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Dill Potato Salad

I have a nice bit of dill coming on out on the herb bench so I took some and made a nice potato salad.  It won’t be long before it starts going to seed or some critter starts munching on it so I’ll be looking at some more dill recipes.  Dill buttered fish sounds good!  Dill butter!I think I cut the potatoes to big and the eggs too small but I do have plenty of dill.  For some reason I followed the recipe directions and boiled the potatoes whole instead of cutting them up first and then boiling them.  There may be a good reason for the former method over the latter but I don’t see it.  Leaching out the nutrients, maybe?

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Dinner Menu: Salmon in Dill Sauce with Raspberry Pear Salad

Haven’t posted a dinner menu for a while. Pears are on sale right now, so I wanted to take advantage of that. It  has nothing to do with me being tired of plums, grapes and tomatoes. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

On the board tonight:

  1. Salmon in Dill Butter Sauce
  2. Rice
  3. Pear-Raspberry Salad

Salmon in Dill Butter Sauce

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped dill
  • 4-6 oz boneless, skinless salmon fillets
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ cup chicken broth

skillet

In skillet, melt butter, add dill & lemon juice.  Brush lightly over fillets.  Add chicken broth to remaining butter in skillet and bring to a low boil, lower heat and let simmer until reduced by half .  Grill fillets for 3 to 4 minutes each side (be sure and oil grill rack well before using.  You can also grill on foil or in a grilling pan).  Drizzle with sauce.

Pear-Raspberry Salad

  • 8 oz walnut halves
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp crushed garlic
  • 16 oz baby greens
  • 2 ripe Bartlett pears
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 2 oz blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup raspberry vinaigrette dressing

baking dish, serving bowl

In baking dish, toss walnuts with oil, soy, ginger, salt & garlic.  Toast in a 250° oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until walnuts are crisp. In serving bowl add lettuce.  Seed and slice pears, add to lettuce, along with raspberries, bleu cheese, & walnuts.  Toss with dressing.

dill-2



 

Dinner Menu: Food for a Fall Evening

JeffW sends along some garlic bread. ETA: JeffreyW posted recipe in the comments

Tonight’s menu is pretty simple. Use the soup recipe as a starter and add whatever inspires you to supe it up (hee-hee, see what I did there?). I like the ease of frozen vegetables, but use fresh if you’re so inclined. Squash is a nice addition, put it in when you are simmering the meat, it will need the extra cooking time. Turnips, parsnips, maybe some barley. Go crazy.

On the board tonight:

  1. Beef Vegetable Soup
  2. Hearty Bread
  3. Pumpkin Apple Butter

Beef Vegetable Soup

  • 1 lb chuck or stew meat, small cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tsp crushed rosemary
  • 1 tsp crushed basil
  • ½ tsp dry dill
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • ½ tsp fennel seed (opt)
  • 1 bay leaf (remove before serving)
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into 8-10 pieces
  • 16 oz frozen mixed vegetables

large saucepan

Heat oil in saucepan, add onions and sauté, add beef and brown. Add water, spices and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook 20-25 minutes, until beef is tender. Add vegetables and simmer 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Apple Butter

  • 15 oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 8 oz apple sauce
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves

saucepan

Add all ingredients to saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and let cook down for 1 to 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally. Store in the refrigerator. Serve on bread.

Shopping List:

  • Hearty Bread
  • 1 lb chuck or stew meat
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 16 oz frozen mixed vegetables
  • 15 oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 8 oz applesauce
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • ½ cup brown sugar

Also: ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, bay leaf, rosemary, basil, dry dill, olive oil crushed garlic, fennel seed

Mmm… homemade pita for gyros

DSC_0228 (1600x1060)We had gyros yesterday using store bought pita loaves and they just weren’t that good.  I’m guessing the turnover on flat breads isn’t very high and they were a tad stale.  I’ve made pitas before but it’s been a while so I looked up a recipe.  The NY Times recipe came up first and it looked to be easy.  We didn’t have any whole wheat flour, fresh milled or otherwise, so these are made with plain AP flour.  The only thing you need to watch for is getting them too brown.  The recipe warns:  “The pita should be pale, with only a few brown speckles.”  The brown parts are very dry and fragile and crack apart rather than fold.  I have a pizza stone in my oven, big enough to do two of these at a time without crowding.  A couple of them puffed up like little pillows but most of them just blistered here and there.DSC_0230 (1600x1060)The loaf is from Alton Brown’s recipe, as is the tzatziki sauce. I make a few alterations in his recipe, adding 1/3 part hamburger and several slices of bacon to the loaf recipe and this time I added fresh chopped dill to the yogurt sauce.  I haven’t used lettuce before but I thought it needed a little more green and we had no mint for a garnish.

