Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun


Kosher Style Dill Pickles

June 27th, 2022 · Comments Off on Kosher Style Dill Pickles

We picked another 8+ pounds of cucumbers from our garden and needed to find another way to put up these, but wanted a different style than the sweet spears that I put up last week. I found the recipe for Dill Pickles on page 50 of the Ball Blue Book guide to preserving, which is in the pickled foods section. I chose the recipe variation for Kosher Style Dill Pickles which includes 1 bay leaf, 1 garlic glove, 1 whole red pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed added to each jar.

My version of the Kosher pickle included 1 fresh bay leaf cut from my bay laurel tree, 2-3 cloves garlic, and 3/4 teaspoon dried dill. I already included pickling spice in the hot liquid which includes mustard seeds. I canned up 10 pint jars of these in my version of the recipe listed below:

Yield: 10 pints or 5 quarts

8 poundscucumbers, trimmed and cut into 4- to 6-inch spear quarters
3/4 cupgranulated sugar
1/2 cupcanning salt
1 quartwhite vinegar
1 quartcool water
3 tablespoonspickling spices
10 teaspoonsdry dill weed
10 eachfresh bay leaves
24 clovesfresh garlic
  1. Prep cucumber spears then wash well and drain.
  2. In a medium sauce pan combine the sugar, salt, vinegar, water, and pickling spices over a medium heat, stir well to dissolve the sugar and salt, simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Place cleaned jars in a large pot set for canning in a hot water bath with at least 2-inches of water covering the tops of the jars, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low to sterilize jars. Place screw bands and lids in another small pot, cover with hot water and simmer over low heat to sterilize the lid s and screw bands.
  4. Pack cucumber spears in hot jars, with 1/4-inch headspace, add 1 bay leaf and 3 garlic cloves, then the 3/4 teaspoon dill weed, pour hot liquid over spears with 1/4-inch head space. Wipe the rim and seal with the lid and finger-tight the screw band, and place back in the not water bath. Continue this for the remaining jars.
  5. Turn up the heat to high and bring the water bath to a boil, process jars for 15-minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the canning pot lid and allow jars to rest in the water for 10 minutes. Remove jars to a towel lined counter top. Let jars cool completely for 24-hours. Remove screw bands and wipe the lids and inside screw bands, then replace the bands and finger tighten. Label the jars with the name of the ingredient and the date, then store jars in a cool dark location.
Kosher Style Dill Pickle Spears
Another look at Kosher Style Dill Pickle Spears

Comments Off on Kosher Style Dill PicklesTags: Canning · Recipes

Preserved Sweet Pickle Spears

June 21st, 2022 · Comments Off on Preserved Sweet Pickle Spears

With over 6-pounds of fresh cucumbers picked from our garden I decided to put them up, meaning, I wanted to preserve them for the year. I found the Sweet Pickle Spears recipe on page 51 located in the fresh pack pickled foods & chutneys section of the Ball Blue Book guide to preserving. The recipe called for 4 pounds of cucumbers, I had 6.6-lbs. on hand, so I needed to adjust the ingredient quantities to match the extra cucumbers I wanted to process.

The recipe that follows is modified from the one found in the book, with an original yield of about 10 half-pint jars. To put up the 6.6-lbs. of cucumbers I used 6 1-quart jars. My cucumbers were much longer than those called for in the recipe, so I cut them in half to approximate the 3- to 4-inch requirement.

I first cut each cucumber in half lengthwise, then cut those halves into thirds lengthwise, then cut each of those long spears in half, yielding 12 spears per cucumber.

Yield: 10 half-pints

4 pounds3- to 4-inch cucumbers, cut lengthwise into spears
4 cupsgranulated sugar
3 1/4 cupswhite vinegar
3 tablespoonscanning salt
1 tablespoonpickling spice
4 teaspoonscelery seed
4 teaspoonsturmeric
2 teaspoonsmustard seed
  1. Cover cucumber spears with boiling water; let stand for 2 hours. Drain.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar and salt are dissolved.
  3. Pack drained cucumber spears into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Ladle hot liquid over cucumbers leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece lids and screw top bands.
  4. Process in boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, remove lid and allow jars to sit in hot water another 10 minutes. Remove jars and place on a kitchen towel lined countertop, allow jars to cool to room temperature, or 24-hours. Remove screw tops and wipe down lids and inside screw top bands, finger tighten bands back onto jars and label with name of the product “Sweet Pickle Spears” and the date processed.
Sweet Pickle Spears cooling on countertop

Comments Off on Preserved Sweet Pickle SpearsTags: Preserving · Recipes

Stewed Cucumbers

June 16th, 2022 · Comments Off on Stewed Cucumbers

Finding more ways to utilize our plethora of fresh grown cucumbers

I picked over 10 pounds of cucumbers from our garden yesterday, so I made a double batch of our favorite “New Pickle” Cucumber Salad, along with another recipe that I found in the Time-Life Books The Good Cook series book entitled Vegetables. I selected the Stewed Cucumbers with Sour Cream and Dill Schmorgurken mit Saurem Rahm und Dill on page 136. I’ve found the same recipe on several other Internet resources, in the volume Vegetables, it attributes the source to the book Foods of the World/The Cooking of Germany. This is my version of the classic German recipe.

