Homemade Refrigerator Dill Pickles


Once you make your own dill pickles, you'll wonder why you ever bought them at the grocery store!

 
My pickles!


What wasn't to like about Aunt Bee from The Andy Griffith Show?  Remember her, and the "Pickle Story" episode from way back in the early 60’s?   (Most of you probably weren't even born then!)
 
Aunt Bee's pickle

Aunt Bee is a wonderful cook, except that she can't seem to make a tasty pickle.  No one wants to hurt her feelings and tell her that her homemade pickles are the worst ~ they taste like they float in kerosene.
  
This puts into motion, 'operation pickle switch’:   Andy, Barney, and Opie come up with the brilliant idea of substituting good store-bought pickles for her horrible homemade ones.  

Opie, Barney & Andy in "operation pickle switch"

Naturally, Aunt Bee thinks these pickles are the best she’s ever made, and decides to enter them in the country fair.  She's sure they’re worthy of a blue ribbon.

Hearing this news, Andy and the guys know it would be unfair to the other contestants if Aunt Bee won.  The only solution is for them to eat all 8 quarts of pickles before the contest, causing Aunt Bee to make another batch of her own for the contest. 



Here’s some fun pickle facts:
  • 26 billion pickles are packed each year in the U.S.  That’s about 9 pounds of pickles per person.
  • Amerigo Vespucci, for whom America is named, was a pickle merchant before becoming an explorer.  
  • In September 2000, when the Philadelphia Eagles thrashed the Dallas Cowboys in sweltering heat, the Eagles avoided cramping by guzzling pickle juice prior to and during the game.  By the time the game was over, everyone agreed it had worked very well.  It is now referred to as the “The Pickle Juice Game."
  • (As a note, my mother drank pickle juice to relieve leg cramps after her  doctor advised her of this many years ago.)
  • “Pickle Polka” is the theme song of Pickle Packers International.
  • Approximately 20% of pickles are sold refrigerated.
  • Dill pickles are the most popular pickle.
  • The phrase “in a pickle” was first introduced by Shakespeare in his play, The Tempest.  The quote reads, “How cam’st thou in this pickle?” and “I have been in such a pickle."
  • The noise that’s made when a pickle is bit into is called the “snap."
  • A good snap can be heard from 25 feet away.


Should you make these pickles, you'll hear the snap!

The farmers’ market had an abundance of Kirby cucumbers waiting to be pickled.  A few cucumbers, some canning jars, and the following recipe was all I needed...



Most importantly, use either Kirby or pickling cucumbers.  They’re short and squat and make great crisp pickles.  Begin with  cutting the tip off the blossom end, or both ends of the cucumber, like I do.



Slice them into strips or however you like them, and stuff them into sterile jars.  Make the brine, chill it, and pour over the cucumbers, dividing equally.  Seal well, refrigerate and let them set for at least a day before eating.




Hope you like them!

Yield: 4-5 quarts

Homemade Refrigerator Dill Pickles

These dill pickles are tasty with a great snap!

ingredients:

3 pounds Kirby cucumbers, slice each into quarters
3¾ cups distilled white vinegar
4½ tablespoons kosher salt
1½ tablespoon sugar
6 cups water
6-10 dill sprigs
9 garlic cloves, minced
1½ teaspoons dill seeds
1½ teaspoons celery seeds
1½ teaspoons mustard seeds
1½ teaspoons coriander seeds
1½ tablespoons peppercorns

instructions:

Wash cucumbers in cold water, slice into quarters, drain.
Combine vinegar, salt and sugar in a stainless steel or teflon pan over high heat.
Whisk until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in the cold water.
Refrigerate brine until ready to use.
Stuff the cucumbers into four or five 1-quart jars, add dill sprigs.
Combine garlic, and spices in a small bowl.
Divide the mixture equally among the jars.
Fill jars with chilled brine; If necessary, add a a bit of cold water to the jars until the brine covers the cucumbers.
Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to one month. 



Enjoy!






Grilled Pork Chops with Spice Paste


Take a dry rub, add moisture and you have a paste.  The moisture component can be beer, honey, cider vinegar, bourbon, wine, molasses, or it can simply be vegetable oil, as in this recipe...




I would not have thought something as easy as a little paste spread on meat would work so well to create such tasty chops; it was a delicious surprise!

Memories with a Honolulu Cocktail



The best vacation ever, for me, was when Bill and I went to Hawaii!




I love Hawaii, I love everything about it!  

I'm Back with this Perfect Pineapple Butter Cake


 
Ok, so I know I said I was done with my blog, but evidently it was something I truly looked forward to doing, and apparently just needed a little break from it to recharge ~   after doing it for almost 9 years ~ I missed the whole process.  In other words, I missed being a part of the community. 



I thought about you all more than once, and wondered what great travel adventure or tip I missed.  And, what if I missed your fabulous recipe…

After Almost 9 Years, it's So Long with a Corn Salad Recipe


It has been almost 9 years, since October 2009, that I started this blog.  That's a lot of posts and I've reached the point where it has become a chore for me, so it's time to say so long.

It has been a great journey, I've learned a lot from all of you over the years and thank you all very much for your support of Pam's Midwest Kitchen Korner!  I'm leaving you with a great summer recipe that I hope you'll try...


It’s looks like fiesta time when you serve this spicy corn salad for your crowd! 

Cornmeal-Crusted Lake Perch


Bill Jr., (Bubba here) just returned from vacationing in the United Kingdom and had more than one meal of fish and chips in England.  

In his words, the fish was the best, "Awesome! Crunchy, tender and tasty."  The Brits choice of fish is cod and haddock, with him liking haddock more.

I'd be the first to order fish and chips at a pub anywhere, but we all know that at home it can turn into a "grease-feast!"


 
That is, unless it's made in an air fryer! 

Tortellini Salad with Asiago, Peas and Proscuitto


Tortellini was a new food to me when we moved here to the Chicago area years ago ~ it was absolutely love at first bite!


The legend of tortellini is a little amusing: 

Baked Lime-Mustard Salmon



I adore salmon ~ unfortunately I'm the only one here who feels that adoration.  Salmon is one of the most widely loved varieties of seafood in the world.  Fresh, canned or smoked, it makes me happy when I enjoy a meal of it...



Eating two or three servings a week of salmon is a good way to improve your health, with it being  a healthy tasty alternative to chicken, beef and pork.  It’s rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and protein.  Plus providing iron, niacin, zinc, Vitamins B6 and B12, and a whole host of other ingredients essential for good health. 

Breaded Pork Loin Chops in the Air Fryer


Who knows what season it is here, a/c one day, heat the next, it's chilly and stormy and not grilling weather...


Yes, that's Kraft M&C

So that means air fryer ~ here's another meat that is great when cooked in the air fryer! Pork chops make for a tasty family meal with easy clean-up when made in the air fryer. I've said it before how much I like this small appliance.

Delicious Chicken with Lemon-Wine Sauce



FYI:  Don't be eating your chicken with a fork in Gainesville, Georgia, the 'Chicken Capital of the World', it's against the law.   And by the way, Honest Abe was an honest-to-goodness foodie.*  He even did his own grocery shopping!  Abe could eat four score and seven corn cakes; and, speaking of chicken, chicken fricassee was one of the only two dishes the Lincolns were known to have eaten at dinner in the 1850's, the other was corned beef.




It's no wonder that chicken appears as a staple in practically every culture’s cuisine ~ it can easily be flavored and prepared in many ways ~ roasted, grilled, poached, broiled, in stews, potpies and soups ~ with a plethora of sauces, toppings and seasonings, such as...

Cajun Shrimp and Crabmeat Étouffée, a Taste of NOLA!



Bring a taste of The Big Easy
to your dinner table with this
delicious spicy dish!


 
French for “smothered,” étouffee (ay-too-fay) is one of the tastiest dishes of Southern Louisiana cuisine.  It's a classic New Orleans dish that sounds fancy, and one that you should try if you haven't.

Trisha's Potato Salad - Simply the Best!


Sometimes, 
simple is the best way to go 
when it comes to recipes!


