Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cucumbers in Butter and Cream

When I got married a few years ago, my mom gave me a copy of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. I love this book. It's got a ton of recipes, but it's also got tons of great information for foodies. It's not just a cook book. I pick it up and randomly flip through sections - especially the vegetables - when I'm looking for something new or just for general information.

These cucumbers have been on my list of things to try since I got the book. But it took me awhile to work up to it. It's not hard, but The Professor is of the firm opinion that cucumbers aren't really something worth eating anyway, much less cooking.

I finally took the plunge last month. After all, anything cooked in butter, cream and dill has to be great.

And...I was disappointed. I wanted it to be awesome - how many people cook cucumbers? When was the last time you ate a cooked cucumber? I wanted to be unique even more unique than I already am.

The sauce was awesome. But then...butter+cream+dill has to equal awesome, or else there would be no balance to the universe. So the sauce will probably find it's way onto some pasta. And as I typed that, I thought "Hmm...cucumbers in a pasta dish?" I might give these another try after all.

Cucumbers in Butter and Cream (from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything)

About 1 pound cucumbers
1 Tbsp salt (if cucumbers are not firm)
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup sweat (heavy) cream, or sour cream, or yogurt
Lots of freshly snipped dill (I used dried)

Peel the cucumbers if waxed. Cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut the into 3/4-inch chunks. If the cucumbers are not super-firm, place the chunks in a colander and sprinkle them with the salt. Shake to distribute the salt and let them drain for about 20 minutes. Rinse and dry. If the cucumbers are already firm, proceed with the recipe.

Place the butter in a medium to large skillet over medium heat. When it melts, ad the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Do not let the onion brown. Add the cucumbers and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until the cucumbers are just tender. Add pepper and, if you did not salt the cucumbers earlier, some salt.

Turn the heat to low, then stir in the cream or yogurt and a good handful of dill. Stir until well blended, then serve, garnished with more dill.

No comments: