Russian Carrot Salad – Салат из моркови

Carrot saladIngredients:

8 large carrots, shredded
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup finely chopped walnuts (or nut of choice)
½ to ¾ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh dill*

Directions:

Stir together the carrots, garlic, walnuts, mayonnaise and dill until evenly blended. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

* Click here to learn how to check dill.

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Grilled Salmon Fillets with a Lemon, Dill and Garlic Sauce

Grilled Salmon with Garlic, Lemon Dill SauceThis recipe calls for using a grill. If you do not have one, or wish to not grill the fish altogether, you can prepare it either in the oven under the broiler for 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fillet, or you can pan sear it instead. This recipe makes 6 servings.

Ingredients:

6 (4 ounce) salmon fillets
salt and ground black pepper to taste
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
¾ cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon and 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice ᶲ
1 tablespoon and 1 ½ teaspoons finely grated lemon zest ᶲ
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill *
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

Prepare the grill for high heat by lightly oiling the grill grate, either with some of the olive oil or with a non-stick cooking spray. Note: if you are using a spray, DO NOT spray over a lit grill. This is a good way to lose your eyebrows. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Cook the salmon on the grill until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 5 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, while the salmon is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, remaining olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and zest, dill, salt and pepper. Set the sauce aside until the salmon has finished cooking. When the salmon is done, place it on a serving plate and top with the prepared sauce. This dish can be served hot, cold or room temperature.

* To learn how to properly clean fresh dill, click here.
ᶲ For tips on zesting and juicing a lemon, click here.

Salmon en Croute

Salmon en CrouteIngredients:

1 salmon fillet (about 1 ½ pounds), skin removed
½ cup sour cream
3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill*
16 oz. fresh baby spinach or 10 oz. frozen spinach, defrosted and drained*
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
¾ cup dry bread crumbs (plain or seasoned)
½ cup parmesan cheese (grated or shredded)
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 (17.3 oz) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet on medium-high heat, sauté the spinach, onion, garlic and lemon juice until the onion has become translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add about half of the salt and pepper to the spinach mixture and stir well to combine. Set aside, and allow the mixture to cool. In a small bowl mix together the fresh dill, the lemon zest, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and remaining salt and pepper. Set this aside as well.

You are going to want to completely encapsulate the fish, so it is easiest working with two pieces of pastry dough, rather than one large one. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Lay one sheet out on a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish or cookie sheet. Spread about a tablespoon or so of the sour cream on the dough. Then lay the salmon on the dough. Next, spread the remaining sour cream on top of the salmon. Then sprinkle on the bread crumb mixture over the sour cream. Then gently spread out the spinach mixture on top. Finally, finish with a layer of the chopped up hard boiled eggs.

Pull the edges of the dough up around the sides of your salmon pile. Then top with your remaining piece of dough, using your beaten egg to help seal the two pieces together. Use the remaining beaten egg as a wash over the top of the pastry. Cut a few slits to allow steam to escape, and take the opportunity to decorate the top of the pastry with slits or designs to your liking. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with a cucumber dill or tartar sauce.

* click here to see how to properly clean fresh dill and baby spinach.

A Greek Chorus of Appetizers

Stacked Greek Salads

Stacked Greek

Ingredients:

4-6 large tomatoes, hothouse, beefsteak or even romas, sliced ¼” thick
8oz. feta cheese, sliced ¼” thick
1 red onion, sliced thin
1 cup olives, green or kalamata, sliced
1-2 english cucumbers, sliced ¼” thick
1 tablespoon dried oregano
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
salt and pepper

Directions:

On individual plates or a large serving platter, arrange 6 slices of tomato, then layer on top cheese, onions, cucumbers, some olives and sprinkle with some oregano and pepper. Then if possible (depending on your stacking skills), create another layer of the ingredients and finish off with a drizzling of olive oil and lemon juice. If needed, you can skewer the stacks with bamboo sticks to help balance everything.

Greek Dip

Greek Mediterranean Dip
Original recipe makes 10 servings

Ingredients:

1 (10 ounce) container red pepper hummus
1 (10 ounce) container of tzatziki
½ cup finely chopped Kalamata olives
½ cup finely chopped artichoke hearts
½ cup diced fresh tomato
¾ cup peeled and diced cucumber
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup finely diced red onion
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions:

This dish is great if you can serve it either in a glass pie dish that is wide and shallow OR a trifle dish that lets you see all the beautiful layers. It’s also really easy in that it’s just a “dump” recipe, where you can add a bunch of pre-made things together to make them look incredible. Start by spreading out the layer of the hummus, then the tzatziki. Then layer on the rest of the vegetables and then top with the cheese and onions. Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle on the oregano. Serve with toasted pita chips or tortilla chips and enjoy!

Spanakopita

Spanakopita

Ingredients:

½ cup olive oil, divided
2 large onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach – thawed, drained and squeezed dry
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 (4 ounce) packages feta cheese, crumbled
4 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
1 (16 ounce) packages fyllo dough

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Heat half of the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Slowly cook and stir onions until softened. Mix in spinach, dill and flour. Cook approximately 10 minutes, or until most of the moisture has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Mix in feta cheese, eggs, salt and pepper. With a pastry brush, coat a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with some of the remaining oil. Lay a sheet of fyllo dough in the pan, brushing it with olive oil. Lay 4 more sheets of fyllo in the pan, brushing each with oil. Spread half the spinach mixture over the fyllo. Cover this with 3 more sheets of fyllo, brushing oil on each sheet. Spread the rest of the mixture over this and layer 5 more sheets, again brushing each sheet with oil. With a sharp knife, score the pie. Bake for 40 minutes.

