As I mentioned before, I got a terrific deal on cucumbers and had to find a way to use them all. I thought Marinated cucumbers II (p. 167) would be a good start.
I layered peeled sliced cucumbers in a bowl, sprinkled them with salt to help draw out water, placed a weighted plate (I put a can of tomatoes on the plate) on top, and refrigerated it for a couple of hours.
Look how much water came out!
I poured all of the water out and rinsed the cucumber under cold water (get all that salt off!). I mixed dissolved a little sugar with a little water:
I added the sugar mixture, along with cider vinegar, to the cucumbers, along with some salt and black pepper and it was done!
If you like pickles, you will like these cucumbers. You aren't creating a true pickle--that requires fermentation--but these are pickle-flavored cucumbers.
Since I still had a ton of cucumbers left I decided to go ahead and make Marinated cucumbers I (p. 167). I mixed white wine vinegar and sugar in a bowl and then added sliced cucumber. I see now that I was supposed to cut them in half first but I don't think it affected the recipe at all.
Both cucumber recipes were very similar. The I recipe was slightly sweeter and the II recipe had an odd texture from being pressed but they were almost the same. I recommend salt and pepper for your cukes in the future if you aren't using it now. I love pickles, so I might fool around with these recipes in the future--I think they could be improved with some garlic and balsamic vinegar.
I love pickles so much that I have been complaining about wanting a subscription to the Pickle of the Month club for about a year. For Christmas, Josh bought me a six-month subscription for two jars a month! I'm so excited! Expect to see my reviews on those pickles.
I'm writing these blog posts incredibly out of order and I have recently found that I enjoy doing a little "Fun Facts" section while writing my alcohol posts (nothing special, just information that I've gleaned off of Wikipedia and the like). I've decided to continue doing it on all posts. Let me know your thoughts! They will always be at the end and in blue so you can skip it if you aren't interested.
- Cucumbers are a fruit, not a vegetable (Wikipedia)
- Cucumbers and gherkins are in in the same genus but are different species (Wikipedia)
- Cucumbers lose acidity and gain sugar as they grow (On Food and Cooking, p. 334)
- The word "pickle" is from the Dutch word "Pekel"" which means brine (Wikipedia)
- The word "Pickle" alone in the US always refers to cucumber pickles--that is not the case in other countries (Wikipedia and personal experience)