When I'm not pressed for time, I like to try more complicated recipes containing a wide variety of ingredients ~ and, I especially like it when they turn out good and delicious.

But, we're definitely not into nouvelle cuisine here. It makes me think of Julia Child's quote, "If it's beautifully arranged on the plate ~ you know someone's fingers have been all over it." It always looks like a still-life painting to me and is too pretty to consume.

That's why I wanted to try Trisha Yearwood's potato salad recipe. It's basic down-home goodness!

Impossibly Easy French Apple Dessert Squares



Apples and cinnamon, oh my! 



This is a really close cousin to Dutch apple pie, actually maybe more like a crisp, and  there’s no crust to roll out!  French apple dessert has a buttery crust, and is packed with apples, cinnamon and nutmeg.  

Tasty Sour Cream Skillet Cornbread


Take a guess...

what's more American than

apple pie.


It's cornbread, of course!

The English brought apple pie to our shores, but the Powhatan Indians taught the early immigrants how to parch, grind, and then mix the corn with boiling water to make "johnny cakes." 

Light and Crispy Fried Catfish a la Air Fryer


It was love at first bite when I started cooking with my air fryer about a year ago, and it continues to amaze me how easy it is to operate and how delicious and crisp the food is.

I’ve made a variety of foods in it from a whole chicken to vegetables to frozen french fries.  Food cooks faster in it, browns better and crisps up on the outside perfectly.


This time I air fried catfish.  Panko, the light and crispy Japanese bread crumbs, is one of the secrets to creating crispy catfish in the air fryer.  I have also used cornmeal instead of Panko and the results are just as delicious and crispy.  Substitute your favorite herbs and spices for the seafood seasoning to vary the fish. 

Baked Chili-Lime Chicken Kabobs


It may be Spring according to the calendar, but by looking around outside now, it's still Winter for sure ~ thanks to the sleet/snow/wind combo over the weekend, we have another 3" snow on the ground yet again...




Because of the above, it's not grilling season here yet, so our chicken kabobs came from the oven.

CREAMED ASPARAGUS and EGGS OVER TOAST


Spring is on hold for yet another day here; what's with this chilly 26°with snow on the ground, and it's still coming down...

Whatever, it's that time of year ~ Springtime! ~ and asparagus is popping up all over, especially at the grocery store!




Most of the time, Bill and I like it steamed with a little salt and pepper, nothing more or roasted.  Then other times, that all takes a back seat to my creamed asparagus. 

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops


  
This recipe takes pork chops to a whole new level!


The crispy Parmesan crust makes these pork chops tender, juicy ~ you’d never know they’re baked, not fried!

Turn Your Easter Ham into a Lighter Ham Tetrazzini!


When Easter's over, wow those around your dinner table with this tasty ham dish!




I’ve made Turkey Tetrazzini from time to time, but this slightly adapted recipe from Cooking Light, replacing turkey with ham, caught my eye.  It’s filled with the same great tetrazzini flavors and is easy to make also, however, it’s that touch of horseradish that takes it up a notch!

Homemade Banana Crumb Muffins



Use up your ripe bananas with this

banana muffin recipe!




Speaking of muffins ~ remember the Seinfeld episode, “The Muffin Tops?"

Tilapia Piccata-Style over Parsley and Tomato Orzo


Tilapia Piccata is a spin on the traditional 
Italian dish of 
veal or chicken piccata.


The history of the "piccata" dish is a bit confusing, but many believe it to be of American design, most likely by Italian-American immigrants during the 1930's.  Piccatas today are generally made with veal, but here in the U.S., chicken prevails. 

Mouthwatering Creamy Ritz Chicken Bake



Chicken never tasted quite so good!



This dish is comforting, delicious, rich and buttery with tender bites of chicken ~ a recipe that’s in about any community or church cookbook, and surprisingly, there are a minimum of variations from one recipe to the next.

Chicken Fajitas, About the Easiest You Will Ever Make!



These could very well be the easiest

~ and maybe the tastiest fajitas ~
you'll ever make!




