Garlic Dill Spiced Pickles

Let’s face it, it’s pickle season. Everywhere I turn it seems as though a jar of pickles are out, whether for snacking on, or as a side companion to a grilled burger, or better yet a bloody mary. For the last few weeks I have been making quick pickles, and I typically snack on one when I get home from work. The thing I love about making these quick pickles is that you can really make them however you want, and this past batch was really one inspired by a quick trip to my local farmer’s market. Kirby pickles were everywhere, and they caught my attention. I picked up a batch, along with some banana peppers, dill, and garlic, and hence where this pickle recipe came from.

Garlic Dill Spiced Pickles
Garlic Dill Spiced Pickles

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 kirby pickles, sliced in half, lengthwise
  • 1 whole banana pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup of fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups of vinegar
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp salt

Start by adding the vinegar, sugar, salt, and water to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then remove from the stove, and let the pickling liquid cool. As it cools, toss in the dill, garlic, and banana peppers.

To a large mason jar, add in the halved kirby pickles. pour in all of the pickling mixture to cover the pickles, and cover with the lid.

Garlic Dill Pickles
Garlic Dill Pickles

Let these sit for a couple of days to let all of the flavors meld, then dig into them as you would any other pickle. These things are great. You get a bit of the dill, the garlic, and a subtle heat from the peppers. A perfect use farmers market ingredients, and a super simple recipe to boot. Hope you enjoy!

Garlic Dill Spiced Pickles
Author: 
Recipe type: Pickles
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 6-8 kirby pickles, sliced in half, lengthwise
  • 1 whole banana pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup of fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups of vinegar
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the vinegar, sugar, salt, and water to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then remove from the stove, and let the pickling liquid cool. As it cools, toss in the dill, garlic, and banana peppers.
  2. To a large mason jar, add in the halved kirby pickles. pour in all of the pickling mixture to cover the pickles, and cover with the lid.
  3. Let these sit for a couple of days to let all of the flavors meld, then dig into them as you would any other pickle.

 

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Korean Style Zucchini

Gochujang has become my new best friend. If you are not familiar with gochujan, it is essentially a Korean condiment that is a bit spicy, lightly fermented, and one that just has this sweet and savory taste that it just gets highly addicting. Gochujang is commonly used in Korean recipes such as bibimbap and soups, and the thing I love about it is that it has just the right amount of spice that is perfectly balanced by this sweetness. Don’t judge me, but I always lick the spoon when I am using this condiment.

With that said, you have probably known for the last few weeks that I am continuing to harvest zucchini from our garden. This is when the idea sparked to make chicken lettuce wraps for the kids, and as the Koreans are known for having banchan (small dishes that accompany a meal), I figured making these Korean style zucchini. I fell in love with this, and I think you might as well.

Korean Style Zucchini
Korean Style Zucchini

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small to medium sized zucchini, cut into 1 inch coins, then quartered
  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tbsp Japanese Sushi Seasoning, often called Furikake (optional)

Simple, right? The only small challenge may be finding the gochujang paste, but you can probably find this in your Asian grocery store, or in the ‘ethnic’ aisle in your grocery store.

Korean Style Zucchini Ingredients
Korean Style Zucchini Ingredients

Start by heating a medium skillet on medium heat. Toss in the zucchini, as well as the gochujang. Give a good stir, and gently mash in the gochujang. Add the water to assist in making a thinner sauce. Continue cooking until the zucchini is heated through, and the sauce coats the zucchini. Toss in the furikake if you desire. This adds that additional distinct flavor that you would find in a standard sushi roll.

Korean Style Zucchini
Korean Style Zucchini

Serve as a side to any dish. The end result is the perfect crunch of the zucchini, and then the awesome punch from the gochujang. Trust me, this Korean condiment will have you thinking endlessly of what it can be used on, and this was only one of those ideas. Hope you enjoy!

Korean Style Zucchini
Author: 
Recipe type: Sides
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 small to medium sized zucchini, cut into 1 inch coins, then quartered
  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ½ tbsp Japanese Sushi Seasoning, often called Furikake (optional)
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a medium skillet on medium heat. Toss in the zucchini, as well as the gochujang. Give a good stir, and gently mash in the gochujang. Add the water to assist in making a thinner sauce. Continue cooking until the zucchini is heated through, and the sauce coats the zucchini. Toss in the furikake if you desire. This adds that additional distinct flavor that you would find in a standard sushi roll.
  2. Serve as a side to any dish.

 

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Cheesy Corn Casserole

Summer is almost over <sigh>, but with that said, there has been some really, and I mean really good corn this year. We have tried a variety, but there is one batch that my coworker brought in from Fondy’s Farmers Market that was probably hands down the best corn I’ve had in quite some time. The texture was spot on and the sweetness just blew our mind, plus they were some of the larger types of corn I have seen in some time now. With that said, my coworker brought in two large paper bags of corn, loaded to the top and said take what you want. I probably took about 12 or so ears of corn, and this recipe was inspired not only by the corn, but a conversation my colleague and I had about a cheesy corn casserole. His idea sounded so good I was going to go out on a limb and try coming up with my own version.

