Friday, April 4, 2014

D ~ Dill, the Queen of Herbs #atozchallenge


All Aboard! "It's Very Swedish..." a train on a cultural journey through Sweden, exploring the differences big and small between American and Swedish culture.

***

Continuing with the baking from scratch (letter B) idea, and that pre-packaged foods aren't really that available, brings me to cooking in general.  Swedes don't buy the P.F Chang's orange chicken from the frozen food section, put it in the pan, let it thaw and simmer, and have dinner in 20 minutes.  (I admit I love these, so simple, so convenient, so much cheaper than GOING to P.F Chang, so delicious...but so not very Swedish.)

Swedes cook dinner from scratch, too, and most of the time it's fairly simple fare.  Today I'm focusing on one of my favorite herbs and how it's used: DILL. 



(Ok, I know that's parsley, but it had the Swedish flag...) However, this is an example of one of my favorite Swedish dinners: meatballs, potatoes with DILL, and lingonberry sauce.  Swedes eat by combining a tiny bit of everything on their plate into one bite.  It makes a truly fantastic combination.

They also use dill for garnish on lots of dishes. One very popular item at get-togethers, and at the cafes visited when downtown, is the shrimp sandwich.  It comes in many variations, but neither of these is what I was looking for...





The idea is simple, however.  Take a base (bread, slice of cucumber, cracker), add a spread - something creamy, arrange shrimp, and then top with a sprig of dill.  

The first one is in made in a hollowed out avocado. The next one has bell peppers.  I need you to give me just a little slack on this one.  I google-imaged, flickr-ed, wiki-commons-ed in TWO languages and could not find a non-copyrighted picture of a Swedish, traditional shrimp sandwich...perhaps they want to keep it a secret. Just like there's parsley on the other plate...sigh.


So what is this monstrosity, you ask?  Well, it's the party version idea of a shrimp and dill sandwich.  The Swedish hostess has many tricks up her sleeve, and though this looks fabulously intricate and impressive, it's really just a big sandwich.  Bread, spread, SALMON, bread, spread, SHRIMP, bread spread, LOX, bread, spread beautifully arranged SHRIMP, with some LOX for contrast, and then covered in dill garnish.  Cut and serve.

I have three versions of dill in my pantry. Plain dill weed.  Pampered chef dill blend which has garlic and other spices, and when I can find it, fresh dill.  I use it all the time in my lunches when the kids aren't home...they're not as into dill as this Swedish chick.

Do you like dill?  What's your favorite simple recipe? Do you have any ethnic secret cooking ideas to share? Do tell.

~Tina, who really wants dill now, but had tamales for dinner

©2014 All Rights Reserved
Photo credits:

48 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. I love this - but then I love food and seafood .. I think I'd add herring in there, as a particular reference to dill. But any fish and some fresh dill just adds that little bit extra .. the aniseedy flavour .. I love it ..

Kids don't do green usually! Luckily they turn into adults .. cheers Hilary

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Never had dill but pass me that mega sandwich!

Rosie Amber said...

The shrimp sandwich has my mouth watering. Have given your blog a shout out from my own A to Z post today http://rosieamber.wordpress.com/

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger (大哥) said...

Yes, I don't mind a bit of dill :)

Teaching English with Mr. Duncan
A-Z of hotels

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Dillicious :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lass - funny!
If you're serving that sandwich, I'm coming for dinner.
I think we have dill on our spice rack. My wife makes a dill dip with it.
And be sure to stop by today Tina...

Cathy Kennedy said...

I do like dill. I usually put it in potato salad dressing that I make. Americans don't do much cooking from scratch anymore, but I still do when time permits. I usually like to make food dishes in a large batch. Partly because I am use to cooking this way when our three kids were at home, but now that it's just DH & I, then the extra helpings make for wonderful left overs. I just keep it in the freezer till I need it.

I thought it was interesting when you mentioned that Swedes like to take a little bit of everything on their plate at once. That's the way I am, and I don't have a Swedish bone in my body. I am scrambled up mixed, but mostly am Irish.

All good to know, fun, and interesting tid-bits about the Swedish lifestyle.

Hop over to read today's post, here!

Andrea said...

My mom used to make dill dip as the go to item for veggie trays. She also made swedish meatballs, but I am fairly certain they were not authentic. It seems most people have some general notion of what italian food is, but I can assure you that the risotto my great-grandmother taught my grandmother to make is nothing like those fancied up versions in restaurants here. It is very interesting seeing what people actually eat in other countries.

JoJo said...

I was just saying to Russell that I'd never survive in Sweden b/c of my food allergies and overall general pickiness. I've added dill to corn chowder but I find it a little overpowering. Being Italian, I lean more towards the garlic, oregano & basil spices.

Elsie Amata said...

I used to screw up using dill. I thought of it like a pickle - hey, I was young. But, now I have learned (kinda) to use it correctly, or at least not throw it on everything. My fav is salmon with dill.

It looks like a tiny tree!

Elsie
AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

Jo said...

Yum, that sandwich looks delicious. I might say, Tina, it's not just Swedes who make food from scratch, I do too with the exception of pastry. My mother certainly made everything from scratch. Don't use dill much I'm afraid, in fact I find it somewhat overused in Ontario.

Gather it's your anniversary this year, when?

Jo said...

Just realised what I wrote, of course it's your anniversary this year. Idiot that I am.

Mason Canyon said...

I had never thought about the different types of dill. I like dill on my eggs (scrambled or fried).

Jolie du Pre said...

I cook from scratch 90 percent of the time. Can't say I'm big on dill, even though I do use it in some of my recipes. I don't know if I told you before, but my husband's father is 100 percent Swedish.

