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Dill Sauce with a Little Salmon

8 Mar

by Green Gourmet K

There are certain dishes that my parents make that have shown up on our dinner table as long as I can remember, and many of them I have adopted.  Whenever my Dad bakes salmon he usually makes a dill sauce to go with it.  Even now, unless it’s some specially prepared salmon, it just doesn’t taste right to me without the dill sauce.  Here’s how I make it.

Dill Sauce for Salmon

(for four servings of salmon)

8 oz. sour cream (full fat or low fat) or you can substitute good plain yogurt

3 tbsp. chopped dill

juice of half of a lemon

pinch of salt and ground pepper

Refrigerate until salmon is ready.  Add a dollop of this sauce on top of each salmon steak.  It will take your salmon to the next level.  Salmon with dill sauce is a very springtime dish in my mind, so next time it’s on sale, or you’re looking for something special to serve for dinner, try it out.

Let us know what you think!

Side note: I have not tried this yet but it occurred to me that the leftover sauce (as long as it did not touch fish) could be turned into salad dressing and served over lettuce and leftover cold salmon. I would add some more lemon to thin it out.

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Sweet Southern Spring

1 Mar

by Green Gourmet K

You may (or may not) have noticed that I have been missing from the Green Gourmets scene lately.  Life got very busy and blogging had to take a back seat for a short while but luckily I have a great partner in this venture who picked up the slack, along with some of the best home cooks I know as guest contributors.  But now I am back and reinvigorated by springtime and this beautiful weather we’re having down South.

Savannah is beyond description beautiful in this little sneak peek of Spring we’ve had so far.  Camelias are blooming all over town and those bright (or soft) spots of pink sure are a sight for sore eyes.  I guess you could say I am falling in love with Savannah a little because she sure is starting to look attractive.  Yes, I know I’m superficial.  Please excuse the Iphone pictures, they abound in this post, but when you’re pressed for time it does make for a handy camera.

This is what I have been up to . . .

I went here for work – this is in Alabama:

Then I went to Boston for work and it sure was icy cold.

Recently we enjoyed the spring-like weather sitting on the deck at Vickery’s on Shem Creek in Mt. Pleasant, SC:

Now I am finally getting some time with this little guy:

Another reason I am feeling re-energized and excited is that I have committed to a new way of eating and to working on my health and fitness in general.  I have been thinking for a while that I would like to test my own boundaries and accomplish some personal goals.  Fortunately for me I know someone who coaches people and helps them reach their goals for a living.  Ms. Annie Banks is a C.H.E.K. Practitioner and a Holistic Lifestyle Coach, as well as a certified Yoga Instructor.  She works at Progressive Fitness in Charleston, South Carolina.  Pretty great job, right?!  Annie also happens to be someone I have been friends with since we were babies swimming in her mama’s pond.  Yeah, we’re a little country.

Back in November I told Annie about my desire to make some changes and achieve some goals.  Life got in the way but we finally got together last week.  She started me off with a metabolic typing which she said would help me determine the best fuel for my body and to feel more hormonally balanced.  The actual metabolic typing was very easy, you just need to fill out some questionnaires as truthfully as possible then Annie gets the results and helps you interpret them.  It turns out I am a “protein-type,” the real analysis was more complicated than this and gives you a lot of detail but what it breaks down to is that for my metabolic type I function better eating a diet of 40% protein, 30% carbohydrates and 30% fats.  That’s a lot of protein, and the suggested sources are meat, fowl and fish.  I was stunned.  I try to get my protein in but I have never experimented with a higher proportion of protein in my diet.

In fact, of late, here is what I have been eating:

Fresh Gnocchi from the local Savannah Farmer’s Market at Forsyth Park.

Local shrimp – Savannah, GA

Local brussel sprouts, from the Savannah Farmer’s Market at Forsyth Park.

I am guessing my new meals will look something like what I have been eating, like the above taco/burrito/something Mexicanish dish, just minus the tortilla.

I am excited to be giving this new way of eating a try.  I will do my best to chronicle it here.  This will be a challenge, for an occasional meat-eater to start cooking and eating high-protein and low-carb meals.  But while I am losing bread, rice, and pasta (at least as regular staples), I am gaining all sorts of delicious meats (including bacon!), cheeses, whole milk, cream, full-fat yogurt.  What’s the downside again?  This will definitely be a big change, but I’m excited to give it a shot, and of course, my focus will still be on eating as much local, fresh food as possible.

Southern Biscuits, Like Great Grandma Made

31 Jan

by Green Gourmet K

A few people I know have a bucket list, with things they want to do or places they want to go before they kick the ol’ bucket.  I have a list of recipes I must learn to cook in my lifetime.  Yes, I know this may be a little ridiculous, but I come from a family of amazing cooks – my parents, aunts, uncles, and many family friends.  My parents are the best non-professional cooks I know, they each have their own style and they both love fresh ingredients and the creation of a simple, satisfying meal for the ones they love.

Each parent has certain things they make that are their specialties, at least in my mind.  My dad makes an amazing Rosemary Roast Chicken, with gravy of course, and I love his recipe for grilled flank steak.  My mom makes a killer fruit cobbler, a perfectly executed shrimp etouffee, and fantastic vinaigrettes on the fly, among many, many other things.