6 eachmedium-sized cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1-inch X 1/2-inch pieces
2 tsp.sea salt
2 tbsp.unsalted butter
1 cupfinely chopped onions
2 tbsp.all-purpose flour
2 cupswhole milk
2 tbsp.sour cream
1 tbsp.finely chopped fresh parsley, or 1 tsp. dry
1 tbsp.finely chopped fresh dill, or 1 tsp. dry
ground white pepper, to taste
garlic salt, to taste
  1. Place the cucumbers in a large bowl and sprinkle them with the salt, tossing them with a spoon to evenly coat. Let the cucumbers stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Drain the liquid from the cucumbers and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. In a 4-quart pot over medium heat melt the butter. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and browned just a bit, about 8 to 10 minutes. Turn the heat to low, and add the flour stir constantly until a blonde roux is achieved, about 3 to 5 minutes or so, but do not burn.
  3. Whisk in the milk and stir constantly, adjust the heat to medium-low, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, stir often.
  4. Add the cucumbers and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until cucumbers are tender but still slightly form. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream, parsley, and dill. Season to taste with the white pepper and garlic salt.

Serve in a warmed bowl. If serving at a later time allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to 5-days.

Stewed Cucumbers with Sour Cream and Dill

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VIN’TIJ | Food & Wine

June 15th, 2022 · Comments Off on VIN’TIJ | Food & Wine

Grand Boulevard, Sandestin Town Center, Sandestin, Florida

Located in the Sandestin Town Center in Sandestin, Florida, VIN’TIJ is a not to be missed dining experience, we thoroughly enjoyed a relaxed dinner on a Friday evening and were not disappointed.

The bar offers up a great selection of imbibing’s, drink specials daily, wines by the glass or bottle are offered for just about all their vintage selections, by the glass servings include a 3oz or 6oz pour, and the wine list is quite extensive.

We arrived about 15 minutes before our reservation time, and were sat immediately, reservations are recommended, in fact, upon our arrival several parties before us were turned away without reservation, the bar was even packed with no room for overflow.

Our server approached within a few minutes of seating along with fresh glasses of water while introducing the specials menu and asked for our drink orders and if we had any starters to order. Three of us ordered wine by the glass and one drink from the specials menu. We started out with the $10 Bread Basket, which is served with herbed olive oil, roast garlic puree, marinated and stuffed olives assortment, roasted red peppers and parmesan cheese. We requested a side of hummus which was roasted red pepper and typically only served on the charcuterie board. The bread was a selection of fresh baked ciabatta and crostini slices, both were quite good.

The specials included a Grouper with Mango Salsa served with miso broth and rice ($50), three in the party ordered this special, I ordered the Shrimp Fettuccini Primavera ($32), made with house made pasta. Both were fabulous, and enjoyed by all.

Grouper with Mango Salsa, Miso broth and rice, $50.
Shrimp Fettuccini Primavera, $32.

Our server was attentive, responsive, and accommodating, we had a wonderful meal and dining experience, and will be back the next time we vacation in Destin, Florida.

500 Grand Blvd #100K, Miramar Beach, FL 32550 – +1 850 650-9820

Comments Off on VIN’TIJ | Food & WineTags: Restaurant Reviews

Garden Harvest June 2022

June 15th, 2022 · Comments Off on Garden Harvest June 2022

After a brief and welcome 5-day vacation where we celebrated Monique’s birthday with Ben and Carol in Miramar Beach Destin, FL, we returned home yesterday to find plenty of produce ready to pick from our garden. Cucumbers, patty pan squash, yellow squash, blueberries, poblano peppers, Shishito peppers, okra, and tomatoes were ripe for the picking. I actually picked 19 cucumbers this morning, yesterday I picked just over 500 blueberries (two pints) and determined that a pint of them includes around 250 of the little blue gems.

Garden Harvest: Cucumbers, patty pan squash, yellow squash, blueberries, tomatoes, okra, poblano peppers, and Shishito peppers.

Before our trip last week, I had harvested fourteen cucumbers, four patty pan squash, two yellow squash, two zucchini squash, a gallon of Shishito peppers, and two pints blueberries that we carried along for the vacay and ate during our stay.

One of the few photos I took during our vacation because my iPhone storage is just about full, ugh!

Feet at the beach, Miramar Beach Destin, Florida
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