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Dill Pickles

Dill Pickles

It has been many years since I  made nice garlicy dill pickles. I am usually drawn to making Yum Yums as they are a taste of my childhood and instantly take me back to my baba’s dining room table and the many family gatherings we would have. But this year I am craving dill pickles, vinegary and heavy on the garlic! After a very wet hot summer this years cucumber bumper crop did not disappoint. With a huge amount of cucumbers I have more then enough to do at least a double batch of dills.

I don’t like any funky spices in my dill pickles and keep it very simple with fresh dill and garlic. To give it a bit of extra zip I use a 7% vinegar.

Making dill pickles in the Nutmeg Disrupted kitchen.

 

 

As always be sure to sterilize all your jars and have them hot and ready to fill. Warm all lids and screw bands in a small saucepan keeping warm until needed. All pickles are processed in a hot water bath, be sure to check on times for your specific elevation. And to keep things clean and efficient I always use my canning funnel to aid in the addition of any liquids which I am using during canning.

 

Dill Pickles
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • small pickling cucumbers
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 cups of 7% vinegar
  • ¼ cup of pickling salt
  • garlic cloves - peeled
  • dill heads
  • 7-8 1L jars
Instructions
  1. Scrub the cucumbers with a brush making sure all dirt is removed.
  2. Trim a bit off of each end of the cucumbers.
  3. Rinse well.
  4. Peel cloves of garlic, I used 4 cloves per jar.
  5. Shake the dill heads well to remove any bugs, give a quick rinse under water and place on paper towels to dry.
  6. In a large pot combine the vinegar, water and salt.
  7. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 -5 minutes.
  8. Place a head of dill and 2 cloves of garlic into the jars then fill with cucumbers packing tight.
  9. Add two final cloves of garlic.
  10. Using a canning funnel fill each jar with hot pickling brine.
  11. Add the lids and screw bands until finger tight.
  12. Place all jars into the canner and process for 15 minutes

Making garlic dill pickles in the Nutmeg Disrupted kitchen

Allow the jars to cool for 24 hours on the counter before moving. Make sure all jars have sealed by pushing down on the center of the lids. If there is any type of flex the jar is not sealed and should be stored in the fridge and consumed first. A properly sealed lid has no give and will be slightly concaved. Store pickles in a dark cool location. The are ready to be enjoyed about 2 weeks after canning and will last up to one year in storage.

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Grilled Caesar Salad

Grilled Caesar Salad

Grilled Caesar Salad

It all started when I spotted a photo of a Grilled Caesar salad on Instagram from the Canola Eat Well team. I had heard of grilling romaine before but had never tried it. I love Caesar salad and I BBQ as often as I use the stove so it was high time I grilled some lettuce.

Grilling the romaine makes it very tender and gives the salad an amazing texture. The dressing is so fresh with the perfect hit of garlic and fantastic tanginess from the balsamic vinegar and grainy mustard. The buttery fruitiness of the reggiano is the perfect finish to compliment the dressing.

The recipe looks long with a lot of ingredients but it is actually quick and easy once the mise en place is done. Arranging the ingredients takes more time then preparing the actual salad. You will find that after you make the salad once you will be able to get it together and plated within 15 minutes.

A quick note: make extra croutons. They are so good you may find yourself and anyone else hanging around the kitchen snacking on them while dinner is getting prepped!

Grilled Caesar Salad

Romaine Hearts

2 lemons – zested

2 tablespoons of canola oil

croutons:

cheese bread sticks – cubed

2 tablespoon of canola oil

1 teaspoon of lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

pinch of dried parsley

pinch of dried basil

salt and pepper

dressing:

2 cloves of garlic – grated

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of grainy mustard

2 tablespoons of grated parmigiana reggiano

1 teaspoon of Worcestershire

1 teaspoon of lemon zest

1/4 cup of canola oil

 

For the croutons: Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a pan over medium. Add the cubed bread sticks, tossing to coat. Cook until nice and toasty, 5 – 6 minutes. Add the garlic powder, a pinch of salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons of grated parmigiana reggiano and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and the dried herbs,  stirring well.  Pour into a large bowl and let cool.

making croutons for grilled caesar salad on Nutmeg Disrupted

For the dressing: In a small bowl combine the grated garlic, balsamic vinegar, grainy mustard, 2 tablespoons of grated reggiano, Worcestershire  and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Whisk in 1/4 cup of canola oil. Set aside.

