter pickles, I searched online for a dill pickle recipe and found one on Epicurious which I adapted only slightly.

 pickles 1

Fast Favorite Garlic Dill Pickles, adapted

Epicurious  | © 2001 by Eleanor Topp and Margaret Howard

Makes 4 pint (500 mL) jars or 2 quart jars

Often called kosher-style dill pickles, these are quick to make. Use either small whole cucumbers or cut larger ones into quarters or slices. For an additional interesting flavor, tuck a small dried hot red pepper into each jar.

ingredients

·         8-10 small pickling cucumbers or sliced larger pickles (about 3pounds/1.5kg)

·         2 cups (500 mL) white vinegar

·         1 cups (500 mL) water

·         2 tablespoons (25 mL) pickling salt

·         4 heads fresh dill or 4 teaspoons dill seeds (20 mL)

·         4 small cloves garlic or slice several large garlic cloves and add to each jar

preparation

1. If using larger pickles slice into ¼-1/2 inch slices or for medium sized, cut into quarters lengthwise

2. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, water, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

3.  Add cucumbers and bring back to boil

4.. Place 1 or two sprigs of fresh dill and  1 or more  cloves of garlic into each jar; pack in cucumbers. Pour boiling vinegar mixture over cucumbers.

 

I do not process the cucumbers so they need to be kept in the fridge and eaten within a few weeks.  It will take a few days before they are at their peak of flavor.

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Goat Cheese Pesto and Sundried Tomato Terrine

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This appetizer is my creation:  a pesto, sundried tomato and goat cheese terrine.  It is very easy to make and everyone wants the recipe.  Exact quantities aren’t that important.  I always have a jar of sundried tomatoes in the fridge and pesto in the freezer.  And since I often also have goat cheese on hand I can make this up easily.  It does need a day or so to set but could come together right away in a pinch.  

 

GOAT CHEESE PESTO AND SUNDRIED TOMATO TERRINE

Ingredients

·         ½ cup sundried tomatoes

·         4 oz. cream cheese

·         5 ounces goat cheese, room temperature

·         2.5 ounces pesto (66 grams)

·         3 ounces goat cheese

Preparation

1.    Line a small loaf pan (6"x3") with plastic wrap

2.    Mix together sundried tomatoes and cream cheese in food processor until well incorporated.

3.    Fill lit into the bottom of the plastic lined terrine, making sure it is evenly distributed into the loaf plan and making sure it is pushed into the corners. Smooth the top and stick into the fridge for a few hours or into the freezer for 30 minutes or until firmed up enough to take another layer.

4.    Smooth the room temperature goat cheese over the tomato layer.  Soften the goat cheese in the microwave for a few seconds if it isn’t spreading easily.  Put the terrine back into the fridge or freezer to firm up.

5.     Mix together the pesto and 3 ounces of goat cheese  in the food processor until fully incorporated and spread evenly over the firm goat cheese layer.

6.    Fold the plastic wrap over the top and refrigerate over night until firm. 

7.    Unmold carefully onto a platter and serve with crackers.

Note:  you can make this replacing the goat cheese entirely with cream cheese or vice versa.

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CUCUMBERS WITH DILL AND FETA

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CUCUMBERS WITH DILL AND FETA

Stay simple with cucumbers and don't salt them until the last minute.  This Greek preparation combines small cubes of cucumber and the same size cubes of good quality Feta cheese and chopped dill.  Right before serving add the salt and toss with a really good olive oil.

 
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LAYERED BEAN DIP

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 I often bring this appetizer to “dish to pass” occasions.  This layer bean dip is pretty routine but I add a few touches to make it special.  It is always a crowd pleaser.  I like to serve it with the Tortilla Lime chips.

 

 

 

 

7 LAYER BEAN DIP

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 -16-oz. can refried beans (spicy or regular)
  • 1 ½  cups sour cream
  • ½ -1/4 oz. pkg. taco seasoning mix
  • 2 avocados, pitted, peeled and mashed
  • 2 TBS salsa
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Mexican blend  cheese
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1 tomato, diced or ½ can petite diced tomatoes (thoroughly drained of liquid)
  • tortilla chips

 

 

PREPARATION

1.     Spread beans in the bottom of a 13"x9"  (or similar sized oblong) clear glass dish, add  ½ cup of shredded cheese and cook in microwave just until  cheese is melted, then stir in the cheese and set aside.

