Roasted Winter Root Soup

Ingredients:
1 med Yellow Onion, diced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Carrot, skinned, chopped
1 Parsnip, skinned, chopped
1 Turnip, skinned, chopped
1 Sweet Potato, skinned, chopped
2 Potatoes, chopped
2 Kielbasa Sausages, sliced in 1 cm thick rounds
6 cups Vegetable Stock/Broth
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
2 Tbsp Dill
2 Bay Leaves
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Directions:

  • Preheat the Oven to 400°F.
  • Add all Root Vegetables and Kielbasa to a Dutch Oven, coat with the Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper.
  • Roast for 10 minutes, stir, and then another 10 minutes.
  • Remove and scrap into a large Soup Pot.
  • Add the Vegetable Stock and heat on high heat until it boils.
  • Add the remaining Herbs and Spices, reduce heat to low heat. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are fork tender.

Makes 4 Servings.

NOTES: This is a family recipe from my Slovakian side of the family, originating from Medzev, Slovakia (formerly Metzenseifen).

When chopping the vegetables, think of bite-size/spoon size pieces. You can substitute Mushroom Broth or Chicken Stock for the Vegetable Stock. You can also utilize any other cooked Sausage instead of Kielbasa if you like.

This simple, healthy dish will keep you warm on a blustery winter night.

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Céleri Rémoulade – Celeriac Salad

Céleri Rémoulade

Ingredients:
1 Celeriac Bulb, cleaned
1 Carrot, cleaned
1 small Cucumber, seeded and Julianne cut.
3 Shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 – 1 cup Walnuts, crushed
1 cup Greek-Style Yoghurt
1 Tbsp Honey
3 Tbsp Almond Oil
2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp fresh Mint, minced
1 Tbsp fresh Dill, minced
2 tsp ground Ginger
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper

Directions:

  • Clean the Celeriac root by removing any scraggly roots and outer surface. Cut into pieces small enough to be easy to grate. I prefer to use my Food Processor’s food grater, so I make the pieces big enough to fit through the feeder. If you shred by hand, you may want them a good size for holding. Do the same thing with the Carrot.
  • Shred both the Celeriac and Carrot.
  • In a large bowl, combine the Celeriac, Carrot, Shallots, Cucumber, and Walnuts, and toss with your hands to mix well.
  • In a separate bowl combine all remaining ingredients and whisk together into a dressing.
  • Pour the dressing over the dry ingredients and mix well.

NOTES: Celeriac is one of those under-used vegetables in my opinion. Honestly, I don’t know why–its not too difficult to prepare, and you can eat it raw or cooked in any way imaginable that most root vegetables are cooked. Now regarding the Rémoulade itself. Traditionally, this would be made with Mayonnaise, and would not have Ginger and maybe a different set of spices. I found that a little bland and had to add some kick to it, but not overpower the fresh-taste of the Celeriac itself. The Rémoulade can be served as a side dish, or in a similar fashion to Cole Slaw–though it is not as strong. Many folks serve it as a side to fish. I prefer to eat it by itself as a side salad.

Smoked Salmon Canapés

Ingredients:
4 oz Smoked Salmon, pre-sliced, cold
1 English Cucumber
Fresh Dill
1 cup Crème Fraîche
Fresh Chives

Directions:

  • Slice the Cucumber into thin rounds, about 1/4-1/2 cm thick, and arrange on tray.
  • Review the slices of Salmon. You will want to see how consistent the slices are. Cut the slices into 2″ x 1″ pieces, approximately.
  • Clip small pieces of Dill and place on the Cucumber Rounds.
  • Top with the Salmon pieces. Fold the piece in half forming a 1″ x 1″ size piece.
  • Using a teaspoon or Pastry Bag, top the Salmon with a dollop of Crème Fraîche.
  • Clip pieces of Chives over the Crème Fraîche.

Makes 20-30 pieces, depending on the size of the cucumber.

NOTES: These are probably one of the simplest Canapés you can make, yet they are also elegant and tasty. If you do not have Crème Fraîche, you can use Sour Cream or Greek-Style Yogurt. Do not make this too far ahead of time or the cucumbers will sweat.

Variations:
Smoked Salmon Croutes
Preheat an oven to 300ºF. Take 10 slices White Bread, and using a 2″ Pastry Cutter, cut out the desired amount of rounds. Toast on a baking sheet for 12-15 minutes. Arrange on a tray. Top with the Cucumber, Salmon, Crème Fraîche, and Herbs in the same manner as above.

