Scallion and Ginger Oil

Scallions and ginger, oh my! OH MY is right. This stuff is something to be reckoned with. I normally have some sort of homemade sauce in my refrigerator, and it’s funny because we just upgraded our refrigerator, and kept our older one, primarily for all of my condiments and sauces. I swear I have an aisle of Asian condiments or ingredients, a variety of barbecue sauces, mustards, and ketchups, only to name a few. My wife is happy now that all of these condiments have their own home. But let’s get to the point. Scallion and ginger oil. Holy Moly this stuff is the bomb diggity. Super simple to make, and trust me, you will be using it on pretty much everything, well, besides chocolate chip pancakes or something along those lines, but that’s your game.

Scallion and Ginger Oil Recipe
Scallion and Ginger Oil Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches of scallions, cleaned, and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of grapeseed oil, warmed
  • 3 tbsp fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce, to taste
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar, to taste

I say to taste because once the mixture cools down and mixed, add more salt, soy sauce or vinegar to your liking.

Start by heating a pan on the stove over medium heat. Add the oil and let it come to a warm, if not hot temperature. Nothing smoking hot, but something you know is nice and warm.

During this time, get your other ingredients ready.

When the oil is hot, add the scallions, ginger, salt, soy sauce, and vinegar to a bowl.

Scallion and Ginger Oil Ingredients
Scallion and Ginger Oil Ingredients

Pour in the hot oil, and give a good stir. Let it come to room temperature, then taste a bit and adjust any seasoning if necessary.

Scallion and Ginger Oil
Scallion and Ginger Oil

Trust me when I say this. This stuff rocks. It’s almost the hidden umami that everyone questions when I use it, either on potatoes, omelets, or on grilled meat. It’s that good, and it lasts for weeks in the refrigerator.  Don’t judge me on the tomatoes, as I know they are not in season here, but we grilled some meat, had this as a side alongside some rice, and it was amazing. Simple and easy. Go for it and enjoy!

Indian Style Spiced and Glazed Cashews

I thought of just posting photos of food, but that would just be Instagram or Facebook, right? There is a rhyme to my reason, and that being said is to have this as part of my virtual memoir for my family. It’s part of that story where one of them is going to say ‘what was that awesome food Dad made that one day?’. That’s what this is about. This particular is only due to the fact that I went to Costco (yep) and purchased a crap load of cashews. Not only were they great sampling, hence why I bought them, but I figured I was going to create something out of them. When I brought them home, my wife started snacking on them, like her daily dose of almonds. I knew I made the right decision, so when my family left to run errands, I decided to come up with a spiced up cashew snack that I knew she would love (my kids, not so much).  Indian style spiced and glazed cashews that were addicting.

Indian Spiced and Glazed Cashews Recipe
Indian Spiced and Glazed Cashews Recipe

Let’s get this started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of plain cashews
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (make your own)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of water

Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees.

Next, on a medium heat on a large skillet, add the butter, and sugar. Toss in the water and nuts and cook on medium heat for about 7 minutes. You want the water to pretty much evaporate, and the butter and sugar to caramelize those nuts.

Indian Spiced and Glazed Cashews Recipe
Indian Spiced and Glazed Cashews Recipe

Excellente. Toss those suckers as well as you don’t want those cashews to burn. Adjust the heat as necessary but keep them from burning.

Once you have a great glaze on those cashews, remove them from the heat, and add them to a large bowl (or whatever holds the amount of cashews) and toss in the spice mix.

Toss well, or use a spoon to make sure the glaze and spice gets all over those nuts.

Line a baking sheet, or in my case a cast iron skillet, with parchment paper, and layer the spiced cashews.

Place into the oven and cook for about 12-15 minutes or until they look delicious and you cannot wait any longer.

You want to talk about great Indian spices, and an awesome nut, well sit around a small bowl of these and you have it going on. I hope you enjoy!

Dill Pickle Soup

I was first introduced to Dill Pickle Soup over a year ago at one of Milwaukee’s annual, ethnic festivals, Polish Fest. If you have never been to Milwaukee, please come from June-August as there are so many fun things to do, including an ethnic festival that takes over a major downtown park every week. The one we went to was Polish fest. I have no idea why, as none of us our Polish, but I wanted to give my kids a glimpse into some of their culture, plus I knew they would love a Polish sausage, which would lure them into a couple of attractions. For me, well, it was to try new things, and things I would typically not run into on a regular basis. That’s when I saw dill pickle soup.

