Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun



 



Braised Cucumbers

October 13th, 2010 · 25 Comments

Braised Cucumbers
Braised Cucumbers

Cucumbers have natural high moisture content, and when handled correctly will result in a tastefully crispy side item to any main dish. The trick is to remove the excess wetness without compromising flavor and texture by gently tossing the cucumbers in a mixture of salt, sugar, and white wine vinegar and allowing them to soak for at least thirty minutes and up to several hours. This semi-brine solution helps release the excess moisture and preserves the flavor, and it also removes any bitterness in European cucumber varieties.

Ingredients
6 Large Cucumbers
2 Tbsp White wine vinegar
2 Tsp Sea salt
½ Tsp Sugar
3 Tbsp Butter, melted
¼ Cup Shallots, minced
1 Tbsp Basil, fresh, chopped
½ Tsp White pepper
2 Tbsp Parsley, fresh, chopped (optional)
Procedure Steps:
1. Peel the cucumbers, and then cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut into lengthwise strips about ½-inch wide. Then cut the strips into 2-inch long pieces.
2. In a large bowl combine the white wine vinegar, sea salt, and sugar, stir to dissolve. Then toss in the cucumbers and allow them to marinate between 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
3. Pre-heat oven to 375º F. Melt the butter in a sauté pan and sweat the shallots until soft, and then toss the cucumbers into a 9×13 baking dish and toss with the butter shallot mixture, basil, and white pepper. Place in the middle rack in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and stir well, then roast for another 30 minutes, or until the cucumbers appear cooked, yet still have a hint of a crispy texture.
Braised Cucumbers
Braised Cucumbers…another view.

To Serve: For Parslied Cucumbers, toss with the fresh chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Variation: Creamed Cucumbers: Bring 2 cups of heavy cream to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer and continue until it has reduced by half and has thickened to a sauce consistency.  Use a wire whisk and stir often to prevent the cream from boiling over, or scalding on the bottom. Season the cream with salt and white pepper to taste, stirring well with the whisk. Fold the warm cream sauce into the braised cucumbers, and then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley.

Dinner is served …another view…

Braised Cucumbers served with Oven Fried Catfish and Herb Roasted Potatoes
Braised Cucumbers served with Oven Fried Catfish and Herb Roasted Potatoes.

Oven Fried Catfish recipe

Herb Roasted Potatoes recipe

Bon appetite!
CCR
=:~)
©2010 CCR

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Tags: 9x13 pan · French Cuisine · Recipes · Vegetarian

25 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Island VittlesNo Gravatar // Oct 13, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I’m going to try this tonight! Theresa

  • 2 TorviewtorontoNo Gravatar // Oct 13, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    never made like this
    lovely picture

  • 3 Boudreaux RyanNo Gravatar // Oct 13, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Theresa,
    Hey, let me know how it comes out for you!

    Torview,
    It is quite a unique dish, not well known, but quite delightful.

  • 4 Jason's BBQ AdventuresNo Gravatar // Oct 13, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Great Recipe Ryan! looks absolutely delicious.

  • 5 Boudreaux RyanNo Gravatar // Oct 13, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Hi Jason,

    These are amazingly delicious and tender morsels of vegetable heaven!

  • 6 Gera@SweetsFoodsBlogNo Gravatar // Oct 13, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Good and delicious way to eat cucumbers!

    Cheers,

    Gera

  • 7 Boudreaux RyanNo Gravatar // Oct 13, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Hi Gera,

    Glad you like this one, truly delicious!

  • 8 Magic of SpiceNo Gravatar // Oct 13, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Love this way of working with cucumbers…new for me, but I like it 🙂 The creamed version sounds wonderful as well.

  • 9 Cajun Chef RyanNo Gravatar // Oct 13, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Hey Magic,
    Indeed, the creamed version is amazing also!

  • 10 pegasuslegendNo Gravatar // Oct 13, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    now this is different for me love cucumbers will have to try these for sure!~

  • 11 SkylarNo Gravatar // Oct 13, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Never thought of using a cucumber like this, but these look really good! Thanks for the idea

  • 12 penny aka jeroxieNo Gravatar // Oct 13, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    We do braised cucumbers in chinese cooking as well. 🙂

  • 13 Cajun Chef RyanNo Gravatar // Oct 14, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Claudia,
    Indeed, not many folks are familiar with this dish, please do give it a try some time.

    Skylar,
    You are welcome!

    Penny,
    Why am I not surprised, Chinese cuisine is steeped in a long and glorious history.

  • 14 Conor @ HoldtheBeefNo Gravatar // Oct 14, 2010 at 9:39 am

    I can almost feel the gentle crunch under tooth 🙂 I think this would be a great way to bring complexity to a lot of meals (that may otherwise just be a standard meat & veg easy dinner). Very nice!

  • 15 Cajun Chef RyanNo Gravatar // Oct 14, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Hey Conor,

    You are so right; these cucumbers are a versatile addition to any meal, vegetarian for sure!

    Bon appétit!
    CCR
    =:~)

  • 16 GloriaNo Gravatar // Oct 14, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Interesting. End of garden season here and I was given cucumbers that were picked a couple of days late and not particularly tasty as a result. This brining just might be a good way to revive them and even if it doesn’t the cooking process should.

  • 17 Boudreaux RyanNo Gravatar // Oct 14, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Gloria,

    Your cucumbers may need to be brined for longer than the two hours if they are bitter, in fact they might improve in flavor with an overnight soaking. But one way to test this would be to conduct several tastings, possibly one after the initial two hours in the salt and vinegar solution. If they are good then you are ready to go, if not then test them every two hours or so, or just allow them to rest in the cooler overnight, then continue with the recipe.

    Bon appétit!
    CCR
    =:~)

  • 18 GloriaNo Gravatar // Oct 14, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Thanks for the advise CCR. I’ll try that.

  • 19 Priscilla - She's Cookin'No Gravatar // Oct 14, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I’ve never roasted cucumbers -will have to try it, they look delicious and I’m always on the lookout for unique veggie sides.

  • 20 Cindy WafflesNo Gravatar // Oct 15, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    thanks for sharing. i’ll have to try this! cucumbers are great.

  • 21 redkathyNo Gravatar // Oct 16, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Never ever had cooked cukes Ryan. These sound wonderful. Added them to my must try list!

  • 22 Anna JohnstonNo Gravatar // Oct 16, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Owwhhhh, I do like this Chef, will try it for sure.

  • 23 Island VittlesNo Gravatar // Oct 20, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    The cucumbers were delicious…we had them with Thai stuffed turkey wings, so I added a touch of soya sauce and used rice wine vinegar. A really great side that most people have never had before — and although some at our place were skeptical, everyone agreed they were super tasty! Theresa

  • 24 Cajun Chef RyanNo Gravatar // Oct 20, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Theresa,

    So glad to hear that they came out so good! And your use of the soya sauce and rice wine vinegar I am sure added a great touch of flavor too!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Bon appétit!
    CCR
    =:~)

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