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Low Fat Low Carb Diet

Umami Beef Bone Stock

Beef stock simmering

Bone stock is a big deal lately. Drinking broth is the newest health craze; there are many good nutrients found in the bones/connective tissue of animals that leech out into the broth when simmered for a long time, releasing healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine.

My dogs’ homeopathic vet agrees about the healthfulness of bones and recommends first a raw diet (bones ground up with meat) then cooked meat with bone broth. So all of us have the bone broth—I’ll drink some for the health benefits—but I really love how homemade stock elevates any dish you use it in to fine cuisine.

Bone broths are staples in the traditional diets of every culture and are the foundation of all fine food. That’s because bone broths are nutrient-dense, easy to digest, rich in umami taste and they boost healing.

The health benefits of bone soup are numerous; consuming bone broth, including beef, lamb, chicken fish and more, can:

  • Treat leaky gut syndrome
  • Overcome food intolerances and allergies
  • Improve and protect joint health
  • Improve elasticity and make you look younger
  • Boost immune system
  • Aids in detoxification

Bone broth contains:

  • 19 essential and non-essential amino acids
  • Collagen/gelatin, which help form connective tissue
  • Nutrients that support digestive functions, immunity and brain health

You will want to use grass fed meat. I buy mine in Northern Westchester, at a Hemlock Hill Farm and was there last weekend, buying meaty beef bones.

Roast beef bones before simmering them make the stock richer.

I make a big batch of beef stock once a year or so and it’s enough to make French Onion soup, stews and other dishes that require beef stock; about 16 servings total. It is perfect to make on a rainy day or whenever you plan to spend the day at home. It doesn’t require much hands-on work, just a long cooking time. You can buy either meaty bones or bones and connective tissue with little meat; the meat will be so cooked that there is little flavor left and you probably won’t want to eat it. If you have dogs or cats, however, they would enjoy it.

The first meal I make with the stock is always French Onion soup. Made up of only a few ingredients, the soup is loaded with umami flavor from the stock and it is superb.

Beef Bone Stock

Preheat oven to 450

3 pounds meaty bones or 5 pounds bones.

2 onions, unpeeled and quartered

1 large carrot, quartered

2 stalks celery, roughly chopped

Bouquet garni

2 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar (helps leach out even more nutrients)

Put meat, onion and carrot into an oven proof container and bake one hour, turning occasionally.

Ready for the oven
Beef bones and veggies ready for stock pot

 

Put meat and vegetables in a stock pot and deglaze roasting pan with 2 cups of water, then add to stock pot. Add 3 1/2 quarts of water, the celery, apple cider and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 5 hours.  Remove bones and vegetables and discard. Allow stock to cool. To hasten cooling, put pot in sink with drain plugged and add cold water and ice in sink. Freeze in containers or freezer Ziplocs; I freeze in quart-sized Ziplocs and partially defrost if I need less than 4 cups.

I’ll post French Onion soup recipe soon!

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Low Carb “Wanton” Pork Loaf and Baby Bok Choy

Wanton Pork Loaf and Bok Choy

I created this recipe based on the filling for Chinese wantons with pork and shrimp. Before going low carb, I’d make a big pot of soup with them and a bunch of veggies. Then, I went low carb and made the filling without the wrapper, just tossing the meat into the soup—I’ll make and post it later, when it gets cold.

So, if you like pork dumplings, you’ll like this meatloaf.

I don’t add shrimp to my recipe, because my husband is allergic to it. Add it or not—pork only is delicious.

I add half a package of gelatin to all meatloaves, because it improves the texture and helps it retain moisture. (Works for meatballs, too!) I discovered this from The Science of Good Cooking: Master 50 Simple Concepts to Enjoy a Lifetime of Success in the Kitchen by Cook’s Illustrated.

I just spent the weekend in upstate New York and had the most delicious boy choy ever at Blue Mountain Bistro. They grill theirs and I don’t have a grill in NYC, so I sautéed mine. They were kind enough to share the ingredients and this is it, with the addition of sautéed mushrooms. I use Loriva pure roasted peanut oil

Loriva sesami oil

when I cook Chinese dishes because it smells and tastes so good in them. The dish turned out great and so full of flavor that I will make it again and it would work well to jazz up a plainer meat, like roasted chicken. Equally as good would be to add some chicken, pork or tofu and make it a one dish meal.

