Help! Too many cucumbers!
I've just been given a basket of cucumbers. From the looks of them I'll have to do sometime quick or they'll rot, like in a day or so. How can I do something (process them) to preserve them today.
Thanks for any and all suggestions.
re: The Dairy Queen
Defrost in the fridge (at least most of the way) and reheat in the micro. I have reheated in the oven with a liberal sprinkle of cheese on top and a drizzle of olive oil, covered in foil, but contrary to most casserole reheats for me, I actually think this one likes the micro.
You can chop and pickle them. I think they can stay in the refrigerator for a week or so? Experienced picklers can weigh in.
Cukes, red onion and tomatoes salad
I also love cukes in a sour cream dressing. Goes great with meatloaf and mashed potatoes.
You could peel, seed and chop some of them, stick them in the freezer in pyrex or plastic bags, and then blend them into smoothies, salad dressings, sesame sauce, or even facial masks later on. Pureed cucumber ice cubes are good in Bloody Marys, too.
A number of Indian lentil recipes use cucumber as a cooked vegetable. Here's one that looks pretty good: http://simplyspicy.blogspot.com/2008/... .
The recipe for Julia Child's baked cucumbers (Mastering the Art of French Cooking) is widely available online. I know, I know, it sounds very weird. And even more so when you read the recipe. But try them - I did because such a deal was made over them in Julie and Julia (book, not film). Julie was right - they are a revelation. And a way for one person to eat at LEAST one large cuke as a serving. Trust me!
Bread and butter pickles.
If you don't have equipment to seal them in a waterbath, just stick in the refrigerator after closing the jars. Wait 6 weeks, then enjoy.
Cucumber soup. Peel and seed, then chop up into chunks. Add some plain yogurt. Add some dill or parsley, chopped, plus some salt and pepper to taste. Blend until largely smooth. Add a little lemon juice or whet wine vinegar, again to taste, if desired. Give another pulse or two in the blender. Chill for a couple of hours and serve.
How about a Japanese-type sunomono salad. Slice the cucumbers super thin (a mandoline would help) and salt for 15 minutes or so. Squeeze hard to get the juices out then dress with rice vinegar, a bit of sugar, and a touch more salt if needed. Add some wakame seaweed if you can get some.
Salting and squeezing cucumbers greatly reduces the bulk. A serving of salad would be about 3/4 of a cucumber per person.
One of my fav's as a palate cleanser or starter is cucumber gazpacho... It could probably be frozen no problem. Just adjust for amount of cuc's you have to the recipe below.
5 large field cucumbers (peeled, seeded and chopped)
1/4 cup fresh mint
1 shallot (minced)
1 jalapeno, cored and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp lime juice
Puree above ingredients in food processor until smooth and strain through a fine seive using a spatula to push all the liquids out and discard solids.
Whisk in the following and refrigerate 1 hour or more before serving.
4 tbsp olive oil (good quality if you have it)
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Too late but perhaps it will be of interest to others. A really tasty way to serve raw cukes is to slice and sprinkle with equal amounts of salt and sugar. In about 10 minutes you have sort of a "pickle". Also works well with daikon, jicama, etc.
This is the easiest thing I've found to do with excess cukes, or a ripe cuke that needs to be used.
Get a large glass jar, like a mayonnaise jar.
Peel the cucumber, slice it lengthwise, remove the seeds and slice it thin.
Thinly slice a sweet onion.
Place all into the jar and cover with equal parts vinegar and water (or more water if necessary so that it's not too vinegary tasting). I prefer white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar but you can use any vinegar, especially champagne, sherry, raspberry or apple cider.
Lid the jar and put it in the fridge and leave it. The cukes and onions become milder, bright, refreshing and crunchy. You can use them as a side salad, on a salad, they're excellent with fish, in dips, plain yogurt, on burgers, fruit salad, unlimited uses.
And when you've finally eaten all the cuke and onion out of the jar, simply add more to the remaining vinegar water liquid. You can keep this going all season.
Some people add salt, some add sugar (or use Mirin). You can also drop in a couple whole garlic cloves.
You can eat them just as they are or sprinkle with chopped mint leaves or cilantro.
However you work it, this guarantees no wasted cukes!