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Polonius3 994 | 12,367  
18 May 2008 /  #1
Few other cuisines make as wide use of fresh dill, that green herb with the feathery leaves which imparts a bright, lively flavour to a variety of dishes. It is often used in places where Western cuisines use parsley. Some examples:

FRESH TOMATO SOUP (zupa ze świeżych pomidorów): Wash, hull and quarter 1 ¼ lb fresh (preferably locally grown, vine-ripened) tomatoes and simmer covered on low heat with several T stock and 2 T butter 15-20 min. Sieve or purée in processor and add to 6 c meat or vegetable stock and season to taste with salt & pepper. Cream with ½ c sour cream fork-blended with 1 heaping T flour. Simmer briefly and serve over egg noodles or rice. Garnish whith chopped dill. Variation: When fresh vine-ripened tomatoes are out of season, simply stir 4-5 T tomato concentrate directly into hot stock and proceed as above. Canned tomato juice cooked with an equal amt of stock is also good.

SPRING VEGETABLE SOUP (zupa wiosenna): This soup makes use of the season's first baby vegetables. To 5-6 c hot meat stock add a total of 3 c diced vegetables in any proportion, including green onions, baby carrots, small kohlrabi, cauliflower flowerlets, celery and peeled new potatoes. Cook until vegetables are tender but not overcooked (15-20 min.) Thicken with 2 heaping T flour dissolved in ½ - ¾ c half & half or 1½ c milk and simmer several min longer. Salt & pepper to taste and garnish with finely chopped fresh dill, and a little chopped parsley (optional). This soup can also be made with mature fresh vegetables or frozen vegetables.

CAULIFLOWER SOUP (zupa kalafiorowa): Break up 1 cauliflower into small flowerlets, scald drain and add to 6-7 c hot vegetable stock. Cook uncovered 10-15 min or until tender. Dissolve 1 heaping T flour in 1 c milk, add to pot and bring to boil. Add 1 T butter, salt & pepper to taste and garnish with fresh chopped dill. Serve plain or over egg-drop noodles or croutons (see below).

CROUTONS (grzanki): Allow roughly 1 slice white bread (preferably Italian, Vienna, Kaiser rolls or anything else firmer than that mushy American white bread!) and 1 t butter per serving. Cut bread into ½" squares and brown in melted butter in skillet to a nice crunchy golden-brown at least on 2 sides, taking care not to burn croutons. Variation: Rye-bread croutons have extra zest and don't go soggy as quickly as those made with white bread.

CREAM OF SORREL SOUP (zupa szczawiowa): Wash a handful of fresh sorrel (about 1/3 lb) very well in plenty of cold running water to remove all sand. Trim off and discard stems. Chop and simmer in 2 T butter in sauce pan about 5 min. Dissolve 2 T flour in 1 c meat stock or bouillon, add to sorrel and simmer several min longer. Add sorrel mixture to 5 c meat or vegetable stock and bring to boil. Remove from heat. Fork-blend 3/4 c sour cream, gradually adding 1 c soup 1 T at a time. Gradually stir into soup pot and simmer several min. Serve over halved hard-cooked eggs, allowing 1 egg per serving. Optional: garnish with a bit of chopped dill. Note: In southern Poland, this soup is usually served with rice. Hint: Bottled sorrel is available at Polish markets and delis.

ROAST CHICKEN POLONAISE (kurczę pieczone po polsku): Soak 2 broken-up stale white bread rolls in milk to cover until soggy. Process or grind together with 3 raw chicken livers. Combine mixture with 1/4 lb raw ground veal, 1 - 2 eggs, 1 - 2 T soft butter or margarine. Work well by hand until fully blended. Season with salt, pepper, a dash of nutmeg, 1 heaping T finely chopped fresh dill and (optional) 1 t finely chopped parsley. Mix well. Rinse well 2-1/2 - 3 lb broiler and pat dry. Rub inside and out with salt and stuff just before roasting. The general rule of thumb is to allow about 3/4 c stuffing per lb of chicken. Sew up, tying legs together. Rub chicken all over with a little oil, sprinkle with pepper and paprika and rub in. Bake in preheated 375° oven about 75 - 90 min. Baste occasionally with pan drippings. Serve with sliced cucumbers with sour cream and dilled new potatoes.