Precious Monsters

M. J. Joachim said...

Dill is a wonderful herb with a strong flavor. I enjoy using strong herbs when I cook meat in the crockpot. They seem to flavor it clear to the center, filling the house with the most wonderful aroma. I'll have to try those appetizers you show here. They look really good.

MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Writing Tips
Effectively Human
Lots of Crochet Stitches


tinadchayes said...

Nice post! I'm also a fan of dill, like the fresh kind and also the dill seed.

This herb is also really easy to grow.

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

I need to start cooking with dill more!

S.K. Anthony said...

Give you a little slack lol...okay...I understand accepting the parsley image because of the flag. And the rest, well its food, so okay! :P

And wow I'd take a bit of that shrimp and dill sandwich!

lifeaftercaregiving said...

Hi Tina,
I loved your post. I love dill, too, but I haven't been very adventurous with it. I sprinkle dill weed on salads, and I mix it with a little mayo and mustard to spread on fish before I bake it. Maybe I'll plant some in my garden this year and try to be more adventurous with it. Looking forward to "E."
Blessings,
Linda

Julekha Khatun said...

Dill is used lot in Asian food as well , mainly in north india, pakistan and afghanistan for cooking meat dishes .I love the flavour .. just awesome !!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Coming from the gal who thought dill was just for pickles...not really. My mother uses it. I'm still a PF Chang user. But the stuff from scratch is so much better!

Visiting from Alex's because he knows awesome when he sees it!

Fanny Barnes Thornton said...

Hmm! That shrimp sandwich looks so good. I took Alex's advice and came over to see you. Perhaps now I'll start taking more interest in meals. Lovely blog.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Those look wonderful!

I like dill but in small doses.

Carrie-Anne said...

I probably would've enjoyed that sandwich, minus the butter, in the days before I first went kosher and then went vegetarian. I used to love shrimp and lox.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

Someday you and your family will meet me and my family... and try these Swedish meals. You are the best!

I am out for the moment, thought I would say hello to the awesome A to Z team.
Jeremy [Retro]

Silvia Villalobos said...

I remember dill pickles, but I'm sure there were other dill dishes my mom used to make. Unlike the women in my family, I'm not a huge cook, though I try. But, yes, growing up I remember everything was made from scratch. Your dishes here look oh, so very delicious. Really enjoyed the post, Tina. Brings back so many great memories.






Darla Sue Dollman said...

Stopping by from the A to Z Challenge, but you are on my permanent list! I thought I was the herb queen, but I've never worked with dill. I am learning so much from your blog--it's great! Thank you! Darla Sue Dollman
www.blessedlittlecreatures.blogspot.com/

Steven said...

I love cooking REAL food! Too many preservatives make me cranky...

Andrew Leon said...

I love the smell of dill. It grows down by the creek by our house. I don't use it for cooking very often, though.

Suzanne Sapsed said...

I really like the taste of dill, with a simple white sauce and poured over anything!
Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe
xx

bemuzin.com said...

I want that dill and shrimp sandwich for lunch. YUM!! I love dill and sprinkle it on lots of stuff - the usual fish dishes, but it is especially good with steamed brussel sprouts. I also sprinkle it (with olive oil) on asparagus and roast it in foil in the oven. Dill in the garden is pretty and scent-ful (is that a word?), and probably keeps away some sort of bug. I haven't tried the PF Chang's from frozen food section. Thanks for recommendation!

bemuzin.com said...

Almost forgot - dill is yummy in egg salad with some finely chopped pecans thrown in with the celery for two kinds of crunch.

cleemckenzie said...

I love Dill! I really love it when it's involved with lox.

Bish Denham said...

I love dill. I like it not only with potatoes but in cucumber salad.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Tina, I don't care for dill, but these dishes all sound delicious, especially the sandwich with both shrimp and salmon. Yum! Thanks for sharing this.

Mary Montague Sikes

Sharon Himsl said...

I use dill a lot in my cooking. I love the scent and it really adds a flavor I seem to crave. I wonder if it's my Norwegian ancestry? Norway IS next to Sweden!
Shells–Tales–Sails

Kristin Smith said...

Mmm, this post made me hungry! Unfortunately, I don't have any secret recipes to share.

I like dill as a garnish, but I really like avocados! Yum!

http://swordsandstilettos.blogspot.com

Rachel said...

I'm sure that I've tasted dill before but I honestly couldn't say it what or if I enjoyed it. I assume the answer is yes since I enjoy most foods, but I have no clue. Unless dill pickles count? No? Okay.

Enchantress said...

Dill :)

BTW dil means HEART in Indian Language

Heather M. Gardner said...

My husband would enjoy this. I'm not a big dill lover. Sometimes in dip. I miss Swedish Meatballs though. I wonder if they would taste good with ground pork instead of beef. Never tried that.
Delicious post!
HMG

klahanie said...

Hi human, Tina,

I got into a right pickle as I tried to get to your site. Arf! Arf!

My human loves shrimp, but dill equals yuck! :)

Penny, the pawsitive host of the Alphabark Challenge, 2014!

Glenda Cates said...

Hello, Tina I am not a big fan of Dill and I have no recipe to share but I did enjoy the post.

amanda lee said...

I love dill, but don't use it a lot -- I think now I will make a conscious effort to use it more!

shelly said...

I love dill. I use it in my chicken soup.

Hugs and chocolate covered bread!
Shelly

Lulu Newman said...

Yummy xx

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Andi-Roo TheWorldForRealz said...

I hate to admit, I'm not a fan of dill. But I am sure enjoying this series!

I'm participating in AtoZ, too.
See you around!
~Andi-Roo
@TheWorld4Realz
TheWorld4Realz.com

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