The pork loaf is high in umami taste with pork and Tamari and the bok choy has Tamari and mushrooms to give it that extra taste and help you forget you aren’t eating lots of carbs and fat!

Low Carb “Wonton” Pork loaf

Serves 4

1 ½ pounds ground pork or ¾ pound ground shrimp and ¾ pound ground pork

½ bunch scallions, sliced fine

1/4 cup milk

1 egg

2 tablespoons low sodium Tamari

1 tablespoons sesame oil

Black pepper

1 tablespoon Korean red pepper (less if using a spicier red pepper)

½ bunch parsley, stems removed and chopped

½ package gelatin

½ -inch ginger, chopped fine or grated

2 cloves garlic chopped fine or grated

Good handful baby spinach, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Put gelatin, milk and egg in a bowl and stir in gelatin, then add rest of the wet ingredients. Gelatin will soften. Add remaining ingredients. Bake 45 minutes. I cook half two nights in a row for my husband and I so both nights the meatloaf tastes great.

Baby Bok Choy with Oyster Mushrooms

Serves 2

1-pound baby bok choy, ends removed and rinsed well; separate stems and leaves

½ pound Oyster or other mushrooms, remove stem and chop coarsely

1 large clove garlic, chopped fine

½ piece ginger, chopped fine

1 tablespoon low sodium Tamari

½ tablespoon sesame oil

Black pepper

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted at 350 in the oven for about 5 minutes or until they get lightly brown

Good quality peanut oil like Loriva or Extra virgin olive oil

Heat cast iron pan on high; coat bottom with peanut or olive oil. When hot, add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes until water is released and they begin to brown. Add bok choy stems and cook, 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium low and add ginger and garlic and cook a couple minutes, until softened. Add leaves and cook until wilted. Add soy sauce and black pepper, stirring to coat. Turn off heat and add sesame oil and seeds.

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Low Carb Kimchi “Ramen” Soup

Kimchi “Ramen” Soup

The secret ingredient here is the tofu shirataki “noodles” which imitate real noodles with their texture, but a 4-ounce serving has only 10 calories and 3 carbs! It’s basically soybeans and yam flour. The texture is amazingly like noodles and the flavor is bland—but it’s what you have the noodles with that give it flavor and these are perfect in soup. This is a basic recipe, but totally stands on its own. Jazz it up with tofu, chicken, pork, broccoli, shredded carrots, spiralized zucchini and any other vegetable or protein you have on hand. Leftover chicken and pork? They are perfect for this soup.

Tofu Shirataka “Ramen”

Kimchi “Ramen” Soup

Serves 3

3 Eggs, beaten

2 packages tofu shirataki “noodles”, drain in colander and rinse and drain

1 pound baby bok choy, ends cut off, stems and leaves separated and chopped

6-12 ounces kimchi

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock plus water as needed

8 ounces shitake mushrooms, chopped

½ bunch scallion

1-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 tablespoons low sodium tamari

1-2 tablespoons sesame oil

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Heat a small pan on medium high, add oil to coat and pour eggs in. let set and flip. Remove from pan and cut into strips and set aside. In a pot, heat olive oil on medium and add ginger and garlic, cook 2 minutes, but don’t allow to brown. Raise heat to medium high and add shitake mushrooms; cook until water releases and they begin to brown. Add baby bok choy stems and cook a few minutes until wilted. Add baby bok choy leaves, stock, soy sauce, kimchi, egg strips and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and add sesame oil. Taste and add more sesame oil and soy sauce as needed.

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Roasted Chicken Breast and Squash “Linguini” with Goat Cheese, Artichokes and Basil, and Radishes

Roasted Chicken with Squash “Linguini” and Radishes

This roasted chicken in a variation of one I’ve made many times before. Sometimes I add tomatoes, or olives or keep it plain. It’s tasty and so easy to make. I used to add a bit of extra virgin olive oil, but I find it doesn’t need it. The squash on the side is delicious with the chicken.

