Wednesday, March 7, 2018

English Cucumber

I love cucumbers.  I love them raw, in salads, or pickled. I remember dad eating them with just a little vinegar, lot of salt and an awful lot of pepper.  He’d eat a whole bowl of them in one sitting.  They are part of my Scandinavian heritage and bred into me.  I thought I’d share four of my favorite cucumber recipes since I have an English cucumber and have to decide how I want to fix it.  I did decide on the Thai Cucumbers and made some Thai Shrimp Soup to go with it.

German Cucumber Salad

A secret to a good German Cucumber Salad is to slice the cucumbers super thin.  Another secret is to refrigerate them at least 4 hours before serving or overnight better yet.
There are two ways of fixing a cucumber salad in Germany.  One is with sour cream and the other is a vinegar and oil version. To make the vinegar and oil dressing use 1/2 up vegetable oil and 1/4 cup white vinegar instead of the sour cream plus the vinegar the recipe below calls for. The other ingredients are the same.

2 English cucumbers or 4 medium cucumbers.  I like the English the best.
1/2 cup sour cream 
1 tbs. white vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1 tbs. fresh dill or 1 tsp. dried dill
1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
Slice your cucumber with a mandolin slicer or grater.

Whisk together the sour cream, vinegar, sugar, and dill. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour dressing over cucumber slices and combined. Cover them and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Sweet Chili Thai Cucumbers

I might be a Dane, but I love Thai food and I love their cucumber salad.  There are many versions, but this is my favorite because of the sweet heat and the peanut butter.

½ cup rice wine vinegar
6 tbs. sugar
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. powdered ginger
3 tbs. peanut butter
1 tbs. soy sauce
½ water
½ tsp. red pepper flakes (add more or less to your taste)

Put all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake well. Pour over thinly sliced cucumbers and refrigerate for 4 hours.

My Buttermilk Cucumber Salad

I prefer the long English cucumber in that it has very small eatable seeds.  I’ve developed a simple butter milk cucumber salad that I really like.  When I served it to a student staying with me that was from Denmark, she loved them.

I peel the cucumber and slice into slices about 1/4 of an inch thick.  Mix 1 tsp. dried dill, 1 cup buttermilk, pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp. onion powder, 3 Tbs. sugar and pinch of pepper.  Slowly add white vinegar to you taste (I use 1/2 cup).  Chill overnight so flavors can soak into the cucumber. I even eat the juice.

Cucumbers in Sour Cream

If you would like something a little more American here is the sour cream cucumber dish I have made for years.  

1 large peeled seedless or English cucumber
¾ tsp. salt
½ cup sour cream
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 tbs. finely chopped onion (I grate mine very fine or use 1 tsp. onion powder)
1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. white pepper
Dill, dried or fresh.  You’ll need less if it is dried.  I prefer dried and lot of it.

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 4 hours so it is well chilled.  Sprinkle with dill when serving.  Serves 4.

Have a great rest of the day and blessings to you and yours.

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