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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Dill Pickles Recipe

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Pickles! Pickles!

Ryan's Dill Pickles

Now you don’t have to buy pickles at the store again, because this recipe is easy and quick!  You should be done in about 10 minutes.

It does take a few days for the pickles to infuse and be ready to eat, but the preparation is a piece of cake.

The recipe I made below is prepared for savory, crunchy pickles to be ready-to-eat at the quickest time possible.  So, the pickles can be quite strong after a couple weeks in the fridge.  But they are perfect after 3 days. If you wish not to have such strong pickles, dilute the ingredients with more water (see at the bottom).  This also is better to do if you wish the pickles to be stored for a longer period of time.  As for everyone in my house, however, the pickles usually do not last more than a few days :)

  • 1.5-2 cups apple cider or white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 4-6 whole cloves of garlic (crush them if you want a garlic pickle)
  • 2 teaspoons of dry dill or 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 2 bay leaves (ensure there is 1 bay leaf for each Mason jar)
  • 2 teaspoons of dry mustard (use more if you do not use mustard seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 medium cucumbers cut in half then sliced length-wise

Add sliced cucumbers, garlic, and bay leaves to 2 Mason jars. Add all other ingredients to a small saucepan over high heat. Cook until it begins to boil and salt/sugar dissolves. Pour carefully the hot liquid equally into the 2 Mason jars.  Seal, and allow to cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate for 2-3 days before serving.  Then eat!

As you might already notice, this recipe is quite flexible. You can use carrots or cauliflower instead of cucumbers. You can add jalapenos or chilies if you want it spicy. You can also add other ingredients to make it international (ie. cumin for Indian flavor; or rice wine vinegar, sugar, and no dill for Asian).

If you wish to make cucumbers for long-term storage, change recipe to 1 cup vinegar and 2 1/2 cups water.  Refrigerate for 1 week prior to serving.

Saag Shorba (Indian Soup)

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Ryan’s Saag Shorba

 Saag Shorba

This is definitely my favorite soup of all time!  It has a heartiness to it that fills you up, and an amazing flavor.  I stock my freezer with leftovers of this to defrost and warm up  on days when I want something wonderful, but don’t want to cook.  The amazing thing about this soup and many Indian dishes in general, is that they taste better the next day or keep the flavor even after 6 months in the freezer.


12 oz spinach, fresh or frozen is fine
2 medium onions finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic
2 tbs of ghee (or vegetable oil)
3 inch piece of ginger chopped
2 teaspoons of coriander
2 teaspoons of ground cumin (or more if you like)
1 teaspoon of turmeric
Scant cayenne
Scant cardamom
5 cups of chicken broth
4 cups of tomatoes diced (or 32 oz canned diced or crushed)
1 tbs of tomato paste
2 cups of heavy cream
Salt to taste

In a large saucepan or pot, heat the ghee or oil on medium.  Add chopped onions. Saute for 5-10 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and cardamom.  Saute for 3 minutes more.

Add broth and bring to a boil.  Add spinach and tomatoes and bring back to a quick boil.

Turn off heat and transfer to a blender and blend until a thick consistency, just a few seconds. The spinach has to be broken up so there isn’t long strands (see photo above).  Try not to make it into a puree.

Add back to pot and add cream, slowly to avoid curdling.

Add salt to taste and more cayenne and cumin if you wish.

Simmer for 10-20 minutes if you wish to enhance the flavor of the spices.

Serve with cilantro as garnish.

If you would like to have this soup as a main course with more substance, you can add chicken to the pot after you add the spices. It’s probably best if the chicken is cut into pieces. Make sure to remove the chicken prior to blending the soup. Afterward, add the chicken back to the pot along with the blended soup.