Drizzle the romaine hearts and halved lemons with 2 tablespoons of canola oil.

Grill the romaine hearts and lemons over medium high heat flipping as needed. The romaine is done when it has a nice char on the edges.

grilling romaine hears for grilled caesar salad on Nutmeg Disrupted

To serve place a romaine heart on a plate, slice in half length wise. Top with croutons, dressing, freshly grated parmigiana reggina and finish with squeezing the juice of half a grilled lemon over everything.

grilled caesar salad from Nutmeg Disrupted

 

 

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Beet Leaf Holubtsi

Beet Leaf Holubtsi

When I plan my garden I have a few must have veggies that are top priority in my kitchen.

Number one on that list is beets.

Fresh beets from the garden.

Beets are the more versatile vegetable I grow. I use the entire plant, and especially love the leaves. You can use the baby leaves in salads or wash and freeze them for smoothies. But to truly enjoy them allow them to grow a little longer until they are about 2 1/2 inches wide. The perfect size for rolling them around a creamy rice, bacon, dilly onion filling.

I have been making Beet Leaf Holubtsi for years. The tender leaves make the perfect blanket for the rice with fresh dill and onions. Bacon is NOT required but makes a nice addition to the rolls.

They are finished off by topping them with a bit of butter and baking them in whipping cream with some shaved onion.

I like to pick the leaves the day before, Wash the leaves and place on sheets of paper towel to dry. Once dry I put them in a large bowl, cover it with a clean tea towel and leave them in the fridge over night. The next day you will find them lightly wilted and ready for rolling. I have read of a few methods of wilting the leaves, from freezing them to placing them in the oven. I have tried the oven method with okay but very time consuming results. Just pop them in the fridge for the night. Trust me.

 

Beet Leaf Holubtsi

beet leaves

2 cups of white rice

2 tablespoons of butter

6 slices of bacon – diced

1 medium onion – chopped

whipping cream

fresh dill

salt & pepper

Prepare the rice according to the package directions.  Meanwhile fry bacon, after 5 minutes add 1 tablespoon of butter and chopped onion. It is done when the bacon is crisp. Pour the bacon and onions, over the rice. Add a generous amount of freshly chopped dill and stir to combine. Now is a good time to season with salt and pepper.  Add a 1/4 cup of whipping cream, stirring until it all becomes creamy.

Beet leaf holubtsil filling on Nutmeg Disrupted

Place a beet leaf on a cutting board and trim the bottom part straight across to remove the stem. Place a generous teaspoon of filling on the trimmed edge of the beet leaf and roll it towards the tip. Gently place the roll in a greased/buttered baking dish. Repeat until you have used all the leaves and filling.

Beet leaf holubtsi on Nutmeg Disrupted

*They are not rolled like cabbage rolls when in when making cabbage rolls you tuck the edges in when rolling. It is fine to leave the edges of the beet leaf holubtsi open.

Beet leaf holubtsi on Nutmeg Disrupted

Pour whipping cream and a few teaspoons of shaved onion over the rolls just until lightly covered. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

 

 

 

 

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Grilled Vegetable Salad

Grilled Vegetable Salad

For the  first trial run on my new Char-Broil stainless grill I went with something I don’t cook everyday and a fabulous Spring grilling dish. Shish kabobs! The combination of beef and vegetables is absolute perfection.

I love shish kabobs but I have to admit, one of my favorite parts of the kabobs is the grilled peppers. The smokiness of the grilling brings out the sweetness of the tender peppers. Add the amazing flavor of grilled red onion along with a generous drizzle of grilled lemon and oil and you have the fantastic starting of what will be a spectacular grilled vegetable salad. Enjoy with some lightly toasted crusty bread & some wonderful wine it is an amazing anytime meal.

Grilled Vegetable Salad from Nutmeg Disrupted

There are a few ways to grill vegetables.

You can cut them all into similar sizes and put them all on skewers. I prefer metal ones as they don’t burn and come in large sizes so you need fewer to grill more! You can use wood ones as well, just be sure to soak them in water for up to an hour before you plan on grilling. It will not completely prevent the ends from burning but it does slow down the process.