2.    .Mix avocados, lime  juice, salsa, garlic, and salt to taste; layer over beans

3.     Combine sour cream and seasoning mix; spread over avocado.

4.     Sprinkle with cheese; top with onions, olives and tomato.

5.    Serve with tortilla chips.

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EGGPLANT WITH PLUM SAUCE

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 Eggplant with Plum Sauce

 eggplant in basket

 

  1. Slice small (3 inches or less) eggplant in half lengthwise, spread with olive oil and salt and grill over barbecue until browned on both sides and barely cooked. Salt and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile make the sauce: Mix together

          ¼ of plum jam,

           3-4 skinned plums if you have nice fresh, ripe plum

            2-3 Tbs. soy sauce

            I Tbs. grated fresh ginger

            !-2 Tbs. minced garlic

            1 tsp Asian chili garlic sauce (optional)

      ¼ cup Iron Chef Sesame Garlic Sauce : NOTE: I have to defend using a ready  made sauce but I have to say it really kicks it up significantly. This sauce is all natural with no preservatives and not particularly high in sodium.

3. Boil these ingredients together for 5 minutes until the flavors meld and it is slightly  

     reduced.   

  1. Put the cooked eggplant in an oven or grill proof dish and cover with the sauce. I add more garlic since I love garlic. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes in hot covered grill (300°-400°). It should be boiling hard so that the sauce thickens.   But check to make sure it is not burning.  

 

  

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STRAWBERRY RHUBARB TAPIOCA PUDDING

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                                                                                      strawberry rhubarb tapioca pudding

 

                          

 This is a quick and easy way to enjoy strawberries and rhubarb without having the fuss of making a pie. 

1 quart strawberries cut in half or quarters

1 lb. Rhubarb cut into 1/2 inch slices

1/4 cup small pearl tapioca

1 cup apple juice or other juice

3/4 -1 cup sugar depending on how sweet you like it

1.  Mix the tapioca and 1/2 cup juice in fridge and leave overnight

2. Add 1/2 cup juice, put the tapioca and juice in saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally so the tapioca doesn't stick to bottom of pan. Add more juice or water if the mixture gets too thick.

3. After 15 minutes of gentle boiling add the rhubarb and sugar.  Cook together uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb has broken down and is no longer distinct pieces:  about 15 minutes.

4.  Add strawberries, stir them in and bring to boil.  Then turn off the heat.  This keeps the strawberries bright red and in distinct pieces.  Serve warm or cool to a thicker consistency.  This is wonderful served with vanilla ice-cream.

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GINGERED BOEUF BOURGUIGNON

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  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

 

 GINGERED BOEUF BOURGUIGNON 

 

 

 

 

Years ago I entered a recipe contest through Fine Cooking Magazine where we were instructed to use certain ingredients to create our own recipe.  This is what I came up with and though I didn’t win, I did get a phone call from the judges asking for more clarification so that was pretty close to winning, right? 

 

My concept was to blend the best ingredients of French beef stew with the great Chinese stew ingredients:  wine, garlic, bacon, oyster sauce,  and of course ginger. The other flavor booster I work into this recipe is to layer the ingredients so that you have garlic and ginger cooking slowly and flavoring the broth.  But I also add these ingredients the last minute to enhance the ginger and garlic flavors.This is a recipe I go back to time and again.  My grown up son asked for the recipe and said it came out great.  Feel free to modify as you wish.  For instance, he used regular mushrooms rather than shiitake. If you don’t have the rosemary, don’t worry.  You can add a little thyme, a bay leaf some herbs de province or leave out the spices 

GINGERED BOEUF BOURGUIGNON Serves 5-6

 3 slices bacon

Olive oil as needed

2 lbs stew beef, cut in 2×2 inch pieces (a marbled, fatty cut works best for stew such as chuck.  And if you use organic meat it may take less time since organic meat tends to be less fatty)

Salt and pepper

1 ½ cups shallots, coarsely chopped (about ½ lb)

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbs. fresh ginger, finely minced

¼ cup flour

2 cups dry red wine (such as Shiraz or Merlot)

1 can chicken broth (10.5 oz)

¼ cup oyster sauce

2 Tbs. sugar

1 sprig fresh rosemary

½ lb. shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and cut in slices.

