No matter how carefully I plan the food shopping I sometimes end up with duplicates. This week I managed to end up with three cucumbers. I like cucumber but using three before they went off was going to require some creative thinking. I remembered watching Julie & Julia a while ago. If you are a foodie obsessed person it is a great movie to watch. Julie decides she is going to recreate every recipe in Julia Child’s cookbook and as a result a blog is born. The movie follows Julie’s adventures as she recreates the recipes as well as taking us back to see Julia Child learning to cook in order to create the cookbook. One of the scenes I remember from the movie was when Julie threw a dinner party. At one point she holds up a fork and declares “Braised cucumbers are a revelation.” The idea of braised cucumbers intrigued me so I decided to experiment and create braised cucumbers in orange sauce.
A while ago someone had mentioned to me that cooking cucumbers totally changes their flavour. It had been something I had been meaning to try for some time. It seems there are many ways of cooking them, from braising to frying or roasting them. My main use of cucumber up to now has been adding them to salads. If you have tired eyes a slice placed over each eye is a great way to soothe them, reduce puffiness and also help get rid of dark rings. Cucumber sandwiches are also very British, if you are having a garden party then you must serve these. Had I been missing something special by not using cucumbers in cooking? Now was the time to find out.
Before braising the cucumbers I removed the seeds. The easiest way to do this to to chop the cucumbers in half lengthwise and scrape a spoon along the seeds. This lifts them out quickly and easily. It would have been a good idea to peel the cucumbers as well before braising them. It would have made the finished dish more tender. Once the cucumbers are chopped into slices they just need to be cooked in some melted butter with a touch of orange rind. After a few minutes I added the orange juice and left the cucumbers to cook for about ten minutes. Finally I poured off the juice, added some cream and brought the sauce to the boil until it thickened. The cucumbers were served in the sauce.
So are braised cucumbers a revelation? Cooking the cucumbers gives them a whole different flavour. They are firm, buttery and melt in the mouth. The orange sauce complements them and this dish would make a lovely side dish with chicken. It is the perfect side for a hot summer day.
Braised cucumber in orange sauce recipe.
Braised cucumber in orange sauce
Cucumbers braised in butter and cooked in orange sauce
grated rind of one orange
150ml orange juice
4 tbsp double cream
salt and pepper
Peel the cucumbers. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds using a spoon.
Chop into slices around 5mm thick
Melt the butter in a pan.
Add the cucumber and orange rind and cook for three minutes.
Add the orange juice and bring to the boil. Cover the pan and cook for seven minutes.
Drain the juice into a small pan and add the cream
Bring to the boil and keep stirring until the sauce thickens.
Add salt and pepper to season and pour the sauce over the cucumber
Linking up with the kitchen clearout linky on Madhouse Familly Reviews as I got rid of a glut of cucumbers.