But they both make biscuits.  There is a bit of biscuit feud going on in fact.  Mom swears that my Dad’s biscuits are not true Southern biscuits (because he is a Yankee – Gasp!) and my Dad argues that his biscuits are just as good, if not better, than most Southerners.  I have decided that I need to learn both biscuit recipes.  A little while ago my mother taught me her version.

My mom’s biscuit recipe comes from this book, Southern Cooking by Mrs. S.R. Dull.

As you can see, this book has been through a lot, it is spineless and held together with tape but it is priceless.

The recipe inside only has 5 ingredients, believe it or not!

Here is Mrs. S.R. Dull’s classic Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe:

Ingredients

2 cups of flour, sifted (will be 2.5 cups once sifted) — we used whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup buttermilk — we subbed yogurt and milk until it was the consistency of buttermilk

4 tablespoons shortening  —- or butter

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Now, here’s where my mom differs from Mrs. S.R. Dull.  She does not have shortening laying around, I mean who does?  So we used butter.  Now my mom, 6th generation Atlantan that she is, does love buttermilk but did not have any on hand so she taught me a neat trick.  You can apparently use yogurt and milk as a sub for buttermilk, which is what we did. 

Directions

Sift together the dry ingredients.

Now mix in the butter (or shortening) but the key is to not touch the cold butter (oh, did I mention it should be cold?) and you don’t want to mix it with your hands because it will melt the butter so cut it with two knives.

Add in the buttermilk (or yogurt-milk mixture).

Turn the dough out onto a floured board or countertop.

Pat the dough out to about 1/2 an inch thick.

Use a biscuit cutter or just a round glass to cut out your biscuits. Place them on a baking sheet.

Then place the baking sheet in the oven, Mrs. Dull says “a hot oven.”  My mom says that means 425 degrees for about ten minutes for thin biscuits, 15 minutes for thicker ones.

The biscuits don’t have to be perfect, as you can tell, and they are not the gigantic, abnormally yellow fast food kind of biscuit.  These were made with whole wheat pastry flour, and we subbed in two other ingredients, and they still came out perfect.  But my mom was careful about the sifting, the measuring and cutting the butter into the dry ingredients.  These biscuits were soft inside but crisp on the outside, the perfect vehicle for a pat of butter.

The jury is still out on who makes the better biscuit, mom or dad, but keep an eye out for the second recipe (from dad) and you can be the judge.

Welcome to the Green Gourmets Blog

6 Dec

Hello (moms, husbands, and our 2-3 closest friends)! Thanks for visiting our blog.

What is this all about anyways and why are we blogging?

We (L & K) are two friends who met in high school in Atlanta, Georgia.  While we didn’t know each other well then, we met again a few years ago in a chance run-in at a yoga studio in Columbia, South Carolina.  We realized we had a lot in common, particularly our love of good food, creating amazing meals and sharing them with friends, and drinking delicious wine.  But we are not millionaires . . . yet, so we try to eat and drink well on a budget.  We favor local, in-season ingredients when possible because they tend to be the most flavorful and nutritious.  We hope this blog will be able to provide tips on where to find local ingredients without breaking the bank.  To us, eating “green” means finding food that has not been trucked all over the country (or flown half way across the globe) and that is free from chemicals and pesticides that harm the earth.

We hope you will enjoy this blog as a resource for ideas and recipes of your own.  We welcome you to share with us and to request posts on a particular subject or theme.  Professional chefs we are not – we just thought it would be fun to document our progress as amateur cooks.  We will, from time to time, post highlights of a meal we’ve had out at restaurants.  We are also not professional restaurant critics though (but wish we were) and so will refrain from any negative reviews.

The Green Gourmets blog is officially open for business! Come back soon y’all!

The Green Gourmets – L & K

Goodbye South Carolina, hello Savannah, GA!

5 Dec

by Green Gourmet K

Bubbly for one to celebrate my new job in a new town.

I love South Carolina, yes I do.  I especially love the coast of South Carolina.  It’s where my heart is, along with many people that are important to me.  But unfortunately it is not where the jobs are or where my current paycheck comes from.  So I moved to Savannah, GA where I was offered a job that is right up my alley.  Non-profit jobs do not pay much though so I am still, after 3 years of law school and graduate school, watching my pennies.  I’m also confronted by a new task – living and cooking alone, for one, solo, all by my lonesome.  Yes, I am married but my dear husband is still finishing school and I needed to take a job wherever I could find one.

He and I love living together so this has been a challenge.  We also love cooking together.  We usually drink wine and help each other make a meal and chat while doing it.  It’s a great way to spend some time together.  Now I am on my own though (except when he comes down on weekends) so I am learning to cook for one again.  Cooking for one can be a real blessing – I don’t have to please anyone but myself.  So I want to eat cucumbers in yogurt, I can do that without getting any weird looks.  Then again, I don’t have anyone to please with my cooking, which is part of the fun of it.  I have a feeling it will not be long before my new co-workers are forced to eat my attempts at baking.  Some of my recipes, for the near future at least, will likely focus on small meals that can be made for one to two people.

Dogs love broccoli too.

Here’s one good thing about moving to a new city though – a whole new restaurant culture to explore.  I’ve already been to a couple new favorites – Zunzi’s, Back in the Day Bakery, Gallery Espresso – and I can’t wait to try a few more.  I’ll post as I do.