Nana’s Dill Pickles

We posted an Instagram a video of us making pickles with Nana a few weeks ago, and a lot of you loved seeing the Queen of the Kitchen at work. We have been making pickles with her every August since we can remember and it was so special to capture the process on camera and share it with you! We eat these pickles year round, but especially during the Jewish holidays. You will never find our Rosh Hashanah dinner table without a platter olives and homemade pickles. 

There are some materials required in order to preserve the pickles, so be sure you get your shopping list covered before pickle making day! The pickles can be eaten as soon as 10 days after they are jarred but are eaten ideally two to three weeks later; be sure to make this recipe well in advance of when you want to eat your pickles. 

Nana’s Dill Pickles 
Makes: 8 mason jars (roughly 50 pickles) 
Prep Time: 30 minutes + 24 hour overnight soak to clean cucumbers
Total Time: 11 days (at a minimum for pickling, up to 21 days)

Items Required**:

  • 8 large mason jars
  • 8 NEW mason jar lids (this is extremely important in making sure the cucumbers pickle properly and are preserved well)

Ingredients:

  • 50-60 pickling cucumbers – Ideally, you will want to get as many SMALL cucumbers that you can find so that you can fit more in the jars.
  • 8 tbs kosher salt
  • 24 garlic cloves, sliced 
  • 8 tsp pickling spice
  • 16 whole, dried red chili peppers 
  • 4 large bunches of dill weed 

Directions:

  1. Clean the cucumbers by letting them soak overnight in cold water. Using a light brush, scrub off any dirt but be sure not to puncture the cucumber.
  2. Place the mason jar lids in boiling water and set aside.
  3. Put a rounded tablespoon of kosher salt, 3 sliced garlic cloves,1 tsp of pickling salt and 2 dried chili peppers in the bottom of each mason jar. If you want spicy pickles you can use up to 3 chili peppers per jar. 
  4. Fill the bottom of each mason jar with as many cucumbers as you can fit. You will want to put your largest cucumbers in this layer. Make sure the cucumbers are compact but not forced in the jar.
  5. Take a half bunch of dill and place in each mason jar.
  6. Using the smaller cucumbers, add as many as you can to fill up the remainder of the jar. Once full, fill each jar to the top with cold water. Seal each jar as tight as you can. 
  7. Place the jars in a cool area upside down so that they are standing on their lids. We typically put a paper towel underneath the jars so that we can tell if any of the lids are leaking. Leave upside down for 24 hours. 
  8. Flip the jars back over after 24 hours and re-tighten the lids. Store the jars in a cool place in your house for at least two weeks. As long as the jars are sealed and kept in a cool, dry location, you can keep them for up to 6 months. Refrigerate the pickle jars once they are opened. 

** Nana insists that if a woman is on her period while making this recipe, the pickles will be completely ruined. So if it is that time of the month, no pickle making for you! 


Ratatouille Tart

As you may have seen yesterday on our Instagram, we harvested our garden veggies before the snow came in Colorado and wanted a dish that we could really use up a good bulk of our produce. This Ratatouille Tart is gorgeous, garden veggie heaven. It comes together by slicing zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplant and layering them in a pie shell. If you want this dish to be a visual stunner, spend the time to alternate all of the vegetables as you layer them into the pie crust. Don’t make this for dinner on a weeknight when everyone is already starving. We have saved some time by purchasing a pre-made pie crust and marinara sauce, but if you really want to over-achieve, go ahead either from scratch, as well! 

Ratatouille Tart 
Makes: 1 pie; 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes        Total Time: 3 hours 

Ingredients for the Tart: 

  • 1- whole wheat pie shell, thawed if frozen (we love the Whole Foods frozen version!) 
  • 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 1 cup marinara sauce 
  • 2 zucchini 
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 1/2 of 1 large eggplant 
  • salt 

Ingredients for the Herb Oil: 

  • 2/3 cup olive oil 
  • 1 tsp dried oregano 
  • 1 tsp dried basil 
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes 
  • 1 large clove garlic, mined 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 