They are so good and super simple to make, thanks to Perdue Short Cuts, Grilled Fajita-style Chicken! 

Harry's Cooking with Gladys Knight's Spanish Pork Chops



The Empress of Soul, Gladys Knight, sings with her heart and soul, and it seems she cooks the same way, judging by this recipe!



If you haven’t watched "Harry," the TV show that's a blend of talk, music, comedy, and variety, starring Harry Connick, Jr., you’re in for an entertaining hour.  There isn’t much this guy who was born and raised in New Orleans can’t do!  

Rich Creamy Chocolate for Your Valentine!


Caution:  Bill says this could be fatal!




Chocolate is a major food group to just about everyone ~ but not me ~ I definitely wouldn’t go out of my way for it.  I do have a sweet tooth though, it’s just not for chocolate like it is for my family members and friends.

So when the most chocolate-covered day of the year, Valentine’s Day, rolls around again ~ that day when everything seems to be slathered in chocolate ~ it’s the perfect time to make a delicious dessert.


Chocolate is everywhere, it’s universally loved.  Apparently, according to research done by Dr. David Lewis, letting chocolate dissolve slowly in your mouth produces as big an increase in heart rate and brain activity as a passionate kiss ~ except that the effects of the chocolate lasts four times longer. 

Therefore, truly, chocolate must be the food of love.

If you’re looking for a creamy, very rich chocolate treat for your Valentine, this Chocolate Pudding Cake by exclusive French pastry chef, François Payard, who launched several eponymous patisseries in New York City, is for you!  





The creation is not exactly quick to make, it takes a good bit of freezer time, 6 hours at least, but it’s worth the effort to make for your Valentine!

Believe me, this is a decadent dessert, so I’m told ~ smooth, creamy, rich, particularly luscious and velvety, a sinfully delicious chocolate treat!

Just a sliver will do it!


Françoise Payard’s Chocolate Pudding Cake
Printable recipe

Ingredients:
1¼ cups finely chopped semisweet chocolate
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional*
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar, divided
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon. pure vanilla extract
Cocoa powder for dusting

Method:
1. Place the chocolate, espresso powder and butter in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. Combine the milk and all but 1 tbsp. of the sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stop stirring and cook until the milk begins to bubble around the edge of the pan. Remove from heat.
3. Whisk together the egg yolk and the remaining 1 tbsp. sugar in a small bowl. Pour half of the hot milk over the yolk mixture, whisking to combine. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and just begins to bubble around the edges (reaching 183° on an instant-read thermometer).
4. Immediately pour the mixture over the chocolate and butter. Whisk until the chocolate is melted. Whisk in the vanilla.
5. Scrape the batter into a 6-in. round springform pan, and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours or overnight.
6. Remove cake from freezer, and let sit for 10 minutes before unmolding. Invert the cake onto a serving platter, and lightly dust the top with cocoa powder. Allow the cake to stand at room temperature for 45 minutes before serving.
notes

*This is the slightly adapted recipe of Chef Payard's. I added espresso powder for a darker richer flavor.
It doesn't taste like coffee, it just enhances the chocolate flavor.




 Enjoy! 


Chicken Tinga, not with my IP!


I know a lot of you are obsessed with your Instant Pot, that "miracle" small appliance! 
 I researched it carefully, 
read your posts about the wonders of it, 
got suckered in, 
purchased one.  




Unfortunately, there’s no IP love here.  It all went downhill with this recipe...

First off, I browned the tomatillos and onions nicely.  Then added the seasonings, stock and diced tomatoes; removed the skin and bones from the chicken and added that to the pot.



The next step is when it all went wrong!  Put the lid on, lock it in place and set the IP to pressure cook, it sounds sooooo easy!  Wrong! 

Once again, I couldn’t get the lid on, couldn’t lock it in place.  It was sort of tricky the first 2 or 3 times I used it, this time it was impossible.

I even read the manual for the umpteenth time, still couldn’t do it.  Then I asked Bill to try it, he had no more luck than I did.  After being frustrated for 30 or so minutes, I watched a video of some man demonstrating placing the lid on and locking it in place - he must've been a magician!

