- kachen Jun 15, 2005 07:41 PM
We have been recently swamped with a cuke surplus and don't know how best to use them. If you have any suggestions for food, drink or otherwise it would thrill me! I can't let all this great produce go to waste..
thanks a trillion
Cucumber-yogurt soup, cucumber gaspacho, cucumber salads
You can always pickle the surplus and have home-made half-sour pickles, or full-sour pickles. That is what they used to do in the old days when they had too many cucumbers.
One cucumber salad i enjoy is a equal mixture of julienned cucumber and jicama in a nice vinegrette made with lime juice instead of vinegar.
Another is the standard drained thin cucumber slices mixed with a little sourcream and finely minced onion. Salt to taste and finely minced fresh parsley.
Tomato, cucumber, feta cheese and kalmata olives in a greek vinegrette. Roasted red peppers are a nice addition.
I just checked out Jack Bishop's "Vegetables Every Day" from the library, and noticed that he had a cooked cuke recipe! Here it is, paraphrased:
Weight and drain sliced cukes (peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, cut 1/4 inch on diagonal) for 1 hour. Rinse and pat dry.
Heat 2 tbsps oil over medium high heat in skillet. Add 3 medium shallots, minced, and saute 'til golden. Add cuke slices and 2 tbsps lemon juice; cook 'til crisp-tender. Stir in 2 tbsps minced fresh mint and ground black pepper; serve immediately.
He also suggests a salsa made from 2 medium cukes, 2 cups diced watermelon, red onion, cilantro, rice vinegar, sugar, hot red pepper flakes, and salt. He suggests serving with grilled seafood.
My friend always feeds me this when I visit her:
Nice thin pita (cut into halves for sandwiches or squares or triangles for snacks)
Queso blanco slices - slightly melted and browned in a frying pan
Put cuke slices and cheese in pita and sprinke with lemon.
Cucumber salad: peel, seed and cut into chunks. Mix with a good yogurt (whole milk Greek or Turkish is best), red onion, fresh dill, salt and pepper. Chill and serve.
Cucumber raita is good with grilled chicken or fish.
1 tsp. Ground cumin
2 tsp. onion - finely chopped
3 cups Plain yogurt (can substitute low fat)
1 tsp. Salt
1 tomato - seeded & chopped
Peel cucumber and cut in half lenghtwise. Scoop out seeds with a teaspoon. Cut in half lenghtwise again, and slice each strip into 1/2" pieces. Combine cucumber, onion and salt and let stand at room temperature about 5 minutes, then squeeze cucumber pieces gently to remove excess liquid. Add tomato to cucumer and toss. Combine yogurt and cumin and add to cucumber mixture. Mix well and refrigerate for 4-6 hours prior to serving. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
when i miss a cuke and it overripens on the vine, i give it to my dog. she really enjoys the cool and crunchy cuke as a hot day treat.
Make a sort of quick pickle by sprinkling sliced, seeded cucumbers heavily with salt and sugar. Let sit a while for some of the liquid to drain off. You can add some rice vinegar at this point for tang if you like, but it isn't necessary. My family loves this in the summer time in just about anything. We put it in sandwiches, in salads (both light vinaigrette based, or heavier mayo based), or just as something to nibble on. Actually, one sandwich we really like (this sounds really trashy, but hey, it tastes good) is sliced chinese sausages, a generous helping of these cucumbers, and some sweetened japanese mayo on a steamed plain chinese bun (man-to).
I'll throw in another cooked cuke recipe. It's really easy: peel the cucumbers, cut off the ends, slice lengthwise and scoop out the seeds, then slice into sections. The sections can be 1/4 to one inch thick, depending on your preference.
Then, just cook in a plain old chicken stock or simple chicken soup(homemade, preferably). A few onion or green onion slices won't hurt, but aren't really necessary. Just use plenty of cucumbers. Simmer until the cucumbers are just shy of tender. you definitely don't want them soggy, but level of tenderness is personal preference.
I remember my mom making this when I was a kid, and it was tough for her to convince me it was actually cucumbers. It tasted so different to me that I thought she'd found a new melon. Cooked, cucumber takes on more of the flavors of melons we usually eat cooked: wintermelon, for one. It really loses its grassiness.
This is a great way to get rid of cucumbers that have just started to lose their crunch.
Good point about how cooking cucumbers makes them taste totally different. My mother used to make cucumbers stuffed with ground meat mixture, and simmered in soup or steamed. Also, you can stir fry cucumbers in ginger, garlic, and chili paste. They really taste completely different from raw cucumbers. Good for when you get sick of them fresh.
Mmm, I do the same with bittermelon (the only way I'll eat it). I bet it's good with cucumbers too. Two parts gound pork mixed with one part fish paste (Asian market, seafood counter), optional chopped cilantro, salt, and chopped shrimp.
Stuff into hollow rings of melons, and cook in soup or steam. Delicious, unique, but fairly easy.
Leftover mix can be dropped into boiling soup by the spoonfuls to make meat/seafood balls.
Here is a variation I didn't see below. I just made this cucumber salad yesterday that was delicious. I diced the cucumbers and made a vinaigrette with 1 part rice vinegar and 2 parts sesame oil (approx) with salt to taste. I mixed this in to the cucumbers and also added toasted sesame seeds. We threw in a few diced red peppers for colour. Simple and refreshing.
Peel and thinly slice half a cucumber and place the slices in a water pitcher. Fill it with water and let sit overnight in the fridge. It's really refreshing on a hot summer day.