I’ve never cooked radishes before, but numerous people have been telling me how good they are, so I gave them a try. The first night they reminded me of a potato, but the second night I undercooked them and didn’t care for the taste. They are worth checking out—just be sure you test them for doneness—they should be soft. Most of the sharpness is cooked out and the texture—when cooked correctly—really is like a potato. The bit of butter at the end really gives it a good flavor. I recommend a cast iron pan to give them a nice browning and not to crowd them—which is what I did the second night.

Roasted Chicken Breast 

Serves 2

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2 chicken breasts, bone in

Salt and pepper

Lemon

Basil, stems removed

Salt and pepper chicken, and place in a cast iron or oven proof pan wrong side up 30 minutes; turn over and cook an additional 30 minutes. Add basil last 10 minutes; coat it in pan juices. Remove from oven and add lemon juice and let sit for 10 minutes. Put basil leaves on top of chicken and some for the squash.

Squash “Linguini”

2 yellow and/or green squash, spiralized

2 ounces goat cheese

2-3 artichokes in oil or water, squeezed and roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 shallot, chopped

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Heat oil on medium low and add garlic and shallots when hot. Stir until wilted; 2 minutes. Add squash and cook until softened, 2 minutes. Add artichokes. Plate and add goat cheese.

Radishes

Radishes

1 bunch, ends cut off and cut into chunks

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon butter

Salt and pepper

Heat oil on medium high and add radishes when hot. Stir and brown radishes, being careful not to burn them, 5-6 minutes. Lower heat to low and cover for another 5 minutes. Check for doneness. Add butter, salt and pepper.

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Brussels Salad with Pecans, Beets, Duck & Manchego & Walnut Dressing

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecans, Duck Confit and Manchego Cheese and Walnut Dressing

I decided to make this salad with brussels sprouts, as I had a green salad for lunch. Either will work, but the brussels turn a fun shade of pink with the beets!

I buy the duck leg confit prepared; because it is a huge production to make and D’artagnan has a good one and their products have a wide distribution. I split one for my husband and me and after the fat is removed, it is more like a serving of bacon—which is a good substitute if you don’t want duck.

D’artagnan duck confit

A tip on the pecans and for all nuts and seeds: freeze them and they will last at least a year. I stock up at Trader Joe’s and always have pine nuts, pecans, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds on hand for cooking.

If you have not tried it, walnut oil is delicious and fragrant. I use it occasionally for salads and keep it stable in the refrigerator.

You can prepare the beets ahead of time, as they take a long time to cook. Roasting them in foil keeps them moist.

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecans, Duck Confit and Manchego Cheese and Walnut Dressing

Serves 8 as side, 4 main course

1 ½  pounds brussels sprouts, slicer attachment on food processor or cut in half and hand slice thin

¾ cup pecan, toasted and roughly chopped

2 duck confit legs

3 ounces manchego cheese, roughly chopped

2 beets

Prepare beets: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets, wrap in foil and bake, 1-1 /2 hours, depending on size. When cool, remove skin and cut into small chunks. Shred duck; I remove and discard fat, but some people like it. Heat in oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Combine everything and let sit for about 30 minutes to wilt brussels sprouts slightly. The beets will turn the brussels pink!

Walnut Oil and Lemon Dressing

1/2 a lemon

1/3 cup walnut oil

1 garlic clove, chop if whisking

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salt & pepper

Put ingredients in a mini food processor or whisk together.

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Blackened Pork Tenderloin & Salad with Beets, Goat Cheese & Pumpkin Seeds

Blackened Pork Tenderloin with Salad with Beets, Goat Cheese and Pumpkin Seeds

I have a blackened seasoning mix I use on all kinds of meats and even vegetables. I’ve been making it for years—it started when I was inspired by a dish from a restaurant called Olde Village Inn in Nyack, New York—they used in on chicken strips that went on their Caesar salad. I still make that recipe, but also use it to blacken fish or chicken or meat for fajitas, or just make it plain, as in this recipe. I go through a lot of it, so I make my own, since I was going through the little pre-made bottles like water. If you don’t feel like making the recipe, any taco or Cajun seasoning will work. My favorite place to order organic herbs, spices and tea: Mountain Rose Herbs–they are so fresh, inexpensive and now you can buy them in small quantities.

