vegetarian

Fried Dill Pickles

fried-dill-pickles fried-pickles

In the South we always have a jar of dill pickles in our fridge, it’s a necessity and of course we fry everything so fried pickles are just a perfect combination. I am not tooting my own horn or anything (okay maybe a little) but my recipe here is the best I have had. One problem I have always noticed when eating other peoples is that they are not crisp enough and the batter is not holding. So my solution was to double batter and it has always worked like a charm.

You need to make sure your oil is hot (325F using a candy thermometer). I use a small saucepan and that way you do not have to waste a lot of oil or make a big mess. These babies are always served with ranch dressing on the side and I add a few drops of Tabasco sauce in mine to give it a little tang. I also use my hands for this entire process (keep some napkins handy). Now come on you all you gotta try them at least once!

4 dill pickles, sliced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk (I use laban)
Sunflower oil
Tabasco sauce
Ranch dressing

1. On medium heat add about 1 inch of oil into a small saucepan. Allow to reach 325F.

2. In a small bowl add eggs, a few drops of Tabasco sauce and buttermilk, mix.

3. In another small bowl add flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic, mix well.

4. Coat pickles in milk mixture, flour mixture, milk mixture an then again in flour mixture. Carefully place into hot oil and repeat. Fry until golden then remove with tongs and place on a paper towel to drain.

5. In a small bowl add ranch dressing and Tabasco sauce, mix.

Yields: 4 servings

Stuffed Grape Leaves with Rice

stuffed-grape-leaves

Since I have started this site I get so many emails asking me why I do not have any recipes for grape leaves. I mean it is one of the biggest Arabic recipes out there after all. There are a lot of versions of grape leaves and this is one of the Saudi ways to make them. The other contains ground beef and I will try to get it up here sometime in the future. If you’re not exactly sure how to roll or arrange these in the pan then you should check out YouTube and you will have it in no time.

1/2 kg. Grape leaves
2 cups small grain rice (Egyptian)
4 white onions, minced
1/2 tablespoon lemon salt
1/2 bunch mint, chopped
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil plus 1/2 cup olive oil
1 large tomato, chopped
4 cups water
1/2 tablespoon salt
3 tomatoes, quartered for garnish

1. Wash rice and drain in strainer.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add rice, onion, mint, parsley, chopped tomato, lemon salt, salt and 1/4 cup olive oil, mix.

3. Wash grape leaves and in a large saucepan with boiling water boil for 2 minutes. Spread grape leaves keeping the rough side up and stuff with an 1/2 tablespoon of the mix. Bend both edges of the leaves to the inside and roll in a finger shape, repeat until all are stuffed.

4. Spread two layers of grape leaves in the bottom of the pan, arrange some on top, pour 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1 cup of water and cover the top with a plate so the leaves do not move.

5. Cook on low heat add a water a bit at a time until done. Allow to cool then arrange on a plate and garnish.

Roasted Carrot Soup

carrot-soup carrot-soup-recipe

I have heard about carrot soup quite a bit and although I love carrots I was not sure how an actual carrot soup would taste. I have had the flu this past week and wanting a nice warm soup and with an abundance of carrots I thought I would give a new recipe a try. Wow, was I impressed what a great soup this is and I am only sad that I am just figuring out what most of you all probably already know.

6 large carrots, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cups vegetable stock (or chicken)
1 piece ginger, an inch long, peeled
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Add sliced carrots onto a baking sheet and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on top. Place under the broiler in the oven for about 10 minutes making sure to flip every few minutes. Carrots should start to brown.

2. Meanwhile in a saucepan on medium heat add stock, remaining olive oil, ginger, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Add carrots into stock.

3. Bring to a full boil them reduce to simmer and cook for a remaining 10 minutes. Remove ginger from soup.

4. Place a stick blender in the pan and puree. Serve.

Yields: 4 servings

Lohikeitto- Finnish Salmon Soup

When I came across this popular Finnish salmon soup I just knew I had to try it. I always seem to have salmon in the freezer and we really love seafood based soups. I really enjoyed this soup since its a lot like potato soup that we make in the south. The added salmon is really the only difference.

4 cups water
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
2 regular sized potatoes, cubed
3/4 pound salmon filet, skinned, de-boned and cut into cubes
3/4 cups heavy cream
dash ground allspice
salt and pepper to taste
scallions, for garnish (optional)

1. In a  4-quart saucepan on medium heat add olive oil and onions, cook until tender. Add bay leaves, allspice, salt and pepper, mix.

2. Carefully pour water into pan, add potatoes and allow to cook until thoroughly cooked, about 20 minutes covered.

3. Remove lid and add salmon and cream, cook for 6 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

Yields: 2 servings