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12/02/2009

Dill, Herb of the Year 2010

To find lots more dill recipes and lots of information about the Herb of the Year, go to my Herb of the Year blog. And my books, Homemade Crackers Using Herbs and Great Dips Using Herbs both have several dill recipes for dips, crackers, etc.

Pickled Dill Green Beans

2 lbs. stemmed young and tender green beans

Pack the beans lengthwise in jars leaving 1/4 inch headroom and in each jar add:

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or a 1 inch piece of your favorite hot pepper
1 clove garlic
1 small head of dill or 1 1/2 Tablespoon dill seed

Mix together the following in a saucepan:

2 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Bring to boil, pour over the bean-packed jars, leaving 1/4 inch headroom. Seal jars and process 15 minutes in boiling water bath.

Makes 4 pints.

Dill & Lemon Mayonnaise

1/2 cup light mayonnaise (like Hellmans)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
Optional: Dash salt & pepper to taste and 1 or 2 drops tobasco sauce

Directions:
In small bowl stir mayonnaise, dill, parsley and lemon juice and optional ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use. Serve with grilled or roasted meats, poultry, seafood or as a delicious dip for vegetables. Makes about 1/2 cup.

Tips for seasoning with dill:
Dill seeds have a robust flavor, so use sparingly.
Dill leaves can be dried or frozen. Simply trim off some with scissors as needed.
Dill can be frozen in little zipper plastic bags for up to 6 months. Simply take out what you need and keep the rest frozen until later.
One tablespoon chopped fresh dill equals 1 teaspoon dried dill weed.
One half ounce fresh dill equals about one half cup of leaves.

To see more of what I grow in my garden, people and gardens I visit and more: http://jimlongsgarden.blogspot.com. Questions and comments always welcome by email through my website. Happy gardening!

11/08/2009

Pumpkin Martini; Ginger Martini

This is my adaptation of a recipe created by Felix Albano, The bar at Fifty Seven Fifty Seven, New York City.

Pumpkin Martini

3 ounces Infused Spiced Pumpkin Vodka
1 ounce Amaretto
Candied ginger on toothpick for garnish

Directions: Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice.
Stir gently and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Ginger Martini
I'm not a big fan of martinis, but I am a fan of ginger and this is a nicely snappy martini for any fall get together. I found this on the Food Network and made some slight changes to suit my own tastes.

You can find ginger syrup at specialty food stores but it's easy to make it yourself and it will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. Make the syrup yourself, it tastes better than the store-bought kind.

Ginger Martini

Ice
3 ounces vodka
1-2 tablespoons ginger syrup*
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Twist of lemon or lime

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
Add the vodka, ginger syrup, and lime juice.
Cover and shake vigorously, or stir, until combined and chilled, about 30 seconds.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add twist and serve.
Servings: One ginger martini

*Ginger Syrup

1 lemon
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh ginger, peeled, about 8 ounces
1 cup sugar
2 cups water

Remove the outer peel of the lemon with a vegetable peeler, taking care not to include too much of the bitter white pith.
Finely chop the lemon peel and ginger in a food processor.
Transfer the lemon-ginger mixture to a medium saucepan, add the sugar and water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes.
Strain the mixture and cool.
Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Makes 2 cups.

Ginger syrup is good over vanilla ice cream. I use a tablespoon in a glass of ice and fill with water for a great iced ginger tea.