Another option is a grill basket. This can be used to grill smaller vegetables, to save on time or to just make the grilling of vegetables a bit easier when you are working with a full BBQ. Or you can cook your veggies directly on the grates of the BBQ. All they need is a light drizzle of oil before being placed on the BBQ.

The grates on my BBQ are nice and close together to I could put the peppers right on the grilling surface. I did place the Brussel sprouts in a wok shaped grill basket just to catch any of the leaves that fell off while cooking.

Grilling vegetables on Nutmeg Disrupted

To give this grilled vegetable salad an extra layer of flavor I added roasted garlic to the mix in addition to the bacon grilled lemon vinaigrette.

To  prepare the garlic all you need is 3 full heads of garlic, a generous drizzle of oil, salt and pepper and a good sized piece of aluminum foil to wrap up the garlic.

  1.   Trim the tops of the garlic off, leaving the heads in tack. You just want to expose the raw garlic so that the oil can get down inside the bulbs.
  2.   Place the trimmed heads of garlic in the center of the foil and give it a generous drizzle of oil. I used canola oil because of the high heat I’m using for the grilled vegetables.
  3.   Season the heads of garlic with salt & pepper then wrap tightly.
  4.   Place on the top rack of your BBQ then prep all your other vegetables.
  5.   The garlic will take about 40 minutes to be perfectly roasted.

Wash and trim all the vegetables you choose for in your salad. I used baby sweet peppers, zucchini, red onion and Brussels sprouts, with fresh cherry tomatoes stirred in just before serving.

Feel free to use any vegetables you enjoy.  I also grilled a lemon to juice in the vinaigrette.

You’ll also need 5 slices of bacon, chopped and fried until crisp. You can do this on your BBQs side burner as the garlic is roasting. Once the bacon is cooked set it aside and pour the drippings into a small saucepan.

Now you are ready to grill your vegetables.

Place them all in a large bowl or in your grill basket and give them a light coating of oil. Have your BBQ on a medium high heat and use tongs place the veggies on the grill.

That amazing aroma you smell is the garlic roasting! You can take a peak at the garlic; it will have a nice caramelized appearance when it is done. Put it to the side while you finish grilling the vegetables and let it cool.

 Roasted garlic form Nutmeg Disrupted

Place some pieces of crusty bread on the grill to toast lightly as you make your salad. I used a large loaf just torn into nice rustic wedges.

To make the vinaigrette:

  1.         Place the pot with the bacon drippings over low heat on the side burner.
  2.        Take the grilled lemon wedges and squeeze the juice into the drippings. Stir well to combine.
  3.         Take the heads of the roasted garlic and squeeze the bulbs into the pot. Be sure to pour any of the oil remaining in the package into the pot as well.
  4.        Using a fork, mash up the garlic.
  5.        Now pour all that bacon garlic goodness into the grill basket and top with all the grilled vegetable.
  6.        Remove from heat and stir in a handful of cherry tomatoes. The heat from the grilled vegetables will bring out amazing juiciness of the tomatoes.
  7.       Sprinkle the bacon on top.

Grilled Vegetable Salad from Nutmeg Disrupted

Serve with your lightly toasted crusty bread and nice chilled white wine.

Be sure to see all the cool BBQ hints tips & recipes the #lifeisbetterbbqed team have created! We have had a fantastic time putting this all together for you! Next week I’ll be talking about my Mother’s Day menu, all grilled, including dessert!

 

 

 

 

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Quinoa Salad with Preserved Lemon

Quinoa Salad with Preserved Lemon

Quinoa Salad with Preserved Lemon

Earlier this year I made a few jars of preserved lemons and limes.

Preserved Lemons from Nutmeg Disrupted

Looking for a way to use some of my preserved citrus I thought a salad was in order.

I love quinoa and knew that would be the perfect base for a salad. Full of fresh avocado and roasted peppers it was a refreshing satisfying meal. The salty hit of citrus is the prefect finish to the dish. It is quick, simple and delicious!

 

Quinoa salad with preserved lemon from Nutmeg Disrupted

Quinoa Salad with Preserved Lemon

1 cups of quinoa – rinsed well

1 avocado – sliced

1 roasted red and peppers -chopped

2 wedges of preserved lemon

pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile chop the peppers and avocado.

Combine everything in a bowl and squeeze the wedges of lemon over all. Stir to combine. Add a few dashes of pepper.

Enjoy!

 

 

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