I either grill recipes with the blackened seasoning or cook in in my cast iron pan with some oil. If you do grill, spray meat or fish with a little cooking spray so it won’t stick to the grill.

The salad is delicious and just discovered on my trip to Provincetown, MA in their natural food store. They used a white balsamic vinaigrette, but I choose a cider vinaigrette to go along with the flavor of the blackened meat.

It’s everything pumpkin now, and seeds can be found in natural foods stores. I found Go Raw sprouted pumpkin seeds at Whole Foods and they are delicious. Like nuts, I freeze seeds to keep them fresh a long time.

Raw pumpkin seeds

Blackened Pork Tenderloin

4-6 ounces per person

Blackening seasoning to taste

Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Rinse and dry tenderloin. Coat in blackening spice. Heat a cast iron or other oven proof pan on high and add oil to coat pan. When hot, sear meat on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to oven and bake about 15 minutes, or until meat registers 160 degrees for medium. Let rest a few minutes and slice.

Blackening Seasoning (or buy any Cajun or taco seasoning mix) This will make a big batch for many uses

1 cup Garlic Powder

1 cup onion powder

2/3 cup paprika

1/3 cup cayenne

2/3 cup oregano

1/3 black pepper

1/3 cup cumin

2/3 cup lemon peel

1/3 cup tumeric

1/3 cup salt

 

Salad with Beets and Pumpkin Seeds

Mix of baby greens and arugula

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

1-2 roasted beets

¼ cup dried cranberries

2-3 ounces goat cheese

Roast beets: wash and cover in foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 1-1 ½ hours, depending on size. Let cool, cut ends off, peel and cut into bite sized pieces. Add remaining ingredients and serve. Dressing, below.

White balsamic or cider vinaigrette

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup white balsamic or cider vinegar or other vinegar

Salt and pepper

Put into a small food processor and blend.

 

Gazpacho Soup, Guacamole and Cheese Platter

Gazpacho Soup, Guacamole and Cheese Platter

I had friends over for Sunday brunch and decided to make gazpacho soup while tomatoes are still in season. Traditionally, bread is put into the soup, but I decided to make crostini out of a lovely buckwheat baguette, from Maison Kaiser. (When I do indulge in food high in carbs on the weekends, I only eat the best. Eric Kaiser is a third generation French baker who now has bakeries all over the world. His baguettes have won first place in France.) I added a few cheeses and some guacamole and that was our appetizer.

Gazpacho soup is a classic Spanish dish from Seville and is served chilled. If you want a creamier version, add more olive oil.

The key to great gazpacho is the tomatoes and I used heirloom from the farmer’s market. Many recipes blend all the ingredients in a blender or food processor, but I like mine chunky, so I blend the onions, garlic and half the vegetables in a food processor and hand chop the rest. If you like soup smooth, simply blend all the ingredients in a blender or food processor.

If you are not watching your carbs, try gazpacho with a grilled cheese sandwich for an amazing meal!

Gazpacho Soup

Serves 4

2 cloves garlic

1 small red onion

2-3 Kirby cucumbers peeled

1 large bell pepper

2 pounds tomatoes, cored

salt, pepper to taste

parsley

1 serrano or jalapeno pepper

1 teaspoons balsamic vinegar or lemon

2 T olive oil

Hot sauce

Blend the garlic, hot pepper and onion and half the vegetables in a blender or food processor and hand chop the rest. Chill 6 hours to overnight. Serve with hot sauce on the side.

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Umami Roasted Pork Shoulder with Beans & Kale

Umami Roasted Pork Shoulder with White Beans, Kale and Zucchini

At first glance, this recipe might look like a lot of work, but it really doesn’t take much time to prepare—and the payoff is totally worth it! The flavors are so delicious and complex. I made the pork roast the other night for the first time and decided it would be the perfect “company dish.”

