Jeanette - Off The Cuff

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My name is Jeanette, and I was born in Sweden, but unlike the famous Muppet, I am not a professional Swedish Chef. I actually went to school for art, design, and photography. Beyond that, I worked as a freelance indie-rock critic for several magazines in the late 90s and early 2000s. I even took a crack at running a PR company for a while. However, cooking has always been in my DNA--my dad's brother was a chef and culinary arts instructor, my dad's father was a pastry chef, and my mom's mother was a caterer, and at the age of 92, she published a cookbook of traditional Finnish breads and pastries. Everyone else in my family loves to cook, too, and we're not afraid to experiment. Usually I end up inventing dishes (with or without outside inspiration) with whatever I have on hand, hence "Off the Cuff." I might make very Scandinavian dishes (meatballs, and salmon with dill-potatoes) or ethnic like Thai, Japanese, Mexican, Italian or Spanish. By the way, you can put bell peppers in almost all cuisine! (Drop me a line, at o f f t h e c u f f c o o k i n g "at" g m a i l followed by the dot-com. :)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Swedish Quick-Pickled Cucumbers

This is a quintessential "taste of summer" for me, that always reminds me of growing up in Sweden, and smörgåsbord.  It is not a true pickled cucumber, and will only keep for about a week in the refrigerator, but it only takes five or ten minutes to whip up a batch.  It's great with seafood or fish such as my oven-baked salmon), grilled chicken, or my Swedish style potato salad, for example.

Ingredients:

1/2 lb fresh cucumber

2/3rds cup water
3 tbsp white vinegar -- or more to taste if you like a more tangy flavor
3-4 tbsp sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of finely ground white pepper
1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley (optional)
1 stem of minched fresh dill (optional)

If desired, peel the green rind off with a vegetable peeler.  I don't actually mind eating the rind in general, but for this recipe, I just like the delicate cucumber flavor to come through on its own, so I remove the rind.  If you have a "cheese plane" I will also show you how to make flat, and amazingly thin cucumber slices ... (it's also the best way to slice firm cheeses, in my humble opinion, since it's obviously called a "cheese plane.")

Slice the peeled cucumber into paper thin slices, either using the cheese plane, or a sharp knife (a dull knife will make your cucumber far too mushy).  Mix together remaining ingredients, and put it all in a covered container in the fridge to soak for a few hours and chill.

(Please note that in the photo above, I had dill but not parsley, so I just used that-- you can use both or one or the other.  You could even make this with some minced cilantro if you want, but it wouldn't taste very Scandinavian that way.)

Enjoy!

2 comments:

  1. This looks delicious. I'm gonna give it a whirl.

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    Replies
    1. It's very crisp, and light... a great side dish for a variety of foods!

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