Tag Archives: dill

Dill Pickle Soup

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Depending upon your obsession with all things pickled, you are either going to love this soup or hate it.  My husband, who avoids everything that has been bathed in vinegar, is not a fan. I, however, love this soup.  Yes, it is different but then again variety is the spice of life.  More importantly, this soup is ridiculously easy to make.  I was intrigued by the recipe the first time I came across it on the Noble Pig website and when I came across a giant jar of Vlasic pickles that needed to be used up, I just knew I was going to have to try this soup.  So if you love or even like dill pickles, give this soup a try.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

DILL PICKLE SOUP

5 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 3/4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 cups finely chopped carrots

1 cup diced dill pickles

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup sour cream

1/4 cup water

2 cups dill pickle juice

1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt, optional

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • In a large pot, combine the broth, potatoes, carrots, and butter.  Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender.
  • Add the pickle and continue to simmer for a few minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sour cream, and water to make a paste.
  • Vigorously whisk the sour cream paste into the soup two tablespoons at a time.  You might initially see some small balls of flour but between the whisking and the boiling they will all disappear.
  • Add the pickle juice, Old Bay, pepper, and cayenne.  Taste and if needed, add a small amount of salt.  Cook for 5 additional minutes then remove from the heat.
  • Serve immediately garnished with pickle slices, fresh dill, and black pepper.

Serves 6-8

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Beef Gyros

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I’ve always been a huge fan of Greek food. Regardless of the season the tangy Greek flavors of feta cheese, oregano and fresh dill inspire images of sun drenched Greek beaches. And this time of year, when the weather is especially gray and dreary, I find myself longing for a Greek Island getaway. When that isn’t possible, I head to the kitchen and cook up my own Greek feast.

These gyros, adapted from Peanut Butter and Peppers, comes pretty close to channeling the Greek Island experience. Here beef is substituted for the traditional lamb (which is also delicious but sometimes difficult to find). The meat is marinated in a lemon-oregano mixture which ensures that every bite is juicy and flavorful. As a finishing touch the entire gyro is topped with Tzatziki Sauce- the yogurt, dill and cucumber sauce that Greece is famous for.

So here’s to getting your own dose of the Greek Islands. Enjoy!

BEEF GYROS

For the Tzatziki Sauce

1 cup Greek yogurt

1 cup cucumber, diced small

3 tablespoons fresh dill, diced small

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 dash salt

1 dash pepper

For the gyros:

1 pound beef steak tips, cut into bite size pieces

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 cups salad greens

2 tomatoes, sliced

¼ cup feta cheese crumbles

4 pita breads

  • To make the tzatziki sauce, place the cucumber and half of the yogurt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  •  Add mixture to a medium sized bowl and stir in remaining yogurt, the dill, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  • Add additional salt, if needed  and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • To prepare the gyros, combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Add the meat to a zip top bag or bowl, and pour marinade over the beef. Refrigerate for 1 hour up to 4 hours.
  • When you are ready to cook, set grill to medium low heat
  • Place the meat on the grill, (you can place meat on skewers if you prefer) and cook on each side for about 4 minutes or until they are done to your preference.
  • Let the meat rest for 5 minutes.
  • Evenly divide the meat on a pita shell, top with the salad greens, tomatoes, feta cheese and the Tzatziki Sauce.

Serves 4

 

Refrigerator Garlic Dill Pickles

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I’ve never met a pickle I didn’t like.  From beans and carrots to beets and the traditional cucumber, I’m a fan of them all.  Pickled vegetable salads are a common feature on Balkan menus and as such, in the past two years I’ve tried pickled vegetables I never even imagined.  I’ve learned that cauliflower is surprisingly good when it has been sitting in a vinegary brine as are red peppers and even mushrooms. As much as I love pickles it was only recently that I started making my own.  A part of my reasoning for not making my own pickles is because they are so readily available on market shelves.  I am also the only pickle fan in my house so I was hesitant to invest a lot of time into something only I would enjoy.  And then I realized how easy it is to make my own pickles!

These cucumber pickles are the perfect solution to my pickle making phobia.  I am able to make them in small batches so there isn’t the fear of being inundated with more jars than I can possibly ever eat.  (With a move on the horizon the last thing I want to be packing up and moving is jars of pickles).  They cure overnight in a vinegar brine while sitting in the refrigerator so I can enjoy them the next day–no extended pickling process is necessary.  I used cucumbers for these pickles but you can easily substitute any vegetable you like.  Depending upon your preferences, you can add more or less spices.  And because this recipe only makes two pints, you can experiment with vegetable and flavor combinations without ending up with numerous jars of pickles you don’t like.  Unless you are like me and love all things pickled.

REFRIGERATOR GARLIC DILL PICKLES

1 cup cider vinegar

1 cup cold water

2 tablespoons pickling salt

4 large pickling cucumbers

4 dill sprigs

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 teaspoon mustard seeds, crushed

1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • Combine the cider vinegar, water, and salt in a medium-sized sauce pot.  Bring to a simmer, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Divide the dill, garlic cloves, mustard seeds, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes between two one-pint canning jars or other glass container with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Thoroughly scrub the cucumbers, discard the ends, and slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch coins.  Pack the two jars with as many cucumber coins as will snuggly fit.
  • Pour the hot pickling brine over the cucumbers to just cover.
  • Wipe the rims and seal with the lids.
  • Place the jars in the refrigerator and allow to sit for at least 24 hours before eating.

Yields:  2 pints

 

Chilled Cucumber Buttermilk Soup w/ Dilled Shrimp

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Regular readers know I love soups and I’m a big fan of chilled soups when hot summer days call for something light and refreshing for dinner. Gazpacho or even a fruit soup might be the first ones that come to mind but they are really just a jumping off point. In reality, the possibilities are endless. I came across this soup from William Sonoma’s Soup of the Day when I was looking for a first course for a recent dinner party but it can just as easily be served as a light dinner when accompanied by a loaf of crusty bread (which is actually how we ate the leftovers the next night).