Dill Pickle Soup Recipe
Dill Pickle Soup Recipe

At first glance of those words, I thought there is no freaking way this is going to be good, but hey, it’s worth a try. So as I ordered sausages for my kids, and something else for my wife, I went all in and dove into this cup of dill pickle soup. At first glance it looks like a vegetable soup, then when sticking my nose to the rim of the cup, I could smell that dill flavor coming through. Don’t get me wrong, I love pickles, especially dill pickles, but in soup? What were these Polish folks thinking? It’s soup season in Wisconsin (yes, it’s currently -6 degrees), and I figured this one would warm the soul.

Let’s get started.

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 whole carrots, trimmed, and finely diced (I used my food processor)
  • 1 whole leek, cleaned, thinly diced (I used my food processor)
  • 1 whole russet potato, peeled, and cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, diced
  • 5 cups of chicken stock, low sodium
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups of dill pickle juice
  • 4 dill pickle spears, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • Some good crusty bread, optional

Sounds great already, and trust me it is.

Start by getting your soup pot on the stove. Add in your butter, on medium-high heat, and let that melt down. Toss in your carrots, leeks, jalapeno, and potatoes, and give that a good stir. Continue to stir for about 3-5 minutes.

Dill Pickle Soup Ingredients
Dill Pickle Soup Ingredients

Next, add the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, and bring to a simmer. Check on your potatoes from time to time, and once they are knife tender, add in the pickle juice, pickles, Old Bay, salt, and pepper.

Give that a good stir. Now, to a small bowl, add the water, sour cream, and flour. Whisk until you have a smooth mixture. This will be a small thickening agent for the soup, plus it gives a bit of great, mild sourness from the sour cream.

After a few minutes, take your whisk, and your sour cream mixture, and slowly begin whisking it into the soup. Keep whisking throughout the process. Once all of the sour cream mixture is in the pot, give another good whisk, then cover, and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.

Dill Pickle Soup Recipe
Dill Pickle Soup Recipe

Now you are ready to serve. Ladle into your soup bowl, or cup, and dig in.

What were these Polish folks thinking? I’ll tell you what, they were thinking that this bowl of soup would be nothing but delicious. Again, at first glance you think it is vegetable soup, but when bringing the soup spoon closer, you get that mild dill pickle aroma, with the subtle taste when spooning it in. My daughter, who ‘can’t stand’ pickles, at her bowl of soup. I was surprised, and upon her first or second bite she asked ‘are there pickles in this?’, and I said yes, she kept her face down, her bread dunked, and kept at it.

If you are skeptical, give it a try. My neighbors brought over a bear soup yesterday, and I traded up with my dill pickle soup. He, being Polish, had never had this type of soup, so it will be interested to get his take on it, once I see him after it begins to warm up in the great white north. Enjoy!

Garlic and Sage Fries

This past weekend, like most folks in my area, I was out in the yard pulling weeds and hacking down plants only to get ready for the winter. As I walked past one of our planting areas, I realized I had not used a lot of the sage I had planted in the Spring. Sure, I’ve made a couple batches of pasta with sage and brown butter for my kids, and thinking of how much I love sage, especially this time of year, I decided that I would pull a nice handful and come up with a side dish with some roasted chicken I was about to make for dinner. These garlic and sage fries were not only loaded with flavor, but they were baked until crisp and were a perfect side dish for that roasted chicken.

Garlic and Sage Fries Recipe
Garlic and Sage Fries Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 8 yukon gold potatoes, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup of fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • generous pinch of salt
  • grated parmesan cheese, optional

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees.

Soak your sliced potatoes in cold water for about 5 minutes, then strain, and rinse them, and pat them dry.

Add them to a large bowl, add the garlic, sage, olive oil, and salt, and give a nice toss to make sure the potatoes are lightly coated.

Garlic and Sage Fries
Garlic and Sage Fries

Add the fries to a baking sheet (I like to add parchment paper for easier cleanup), and place into the oven and cook for about 25 minutes or until they are crisp on the outside, and tender on the inside.

Remove, plate, and shower with parmesan cheese.

Talk about a winner, these things didn’t last long on our dinner table, and if you are roasting that chicken along with it, make some grave, and drizzle some of that love all over those fries. Hope you enjoy!