I will be writing more about the topic, but this dish has numerous ingredients that are “umami”. Umami is the fifth taste; the others are sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Umami can be described as rich, meaty, and savory and gives dishes that extra layer that makes it memorable.

I’ve highlighted the umami ingredients in this dish and you can see that they are numerous. The vinegar, chicken stock and tomatoes all give depth and umami taste, as well as the pork and beans. Trust me, make this dish and it will become a favorite.

Roasted Pork Shoulder with White Beans, Kale and Zucchini

2 pounds boneless pork butt

Sea salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 springs thyme or ½ teaspoon dried

1 cup white beans, soaked overnight in cold water, drained and rinsed

1 ½ cups chicken stock

2 zucchini or yellow squash, julienned into “pasta” with a Julianne peeler or spiralizer

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 cup chopped tomatoes

6 ounces fresh kale or collards, washed stemmed, and roughly chopped

Tie meat with string to prevent it from falling apart when cooking. Season pork with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy, ovenproof casserole over high heat and sear meat until browned on all sides. Remove and set aside.

Remove all but 1 tablespoon of oil from pan. Reduce heat to medium and add the carrots, celery, onions, thyme and half the garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the beans, stock, red vinegar, and 1 cup of water or more to cover ingredients. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until beans are tender.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat and sauté remaining garlic for a minute. Add tomatoes and cook 3 minutes, add kale and cook about 5 minutes, or until kale is wilted.

When beans are cooked, remove thyme, carrots and celery and add salt and pepper to taste. Add tomato and kale mixture. Place pork butt on top and cover. Bake for 40 minutes to an hour, until meat is very tender. Add more water if needed during cooking time.

Remove from oven and allow to rest in pan for 10 minutes. Untie roast and cut ¼ inch thick slices. Add zucchini to mixture and allow it to wilt.

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Sumac Dry Rub Chicken Breast and Slaw

Sumac dry rub chicken and slaw

Going away on vacation and sticking to a low carb/low fat diet when staying at a hotel isn’t easy, because proteins and vegetables just aren’t as available as high carb and high fat foods are. I just spent a long weekend at the Jersey Shore, with its infamous boardwalks. The boardwalks are loaded with food stands and restaurants with items like fried Oreos, funnel cakes, ice cream, Philly cheese steaks and lots more empty calorie foods. (One surprise is that a semi healthy food place called Mogo: Korean Fusion Tacos always has a long line. And yes, I had some and it’s pretty decent.)

 I do have some high carb foods on weekends, and I indulged on this long weekend.  But I kept the carbs in moderation and did a lot of bike riding, walking and swimming, so while I doubt I lost weight, I don’t think I gained. (I don’t weigh myself because I’d get way obsessed and crazy over the numbers.) I also kept the high carbs to ones that were worth it, like good quality bread and avoided sweets.

When my husband and I go away for a week, we stay at rentals with kitchens, so some meals, like breakfast, we eat in. But for a long weekend, we just stay at a hotel and all meals must be eaten out and it gets tricky to get healthy food. (The one thing I did bring from home is my Green superfood powder/psyllium/flax/matcha tea mix that I use as a base for my morning smoothie. I just mix it with water and drink it. Gross, but keeps me operational…)

Now, our hotel offered “breakfast”: industrial bagels and pastries and juice on the weekends. I passed. Instead, I ate at Hoagitos, where they serve breakfast sandwiches with delicious, chewy rolls and at another stand that makes nice omelets and I had a slice of whole wheat toast, leaving the second piece and the hash browns.

I did have a couple salad meals—skirt steak with Caesar salad, shrimp with a fusion Asian salad. By now, I’m so used to eating lots of vegetables that I crave them.

I indulged a bit, but didn’t go crazy. The food was good, but not great—but it wasn’t all that important, either. Food isn’t my main focus in life.

We got back to the City in time for the eclipse; I was planning on taking out food for dinner, then decided I needed real food and cooked instead. I made chicken breasts on the bone with a dry rub and vinegar and coleslaw and it was so freaking good! Not sure if it was because the food I had been eating was just OK, or what, but I highly recommend both recipes.

