Tag Archives: vinegar

Spicy Refrigerated Dill Pickles

16 Jul
Spicy Refrigerated Dill Pickles

Spicy Refrigerated Dill Pickles

A big shout out goes to Gail at snapshotsincursive for prompting me to head to my local farmer’s market and pick up some pickling cucumbers. It was a beautiful day to stroll around the market! I also scored some garlic scapes, which I hear are great grilled and will be grilling those up tonight too to go with some BBQ beef.

I pretty much used my Spicy Dilly Pickle recipe for this, but used crushed red pepper flakes instead of dried red chiles as I didn’t have any. I also used fresh dill from my herb garden! I’ll be bringing a jar or two of these to my friends I am visiting on the coast tomorrow for a couple of days as a housewarming gift. (I’m also bringing a beautiful summer squash I also picked up.)

Do like I did and get out to your local farmer’s market now and pick up some great fresh veggies and fruits that are now available!

Spicy Refrigerated Dill Pickles

About 2 pounds fresh pickling cucumbers
1 clove of garlic per jar, peeled
1/8 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes per jar
Small handful of fresh dill, per jar
1/2 teaspoon black or mixed peppercorns per jar
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed per jar
5 cups water
5 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup of pickling salt

Wash and dry 4 pint canning jars. Cut the ends of the cucumbers and slice them in half. Drop the garlic cloves, chile flakes, dill, peppercorns, and mustard seed in each jar, then pack the cucumbers lengthwise over them. Bring the water, vinegar and salt to a boil then pour it over the cucumbers. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours or overnight. Keep in refrigerator and use within 2 to 3 weeks. Crunch!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Perfect Potato Salad

12 Oct
Perfect Potato Salad

Perfect Potato Salad

This is a recipe that my husband adapted over the years from my 1981 Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. He is the one that usually makes this to take to potlucks or to serve with his awesome barbecued pork ribs, but this weekend I offered to take the helm and cook them myself. (I still let him cook the ribs, he is the BBQ King in this household.)

Fall is in the air, and this was potentially our last grilled meal for the season. At this time of year, the snow can fly at any time. But today was a beautiful, sunny fall day with just a hint of crispness in the air. It was a perfect day for this Perfect Potato Salad!

Perfect Potato Salad
Adapted from Creamy Potato Salad, 1981 Better Homes and Garden Cookbook

5 to 6 medium potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons celery seed
2 teaspoons mustard seed
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced onion
1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
Mrs. Dash, or salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced thin
Snipped chives (optional garnish)

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for about 30 minutes until you can pierce with a fork, but don’t let them get mushy! You want the potatoes slightly firm. Rinse under cold water, drain, then add to a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for several hours up to overnight.

Cold Chilled Potatoes Ready to Chop

Cold Chilled Potatoes Ready to Chop

Meanwhile, hard boil the eggs until done, about 15 minutes. Dunk in cold water, then refrigerate for several hours up to overnight.

Vinegar Mixture and Chopped Potatoes

Vinegar Mixture and Chopped Potatoes

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, celery and mustard seed, and sugar. Cover and refrigerate for several hours up to overnight. I prepped the potatoes, eggs, and vinegar mixture the day before.

Potato Salad Ingredients Ready to Combine

Potato Salad Ingredients Ready to Combine

A few hours before serving, chop the potatoes into bite-sized pieces and add back to the large bowl with the chopped celery and onion. Stir in the mayo to the vinegar mixture then toss with the potatoes lightly to coat, then season with Mrs. Dash or salt and ground pepper to taste, Arrange sliced eggs over top and garnish with snipped chives. Cover and chill thoroughly.

p.s. No, this is not the kitchen from my other house. The condo kitchen happens to have the same color granite as our rental kitchen did!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Carnitas Tacos with Spicy Pickled Red Onions

26 Jan
Carnitas Tacos with Spicy Pickled Red Onions

Carnitas Tacos with Spicy Pickled Red Onions

Some days I go on a cooking binge. I can’t help myself! I suddenly have lots of things I want to make and eat, and yesterday was one of those days. Countless hours of dashing around the kitchen, every measuring device in use, pots, pans, bowls, sticky messes covering all countertops. But when it’s all said and done, I’m tired, happy, and full. And have sore feet.

I had two missions to accomplish yesterday: One, was to concoct a fancy dessert (not my forté as you know) from scratch for an online cooking competition using three required ingredients. (You will get to read about that next week.) Second, was to finally try my hand at making carnitas, which is a Mexican dish of slow-braised pork and then broiled up into crispy bits of yumminess. I added a third mission later in the game and pickled up some spicy red onions to accompany the carnitas tacos. Whoa! Talk about a game changer. My photos don’t do that condiment justice. After my first bite, I went back and mounded way more pickled onions into my tacos. Delish!

