What happens when you cook cucumbers? These three dishes.
"Cool as a cucumber' doesn't apply here. These three dishes, served hot, buck the cold cucumber stereotype. When cooked, the vegetable is surprisingly mild, much like summer squash but with a firmer texture.
Use either the common salad cucumbers with coarse seeds or the long, thin-skinned European hothouse cucumbers wrapped in plastic. With common cucumbers, it's best to peel their tough skin and remove their seeds. Seeding and peeling the European cucumbers are optional. Weigh to determine the correct amount.
Rolled Sole Fillets in Cucumber Cream
8 sole fillets (about 1/3 lb. each) Salt and white pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 small cucumber (about 1/2 lb.), peeled if necessary
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
1 1/4 cups dry white wine or regular-strength chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1/2 teaspoon dry dill weed
Dill or parsley sprigs
Rinse sole fillets; pat dry. Lightly sprinkle fish with salt, white pepper, and parsley. Roll up each fillet and secure with a wooden pick. Cut cucumber in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scrape out seeds and discard. Cut cucumber into 1/8-inch-thick slices; set aside.
In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add green onion and cook, stirring, until limp. Add wine and fish; cover and simmer gently until fish is opaque in thickest portion when cut, 5 to 6 minutes. With a slotted spoon, lift out fish and keep warm.
Boil pan juices, uncovered, over high heat until reduced by half. Add cream and any juices that have accumulated around fish. Boil until big shiny bubbles appear over the surface and sauce is reduced to 1/2 cup. Add cucumber and dill; stir until cucumber is hot. Add salt to taste. Remove wooden picks from fish; spoon cucumber sauce on top. Garnish with dill sprigs. Serves 4.--April Linton, Seattle.
Broiled Cucumber Cheese Boats
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
2 large cucumbers (about 1 3/4 lbs. total), peeled if necessary.
In a small bowl, stir together the onion, cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, and thyme. Cut off and discard ends of cucumbers. Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise; with a spoon, scrape out seeds and discard.
Fill cucumber cavities with cheese mixture. Place on a 9- by 14-inch baking sheet; broil about 4 inches from heat until cheese topping is browned and bubbly, about 3 minutes. To serve as a vegetable, cut in about 4-inch lengths to make 8 servings; eat with knife and fork. To serve as a finger-food appetizer, cut into 1/2-inch sections; makes 3 to 4 dozen pieces, about 16 servings.
Butter-steamed Cucumbers with Ham
2 large cucumbers (about 1 3/4 lbs. total), peeled if necessary
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) cooked ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup regular-strength chicken broth
1 teaspoon cornstarch Salt
1/4 cup thin shreds of green onion
Slice cucumbers in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scrape out seeds and discard; cut cucumbers into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
Melt butter in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and ham. Stir until ham is lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add cucumber slices and 1/4 cup of the broth. Cover and cook until cucumber is tender but slightly crisp when pierced, about 5 minutes. Stir cornstarch with remaining 1/4 cup broth. Add to cucumber; stir until sauce boils. Add salt to taste. Pour into a serving dish and sprinkle with green onion. Makes 4 servings.
Photo: Hot cucumber slices in a creamy dill sauce drape over poached fish rolls
Photo: Fill seed cavity of split cucumber with cheese-onion mixture; broil until browned. Serve as an appetizer or vegetable
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|Date:||Aug 1, 1984|
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