CHICKEN-BREAST CUTLETS (kotlety z piersi kurczaka): Pound 4 skinned and halved chicken breasts to between 1/8" and 1/4" thick. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and (optional) hunter's seasoning, dredge in flour, dip in egg wash and roll in bread crumbs, shaking off excess. Fry in several T hot butter to a nice gold-brown (several min per side), drain on absorbent paper and serve immediately. Dress portions sprigs of dill and lemon wedges. Serve with rice or potatoes and mizeria or lettuce.

BREADED PORK CUTLETS (kotlety schabowe): This is probably Poland's single most popular main course! Cut bones away 6 center-cut pork chops or slice boneless center-cut pork loin 1" thick and pound with meat mallet pound on both sides until ¼" Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a pinch of marjoram and/or garlic powder if desired. Dredge in flour, dip in egg wash and roll in fine, plain bread crumbs. Gently press breading into cutlets so it stays put during frying. Fry to a nice golden brown on both sides in hot lard, vegetable shortening or oil, drain on paper towel and serve immediately. Optional: Garnish with a bit of fresh dill.

MEAT & RICE GO£ĄBKI (gołąbki tradycyjne): Prepare filling by combining 1 lb raw ground meat (pork, pork & beef, pork-veal-beef combination, or ground dark-meat turkey) with 4-6 c undercooked rice, 1-3 chopped butter-fried onions fried, 1 egg and 1 T chopped dill. Mix ingredients well and salt & pepper to taste. Place oblong portion of filling at base of wilted, parboiled cabbage leaves with thick center vein removed, roll up and place snugly in roasting pan in no more than two layers. Drench cabbage rolls in roasting pan with either 4 c tomato juice (plain or containing several dashes Tabasco or ¼ - ½ c spicy-style ketchup) or 3 c puréed or stewed tomatoes. Bake covered at 350° 1 hr. Reduce heat to 325° and cook another 1-2 hrs.

MUSHROOM GO£ĄBKI (gołąbki z grzybami): In 4 T butter, margarine or oil sauté 16 oz fresh portobello or white mushrooms, or some of each (washed and chopped) with 2 medium chopped onions. When lightly browned, combine with 4 c preferably slightly undercooked rice, barley or buckwheat groats. Add 1 raw egg, 1 T chopped dill and mix to blend ingredients. Salt & pepper to taste and garnish with 1 T chopped fresh parsley and 2 T chopped dill. Fill pre-wilted cabbage leaves as usual, drench with a 10½ oz can cream of mushroom soup combined with 3 c boiling water in which 1 mushroom bouillon cube has been dissolved, and bake in preheated 350° oven at least 2 hrs. Not only vegetarians will enjoy this tasty dish!

GROUND PORK CUTLETS (kotlety mielone): Soak stale white bread rolls (app. ¼ lb) in water or milk until soggy. Fry 2 sliced onions in a little fat until golden. Run drained soaked bread and onions through meat-grinder or process briefly. Combine with 2¼ lbs ground pork (or pork & veal or pork-veal-beef mixture), add 2 eggs, mix well by hand to blend ingredients and a dash of garlic powder, 1 t chopped dill and salt & pepper to taste. Form 12 - 16 meatballs depending on size desired. Fry in hot fat as is or (if you prefer crustier cutlets) first dredge in flour. Fry to a nice golden-brown on both sides, flattening them somewhat with spatula. Reduce heat, cover and simmer on low another 10 min or so until fully cooked.

DILLED NEW POTATOES (młode kartofelki z koperkiem): If you can get real, young, walnut-sized new potatoes, instead of peeling them use nylon scrubber to scrub away the thin skins under cold, running water. Place 2½ lbs scrubbed new potatoes in pot, cover with boiling water, add 1 t salt and cook on med heat about 30 min or until fork-tender. Drain. Dot with butter (about 1 T) and garnish with finely chopped fresh dill. Toss gently to evenly coat potatoes with melting butter and dill.

