Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Refrigerated Rye Pickles

A while ago, we posted a recipe for Refrigerated Dill Pickles, which came out great.  But a few weeks ago, we saw something on TV where a deli made it's own rye pickles.  They sounded awesome, so I set out to make some and decided to go with caraway seeds (which are often used in rye bread).

I'm a dill pickle junkie and tonight makes 48 hours of pickling for my rye pickles.  I took a bite to give 'em a try and clapped a few times like a dork in my kitchen.  These might be the best pickles I've ever had.  These suckers are potent with just a little spicy kick to 'em.  It took me about 10 minutes to prepare the pickle juice and cut up the cucumber.  Might cost you a little to get the initial ingredients unless you have a massive horde like us.  But once you've got 'em, you can make a lot of jars of pickles for not much money at all.  Beats paying $4 for a jar of Claussen!

This recipe was serious and heavy.  And I truly felt, in my heart of hearts, it needed some serious and heavy music.  So... you know... Me First And The Gimme Gimmes doing the best Ghost Rider In The Sky since John Belushi.  Actually... this is a really great live video.  So check it out.  -jen

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Refrigerate Time:  2 days
Makes:  1 quart
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    Caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Accent (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons whole caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
  • 1 teaspoon pickling spice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried shallots
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 fresh sprigs of dill
  • 1/4 cup malt vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 cucumber, sliced into spears (seedless is better, but regular works too)
In a 1-quart jar, add salt, Accent, caraway seeds, peppercorn, pickling spice, mustard seed, pepper flakes, dried shallots and garlic.  Twist the dill sprigs into a wreath shape and lay atop the spices.  Add both vinegars.  Pack the jar with the cucumber spears and add water until cucumber is covered.  Place the lid on and shake it all up.  Refrigerate for at least 2 days.  (I like to rotate the jar a few times, flipping it onto it's top for a while.)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mushroom & Onion Smothered Chicken

This was the dish we made to go along with our Parmesan & Basil Zucchini.  Normally we just throw the seasoned chicken in the oven, but I felt like something extra to go with it the night I made this.  I was originally just going to saute the mushrooms and onion, but then decided to make 'em saucy.  Pretty quick and easy!  We don't do carbs a whole lot with our dinner, but with this sauce, I wished I'd made some rice or barley or even mashed potatoes to go along with it.

I'm gonna whip out a little old school punk here - Justin will be pleasantly surprised, as this is more to his liking.  I can't even tell you why this song just popped into my head as I was wondering what to post.  All I know is... whenever I think of FEAR, I think of Lee Ving (lead singer) in the movie Clue, as Mr. Boddy.  I love that movie.  Sad side note, Eileen Brennan, who played Mrs. Peacock, just died a few days ago.  So maybe this song is apropos after all.  Here's FEAR, "Living in the City".  -jen

Time:  40 minutes
Difficulty:  Easy
Serves:  4-6
  • 6 chicken thighs, skin on/bone in
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8oz whole mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 a medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil (for easy clean up) and drizzle a little olive oil over the foil or use some non-stick cooking spray on it.

Pat chicken thighs dry with a paper towel.  Pull the skin back and with your choice of seasoning (seasoning salt, Mrs. Dash type seasonings, or just make your own "house" seasoning with salt, pepper and garlic powder), season the meat under the skin.  Lay the skin back over the thigh evenly and season the top of the skin, as well as the bottom of the thigh.  Place on prepared baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until juices run clear.  (Adjust time for smaller or larger thighs.)  Let rest 5 minutes before serving.  Note:  Baking at this high of a heat crisps up the chicken skin nicely!

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, combine butter and olive oil over a medium-high heat until hot.  Add chopped mushrooms and onions.  Saute 5-7 minutes or until onions are just turning translucent.  Add garlic, sage and tarragon, cooking an additional 1-2 minutes.  Sprinkle flour over vegetables, stirring to coat, and cook 3 more minutes.  Whisk in chicken broth, Worcestershire and heavy cream (which is optional, it just lends a little more creaminess to it).  Continue whisking over medium-high heat until sauce thickens.  Turn to a low heat and whisk in sherry.  Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.  (If you use a cooking sherry, it's salted and you may not require much more salt in the sauce.)  Remove from heat and serve over baked chicken.