Pre-Fast Meal – First Course

Brocoli Soup

Broccoli Soup

A nice vegetable soup like this will stick to the ribs, without being overly filling. You can substitute other vegetables for the broccoli if you like, such as cauliflower, carrots or squash.

Ingredients:

1 package frozen broccoli florets (equal to 1 head of broccoli)
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots
4 cups hot water
4 teaspoons chicken soup powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon dill
2 tablespoons margarine
1 ½ cups soy milk or water

Directions:

In a large soup pot, sauté the onions in the margarine, until golden and translucent. Rough chop the remaining ingredients and add them to the pot, along with the water and the spices. Cook on high/medium-high for 30 to 45 minutes. Once cooked through, pour mixture into a food processor, blender, or use an immersion blender, and puree the mixture until smooth. Add the soy milk/water, and serve warm.

 

Dill Pickles

Dill Pickles

Ingredients:

1 six-quart basket of small cucumbers
6 tablespoons coarse/kosher salt
6 large garlic cloves (more if you like them extra garlicky)
2 bunches fresh dill
6 teaspoons mixed pickling spices
6-12 chili peppers (optional)

Directions:

Wash cucumbers thoroughly in cold water and pack firmly into sterilized jars. Want a quick and easy tip for washing all those cucumbers? Run them through your washing machine (without the Tide!), just on the gentle cold cycle. It will give them a quick scrub, and save you the time. Once the cucumbers are wash, by man or machine, place 1 clove of garlic, 2 sprigs of dill, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of mixed spices in each jar. For spicier pickles, add 1 – 2 chili peppers in each jar.

Fill jars with cold water, seal tight, and shake well. Store in a cool dark place for 2 weeks then put in refrigerator making sure the seals are tight. If new dills are desired, store in refrigerator immediately after preparing. Then watch out! You’ll never buy another pickle again!

Refrigerator Dilly Beans

Dill Beans

Ingredients:

2 cups of green beans
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water
2 ½ tablespoons of sugar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons of kosher salt
½ of a medium onion, sliced thinly
2 sprigs of fresh dill
½ teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
¼ to 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (depending on how hot you want them) – you
can also add a whole dried chili if you have one.

Directions:

In a saucepan, add your water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic and bring it to a boil. Once it is boiling, turn it off and set it aside to cool down to room temperature. Trim the beans. You want them all to fit in your jar with about an inch at the top so the brine covers them completely. You can trim both ends, or just the stem end. Next you need to blanch the beans. Bring a separate saucepan of water to a full boil, then dump the beans in and boil them for thirty seconds. Drain them, and quickly add them to a bowl of iced water to shock them and stop the cooking process. You want your beans to be brightly colored and still crisp. Drain the beans and set them aside. Add your onions, dill, red pepper flakes, and peppercorns to your jars. Now add your beans to the jars. They look prettiest standing upright, but don’t worry about being perfect. The easiest way is to lay the jar on its side, or hold it horizontally, and place the beans inside. Go ahead and pour your brine in once it has reached room temperature. Fill the jar to ½ inch below the top of the jar, and put the lid on. Place the jar of dilly beans in the fridge, and let them sit for at least two days before eating them. They’ll keep for up to six months in the fridge, if they last that long!

Easy Refridgerator Pickled Green Tomatoes

Dill Tomatoes

This recipe will make 1 quart jar of tomatoes, but you can always (and should) make more!

Ingredients:

1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 ¼ cup water
2 tablespoons kosher salt (If you use table salt you must to cut the quantity in half)
1 pound firm green tomatoes (about 5 plum tomatoes)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half
4 tablespoons dill seeds
½ tablespoon whole black peppercorns

About the tomatoes. They can be any kind, but they must be all green, no orange allowed, and they must be cut in half or quarters. I have done this with cherry tomatoes, but for some reason they are not as good as Romas or other pear shaped tomatoes. They must be close to full size meaning those little green pellets that have not begun to form seeds will not work.

Directions:

Make sure you have a really clean bottle and lid. The lid must have a good rubber seal. The best thing to do is buy canning jars and lids, which are available in a lot of hardware and grocery stores. Sterilize them by submersing them in a boiling water bath. Add the garlic, dill seeds, and peppercorns to the jar. Thoroughly wash the tomatoes and slice them in halves or quarters. Cut out all bad spots and the stem ends. Cram them in the jar leaving about ½” – ¾” of space at the top. Make the brine by combining the vinegar, water, and salt in a non-reactive sauce pan or pot. Bring to a boil, and stir until all the salt is dissolved. Pour the hot brine over the tomatoes to within ¼” of the top. Wipe the jar top, put the lid on and tighten. Age for at least 1 week in the refrigerator. Beware. The brine will taste very salty at first, but don’t panic. The juices from the tomatoes will dilute the concentration of salt in a week or two.

Bumper Crops Day 2 – Dill-licious!

Dill

Ahhh the dill pickle… could anything be more Jewish? Be it a new dill or an old dill, people love a pickle (say that 10 times fast!). With bushels of dill cukes coming in, now is the time to start putting up jars of pickles to last you until Pesach. While we are on the topic of dill however, some kashrus notes: The eating of fresh dill is not recommended due to possible insect contamination. With the pickles, since you are not eating the dill directly, rather just flavouring with it, it is recommended to either use dill that has a hechsher (some Israeli or NYC area herbs have them) or use greenhouse grown, and then rinse off the pickle before eating it. If neither of these options appeal to you, you can always use dried dill instead of fresh, I promise, I won’t tell a soul!