CALIFLOWER POLONAISE (kalafior po polsku): Remove any green leaves from base of cauliflower and trim off core. Place cauliflower cored-side-down in a pot tall enough so the cauliflower is at least 3" from the top rim. Add cold water coming up 1/3 of the way up the cauliflower and 1 t salt, bring to boil, reduce heat and cook covered at a gentle rolling boiling about 20 - 30 min or until fork-tender. Meanwhile, in saucepan heat 3-4 T butter until it bubbles, stir in 2-3 T bread crumbs and simmer, stirring frequently, until it is nicely browned. Remove cooked cauliflower from pot, drain well, place on serving platter and spoon the browned bread-crumb topping over it. Garnish wtih chopped dill. This can be a side dish or a nice vegetarian meal in itself with some sliced tomatoes and dilled, buttered new potatoes on the side.

VEGETABLES POLONAISE (jarzyny po polsku): Other vegetables may be prepared the same way as cauliflower polonaise, including wax and string beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, carrots, peas, peas & carrots, cabbage, etc. Simply cook vegetable in lightly salted water until tender, drain well and garnish with browned buttered bread crumb topping and chiopped dill. Optional: Instead of plain water, vegetables may be cooked in stock or simply add a bouillon cube to the pot. Note: Adding a little sugar (1 t or so per 2 c water) will improve the taste of many vegetables.

CUCUMBERS & SOUR CREAM (mizeria): Peel 2 cucumbers and slice into thin rounds. Sprinkle with salt and let stand 30 min. Pour off liquid. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, 2- 3 pinches sugar and 1 T lemon juice or vinegar. Lace with 1/2 - 2/3 c fork-blended sour cream (or plain yogurt for weight-watchers). Garnish with chopped dill. Optional: Intersperse a small onion sliced wafer thin.
osiol 55 | 3,921  
18 May 2008 /  #2

Anethum graveolens
formerly: Peucedanum graveolens

Keep sowing from spring to the middle of summer to keep the supply constant (you'll need this if, like me, you've read the post above and your mouth has started watering). Keep it watered, don't let it bolt (where it puts all its energy into making seed rather than growing more leafy matter).

Actually, I couldn't let myself read all of that post above. I'm too hungry to be able to cope with that much food-talk. Any mention of the seed and its culinary uses?

Just thought I'd add here that it's a member of the Apiaceae (also known as Umbelliferae). This is the plant family that includes carrot, parsley, coriander, fennel, caraway...
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,367  
18 May 2008 /  #3
Only garden-fresh dill is really good. Dried dill is but a distant memory of the real thing. However a year-round way of having it on hand is to chop it fine when it's in season, pack it into jars, seal them and freeze it. It won't retain all the etheric fragrance, so you will have to use maybe twice the amount, but it's the next best thing to fresh.
LondonChick 31 | 1,133  
18 May 2008 /  #4
Wow thanks, Polonius3 - I've just printed out this page.

I only ever use dill to garnish salmon, so it's good to have some inspired recpies :)
ss13 2 | 19  
18 May 2008 /  #5
Hey Polonius3, these seem like great recipes, and I agree 100% on the fresh garden dill note.

Here’s my 2 cent for a great dill recipe from the Bulgarian cuisine. It’s called Tarator, and it’s pretty much “cold cucumber and yoghurt soup”.

To prepare Tarator you’ll need 1 fresh cucumber, 1/2 kilogram of yoghurt, 1-2 cloves of garlic, several walnuts, some dill, salt, 2 teaspoons vegetable oil of your choice (sunflower oil is typically used), and water.

Grate or finely chop the cucumber(s) and place in a large bowl. Mash the garlic with salt and add to the cucumber. Add ground walnuts and finely chopped fresh dill. Pour in the yoghurt. Then gradually add water - the thickness is down to taste. Finally, add the vegetable oil.

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