Thursday, July 21, 2011

Creamed Cucumbers and Onion

An old fashioned southern salad of thinly sliced cucumbers and sweet Vidalia onions, dressed in a sweet and sour mayonnaise dressing. 

Creamed Cucumbers and Onion

I've been eating my share of cucumbers here lately that's for sure. First, I was gifted with a bag of them. Then, finally after replanting seeds multiple times because the heat was literally melting my poor plants, the last four that I planted finally started producing for me.  The Cajun doesn't eat cucumbers at all, but I love garden cucumbers, so that's just all the more for me. I've made cucumber cream cheese sandwiches and every single cucumber salad I have here on the site more than a few times the last few months, and realized I hadn't posted this creamed version yet.

It's similar to the sour cream cucumber salad that is so popular in The South, but for this creamed version, the cucumbers are sliced paper thin and the primary dressing is typically only mayonnaise based, instead of sour cream.

Although it's not a necessary step, I like to salt the cucumbers and let them drain in a colander in the fridge for at least an hour before adding the dressing. It not only helps to enhance the texture of the cucumber, but also helps to take away the bitter taste they sometimes have and seems to help absorb the dressing flavor better too. If you're using a supermarket cucumber, they are often heavily waxed so I'd suggest that you peel those, but if your cucumbers are garden fresh, you can just slice them without peeling them. Slice them paper thin - a mandolin comes in very handy for this salad.


Whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, celery seed, white pepper and dill. Taste the dressing and adjust the vinegar and sugar as needed. Thinly slice the onion. You can also substitute sour cream, Greek yogurt, heavy cream or any combination of them, with or in place of the mayonnaise.


Place the drained cucumber into a serving bowl and add the onion. Pour the dressing over the top.


Toss, taste and adjust seasonings. You can serve this right away, or even better refrigerate it another hour or so, stirring occasionally.

Recipe: Creamed Cucumbers and Onion

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Inactive time: 1 hour| Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:
  • 4 to 6 well chilled medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon of fresh chopped dill, plus additional for garnish, optional
  • 1 Vidalia onion, halved and thinly sliced
Instructions:

Slice cucumber very thin and toss with salt. Place into a colander to drain, then place the colander into a bowl, and refrigerate at least an hour. Pour off water and place cucumbers into the bowl; set aside. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, celery seed, white pepper and dill. Taste and adjust the vinegar and sugar as needed. Add the onions to the cucumbers; pour dressing over and toss. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately, or refrigerate an hour or more until ready to serve; garnish with additional dill if desired.

Cook's Notes: The first salting helps to enhance the texture and also helps to take away the bitter taste cucumbers sometimes have, but is not necessary if you're in a rush. I like to use apple cider vinegar and sometimes use Slap Ya Mama white pepper blend for the pepper. Store-bought cucumbers are often heavily waxed and should be peeled. If you are using fresh garden cucumbers, you can slice the cucumbers unpeeled. I use a mandolin to get the cucumber and onion paper thin.

Variation: Thinly sliced radishes are not traditional but are a nice addition. Can also toss in seeded chopped tomato just before serving, if desired. Can also substitute sour cream, part mayo and sour cream, Greek yogurt or heavy cream (between 1/2 to 3/4 cup of cream).

Source: http://www.deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on July 20, 2011
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