2 (more) cloves garlic, finely minced

1 Tbs. (or more) fresh ginger, finely minced

1 tsp. sesame oil

3-4 green onions finely minced

 

1.  Heat a medium size heavy pot over medium heat and cook bacon until crispy.  Remove and set aside to drain on paper towel.  Chop into small pieces.

2. Season meat with salt and pepper.  Increase heat to high, add oil to bacon fat to coat bottom of pot and when oil shimmers add meat in three batches, browning each batch and setting aside. Add more oil if necessary to coat bottom of pan after each batch.

3. Turn the heat to medium and add shallots, browning while stirring for about 5 minutes.  Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring for two more minutes or until aromatic.  Add flour and mix together while cooking for another 2 minutes.

4.  Add wine while stirring quickly to mix in the flour.  Add broth, oyster sauce, sugar, rosemary, and reserved bacon and beef. Stir well and heat to simmer.

5. Cook for 30 minutes and remove rosemary.  Continue to cook stew over low heat for 30- 60 minutes more hours stirring every 30 minutes and adding more water or stock if necessary.  Depending on the cut of meat and size of the chunks this may take more or less time.  Take a piece out and see if it is tender.

6.  While the stew is cooking, fry the mushrooms in two batches over medium heat in frying pan coated with oil for 3 minutes or until beginning to brown. Add the mushrooms to the stew for the last 30 minutes of cooking.

7. For best flavor refrigerate the stew overnight and reheat the next day, adjusting seasoning as desired. 

8.  15 minutes before serving add the two cloves of mashed garlic and 1 Tbs. of ginger to the simmering stew.

9. Just before serving, stir in the sesame oil and sprinkle with spring onions.

 Serve over mashed potatoes, with peas on the side.

 Preparation time is 30-45 minutes and cooking time is 2 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LENTIL SOUP IN AN HOUR

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 I got home from work just before 6 tonight.  I took  one pound of  stew beef out of  the freezer and got right to work. 

1. Defrosted the beef in the microwave and cut it up into small chunks. (Beef optional)

2. Fried the beef in olive oil until just browned

3. Peeled and cut up 2 carrots, 2 celery and  1 cleaned leek and threw them into the pressure cooker 

4.  Added the beef and one can of diced tomatoes, a bay leaf, salt, pepper and 36 ounces of chicken or vegetable broth.

5.Cleaned half a pound of lentils and added them to the pot.

6.  Deglazed the frying pan with 1 cup of water and added that to the pressure cooker.

7.  Heated up my stove top pressure cooker to pressure and then cooked for 8 minutes.

8.  Meanwhile chopped up and fried a large sweet onion.

9.  Brought the pressure down in my cooker under cold water, opened it, and added the onions.  Tasted for seasoning and checked how tender the beef was.

10.  Closed up the pot, brought it back to pressure and cooked 3 more minutes.  

AND VOILA,!  An excellent meal with some crusty bread and salad.  And the leftover lentil soup will be even better tomorrow!

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EGGPLANT CAPONATA

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This is the Italian version of ratatouille and at least as good when made properly. This can be made and stored in the fridge for several days and just gets better with time. This is my version which brings rave reviews every time I serve it.
 
