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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 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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Yum Yums

Yum Yums

Whew………….

The past 48 hours has been tremendously busy.

With Dan and Jen’s wedding , a Pie for Mikey, the Sugar Unleashed and everything else that fills my schedule, I am about 7 days behind on the post for the Pickling Party.

I hit the kitchen as soon as I got home from work last night prepping the veggies for the 3 hour salt soak they had to take.

And by 9:30 the satisifying ping of sealing pickle jars was echoing throughout the house.

If you have wanted to trying pickling this is a great first time recipe. The prep is minimal and the results are fantastic.

You will need a few basic tools to begin your canning journey. First off you need a large canner, basically that is a large special made pot to boil the jars in once they have been filled. We do that as a final step to be sure that we have a shelf safe product. It kills any  microorganisms inside the jar. It also forces out any air and creates a nice tight seal as the jars are cooling.

A rack for your canner is handy, though not necessary. It does make removal of the hot jars quick and easy. You can also purchase canning tongs. They are made specifically to lift jars and are a fantastic tool that makes quick work of handling hot jars.

One last thing is a jar funnel. It is a funnel with a large opening in the bottom that fits perfectly in the opening of the jars. Again, it is not necessary but does make the job of filling the hot jars quick easy and keeps the process much cleaner. Anything to make a job easier is a good investment.

I am using a very old recipe of my very favorite pickle ever.

I fell in love with these as a child one Easter. I was shocked that peppers and onions could be that fabulous! I always remembered how much I enjoyed them.

And it was that flavor discovery that created my desire to learn how pickle.

They are a touch sweet with a nice tangy finish.

You may find yourself eating the entire jar in one sitting!

…not that I would do anything like that.

The first step in the canning process is to sterilize your jars. We use the canner to do this first step.  You place the jars in the canner and cover the jars by 1-2 inches and put on the lid. Turn up the heat on the stove and once at a boil will leave them at a boil for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes turn down the heat and leave the jars in the canner.

Next step is to get the lids ready for the jars. This step is important, it softens the rubber outer seal so they will adhere to the glass rim of the jar. Jar lids need to sit for 10 minutes in hot, previously boiled water.

Fresh made pickles in the Nutmeg Disrupted kitchen

Yum Yums

Combine the following and let stand for 3 hours.

6 quarts of sliced cucumbers

1 quart of sliced onions

4 green peppers

2 red or yellow peppers or a  combination of both

1/2 cup of pickling salt

4 quarts of cold water

 

At the end of 3 hours, drain and discard water. Place everything into a large pot. Add:

6 cups of vinegar

6 cups of sugar

1 tsp of tumeric

1 tsp of celery seed

1 tsp of mustard seed

Bring to a boiling point. Ladle into hot sterilized jars and seal with lids. Be sure to leave a 1/2 inch of head space between the pickles and the top of the jar.

Place the jars into the canner and be sure they are covered with a minimum of 2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil and process for 20 minutes. Timing begins once the water begins to boil.

Remove all the jars to a rack to cool. Do not adjust the screw bands as that may affect the seal of the lids.

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