Directions: 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Thinly slice the zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplant. You want the eggplant to be roughly the same size as the squashes, so depending on the size, you may want to cut it into quarters lengthwise before slicing. Lay all of the sliced vegetables onto kitchen towels. Season well on both sides with salt and let the vegetables sit for 30 minutes to purge most of their liquid. You will be rinsing the vegetables later, so really season them well to make sure enough liquid gets removed during this stage. 
  3. While the vegetables are purging, par-bake the crust. Use a fork to poke the bottom layer of the pie crust. Layer with the 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Par-baking the crust and using a layer of Parmesan helps keep the pie bottom from becoming soggy later on. After 10 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside until it is back to room temperature. 
  4. While the pie crust is in the oven, reduce the marinara sauce. Heat a small sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add the marinara sauce to the pot and let it simmer and reduce. You want to reduce it by about 25%, so that it is thicker and more of a tomato paste than a tomato sauce. When it has reduced accordingly, remove from the heat. 
  5. The final step before assembling the tart is to make the herb oil. Combine the herb oil ingredients (olive oil – salt) in a small mixing bowl. Set aside until you are ready to use. 
  6. We are finally ready to assemble the tart! Put all of the vegetables into a colander and rinse well with water to get rid of the excess salt. Pat the vegetables dry with a kitchen towel. 
  7. Add the marinara sauce to the bottom of the pie shell in an even layer. 
  8. Starting with the outside edge, layer the eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash in alternating patterns around the outside of the pie crust. To give the tart a nice visual texture, try to layer the vegetables as vertically as possible. Continue to layer the vegetables in the tart shell until it is completely full to the center. 
  9. Use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the vegetables with the herb oil. Be generous with this, but you might have some oil leftover. 
  10. Use thin strips of foil to cover the outside edges of the pie crust. You want to make sure you take the time to do this well before the tart goes in the oven so that the crust does not burn. Put the tart in the oven and bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour. The tart is done with the vegetables are cooked through and fork-tender. 
  11. Remove the tart from the oven and finish by topping with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Let it sit and rest for about 10 minutes (you can lightly cover with foil) before slicing. 

Mezze Board

Creating an appetizer board is our go-to vehicle for feeding mouths as they walk through our door. There is always a little something for everyone and for some reason having more appetizers feels less stressful than having one and hoping it’s a winner. We love Greek food and often make a dinner party menu featuring this type of cuisine. Keeping that in mind, we set out to make a board of Greek appetizers (mezze) that mostly stays away from our traditional meat and cheese boards. If you feel like over-achieving you can make many of these items from scratch, but to save time we have purchased them from Trader Joe’s. Pro Tip: whenever we purchase a pre-made dip from the grocery store, we always give it a little TLC before serving. For this board we used Trader Joe’s labneh and hummus; we transferred each into smaller bowls and drizzled olive oil and red chili flakes on the labneh and olive oil and everything spice on the hummus. It’s a small touch that makes the board look better and less like you just got home from the grocery store. 

Mezze Board 
Makes: 8 servings 
Prep Time: 25 minutes    Total Time: 25 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 container small tomatoes on the vine 
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced on a bias
  • 1 block (6-8 oz) feta cheese, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 container dolmas 
  • 1 jar of grilled, marinated artichoke hearts, drained 
  • 1 jar Greek olives, drained 
  • 1 bag of Trader Joe’s Olive & Herbs Mixed Nuts, or similar 
  • 1 package pita, cut into small wedges 
  • 1 container hummus
  • 1 container labneh 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • red pepper flakes 
  • Everything Bagel Spice 

Directions: 

  1. Prep the ingredients that need a little TLC. Slice the cucumber into thick slices on a bias. Cut the feta into large chunks. Drain the dolmas, artichoke hearts, and olives. Cut the pita into wedges. 
  2. Transfer the hummus and labneh (or any other dips) into small ramekins or bowls that will fit on your board. Top each dip with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Sprinkle red pepper flakes on the labneh and Everything Bagel Spice on the hummus. 
  3. Arrange the platter. Start by putting the two ramekins of dips onto the platter. From there, layer each of the ingredients in at least two places on a large board. We try and mix and match the ingredients but also make sure that dry ingredients like the pita or mixed nuts stay dry by being placed near a ramekin. Once the board is full and assembled, serve immediately. 

Tomato, Proscuitto, & Ricotta Bruschetta

A few months back we posted a recipe for how to make tomato confit, and we have been making it regularly ever since. The tomatoes can last up to four weeks in the refrigerator – just make sure they are completely cooled before they are sealed into a container. The tomatoes can also be frozen and used in recipes like our Angel Hair with Burrata & Tomatoes. We love to mix and match how we use them, and for this rendition we are using them as a bruschetta condiment. We love the combination of the sweet and herby tomatoes, the salty prosciutto, and the creamy whipped ricotta. You can serve this as an appetizer on baguette – we like to have everything separate on a board and let people assemble themselves- or use larger slices of bread for brunch or a light dinner. 