 

Caponata
 
  • 1 medium eggplant (approximately ¾ lb.)
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 1-15 ounce can small diced tomatoes (well drained of juice)
  • 1 Tbs capers
  • 1-2 Tbs vinager
  • ¼- ½ cup green olives stuffed with pimento
  • 1 Tbs sugar
 
  1. Peel and cube the eggplant into approximately a ½ inch dice. Fry in olive oil over high heat stirring often until brown and cooked. Set aside.   
  2. Cut the celery into small dice and cook with a little water in microwave until cooked but still quite crunchy. Don’t overcook. The crunchy texture is very important. Set aside.
  3. Chop onion into small cubes (about ¼ inch) and fry in olive oil until soft and beginning to brown. Set aside
  4. Chop olives so that the pieces are of similar size to the celery and eggplant.
  5. If you have the time, fry the drained tomatoes in a little olive oil until all the remaining liquid is gone and they are just beginning to brown.
  6. Mix all the cooked vegetables together and add the tomato, the sugar and the vinegar. Cook together for 5 minutes until everything is blended.
  7. Remove from heat and add capers and olives.
  8. Add salt to taste and check for seasoning. You may want it a little more sweet or sour. But the tastes really meld together after the caponata sits for at least a day. I keep it at room temperature for a few hours and then refrigerate. Check the next day and adjust the seasoning.
 
Serve caponata as an appetizer with thin slices of bagette or as a side salad to a summer meal.
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CABBAGE SALADS

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    CABBAGE 

 

 Let me count the reasons why:

 

1.   It's available all year long and keeps for weeks in the fridge so it’s always on hand

2.   There are many varieties:   Asian (napa), green, red and many more

3.   Every variety is delicious raw or cooked

4.   It tastes good with no additional fancy preparations

5.   Every country has their own special version of cabbage salad

6.   You can ferment it for sauerkraut, or kimchi

7.   You can stuff it with its big enveloping leaves

8.   It’s terrific shredded and fried as a side dish for tofu, pork, duck, chicken and fish

9.   You can cook it long and slow with chicken and bacon or with apples and vinegar if you have red cabbage

10.               And…its cheap.

 

     11.     And healthy. 

 

Here are some of my favorite recipes for cabbage salads. Two are from previous blogs and all but the first are vegetarian:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

(Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a side dish)

 

 

Special note:  You need to taste and adjust this salad before serving.  Some like it spicier, some like it sweeter or saltier and some like it with more sour flavor from the limes.  Don't add salt at first since the fish sauce is salty.  Remember that adding the peanuts (and you need lots) adds to the flavor so when you taste it, try it with the peanuts and basil and mint. 

 

For salad:

 

·         1 ½ -2-pound  green cabbage, shredded, but not too finely:  I don't use the mandoline

·         2  carrots, peeled and cut into julienne strips

·         ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion

 

Optional:   ¼ cup dried shrimp from Asian market boiled for 5 minutes in water and then drained and chopped.  It adds a very fishy shrimp flavor that is very authentic but not to everyone's taste.


For dressing :

·         1/3 cup Asian fish sauce  (Nuoc Mam)

·         2 teaspoons  cup brown sugar

·         1 teaspoon (or to taste)  Thai or Vietnamese chili garlic sauce

·         2 teaspoon finely chopped peeled ginger

·         1 tablespoon  garlic clove, finely chopped

·         ¼ cup fresh lime juice from 2-3 limes

·         1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled ginger

 

·         For  topping:

·         2/3 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts

·         1/2 cup packed torn basil leaves

·         1/2 cup packed torn mint (optional)

·         ½  cup bean sprouts

·         ½ -1 cup  leftover boned  shredded, cooked chicken (optional)

 

 

1.    Combine salad ingredients

 

2.    Make dressing by combining ingredients by hand or in a blender

 

3.    Toss salad: Mix dressing with cabbage and carrots and shrimp

 

4.    Assemble salad: .Arrange chicken and bean sprouts over tossed salad and sprinkle with peanuts, basil, and mint. Serve at room temperature or chilled. You can pass around extra peanuts and lime juice for people to add to their salads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lebanese Cabbage Salad (Salatet Malfoof)

 

This is a simple cabbage salad that tastes fresh and delicious.  It comes together very quickly and stays fresh for a few days.  I learned how to make it from my friend Cindy.  Her Lebanese mother, Gladys Payne makes it frequently and they’ve never seen it in the United States.  This is the healthy version of coleslaw.  The flavors meld together so that it’s hard to figure out exactly what’s in it.  But it is very simple:  lemon, garlic, spearmint and a little oil.  Cindy’s mother adds the tomato which isn’t authentic but really kicks it up both visually, texturally and taste wise.

