Tag Archives: dill

Latvia…

Sunday, November 10 –

This dinner was good. Really good. I would make it again and my diet would hate me. If you want a rich, filling, delicious meal that most people would like, this is a good option for you. It was just BestestHusbandEver and latviame and I really wish more people could have experienced the plate-licking goodness.

I started by putting the potatoes on to boil. Then I started the cream sauce. We didn’t end up picking up mushrooms for it (which totally broke BestestHusbandEver’s heart *ahem*) so it was an onion cream sauce instead. Once that was done I coated the pork, fried it hot and fast in oil, and set them aside. BestestHusbandEver drained the potatoes and put the rest of the ingredients in the pan so that everything would get coated evenly.

Dinner was served. The potatoes were perfectly cooked and the sour cream and dill on the outside was a wonderful way of preparing them. The pork was juicy and tender and the cream sauce was so good!

Latvia
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.saveur.com)

Karbonāde (Pork Cutlets With Canterelle Cream Sauce) 

  • 1/4 cup canola oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 10 3–4-oz. pork cutlets, pounded to 1/4″-thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 4 cups roughly chopped chanterelle mushrooms
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Place flour in a medium bowl, and whisk together eggs and 1/4 cup water in another medium bowl; set both aside. Season cutlets with salt and pepper, then dredge 3 cutlets in flour. Dip in egg mixture until evenly coated, then place in skillet; cook, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to serving platter and repeat with remaining cutlets, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

Add butter to skillet, then onion; cook, stirring often, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until they release their liquid and begin to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Add cream and cook, stirring, until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. To serve, pour sauce over cutlets, and sprinkle with parsley.

Kartupeli ar Dillem (Boiled Potatoes With Dill)

  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 lb. small Yukon Gold or new potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 6 tbsp. minced fresh dill
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring an 8-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to pot with sour cream, dill, butter, salt, and pepper. Cover pan with lid and shake until potatoes are well coated. Transfer to large serving bowl, and season with additional salt and pepper.
Advertisements

Hungary…

Monday, March 18 –

Full house for this dinner, that’s for sure! We had: Hot Momma (wine and bread), Baby Bear, MoneyShot, SlotMachine (cucumber salad, wine, and beer), Officially Gangster, ChinUp (goulash), MyBuddy, photo(5)BestestFianceEver, and yours truly. Whew, what a crowd! And we had some seriously good food, too.

I heated up two large pans and put the cubed pork in, browning the pieces on both sides but not worrying about cooking them all the way through. Then I transferred the pieces from the secondary pan to the main large one and added a little oil to the smaller pan and cooked the onions until they were translucent. In the big pan I added in the paprika, crushed tomato, sugar, bay leaves, water, and drained sauerkraut. Once the onions were done I added them in as well. Covered and set to simmer on low until everyone showed up. Once everyone was over I added the sour cream, stirred, and it was ready to go.

The green beans I rinsed and trimmed off the ends. I put them into a large pot, covered them in water, set it on the stove, covered it and turned it onto medium high. I let that boil until they were tender but not squishy. Drained and set aside. In another pan, while the beans were simmering, I melted the butter, added the onions, and cooked until they were soft. I used dried dill and then added the flour. Once that was well mixed I added the rest, let it bubble, and it thickened pretty quickly. I added the beans, stirred, turned the heat to low and put the lid back on.

That’s all four burners going at once! Which meant I had to quickly shuffle the two extra pans into the sink when everyone showed up so that the goulash could be on the heat as well. And dinner was served!photo(4)

The pork was tender and cooked through after being on low for about 40 minutes. The sauerkraut, tomatoes, and sour cream tasted almost like a vodka sauce for pasta. You almost couldn’t tell it was sauerkraut except for the texture. That with a good crusty bread would be a great warm, filling dinner. The goulash looked tender (I say looked because I didn’t try it, as it was beef) but the potatoes I did nibble on had great flavor and were extremely good. And finally the cucumber salad was a good bright, sharp flavor to cut between the rich flavors.

Definitely a win all around – and all of the plates were scraped clean. Keep these recipes handy!

Hungary
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: http://homepage.interaccess.com/~june4)

Sauerkraut and Pork (Szekely gulyas)

  • 2 lbs. pork cubedphoto(6)
  • 1 &1/2 lbs. sauerkraut, rinse and drained
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbls. lard or oil (if meat is very lean)
  • 2 Tbls. Hungarian sweet paprika (no generic please)
  • 1 large can of crushed tomato (or fresh tomatoes peeled and crushed)
  • 1 Tbls. sugar
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 pint of sour cream (no yogurt please)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat and onion (in lard or oil if needed) in a pot with lid. Add the paprika to the meat and onion mix, stir to mix in (do not burn). Put in the drained sauerkraut, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves and sugar. Mix. Cover pot. Cook slowly for about one hour, or until meat is tender. Add the sour cream and stir it in. The aroma will make yphoto(3)our mouth water. Serve in soup plates, with good crusty bread, a meal fit for the Kaiser.

