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Hot or cold, these salmon sauces are dillies

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Sylvia Getty of Brookline requested a recipe for a good dill sauce for grilled salmon. But what makes a "good" dill sauce?


It may be a dry wine, flavored with fresh dill, shallots, lemon juice and butter, or it may be mixture of mayonnaise, sour cream, fresh dill, onion and cucumber. Kitchen Mailbox couldn't decide. We always have a difficult time choosing which recipe to feature when we have two good ones.

Today, we're leaving the decision up to our readers. We think the Cucumber Dill Sauce worked better with a cold salmon dish, while the second recipe, Lemon Dill Sauce, worked well with the grilled salmon.

Our final recipe, Mother's Coleslaw, sent in by Lisa Elder of Brentwood, is in response to Pat Grannis of Bridgeville. She requested a recipe for a coleslaw made without mayonnaise. Lisa's coleslaw is made with a hot vinegar and sugar dressing. The slaw marinates overnight in the fridge.

Mother's Coleslaw also calls for green olives and onions. Optional ingredients are carrots and mustard. We used the carrots (for color) but not the mustard. We served this tasty side dish with the grilled salmon mentioned above.

Peg Sasse of Arlington has used this recipe for years and found it consistently delicious. Peg found Cucumber Dill Sauce in "The Best Recipes From the Backs of Boxes, Bottles and Cans and Jams" cookbook.

Cucumber Dill Sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried dill weed or 1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh dill weed.

Mix all ingredients and chill well. Stir before serving.

Lemon-Dill Sauce does wonderful things to grilled salmon. This recipe was sent by Jake Parisi of Scott. Jake found it in Bon Appetit magazine.

Lemon Dill Sauce

  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 stick ( 1/2 cup) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Boil wine, shallots and lemon juice over high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 6 minutes). Reduce heat to low; add butter, one piece at a time, whisking until melted before adding more. Remove pan from heat. Stir in dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes about 3/4 cup.

This is Lisa Elder's recipe for Mother's Coleslaw.

Mother's coleslaw

  • 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • Salt and coarse black pepper to taste
  • 1 medium cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 green pepper, cored and diced
  • 24 pimento stuffed olives, halved
  • Shredded carrot, optional
  • 1 teaspoon mustard, optional

Combine first four ingredients in a medium saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; continue to boil until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl; add dressing and toss thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight, stirring occasionally. Drain before serving if desired.

Makes about 6 cups.


Irene Calvitt of Wind Gap. Northhampton County, would appreciate a recipe for chocolate drop cookies or chocolate snowballs. This is a drop cookie that is rolled in powdered sugar after baking.

Susan Sookoor of Colorado Springs, Colo., is looking for a pumpkin chiffon pie recipe.

Donna Masur of Bellevue would like a recipe for Snicker Bar cookies.

John Watson of Squirrel Hill is looking for a chocolate cake that ran in The Pittsburgh Press around Valentine's Day 1987 or 1988. The cake calls for cream cheese and 6 cups of sugar (that's what John claims). A portion of the batter is set aside to use as icing.

If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222, or e-mail to aburnett@post-gazette.com Please include a name, neighborhood/city/-borough/township and state and a daytime phone number on all correspondence.

Correction/Clarification: (Published July 26, 2002) In yesterday's Kitchen Mailbox, we published a recipe for cucumber dill sauce in which we suggested using 1/2 teaspoon of fresh dill weed. The recommended amount is 1/2 teaspoon of dried dill weed or 1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh dill weed.

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