Tomato, Prosciutto, & Ricotta Bruschetta 
Makes: 16 appetizer pieces 
Prep Time: 1 hour if preparing the tomato confit    Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 recipe for tomato confit (you want to use 1 1/2 lbs of tomatoes)
  • 1 baguette, sliced on a bias into 16 slices 
  • 1/3 cup olive oil 
  • 1 container ricotta cheese (approx. 16 oz) 
  • 1/2 lb thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into bite-sized pieces 
  • 1 container of basil leaves, stems removed and roughly chopped 
  • balsamic glaze, for garnish 
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Directions: 

  1. Prepare the tomato confit as instructed in the link above. Set aside and let the tomatoes cool to room temperature. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  3. Slice the baguette and drizzle the olive oil over top of the slices. Toss to coat on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Lay in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until they are crispy. 
  4. Use a hand mixer to whip the ricotta on medium-high speed for at least two full minutes. You can use a whisk for this and do it by hand if you want a workout, but it will take a few more minutes. The ricotta should be light and fluffy and a visibly different texture than it was in the container. 
  5. Assemble the bruschetta by layering a spoonful of ricotta onto the bottom of the toast. Top with 2-3 tomatoes, a few pieces of prosciutto, and basil. Drizzle with a bit of balsamic glaze and serve immediately. 

Air Fried Buffalo Cauliflower

Substituting chicken for cauliflower is one of those swaps that, when done right, makes you forget the original. Don’t get us wrong, we are not trying to pretend that we don’t love good chicken wings, but when we need a healthier swap, we turn to cauliflower. This recipe is super simple and can be used in a ton of different ways. You can serve the cauliflower as an appetizer with ranch or blue cheese dip, put it in a wrap or tacos as a substitute for protein, or on top of a salad.

Air Fried Buffalo Cauliflower

Makes: 4 – 6 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower or 16 oz cauliflower florets
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 cup of hot sauce (we used Franks)
  • ranch or blue cheese for dipping, optional

Directions:

  1. If you did not buy prepackaged cauliflower, prepare the cauliflower by removing the stem and cutting the florets into bite sized pieces.
  2. In a medium sized sauce pan, melt the butter and stir in the hot sauce. You don’t need to bring the mixture to a boil, you just want to make sure that everything is evenly blended.
  3. Turn the heat off and add the cauliflower. Stir until all of the cauliflower is coated with the hot sauce. Place the cauliflower on the baking sheet for your air fryer. Set the temperature to 400 degrees and air fry for 10-15 minutes until the cauliflower is browned and crispy.
  4. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, in a wrap, on a salad or straight up!

Loaded Bahn Mi Fries

Every once in a while we get a wild hair to create food that is epically decadent. Tuck’s mom had been browsing recipes for bahn mi sandwiches- a traditional Vietnamese sandwich with pork, cilantro, and pickled vegetables- and decided all of those ingredients would taste way better loaded onto baked french fries. What can we say? We play for the tie when it comes to quick, easy recipes and stupidly over the top recipes. We try to keep it interesting!

Taking one look at this ingredient list will show you that this dish has a ton of components. If you aren’t feeling like spending this much time and effort in the kitchen you can easily modify or skip ingredients all together. However, if you go all in you will love this recipe. It’s sweet and spicy, crispy and crunchy…. everything you want from a messy, delicious, mega appetizer. We hope to double it and make it for a giant party once quarantine is over.

Loaded Bahn Mi Fries

Makes: 4 entree servings, 6-8 appetizer servings

Prep Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients for the Fries:

  • 3 large russet potatoes
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • cilantro, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup Sriracha

Ingredients for the Pickled Veggies:

  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 thai chili, left whole

Ingredients for the Pork

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs Sriracha

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Slice the potatoes into fry shaped sticks. Toss the fries in the vegetable oil and season them with salt and pepper. Lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet or two and place in the oven. Cook for 25 minutes, or until the fries are crispy on the outside and cooked through the center.
  3. While the fries are cooking make the pickled veggies. Combine the ingredients for the pickled veg (carrots- Thai chili) in a medium mixing bowl. Add enough water to the bowl to submerge the vegetables. Set aside until ready to use.
  4. After you have completed the picked veg make the ground pork. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook for about 4 minutes. After that time, drain most of the fat away from the pan, reserving about 1 tbs. Add the remaining ingredients (ginger- Sriracha) to the pork and cook another 5 minutes, or until the flavors have combined. Season with salt and pepper as necessary.
  5. Lastly, make the Sriracha mayo by combining the two ingredients in a small bowl. Add 1 tbs water if the mayo is too thick to drizzle over the fries.
  6. When the potatoes are out of the oven, lay the fries on a large serving platter (we just use the cookie sheet from the potatoes as it becomes a giant mess anyway). Layer the pork on top. Drain the pickled veggies well and scatter them over top. Top with the Sriracha mayo, cucumber, cilantro, and jalapeno to serve.

Loaded Greek Sweet Potato Fries

If you are reading the title of this post and are a little confused, hang with us, you are going to LOVE this recipe! We love Greek food and wanted to create a version of all of our favorite flavors meshed into one dish. Even though this recipe is for french fries, it is incredibly healthy. Can we just call it a salad because it’s topped with vegetables? Yes, definitely. Right? This is a recipe for Greek salad that just happens to be served on top of crispy hot sweet potatoes instead of lettuce. We like it as an appetizer or a dinner side dish of grilled chicken kabobs, but respect you if you just dig in with a fork and call it dinner.

Loaded Greek Sweet Potato Fries

Makes: 4 servings as an appetizer or side dish

Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, washed well and patted dry
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 3/4 cup tzaziki sauce
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, dried with a paper towel and diced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, halved (not pictured because quarantine)
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the sweet potatoes into fry-sized sticks. Lay the sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and give everything a good toss to coat. Lay the sweet potatoes in a single layer and bake for about 20 minutes, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked through the center.
  3. When the potatoes have finished cooking, remove them from the cookie sheet and onto a serving platter. Top with the tzaziki in little plops around the fries, followed by the red peppers, feta, cucumber, olives and red onion. Serve immediately.

Spicy Shishito Peppers

Ordering shishito peppers at restaurants is one of our go-to appetizers. They are healthy and adapt to almost any flavor profile. One of our favorite reasons to eat them is we have a little bit of fun with the Russian Roulette game of “who is going to eat the crazy hot pepper?” For those unfamiliar, shishito peppers derive from Asia. They are about finger width and length and every one in eight peppers is spicy.

We have been so excited to see shishitos popping up at grocery stores. We have found them at Trader Joes and our regular grocery store, King Soopers. We have made a super simple preparation and have included our homemade spicy chili oil. These make a perfect snack or appetizer if you aren’t afraid of a little heat!


Spicy Shishito Peppers

Makes: 4 appetizer servings

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of shishito peppers (about 30 peppers)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 inches ginger, chopped
  • 4 tbs chili oil

Directions:

  1. Add the chili oil, garlic and ginger to a pan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and ginger for 2-3 minutes. You want it to cook, but not get brown.
  2. Add the shishito peppers to the pan and sauté for 10 minutes. It is ok if the shishito peppers start to brown. Keep stirring them throughout the cooking process so that they cook evenly on all sides. Serve hot and top with a little bit of salt.

Pate & Cheese Board

We hope everyone has had a nice recovery from the Super Bowl this weekend! While February seems like a low key month after the holidays, we have a marathon of events including the Super Bowl, The Academy Awards, and Valentine’s Day all happening within weeks of each other. In contrast to our punny Golden Globes Menu, we have created some simple, yet elegant, small bites for the Academy Awards. If you have been following us at Tuck & Tate, you know we love a good cheese board. They are so easy to assemble and always a crowd pleaser. To up our game for the Academy Awards we have included pate, charcuterie, and all the appropriate accompaniments.

Pate & Cheese Board
Makes: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 lb prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 lb soppressata, thinly sliced
  • 1 package pate (we used a peppered pork pate)
  • 1 wedge blue cheese
  • 1 wedge goat cheese, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup castelvetrano olives
  • 1 small jar Dijon mustard
  • 1 small jar fig preserves or honey
  • 1 green apple, thinly sliced
  • various thick crackers or toast, for assembling small bites

Directions:

  1. Assemble the ingredients on a medium-sized cutting board or serving platter. Be sure to include small spreading knives, forks, and spoons for each item, as needed.

Quick & Easy Spicy Dill Pickles

We have been making pickles dill pickles with our Nana for as long as we can remember. We use them year round for Jewish holidays, sandwiches and really any meal which calls for them. While we plan to post our pickle recipe sometime in the future, the problem we have been running into is that those pickles take 2-3 weeks at a minimum to make. Not ideal if you haven’t had the time to plan in advance. We set out to create a recipe that captures the flavor of our Nana’s dill pickles in less time. This simple and quick dill pickle recipe literally made us do a double take when we ate them because they were so good.

Quick Dill Pickles

Makes: 16 oz jar of sliced pickles

Active Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 4 hours and 15 minutes


Ingredients:

  • 1 lb baby cucumbers
  • 7 oz fresh dill (one container at the store)
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 1 tbs black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1+ cups water
  • 16 ounce mason jar

Directions:

  1. Slice the cucumbers into 1/4 inch slices.
  2. Start filling the jar by layering the dry ingredients. Start with 1 tbs of salt, 1/2 the dill and 1/2 of the black peppercorns. Fill the jar half way with the cucumber slices. Add the remaining salt, dill and peppercorns. Fill to the top with the cucumber slices and top with the red pepper flakes and garlic. *This does not need to be exact. Just make sure all of the ingredients are in the jar*
  3. Once the ingredients are in the jar, pour in the vinegar and fill the jar to the top with water.
  4. Seal the jar tightly closed and turn it over so that it is standing on the cap. Leave the jar in the fridge for 4 hours until serving.

The pickles can be stored for up to a week in the refrigerator so you do not need to eat them right away. Let them soak up that flavor and enjoy.