Green Beans with Dill (Kapros zoldbabfozelek)

  • 2 packages of green beans
  • 2 Tbl. Lard or butter
  • 2 Tbl. flour
  • 1/2 cup of sliced onion
  • 1/4 cup of good vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbl. chopped fresh dill

Directions: Cook beans in salted water till tender, not soft. Melt lard or butter, add onions and saute till limp, add chopped dill. Then add flour making a roux. Add 1 cup of water, sugar and vinegar and stir while the sauce gets thick. Add drained beans, and mix, if too thick add a little more water.


Egypt…

Wednesday, August 15 –

Last week’s dinner was a little painful, mostly because I was frying food and it felt like it was 90* outside. Ugh. But the dinner and the company more than made up for the torture in the kitchen. It was BestestEverFiance, Bestie Extraordinaire (who brought ciders and pita to share), and LittleLamb (one of my friends that I’ve known the longest that should get a huge kick out of that name).

I started this off by mixing the lamb with the onion and spices, letting it sit while I mixed the falafel mixture. Then I mixed the tzatziki mixture and put it in the fridge to stay cold. Once everything was prepped, I started frying the falafels. I chopped the chickpeas with a pastry cutter, so there were bigger chunks of chickpeas in the patties. But I tasted them as they were done frying and they still tasted like the falafel I was hoping to have. Bestie Extraordinaire helped to make a tomato/basil salad and formed the meat patties for me. The lamb patties went into the same pan that I cooked the falafel in. We toasted some pita in the oven and then brought everything outside to serve on the picnic table we have to enjoy the nice weather.

The falafel was perfectly browned, nicely seasoned, and had great flavor. They disappeared really, really quickly. The kefta were ok, in my opinion, but didn’t knock my socks off. I’ve definitely done better work with lamb before. I would have wanted more seasoning in them and a bbq flavor instead, if I made them again. The tzatziki was cold and delicious on everything we ate. The tomato/basil salad was a perfect addition to break up the fried flavors. And pita is always a good decision.

 

Egypt
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.whats4eats.com and www.allrecipes.com)

Kefta (Middle Eastern spiced meatballs)

  •     Ground lamb or beef, or a mixture of the two — 2 pounds
  •     Onion, minced — 1
  •     Fresh parsley or mint, finely chopped — 1/2 bunch
  •     Ground cumin — 1 tablespoon
  •     Cinnamon — 2 teaspoons
  •     Allspice (optional) — 1 teaspoon
  •     Salt and pepper — to season
  •     Oil — 1/4 cup

Method:

Place the ground beef or lamb, onion, herbs, spices, salt and pepper in a large bowl and knead together well. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1-2 hours to allow the flavors to mingle and make the meat easier to handle.

Form the meat mixture into balls, patties or ovals the size of a small egg.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium flame and, working in batches, sauté the meatballs until browned on all sides and cooked through. Browned meatballs can also be finished in a 350ºF oven.

Serve as is or in pita bread as a sandwich with tzatziki sauce.

Variations:

  1.     Keftedes (Greece): add some breadcrumbs and a little red wine to the meat mixture.
  2.     Köfte (Turkey): add some breadcrumbs and form the meat into a sausage shape on skewers. Oil the meat well and grill over hot coals.
  3.     Before frying, you can roll the kefta in some flour and shake off the extra to help them brown.
  4.     Experiment with different seasonings–coriander, cayenne, sesame seeds.

Falafels

  •     1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and mashed with fork
  •     3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  •     1 small unpeeled red potato, shredded
  •     1/4 cup diced red onion
  •     2 cloves garlic, crushed
  •     1 egg
  •     1 tablespoon olive oil
  •     1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  •     1 teaspoon lemon juice
  •     1 teaspoon ground cumin
  •     1/4 teaspoon salt
  •     1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •     1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  •     1 cup canola oil for frying

Directions:

Combine chickpeas, 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs, red potato, red onion, garlic, egg, 1 tablespoon olive oil, cilantro, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, cumin, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl.

Form mixture into 2-inch patties. Place 1/4 cup panko crumbs in a shallow bowl. Gently press patties into the crumbs to coat.

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Fry patties in the hot oil until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Set patties aside.

Tzatziki Sauce

  •     8 ounces plain yogurt
  •     2 tablespoons olive oil
  •     1 tablespoon lemon juice
  •     1/2 teaspoon salt
  •     1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •     1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  •     3 cloves pressed garlic

Azerbaijan…

Friday, October 14 –

How do you take a task like this, with crohn’s eating restrictions, and make it even more complicated? You add a good friend who is allergic to amines and also has other assorted food allergies. This friend, my wonderful Amine Chef, and I have cooked all kinds of different dishes and meals together so I knew we could figure it out, we just had to wait for the right country to come along. And – ta da! – Azerbaijan provided the right base of recipes for us to modify so that we could eat dinner together. Fortunately, the lamb recipe started out amine-friendly and the only things we had to substitute were the vinegar and the lemon juice for the asparagus and pilaf. We also had to make sure the broth was organic, but that was easy to buy at the store.