Spicy Pickled Red Onions

Spicy Pickled Red Onions

I did learn a couple of things yesterday during all this though. You really should use a cut of pork butt or shoulder that has lots of fat and marbling in it. I only had some country-style boneless pork ribs, and they didn’t have near enough fat to render so had to add a little vegetable oil during the rendering process. I also figured out that by pouring some chicken or beef broth over the pork just before the broiling process lessened the dryness of the pork since it didn’t have the required fat in it. Lessons learned, but it was still incredibly tasty! We have plenty of leftover carnitas for use in either more tacos, burritos, or perhaps even a stew or chili? We shall see what becomes of the rest of the meat, now won’t we? Now on to the recipes!

Spiced-Up Pork and Juices

Spiced-Up Pork and Juices

Carnitas Tacos with Spicy Pickled Red Onions

For the Carnitas:
3 pounds pork butt or shoulder, cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces
Juice of 4 or 5 limes (about 1/4 cup)
Juice of 1 large orange (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon Ancho chile powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
Ground black pepper, to taste
About a half a bottle or can of beer
Vegetable oil, if needed
About 1 cup chicken or beef broth, if needed
Cotijo cheese, avocado, spicy pickled red onions, cilantro, and lime wedges, for garnish

For the Spicy Pickled Red Onions
1/2 large red onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
Juice of 1 large lemon (about 1/4 cup)
6 or 7 thin slices of fresh jalapeno
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic

Add the pork, juices, and spices to a dutch oven and cover with water to just cover the pork. Bring to a boil, then turn down low to simmer for at two hours. About halfway through simmering, I added a half a can of beer. Why, you ask? Because it was in my hand and seemed like a good idea. Did it make any difference? I have no idea, lol!

Simmering Pork

Simmering Pork

While the pork is simmering, you can make the pickled onions. Add all the ingredients to a glass jar, microwave uncovered for 45 seconds, cover with lid, and refrigerate until ready to use. Easy peasy!

After two hours, turn up the heat to medium high and cook the pork for about a half hour longer, until all the liquid is gone and the pork begins frying in its own fat. Or, if your pork doesn’t have enough fat, then add a little vegetable oil at this point to help it along.

Crispy Carnitas

Crispy Carnitas

Once the pork starts looking crispy and browned, remove it from the heat. Add the meat in one layer to a foil-lined baking sheet, pour about a half cup of chicken or beef broth over it, then put it in the oven on broil for 5 or so minutes. Remove the pan, turn pork over with a spatula, then add a little more broth over it. Return to oven and broil about 5 more minutes. Remove from oven, and serve immediately over corn tortillas warmed up in a dry skillet, with cotijo cheese, avocado, spicy pickled red onions, cilantro, and lime wedges.

Carnitas Tacos with Spicy Pickled Red Onions

Carnitas Tacos with Spicy Pickled Red Onions

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Parmesan Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Skillet

11 Aug

T

Parmesan Chicken Broccoli and Rice Skillet

Parmesan Chicken Broccoli and Rice Skillet

This is a quick and dirty post as I have to get back to work. We did a tag team on this dinner, as it was “my night” to cook last night but I ended up having to work until all hours. So I got the chicken defrosted and marinated, then arm-chair coached my hubby through the rest of it. This was literally a throw-it together dinner, and came out sooo tasty! We made a little too much rice, so I’ve halved the amount in the recipe below.

Parmesan Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Skillet

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced in half lengthwise
Black pepper
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Blend
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-salt
1/2 cup dried rice
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 head of broccoli florets, cooked
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

Season the chicken with black pepper and Mrs. Dash. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon, and vinegars. Marinate the chicken in it for at least a half hour up to an hour. Cook the rice in the chicken broth according to package directions and steam the broccoli. Meanwhile, add some of the marinade mixture to a medium-hot large skillet and add the chicken. Add a little more oil if needed. Cook the chicken about 5 to 7 minutes on each side, then remove and set aside. Deglaze the pan with the 1/4 cup vinegar mixture, then add the broccoli florets. Slice and cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and return to the pan. The rice should be done now so stir the rice into the  chicken broccoli mixture. Add a little more chicken broth if it looks too dry. Now stir in the Parmesan cheese, and serve immediately with more Parmesan on top.

Parmesan Chicken Broccoli and Rice Skillet

Parmesan Chicken Broccoli and Rice Skillet

Greek Chicken Pocket Sandwiches with Tzatziki and Cole Slaw

24 Jul
Greek Chicken Pocket Sandwiches with Tzatziki and Cole Slaw

Greek Chicken Pocket Sandwiches with Tzatziki and Cole Slaw

Oh my goodness, it’s been a week since my last post but this time you get a FOUR-FER! Yep, four recipes in this post. And, I think I may have found my new favorite sandwich! We had lunch two weekends ago at our annual downtown Summer Fest, where you get to peruse local artist’s crafts and maybe stop for a bite to at at local vendor’s food trucks. It was a really hot day so decided on a Mediterranean Chicken Wrap. It was quite delicious and figured I could make them myself.

