Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Cool as a Cucumber

I like to use the hot house, seedless cucumber  when I have to buy them

I’m looking for something cool for a hot day like today.  Cool as a cucumber comes to mind, so making something with cucumbers.  Here are 3 ideas.  I haven’t decided which one I’m going to do yet.

Growing up, my dad loved cucumbers, so this is in honor of him and America's birthday.  He would sit and eat whole sliced cucumbers in plain white vinegar with salt and pepper (always lots of pepper). I need something a little sweeter myself though. 

Asian Cucumber Salad

1 English cucumber, very thinly sliced
1 cup shredded carrots
½ Red Onion, thinly sliced (I use 1 tablespoon onion powder)
½ cup cashew pieces
¾ cup Soy/Vinegar homemade dressing
·       1/3 cup soy sauce
·       3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
·       1 tablespoon sugar
·       ¼ cup water

Red Pepper Flakes, Salt, & Pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl & refrigerate for at least 1 hour (preferably overnight) before serving.

If you are using sliced onions, after they are sliced rinse them in a strainer under cold water.  It takes some of the bitterness out of the onion.

Cucumbers in Sour Cream

If you would like something a little more American for the 4th of July, here is the all American sour cream cucumber dish I have made for years.  It is great with fried chicken. 

1 large peeled seedless cucumber
¾ tsp. salt
½ cup sour cream
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 tbs. finely chopped onion (I grate mine very fine)
1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. white pepper
Minced parsley

Toss the cucumbers with salt and refrigerate until well chilled.  Combine sour cream, lemon juice, onion, sugar and pepper and blend well.  Combine cucumbers with the sour cream mixture.  Refrigerate for 2 hours so it is well chilled.  Sprinkle with minced parsley when serving.  Serves 4.

Variation:  Add a bit of fresh dill instead of parsley and/or fresh chives.

Cucumber Mint Soup

1 pint plain yogurt
¼  cream
Fresh mint leaves
3 Green onions
2 Cucumbers
1 Garlic clove
Kosher salt and pepper (to taste)

Peel cucumber, garlic and green onions. Mix all the ingredients, except the cream, in a blender and purée until smooth.  Strain the blend into a bowl. Cover and chill the soup for at least two hours. Add cream before serving. Garnish with chopped mint and serve cold.

I hope you a very safe and wonderful 4th of July.  Happy Birthday America.

Be happy, be cool and may God bless you and yours.  

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