So I started on the lamb while she started on the asparagus and pilaf. Let me pause to say that the original recipe called for green beans instead of asparagus, but we couldn’t find any that were fresh and good quality. So we went with asparagus instead.  The lamb was boiled in water (again, with the boiling meat thing…) until not pink. Then it was simmered in the sauce made by the onions, butter, pomegranates, and chestnuts. The smell of the sauce was intoxicating and all three of us (Amine Chef, Roommate Extraordinaire and I) kept stealing little bites out of the pan as we waited for it to simmer down and the rest of the food to finish cooking. The meat was tough and chewy (yet another example of why I think boiling meat is my least favorite way of cooking) but the sauce made up for it – in spades. I could put that sauce on chicken or pork and be just as happy to soak up the meat and sauce with naan or rice. If you’ve never opened a pomegranate before and would like to learn how, please check out this video, I promise that the method shown works perfectly.

Amine Chef started the asparagus and got the stalks blanched and into the modified marinade. (Here is her recipe for the low-amine asparagus as we had it. Delish!) Then she got to work on the pilaf, which we both agreed could be made in the rice cooker. Silliest idea I’ve had so far (on this cooking journey, anyway). She put all of the ingredients and part of the water into the rice cooker, which popped to say it was done while the rice was still a big, goopy mess. We figured that if we just put it into a hot pan and kept stirring it, some of the goopiness would go away. It did, kind of. We did still have sticky, lumpy rice-substance, but at least it wasn’t runny…

As the three of us dished up to eat and the smells were very exciting. We served up the lamb, pilaf-mess, asparagus, and plain Greek yogurt to dip the asparagus in. The lamb was just as chewy as I thought it would be, but the flavor more than made up for it. The pilaf largely got ignored, probably because of the texture. The asparagus was a sharp, tangy flavor that cut nicely into the other dishes and the yogurt was a perfect accompaniment to the vinegar/dill flavors.

Things I have learned: I am still convinced that boiling meat is NOT the way. I will do it if I have to in order to keep the recipes as close to the original form as I can… but I don’t have to like it. Also, not every rice recipe can go into a rice cooker – this one just taught me that. I’ll have to make another pilaf for one of these countries to do it the right way. And, a nice, deeply flavored red wine goes perfectly with lamb.

Azerbaijan
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.azcookbook.com, www.ricegourmet.com, and www.news.az/recipes)

Braised Lamb with Pomegranates and Chestnuts (Nar Govurmasi)

Note: Typically, saffron infusion is added to jazz up the flavor of the dish, but if not available, use a generous pinch of turmeric powder instead (no need to dissolve in water).

  •  2 pounds (900g) boneless or bone-in lamb (such as breast, shoulder or leg), cut into medium size serving pieces (substitute with veal)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, peeled, cut into half lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
  • 4 cups blanched and shelled chestnuts
  • salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups pomegranate seeds (preferably a tangy variety)

Directions: Put the meat in a medium saucepan and fill it with water, enough to just cover the meat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the meat is no more pink inside, about 20 minutes. During that time, with a slotted spoon, skim off the froth that may surface to top. Strain the meat through a fine-mesh strainer, reserving the broth (you will need some of it later). Put the meat on a separate plate.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until light golden, about 10 minutes. Add the meat to the onion and cook together, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes (the onions will almost melt down).

Add the chestnuts to the meat. Using a mortar and pestle, powder saffron threads (you should obtain about a pinch of powder), then dissolve the powder in 2 tablespoons hot water. Add the saffron-water along with 1 cup reserved broth to the pan with the meat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Cover and cook stirring occasionally (too much stirring may break the chestnuts) for about 30 minutes, or until the meat is fully cooked and the chestnuts are tender (they must hold their shape). If you are going to serve immediately, add the pomegranate seeds, cover and simmer over for 5 more minutes. If you are going to serve later, add the pomegranates just before serving and cook briefly. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with bread or as a topping to rice pilaf. Nush Olsun! Enjoy! Serves 4.

Dill Pilaf

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 3 T oil
  • 4 cups beans
  • 2 T margarine
  • 1.5 cups water or meat broth
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 bunch of dill
  • salt

Preparation:  Boil a lot of water (about8 cups), a pinch of salt and a few drops of oil, add the rice and when tender pour out the excess water. Put the strained rice in a pot sprinkle some oil on the rice. Set aside. Melt the margarine and put into a saucepan with 1 1/2 glasses of water, flour, lemon juice, and a little salt, and mix. Pare the beans. Add to the saucepan, cover and simmer until cooked. Take a heavy pot , Add 1 cup of water and steam the rice and the beans which you layer on top of the rice. Cook on low until the rice is fully cooked. Chop the dill. Fold into the steaming rice and serve.

Sarımsaqla göy lobya – Green beans with garlic

  • 400 g/1 lb green beans (runner beans or French beans)
  • 25 g/1 oz garlic
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 75 g/3 oz grape vinegar
  • a few sprigs of dill
  • salt
  • a few spoonfuls of plain yoghurt (optional)

Preparation: Cook the green beans in salted water for 6 to 10 minutes. Strain and set aside to cool. When chilled, add the crushed garlic, vinegar and vegetable and mix thoroughly. leave for 2 to 4 hours for the flavours to penetrate the beans. Sprinkle with finely chopped dill. Serve with plain yoghurt (optional).