About the dry rub: my nephew introduced me to it and it was created by Silkworm and Bottomless Pit bassist Tim Midyett. Midyett sells it, but it’s easy to make and his is much saltier than my version. I do one part of each ingredient and it’s perfection. You may not be familiar with sumac; it is a deep red, slightly sweet spice often used in Middle Eastern cooking. It has a somewhat bitter, lemony flavor.

You can buy sumac on Amazon or in some grocery stores. I get a 2-ounce container, then use 2 ounces of all the other ingredients; put it into a freezer Zip-lock, freeze and I have it for months all ready to go! I put this rub on ribs, beef (what it was intended for) and last night for the first time, chicken. I also like to add unfiltered cider vinegar when I use the rub. Amazing.

Midyett recommends grinding in a spice grinder (you can also use a coffee grinder) but I don’t bother.

The recipe is for the coleslaw I made. I have used other cabbages, julienned Lactincto kale, shredded jicama, celery root, and broccoli stems. Any hard veggie you have will work. I salt the cabbage for about an hour to make it crisp and more flavorful, as salt draws water out. Salting the onion makes it milder.

I used some crème fraiche because I had left over from the cucumber salad I made the other night. All mayo is fine too—or omit both and use more oil. Slaw is something to experiment with and works with many different ingredients.

Sumac Dry Rub Roasted Chicken Breast and Slaw

Serves 4

Sumac Dry Rub Roasted Chicken Breast

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

4 pieces of chicken breast, bone on

Sumac Dry Rub

Cider vinegar

Put dry rub on both sides of chicken and place on a sheet pan with parchment paper to prevent sticking skin side down. Bake 30 minutes. Turn chicken. Add a bit of vinegar to each piece and cook another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and turn chicken to let it soak up juices. Let rest 15 minutes and serve.

Sumac dry rub

Sumac Dry Rub (I do 2 ounces of each spice)

1 part good sea salt

1 part black pepper

1 part sumac

1 part ground coffee

1 part garlic powder

1 part unsweetened cocoa powder

Combine ingredients and either grind in a coffee or spice grinder or don’t bother. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in freezer for an even longer shelf life.

Coleslaw

Coleslaw

1 small head of savoy cabbage, quartered, cored and shredded in a food processor or hand sliced

1 medium red onion, sliced thin on a mandolin

1 tablespoon salt

1 large carrot, peeled and shredded in a food processor or on a box grater

Juice of one lemon or cider vinegar or other vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon celery seed

2 ounces crème fraiche/sour cream and/or 1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Pepper

Place the cabbage and onion in a colander and mix the salt into it. Let it sit for an hour, rinse well and squeeze dry. Whisk together all the ingredients except the carrots. Add the vegetables and let sit 15 minutes or more. This will stay good overnight, as well.

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Cucumber Salad with Dill Sauce

Cucumber salad with dill sauce

This time of year, Kirby cucumbers are abundant at farmer’s markets. Unlike those you buy at the grocery store that become soft and rotten in days, fresh ones from your farmer’s markets can last a week or more. I like to make cucumber salads; sometimes with oil and vinegar, other times with a crème based dressing. This one is really good. When you salt and drain the cucumbers, the flavor becomes more intensified and they stay crisp if you have leftovers for the next day.

This dressing, for 6 Kirby cucumbers, should be enough to make salad dressing. It is also delicious on cold, poached salmon. You can use sour cream, but crème fraiche makes it even better.

Cucumber Salad with Dill Sauce

½ bunch dill, stems removed and chopped

4 ounces sour cream or crème fraiche

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Juice from ½ a lemon

1 teaspoon salt

6 Kirby cucumbers

Cut off ends and peel, if desired; I use a carrot peeler to peel stripes. Cut cucumbers into ¼ inch rounds and place in colander. Mix salt in and put something heavy on cucumbers for one hour. Rinse and shake dry. Mix ingredients and toss cucumbers and let sit about 15 minutes.

There will be more than enough dressing; if you have leftovers, make salad dressing. Put into a food processor 1 clove garlic, more dill, extra virgin olive oil, juice from half a lemon, salt and pepper and the extra dressing.

 

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