Tidbits

DSC_4734 (1600x1060)Our cherry tomatoes are doing great.  I’ll have to start freezing or drying some soon.  I didn’t make a dent in them with this pasta dish:DSC_8721 (1600x1060)This is an easy dish and it tastes great but we can’t eat it every day.  Unlike the BLTs:DSC_8717 (1600x1060)Mrs J has named these her all time favorite sammiches.  This one is a BELT, it’s topped with an egg.

Our Vitex nearly didn’t survive the winter, it did die back to the root but it is coming back.  They are late bloomers and are just now producing something to catch the eye of a hummingbird.DSC_4752 (1600x1060)This is a Ruby Throated Hummingbird – the gorget really catches the light when the angle is right.DSC_4753 (1600x1060)The little peppers are coming along, plenty of red ones, a few orange, not seeing any yellow one so far.  Of course they all start out green.  DSC_4737 (1600x1060)The dill in the background is pretty with the yellow flowers looking like bursting fireworks.  This is the first time we have had luck growing dill.  Aphids and caterpillars usually make short work of it.  I’ll try to collect the seeds for baking rye bread.

Dinner Menu: Greek Chicken Wraps

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I’ve decided to begin the full dinner menus and shopping lists again. I’m shooting for every Monday night. I’ll pull from the old Thursday Menu series and add new ones as I go. Most menus are seasonal, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding ingredients, but if you need additional information, just ask away in the comments and I’ll do my best to help.

Tonight has an international flair, three distinctly different locales, but flavors that complement each other. Full of garden fresh items.

I am partial to pitas, but it can be difficult in my area to find good, fresh pita bread.  So tortillas make a great substitute.  For the main course you can use spinach or sun-dried tomato wraps to really kick things up.  Whether you use pita bread or tortillas, these are easy and quite flavorful wraps.

To save time, chicken can be grilled the night before when you’re grilling another meal, and cut up for a quick dinner on a busy, hot day.

On the menu tonight:

  1. Greek Chicken Wraps
  2. Avocado-Tomato Salad
  3. Persian Apples

Greek Chicken Wraps

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon or stone ground mustard
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled & chopped
  • 4 oz plain yogurt
  • ¼ tsp dill
  • 2 oz crumbled feta
  • 2 oz sliced black olives (opt)
  • 4 burrito size flour tortillas, spinach tortillas are a fun choice
  • ½ head of green leaf lettuce, shredded

skillet  & bowl

Mix together chicken, lemon juice, mustard, 1 tsp garlic, oregano & pepper in bowl, coating chicken thoroughly, let sit for 30 minutes. Prepare cucumbers, add yogurt, dill and remaining garlic and mix well. Refrigerate until served.  OPT: Wrap tortillas in foil and heat in a 350° oven for 10 minutes, turn oven off and let them stay warm until served.

To cook:  Grill over medium heat, turning  at least once, until cooked through. Usually 20 minutes, depending on thickness of breasts. Or stove top: Heat oil in skillet on medium-high and add chicken and marinade. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about  20 minutes. Let chicken rest 10 minutes and cut into 1″ pieces.

To serve, add chicken mixture, yogurt mixture, feta, olives and lettuce to each tortilla and roll up. Use any remaining yogurt mixture to dip tortillas in.

Avocado & Tomato Salad:

  • 2 slices bacon, fried crisp & crumbled
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp limejuice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 3 to 5 drops Cajun hot sauce
  • 2 medium avocados, pitted & cubed*
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut in wedges
  • 6 green onions, chopped

large serving bowl

Mix oil, limejuice, salt, pepper and Cajun sauce.  Add avocados, tomatoes and onion to serving bowl and toss with dressing.  Add bacon and refrigerate until serving.

*Easiest way to cube an avocado is to halve it, remove the pit, score it with a knife and then run the knife along the edges to loosen flesh from the skin and turn the skin inside out.

Persian Apples

add to a blender:

  • 4 small apples, cored & quartered,
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice,
  • 1 tbsp orange juice,
  • 1 tbsp water

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chopped walnuts as garnish (opt)

Blend until coarsely chopped. Add chopped walnuts if desired. Serve in bowls, over vanilla ice cream if desired.

Shopping List:

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 small cucumber
4 oz plain yogurt
2 oz crumbled feta
2 oz sliced black olives (opt)
4 burrito size flour tortillas, spinach lor sun-dried tomato tortillas are a fun choice
1 head green leaf lettuce (you’ll use half)
2 slices bacon,
Cajun hot sauce
2 medium avocados
2 large tomatoes
6 green onions
4 small apples

Also: lemon juice, orange juice, limejuice, chopped walnuts, olive oil, dill, oregano, garlic, stone ground or Dijon mustard

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Thursday Recipe Exchange: Stuffed Peppers

Photo by JeffreyW

I decided that we’d do stuffed peppers tonight and when I went trolling around the blog, found we’ve done a few variations on them over the years. Tonight’s featured recipe is from my cousin Scott. He mentions in the original post that we’re a family who loves to cook and I couldn’t agree more. On his side of my family, I think everyone has the gift in the kitchen. I have memories of my grandparents’ farm and the great food we’d have there. My Grandma Lois made the best fried eggs in the world that I have never been able to duplicate. They were crisp on the bottom (a treatment my family always called “shoe leather” –though that does not do that crust justice), perfectly medium on top and covered in so much pepper you’d sneezed just looking at them. Try as I might, I’ve never been able to come close to those eggs. I asked my mom a few years ago what I was missing and she replied, “lard”. And I’m sure it was previously used lard at that. Grandma Lois kept a can on the stove. It’s probably why her fried chicken was so amazing, too.

Anyway that story has nothing to do with tonight’s recipes. Stuffed peppers. We have several takes on them:

JeffreyW does a traditional Stuffed Peppers with homemade tomato soup (recipe here).

I have a pretty easy stuffed Red Pepper recipe – though you can use green peppers, no problem (recipe here).

And our featured recipe, below, from my Men Who Cook series, is a vegetarian treat.

How about you, any favorite memories of foods from childhood you can’t recreate? Do you have a different take on stuffed peppers that you like to use? Hit the comments and share.

Now for tonight’s featured recipe:

This comes from my cousin Scott Adams. Scottie follows in the footsteps of many in my family – the love of cooking (click here for the full story). These peppers are practically gourmet!

Scottie’s Stuffed Pepper’s

  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound short whole wheat pasta
  • 4 large red bell peppers, tops cut off and reserved, seeded
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for drizzling
  • 4 jarred roasted red peppers
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 small portobello mushroom caps, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, stems discarded and leaves chopped
  • One 28-ounce can fire-roasted crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups arugula or baby spinach (a few generous handfuls)
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup grated pecorino-romano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of Dill

Preheat the oven to 425°. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente.

Trim the bottoms of the bell peppers, without cutting a hole, so that they stand. Season inside with salt and black pepper. Turn the peppers bottom side up in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, set the tops alongside and drizzle with EVOO. Roast for 20 minutes.

Using a food processor, puree the roasted red peppers. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the red onion, garlic, mushrooms, crushed red pepper and rosemary and cook until softened, 7 minutes. Stir in the pureed peppers and the fire-roasted tomatoes; season with salt and black pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pasta and toss. Add the arugula and basil and cook until wilted.

Preheat the broiler. Turn the peppers upright; fill with pasta. Top with the cheese and broil until melted, 2 minutes. Cover with the tops and serve with any extra pasta.

Cross-posted at Balloon-Juice sometime this evening.

Mmm… lunch

More pork from the batch that we enhanced with a little apple wood smoke.  Also on the plate:  My famous dill bacon potato salad and a little giardiniera as a salad with a red wine vinaigrette and a sprinkle of Parmesan.  We like slaw on our sandwiches.  This is from a recent batch using fresh peppers from our garden.  I just put up another 5 quarts of peppers that I think will also work in slaw – at least I am hoping they will.  They are very good all by themselves.

Thursday Recipe Exchange: Grilled New Potatoes with Dill Butter

Spent the last couple of days lining out my job duties for my replacement and doing double duty with the burgeoning sprouts of my new business. It’s been a busy time and I haven’t had a lot of time for cooking, so it felt good to get back to it today.

What I love about summer cooking is how everything is fresh and tastes terrific. I’m reluctant to do more than the bare minimum to the bounty from the garden or farm stand. So tonight I’ve got two simple potato recipes.

Grilled Potatoes with Onions is a family favorite and the recipe can be found here.

Tonight’s featured recipe takes advantage of new potatoes and garden fresh dill. Summer is all about grilled vegetables for me, what do you like to grill? Is there something you look forward to every summer (yum, corn!).

Grilled New Potatoes with Dill Butter

If you don’t like dill, you can substitute garlic, chives or any fresh herbs from the garden.

  • 2-3 lbs of new potatoes, any variety
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Wash and dry potatoes. Slice in half or quarter larger potatoes. Coat well with olive oil and lightly salt with kosher salt. Using a grilling basket, grill over medium heat (or to the side of hot coals) turning frequently to brown all sides. Roast until tender. I actually used my cast iron skillet, added a tablespoon of butter and tablespoon of olive oil and stirred as need to brown all sides. Cast iron works great on the grill. My grilling basket was otherwise engaged.

For butter, mix together butter, dill and garlic and you can either toss with the potatoes before serving or put on the table and let people add as desired.

Cat with Dill

No!  Not a recipe!  LOL

Here’s Bea the day before.  I guess she was just eyeballing the place:And here’s a pic I snapped with my cell phone while down the basement with Mrs J at her sewing area.  Bitsy was thrilled to find a bag of stuffing