It sounds so simple, but it’s so crazy.  I never did get the lid on, couldn’t cook the chicken in it, ended up braising the chicken in the tomato mixture, in a casserole dish, in the oven.  


By then, I had lost all interest in it and dinner too - just wanted it over with and done!  I'd just rather cook ~ stir ~ & taste ~ my way.

The chicken turned out OK though, tasted OK.  We decided we’d like it over noodles instead of a traditional Chicken Tinga recipe with tostada shells. 




The last step in this disaster:   Bag up the IP and put in the garbage can outside ~ the next day was garbage day and I was happy to be rid of the darn thing and get back the space it demanded!!! 

There is one positive thing I can say about my Instant Pot ~ at least I didn't have to clean the contraption!

I’m hoping I’ve learned my lesson and won’t buy the next pricey kitchen gadget that comes along...


Chicken Tinga
Printable recipe

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large tomatillos, husked and quartered
1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup chicken stock
1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 teaspoon chipotle purée
8 ounces uncooked extra wide egg noodles

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°.
Place olive oil in IP (skillet) on medium high heat.  
Add tomatillos and cook until browned; add onions and garlic, and cook until browned, about 3 minutes.
Add chicken stock and stir.
Add tomatoes with their juice, oregano, salt, pepper and chili powder, stir to combine.
Transfer the tomato mixture to a casserole dish that has been coated with cooking spray.
Add chicken and chipotle purée, stir well.
Place lid on dish and cook until chicken is cooked through and tomato mixture has thickened.
Meanwhile, cook noodles in boiling water according to package directions.
After cooking, transfer chicken to a plate and pull it into bite-size pieces.  Return to tomato mixture and combine.
Transfer chicken and tomatoes to serving bowl.
Serve over cooked noodles or tostada shells.


Enjoy!

Cheese-wrapped Olives for the Super Bowl!




Kickoff
the Super Bowl
with
these savory bites!




It's not shocking that Americans devour more calories on Super Bowl Sunday, more than any other day, even Thanksgiving Day!  
 
You'll want to count these cheese-wrapped olives in for your Super Bowl fare...

They're from another era - oldies but goodies -  that are still popular today.  I posted them way back here when I first started this blog and thought they deserved a repeat now in time for Super Bowl parties.

They're easy to make:  just wrap olives in a tasty cheddar dough, freeze and then bake until golden and serve when needed.

So...   have your football cronies chow down on these little gems while they're watching the game.  Once they sink their teeth into a cheesy olive, they'll huddle around the plate down to the last bite!

Beer is optional...


Cheese-wrapped Olive Bites 
Printable recipe  

Ingredients:
50 small pimento-stuffed green olives, drained and patted dry
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sifted flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method:
Make sure the olives are drained well (I pat them dry with a paper towel.)
Blend cheese and butter.
Sift next 3 ingredients together.
Combine cheese with flour and butter mixture.  It makes a stiff dough.
Pinch off a small amount of dough and flatten in palm of hand.
Wrap dough completely around olive.
Place on baking sheet in a single layer and freeze; once frozen, they can be placed in a resealable plastic bag until ready to bake.
Do not thaw before baking.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400°.
Place olives on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until golden.
Transfer to serving plate.
Serve warm or room temperature.




Enjoy! 





You know,

nobody can ever

cook as good as

your Mama.

~ Paula Deen


You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/paula_deen_431843?src=t_cook
You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/paula_deen_431843?src=t_cook

DINNER PARTY

DINNER PARTY
Jules-Alexandre Grun

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

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ᴍɪɴɴɪᴇ❣ 14 ʏᴇᴀʀs...

ᴍɪɴɴɪᴇ❣ 14 ʏᴇᴀʀs...
May 5, 2004...

ᴍᴏᴏᴄʜᴇʀ ❤ ʀɪᴘ ❤

ᴍᴏᴏᴄʜᴇʀ ❤ ʀɪᴘ ❤
May 5, 2004 – Dec 16, 2014

THIS BLOG LAUNCHED OCTOBER 29, 2009

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