And I did! Except I didn’t use regular flatbread, I used flatbread pocket bread, which is like a Pita Pocket except now it’s been renamed to the fancier Flatbread Pocket Bread and made with whole grain wheat, but really, who cares, right? Because it all holds the fillings the same and it’s all good! So light, so refreshing. And the fam gave it two thumbs up. In fact, we liked it so much I made it again last night. Now that’s telling you how good this is. My hubby made a fabulous cole slaw to go with it last night too with the other half of the English cucumber, which rounded this meal out perfectly. The list of ingredients below looks long with four recipes and such, but it’s not, since you use most of the same ingredients in them.

Greek Chicken

3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon of crushed dried oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound chicken breast, sliced in half length-wise or pounded thin

Tzatziki, Flatbread, and Condiments.

Tzatziki, Flatbread, and Condiments.

Tzatziki with Dill

1 cup Greek yogurt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh dill
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
Small amount of ground sea salt
Ground black pepper, to taste

Homemade Cole Slaw (Sort of)

1/2 small cabbage, sliced thin and chopped in half
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 cup small chopped or shredded carrots
1/4 cup store-bought cole slaw dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 good squeeze of a half of lemon
Lots of black pepper, to taste

Greek Chicken Pocket Sandwich

Greek Chicken Pocket Sandwich

Greek Chicken Pocket Sandwiches with Tzatziki

1 pound grilled Greek Chicken, diced
Diced tomato
Diced red onion
Flatbread pocket bread
Tzatziki
Chopped romaine lettuce

Mix together the marinade, then marinate the chicken in it for at least an hour or more. Meanwhile prepare the Tzatziki by mixing all those ingredients in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator. Now make the cole slaw by combining all those ingredients in a big bowl and also refrigerate. When ready to cook, grill the chicken over medium-high heat until done through, about 5 to 8  minutes per side.  Chop up the chicken into bite size pieces, and lay out the sandwich condiments in bowls. Assemble the pocket sandwiches with the chicken and yummies, serve with the cole slaw and enjoy!

Sloppy Joes Sliders

27 Mar
Sloppy Joes Sliders Fresh Out of Oven

Sloppy Joes Sliders Fresh Out of Oven

Until I made these last week, I had not had Sloppy Joes in upwards of 30 years, seriously. My mom always made them from the stuff out of a can, and it was one of my least favorite meals she made us as kids. Don’t get me wrong, my mom is a fantastic cook, but when you have six kids in soccer and the various games and practice schedules, sometimes dinner just had to be quick and easy. I was inspired to make these after making Baked Ham and Swiss Sliders for Super Bowl, but wanted to make it from scratch and had to rely on what was in the fridge and pantry, (except for the King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, which I insisted hubby drive to the store to get for me after he dropped our daughter off at piano lessons). First off, the variations to make these are off the charts. So I printed out two of the recipes combined them to give me the basis for the sauce. My daughter was gone for dinner that night, so I only prepared a half-rack of rolls, but made enough Sloppy Joes so that we could just heat up the Joes and plop on the rolls for a quick lunch/snack later in the week. I am happy I made these, and now have another ground beef meal to add to the rotation. Feel free to leave off the roll-topping sauce at the end, but it does add a wonderful dimension to the flavor.

Sloppy Joes Ground Beef, Peppers, and Onions

Sloppy Joes Ground Beef, Peppers, and Onions

Sloppy Joes Sliders

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup hot water
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/8 teaspoon Mexican oregano (or regular)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular)
1/4 teaspoon dried ground mustard
A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (or regular)
1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
1 6-ouce can of tomato paste
1 12-count package King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
Shredded Swiss Cheese

Sloppy Joes Mixture

Sloppy Joes Mixture

For the roll topping:
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Sloppy Joes Ready to Top

Sloppy Joes Ready to Top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef with the onions, red bell pepper, and garlic with ground black pepper to taste. When cooked through and starting to stick, drain the grease and deglaze the pan with the hot water.  Reduce the heat to medium, then add the rest of the ingredients except the rolls, cheese, and roll topping. Mix well and simmer until heated through and thickened, about 10 or 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix all the roll-topping ingredients and microwave for 30 seconds. Next assemble the sliders. Cut the rolls in half lengthwise, add the bottom of teh rolls to a lightly oil-sprayed casserole dish, then layer the Sloppy Joes on the bottom of the rolls. Next top with Swiss cheese. Last, add the roll tops, then brush the roll-topping over the rolls. Cover with foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover, and broil for just a few minutes. Keep an eye on them! Mine started to burn pretty quickly, so ended up with a few slightly more than browned on top. Good thing my hubby likes burnt toast, he got the darker ones. These sure were good, and way better than that stuff out of the cans!

Sloppy Joes Slider

Sloppy Joes Slider

%d bloggers like this: