Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Cucumber and Sour Cream Salad
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Cucumbers and peppers of all types come to market with a vengeance at this time of year. While there are scores of recipes for peppers, it's harder to find new and interesting ways to prepare cucumbers. I make the usual relish and pickles, and, of course, add them to fish and chicken salads, but it is hard to find truly new ways to use cucumbers. I tend to fall back on the recipes of my childhood and use them with only slight changes to accommodate more modern tastes and better ingredients. The home I grew up in was in a multi-cultural neighborhood and we had Swedish neighbors to our right and German neighbors to our left. I've spoken before with great fondness of Mrs. P and Hannie. They were an important part of my childhood and my love affair with food began in their kitchens. Each kitchen had its own version of cucumber salad and both were delicious. One was vinegar based and the other relied on sour cream. They both, however, shared a preparation technique that guaranteed an outstanding salad. They would salt their cucumbers and let them sit for several hours before adding them to salads. The salting drew moisture from the cucumbers and assured they would be crisp. Once rinsed, they were patted dry and covered with sour cream or vinegar. The result was always a crackly crisp salad that even Lucullus would enjoy. Years ago, I stumbled on a recipe for a cucumber and sour cream salad in House and Garden magazine. It has become a fixture in my kitchen at this time of year. It really is simple to make and I think you'll enjoy it. Here's the recipe.
Cucumber and Sour Cream Salad...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by House and Garden Magazine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 scant tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped chives or a grating of onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, head and fronds
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 firm fresh cucumbers
1) Dissolve salt and sugar in vinegar, add the sour cream and stir smooth. You may like more or less vinegar, salt or sugar, but don't make dressing too sweet. Add the chives, dill and celery seed.
2) Slice unpared cucumbers paper-thin and combine with dressing. Chill for 1 hour or more. Sour cream cucumbers improve in taste as they stand and flavor of cucumbers seeps into dressing. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
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You might also enjoy these recipes:
Bread and Butter Pickles - Kirsten's Kitchen
Braised Cucumbers with Dill - The Mom Chef
Corn and Cucumber Salad - Chef Tom Cooks
Pickled Cucumbers - Almond Corner
Friday Favorites: Ten Favorite Cucumber Salads - Kalyn's Kitchen