Cheesy Corn Casserole Recipe
Cheesy Corn Casserole Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups of cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ears of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 lb thick cut ham, cubed
  • 2 whole banana peppers, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted, mashed
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs

Start by heading a medium sized pot on medium heat. Add in the butter and let it melt until it comes to a bubble. Next, toss in the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon so that all of the butter soaks up the flour. Continue to stir for a couple of minutes to cook out the flour. Don’t let it get too dark, just a light golden, if any color at all. Now add in the milk and continue to stir. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens. This is your standard bechamel sauce.  Once the sauce thickens, add in the cream cheese and cheddar cheese, as well as the garlic salt. Lower the heat, and stir until all the cheese is melted, and you have a smooth consistency.

Cheesy Corn Casserole Ingredients
Cheesy Corn Casserole Ingredients

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

To a large mixing bowl, add in the corn, the cubed ham, black pepper, banana peppers, roasted garlic, and tomato. Mix to combine everything. Next, pour in the cheese sauce, and continue to stir until everything is nice and coated.

Add the mixture to your casserole dish, top with the bread crumbs. Place into the oven and cook for about 30 minutes, uncovered. The top should be nice and golden brown, and the casserole itself should be a bit bubbly. Carefully remove, and get ready to dig in.

The end result is nothing short of fantastic. You get the sweetness and the pop from the corn, the cheese blend (don’t get me started on how good that is), and the savoriness from the ham. Did I mention the garlic? Good Lord this stuff is great and is perfect for your backyard gathering, plus this one feeds a small army. Comfort all around, even in the summer. Hope you enjoy and hoping everyone has a great rest of your summer!

Cheesy Corn Casserole
Author: 
Recipe type: Casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups of cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ears of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 lb thick cut ham, cubed
  • 2 whole banana peppers, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted, mashed
  • ½ tbsp garlic salt
  • 1½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Start by heading a medium sized pot on medium heat. Add in the butter and let it melt until it comes to a bubble. Next, toss in the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon so that all of the butter soaks up the flour. Continue to stir for a couple of minutes to cook out the flour. Don’t let it get too dark, just a light golden, if any color at all. Now add in the milk and continue to stir. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens. This is your standard bechamel sauce. Once the sauce thickens, add in the cream cheese and cheddar cheese, as well as the garlic salt. Lower the heat, and stir until all the cheese is melted, and you have a smooth consistency.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  3. To a large mixing bowl, add in the corn, the cubed ham, black pepper, banana peppers, roasted garlic, and tomato. Mix to combine everything. Next, pour in the cheese sauce, and continue to stir until everything is nice and coated.
  4. Add the mixture to your casserole dish, top with the bread crumbs. Place into the oven and cook for about 30 minutes, uncovered. The top should be nice and golden brown, and the casserole itself should be a bit bubbly. Carefully remove, and get ready to dig in.

 

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Kale and Mushroom Open Faced Quesadilla

It seems like we are always consuming tortillas in my house, whether that be flour or corn tortillas. Maybe because we have the usual taco Tuesday, or taco Thursday for that matter. One of my son’s favorite lunch time meals is probably a cheese quesadilla, and a couple of weeks ago, when I got back from our farmer’s market, I decided to use some of the things I had laying around and make something for my wife. I had some white cheddar cheese that I needed to use up, and that’s when this idea came up to make an open faced quesadilla. Now sure, feel free to fold this sucker over, I don’t mind, but whatever the case, the combination of these ingredients was really, really great, plus it’s meatless, so it’s even better.

Kale and Mushroom Quesadilla Recipe
Kale and Mushroom Quesadilla Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 flour tortilla
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup of lacianto kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup portabella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, cubed

Start by heating a skillet on medium-low heat. Add in the canola oil, and bring it up to temperature.

Add in the kale and the mushrooms, and cook until the kale is nice and tender, about 15 minutes. Stir periodically.

Kale and Mushroom Quesadilla Ingredients
Kale and Mushroom Quesadilla Ingredients

When the kale and mushrooms are softened, remove and place them in a bowl, and wipe out the skillet.

Return the skillet to the stove on medium-low heat, and add in the flour tortilla. Top with about 3/4 of the white cheddar cheese, then scatter the kale and mushrooms over the top. Place any remaining cheddar cheese on top of the mushrooms and kale.

Kale and Mushroom Quesadilla Recipe
Kale and Mushroom Quesadilla Recipe

Slowly cook the quesadilla until the tortilla gets nice and crisp and golden, and the cheese fully melts. Feel free to place a cover on the skillet to assist with melting the cheese.

When the cheese is fully melted, plate and serve.

The combination of kale and mushrooms in itself it awesome, but then you get this great sharpness from the white cheddar cheese that brings it all together. My wife loved it, and I loved every second making this for her. Hope you enjoy!

Kale and Mushroom Open Faced Quesadilla
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 flour tortilla
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • ½ cup of lacianto kale, chopped
  • ½ cup portabella mushrooms, chopped
  • ½ cup white cheddar cheese, cubed
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a skillet on medium-low heat. Add in the canola oil, and bring it up to temperature.
  2. Add in the kale and the mushrooms, and cook until the kale is nice and tender, about 15 minutes. Stir periodically.
  3. When the kale and mushrooms are softened, remove and place them in a bowl, and wipe out the skillet.
  4. Return the skillet to the stove on medium-low heat, and add in the flour tortilla. Top with about ¾ of the white cheddar cheese, then scatter the kale and mushrooms over the top. Place any remaining cheddar cheese on top of the mushrooms and kale.
  5. Slowly cook the quesadilla until the tortilla gets nice and crisp and golden, and the cheese fully melts. Feel free to place a cover on the skillet to assist with melting the cheese.
  6. When the cheese is fully melted, plate and serve.

 

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