Potato Salad with Avocado-Yogurt Dressing

Potato Salad with Avocado-Yogurt Dressing

Ingredients:
6 large Red Pontiac Potatoes, cleaned, and chopped
2 Avocados, mashed
1/2 cup Greek-Style Yogurt
3 Tbsp fresh Chives, diced
1 Tbsp fresh Dill, diced
1 Roasted Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Roasted Orange Bell Pepper, chopped
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Salt
Pepper to Taste
Water for boiling

Directions:

  • Boil the Potatoes until fork tender. I suggest cutting them before because they will cook quicker, but you can cut after.
  • While the Potatoes are cooking, in a food processor, combine the Lemon Juice, Yogurt, Avocados, Mustard, and Herbs. Pulse to combine.
  • Slowly drizzle in the Olive Oil.
  • Add Salt and Pepper to Taste.
  • Drain the Potatoes and move them to a large bowl.
  • Add the Roasted Peppers.
  • Slowly add the Dressing, tossing to mix well. You may not use all the dressing.

NOTES: I like Potato Salad, but I often find it either tasting too much like Mustard or too much like BLAH. If you want a kick, add a diced Jalapeño to the mix.

Goat Cheese, Avocado, and Roasted Pepper Salad

Ingredients:
2 Avocados, ripe, chopped
2 Roasted Red Bell Peppers, chopped
4 oz Goat Cheese
1/2 cup Black Olives, sliced
2 Shallots, sliced
6 cups Mesclun Greens
2 cups Baby Arugula Greens
1/2 cup fresh Basil
2 Tbsp fresh Dill
2 Tbsp Pignoli
3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Dijon Mustard

Directions:

  • Combine the Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, Salt, Black Pepper, and Dijon Mustard in a bowl, and whisk together; set aside.
  • Mix together all of the Greens and Herbs in a serving bowl.
  • Toss the Salad with the Dressing
  • Top the Salad with the remaining ingredients.

NOTES: The last ingredient you want to prepare is the Avocado, as you do not want it to go brown before serving. You may toss it in Lemon Juice, however that will not completely stop the browning. This Salad is a fresh summery salad with a punch of flavor. You can mix up the greens if you like, with Frisée or Romaine–the more the merrier.

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Parsley, chopped fine
1 Tbsp Chives, minced
1 tsp Dill chopped fine
2 cloves Garlic, minced fine
1/4 tsp Rosemary, chopped fine
1/4 tsp Granulated Sugar
1/8 tsp Dry Mustard
1/8 tsp Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Salt

Directions:

  • Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

NOTES: You can vary the herbs based on your preferences.

Salmon Poached in Sauvignon Blanc on a Bed of Baby Spinach

Poached SalmonSalmon Poached in Sauvignon Blanc on a Bed of Baby Spinach

Ingredients:
2 6oz Fillets of Salmon
2 Shallots, sliced
2 cloves Garlic, diced rough
4 springs Dill
1/2 Lemon, sliced in rings across grain
1 cup Sauvignon Blanc or other White Wine
1 cup Water
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Paprika
1 cup Kalamata Olives
4 cups Baby Spinach
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:

  • In a skillet with a lid heat the Shallots, Garlic and Salt in the Olive Oil on low heat, careful not to burn.
  • When the Shallots begin to break down, pour in the Sauvignon Blanc and Water and add the Dill.
  • Carefully place the Salmon Filets, skin side down, into the liquid.
  • Cover and cook for about 6 minutes.
  • On serving plate, place Spinach and Olives, and sprinkle with the Balsamic Vinegar.
  • Place the Salmon on the Bed of Spinach.
  • Ladle out some Shallots and wine and pour over the Salmon.
  • Sprinkle with Paprika and garnish with left over fresh Dill

Makes 2 Salmon Filet Servings.

Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches

Ingredients:
6-8 oz Smoked Salmon, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup Red Onion, thinly sliced
20 slices Bread
1/2 cup Capers
2 Tbsp Dill

Directions:

  • In even stacks, using a serrated knife, carefully remove the crusts from the bread. Think saw not chop.
  • Spread a layer of Cream Cheese on one side of all the bread. Try not to crush the bread.
  • Spread some Red Onion on the Cream Cheese. Use as little or as much as you prefer.
  • Sprinkle the Capers on next, and using a spoon, lightly top into the Cream Cheese.
  • Place thinly sliced pieces of Salmon on the Cream Cheese.
  • Sprinkle with the Dill.
  • Place two slices together and form Sandwiches.
  • Using the serrated knife, cut each sandwich diagonally.
  • Cut the Triangular sandwiches diagonally.
Makes 40 mini sandwiches or 20 half-size sandwiches.

NOTES: It is traditional to use white bread. Be careful to use the serrated knife like a saw, letting the serrations cut the bread rather than using pressure.