Because I was serving a crowd and think soup only improves with age, I tripled this recipe which meant blending the cucumber in batches. Lacking fresh buttermilk I used rehydrated powder from King Arthur Flour with good results. To make the soup richer I used half milk and half water when rehydrating the buttermilk. I also substituted Greek style yogurt for the plan yogurt called for in the original recipe.

I’ll admit, I was initially a bit unsure about the combination of ingredients but realized that since I like them all individually I would probably enjoy them together. My guests shared my skepticism but in the end every drop of the soup was scraped from the bowls proving that this recipe is indeed a success and a tasty way to eat your veggies.

CHILLED CUCUMBER BUTTERMILK SOUP WITH DILLED SHRIMP

5 English cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped

4 green onions, white and tender green parts, chopped

2 large cloves garlic

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cups plain whole Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 pound bay shrimp, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced

  • Place the cucumbers, green onions, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  • Add the buttermilk, yogurt, and lemon juice and puree.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least a 1/2 hour.
  • To make the shrimp, place the shrimp and dill in a small bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve the soup topped with the dilled shrimp.
    Serves 4

Spring Vegetable Pasta

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By the time late spring rolls around I’m all about lightening up my dinners and taking advantage of the fresh vegetables that are popping up in the local markets. Pastas are always a go-to meal in my family and they serve as the perfect canvas for highlighting the best vegetables of the season. In this dish adapted from Cooking Light, fresh snap peas, carrots and radishes are the featured vegetables. Many people shy away from radishes thinking their flavor is to pungent but when they are sliced thinly then lightly sauteed in butter, they emerge sweet and tenderly crisp. Topped with lemon zest and a handful of freshly chopped dill, this dish is bright, flavorful and a true spring celebration.

Use the recipe as a suggestion and choose whatever vegetables you prefer. Really, your options are endless so pick a few vegetables that look good, add in the freshly chopped herb of your choice and enjoy!

 

SPRING VEGETABLE PASTA

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup thinly diagonally sliced baby carrots

1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

8 ounces snap peas

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion

1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon zest, divided

5 ounces cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

10 ounce fresh noodles of your choice

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain into a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the carrots and radishes and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add chicken broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt; simmer 4 minutes.
  • Add the snap peas, green onions and half of the lemon zest. Simmer for 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup and vegetables are crisp-tender.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, cream cheese, and pepper to vegetable mixture, stirring with a whisk until smooth.
  • Add the cooked noodles to vegetable mixture; toss to coat.
  • Stir in 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid; adding additional cooking liquid as needed to thin sauce to your liking.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining lemon zest and dill over pasta mixture.
  • Divide pasta mixture into 4 shallow bowls.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Roasted Radish & Potato Salad

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Here’s a twist on your traditional potato salad adapted from The Noble Pig. You simply substitute radishes for half of your potatoes. Radishes? Yes, radishes. When they are cooked, in this case roasted alongside the potatoes, they loose their sharpness and become mellow and sweet. Served alongside the starching potatoes they add both color and interest to your salad. And because the salad dressing is a vinaigrette rather than mayonnaise based, it travels well and you don’t have to worry about keeping it cold. In fact, I prefer to eat it at room temperature.

ROASTED RADISH & POTATO SALAD

1 pound radishes, trimmed and quartered, greens reserved

1 pound baby potatoes, quartered

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

3 tablespoons fresh dill, minced

  • Place a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.
  • Place the radishes, potatoes, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of the pepper in a large bowl. Toss well to combine all of the ingredients.
  • Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet and roast until soft, 20 to 25 minutes, stirring halfway through roasting.
  • Meanwhile, wash the radish greens in running cold water to remove all of the grit. Spin dry and set aside.
  • To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the vinegar, remaining olive oil, mustard, parsley and dil. Season with the remaining salt and pepper.
  • When the radishes and potatoes are tender, remove them from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  • Place the radishes and potatoes in a large bowl and add the vinaigrette, using a rubber spatula to gently fold the mixture together.
  • Roughly chop the reserved radish greens and add to the radishes and potatoes.

Serves 6-8

 

Lemon Chicken & Tortellini Soup

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Chicken soup is the ultimate in comfort soup and until I discovered this quick soup adapted from Bon Appetite, I thought all chicken soups needed to be slow cooked affairs.  Not so!  This soup is quick and easy, going from pantry to table in less than 45 minutes.  Lemon and chicken are a natural pairing and the fresh lemon juice in the broth and the lemon served alongside the soup add a brightness that makes this soup perfect for a cool spring evening.  To reduce the cooking time I used boneless and skinless chicken breast filets but you could use any chicken parts you have on hand.  If you chicken is skin on, removing it before cooking will reduce the amount of grease in your broth.  The cheese tortellini (If you aren’t making your own, Barilla makes a good dried version) helps to add bulk to the soup making it a true dinner.

LEMON CHICKEN & TORTELLINI SOUP

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small red onion, minced

1 small carrot, peeled and diced

1 celery stalk, diced

12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts

6 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 cup dried cheese tortellini

Juice of 1 lemon plus 2 more for serving

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

  • Heat the oil in a large heavy pot set over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft, 5-8 minutes.
  • Add the chicken and the broth and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 10-15 minutes.
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate and allow to cool slightly before shredding the chicken into bite sized pieces.
  • Meanwhile, return the broth to a boil.  Add the tortellini and cook until al dente, 10-11 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Return the chicken to the soup and stir in along with the lemon juice and chopped dill.
  • Serve with the lemon halves for additional flavor.

Serves 4

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