  

1 small cabbage (about 2 ½ pounds), thinly shredded ( I use a mandolin which works great)

1 TBS salt

2 TBS lemon

6 garlic cloves, pressed or mashed

1 TBS dried mint (fresh mint will give it an entirely different taste)

1 cup petite diced tomatoes drained of juice

1 TBS olive oil

 

Directions:

1.       Combine cabbage and salt in a bowl and massage the salt into the cabbage.  Let it sit for 20-30  minutes and drain off any liquid.  Taste for saltiness.  If it’s too salty, rinse it with fresh water until it is the desired saltiness. 

2.      Add the rest of the ingredients and taste.  If you like more mint or lemon, adjust the quantities.  The garlic and mint flavors will be more pronounced after the flavors have a chance to meld.

3.      Refrigerate for an hour.  This salad will keep for a few days refrigerated.

 

 

 

INDONESIAN PILAF SALAD

 

(adapted from KASHI™ recipe)

  I’ve  made this salad many times with great reviews from family and friends. This is my  simplified  version still made with Kashi™ Whole Grain Pilaf which comes in a box and can be found at Greenstar.  For some reason Wegmans stopped carrying Kashi 7 grain pilaf even though it's a terrific product and extremely healthy. The box holds three packets each with about a cup of pilaf.  It’s a chewy flavorful blend of whole grain oats, brown rice, rye, hard red wheat, triticale, buckwheat, barley and sesame seeds.  In case you don’t know what Triticale is, (and I didn’t) the Kashi folks explain that it is “a natural cross between durum wheat and rye with higher protein than both.  A ½ cup serving contains 6 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein.

 

 

 

 

Indonesian Pilaf (from a previous fingerlakesfeasting post)

Created by Kashi™  and  Adapted by Celia Clement

 

 

For original recipe go to: http://www.kashi.com/recipes/8

 

Ingredients

  • 1 packets of Kashi™ 7 Whole Grain Pilaf
  • 1 cup whole roasted peanuts
  • 3 scallions, sliced thinly
  • 1/4  teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 cup organic currants
  • 3 medium carrot, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup organic red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ½ bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons  rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mirin or other sweetener such as honey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 teaspoons crushed red chili flakes (I omit this but add it if you like it spicy)
  •  

Directions

  1. Cook Kashi Pilaf. Each packet  holds 1 cup. Boil two cups water and then add the pilaf along with the cumin and coriander and salt .  Cover and cook about 25 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Add the carrots for the last 10 minutes of the pilaf cooking time.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine chopped cabbage, scallions, currants, cilantro,  and peanuts with cooked Pilaf mixture,  and mix well.
  3. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger root, and vinegar, whisk together, add to pilaf mixture, stir well and taste to adjust the seasoning. Enjoy.
  4. This is best made ahead of time to let the flavors harmonize.  

 

 

 

 

 MARINATED VEGETABLE SALAD (courtesy of Anita Devine)
(From a previous post on fingerlakesfeasting)
 
1 head romaine lettuce, finely chopped (I use less romaine and more red cabbage)
¼ head red cabbage, finely sliced (I use less romaine and more red cabbage)
¼ head red cabbage, finely sliced
1 block marinate tofu (I use tofu kan), chopped
1 cup dry roasted organic peanuts, skin on
1 small jar marinated artichokes, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
½ cup sprouts ( I used mix sprouts)
 
Dressing
½ tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs. ume vinegar
1 Tbs shoyu (or regular soy sauce)
Juice of one orange
1 Tbs. rice syrup
1 ½ Tbs. mustard (I use whole grain Dijon)
 
  1. Mix together dressing ingredients and set aside.
  2. Place sliced red cabbage in a bowl, mix with ¼ tsp sea salt, place a place over it and weigh it down for one hour to extract some of the liquid. (I skip this step)
  3. Mix together all the vegetables, tofu, and peanuts and toss with dressing.

Note:  Taste for seasoning.  I usually adjust with more ume vinager and more soy sauce.

 
 

 

 

 

 

  

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