Herb & Yogurt Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:Vegetarian
8 cups of Red Potatoes, cleaned, skins on, quartered (Red Pontiac is fine)
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Yogurt
1 Tbsp fresh Dill, chopped
4 Tbsp Butter
1/2 cup Milk
1 tsp Salt

Directions:

  • Place Potatoes in large saucepan, and cover with water (at least an inch).
  • Bring to a boil, watching for boil-over from the starch.
  • Cook until a Potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Drain water and return to Pan
  • Mash or the Potatoes incorporating the Butter, Milk, Garlic, and Yogurt.
  • When creamy, fold in the Dill, and add Salt to taste.
Variations:
Substitute Goat Cheese for the Yogurt for a tangier taste.
Add fresh Parsley or Rosemary instead of Dill for a varied flavor.

Tzatziki – Τζατζίκι

Ingredients:Vegetarian
2 cups Yogurt, Greek-style
8 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Cucumber, de-seeded and diced (Mediterranean or English cucumbers preferred)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp fresh Dill, chopped finely

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, fold the Yogurt into the Lemon and Olive Oil.
  • Add all other ingredients and mix completely.

Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients:
1 lb Ground Beef (you can use sliced beef too, cut into bite-size pieces)
1/2 cup White Onion, diced
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 cups Button Mushrooms, sliced
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Dill
1/2 tsp Cardamom
1 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup Butter
1/3 cup White Wine (Pinot Grigio)
1/2 cup Beef Broth

Egg Noodles, cooked al dente, drained

Directions:

  • In a large Skillet, melt the Butter and add the Onions, Garlic, and Beef.
  • When Beef is browned, add White Wine, Beef Broth, Spices and Mushrooms. Let cook down for 5 minutes.
  • Add the Sour Cream and incorporate into the whole mixture.
  • Season to Taste (you can add more Dill or Cardamom if desired).
  • Serve over Egg Noodles.

Variations:
Substituted Ground Chicken or Ground Turkey to cut down on the fat.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:Vegetarian
1 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Yellow Onion, minced
1 clove Garlic, minced
5 cups Button Mushrooms, cleaned and diced finely
3 Tbsp White Wine (Pinot Grigio)
1 Tbsp fresh Thyme, finely chopped
1/2 Tbsp Cardamom powder
1/2 Tbsp Dill, finely chopped
1/2 Bay Leaf
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
2 cups Heavy Cream
1 1/2 cups Vegetable Stock
1 tsp Corn Starch

Directions:

  • In a large Sauce Pan on medium heat, combine Butter, Onions, and Garlic. Brown the Onions.
  • De-Glaze with the White Wine
  • Add Mushrooms, and Spices and continue to cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Reserve 1/4 cup Stock to the side.
  • Combine the remaining Stock and Cream to the pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the Corn starch to the reserved Stock and whisk together so there are no lumps of corn starch. When mixed, add to the soup and continue to simmer until the Soup thickens.

NOTES: You can always modify the types of Mushrooms you want in this Soup.  I prefer to use Pinot Grigio for this recipe because it is not too dry and not too sweet.

Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:Vegetarian
1 doz. Eggs, boiled, cooled, de-shelled
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp prepared Mustard (English Style)
1 Tbsp Chives, chopped finely
1 tsp fresh Dill, chopped finely
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp ground White Pepper

Paprika for garnish

Directions:

  • Carefully slice the Eggs in half lengthwise.
  • Place Yolks in a Medium size bowl as you go.
  • Smash the Yolks until completely crumbled.
  • Add all the ingredients except Paprika, and combine well.
  • Fill the Egg Whites with the Yolk Mixture. You can do this three ways: 1. Spoon the mixture into the Eggs; 2. Pour yolk mixture into a large freezer bag, snip the bottom corner, and pipe the Egg mixture into the Eggs; 3. Use a piping bag to do method 2.
  • Garnish by sprinkling Paprika on top. You may also choose to add some Chive pieces on top.

NOTES: When cooking the eggs, just as they begin to boil, remove them from the heat and let the residual heat continue to cook the eggs. When removing the shells, crack the eggs on the counter, and place in an ice-bath before peeling. The ice water will continue to stop the cooking of the egg, as well as help remove the shell-membrane from the Eggs. If one of the eggs gets damaged (cracked while cooking, breaks while peeling or slicing), chop it finely in a small bowl and add to the Yolk mixture. You can serve the eggs in a Deviled Egg container, but if you don’t have one, you can use a tray and place rice, beans, or split peas. This will help prevent the Eggs from falling over, also you can use the color of the bed to accentuate any themes (red for Christmas, brown for Thanksgiving, green for Spring, etc).