Monday, October 17, 2011

My stand by pot luck dish

Ah the pot luck.  The American tradition that everyone goes to and nobody really likes.  It's on those occasions, be it church, social club, work, or kids sport team, that usually brings out the same old dishes.  Baked beans mixed with something, overcooked ham slices, taco salad, that mystery meat thing with tator tots on top, etc. etc. etc.  I'm sure you could come up with more.  Now I don't want to be critical of folks that bring these dishes, as they are well meaning and generous.  However, I cringe when I see that table full of the same old dishes.  So what's my same old dish?  Well, it's changed over the years but by far the most popular and requested recipe is cucumber salad.  Why?   I think that it's just different than the rest of the stuff on the table.  This recipe doesn't require any particular culinary skills, and it is not complicated at all.  So it has become my standby, that dish that I go to when I can't figure out what to bring or just don't feel like spending a lot of time on it.(although it is best made the night before)

This recipe is actually a Jewish American dish, which is appropriate as cucumbers are mentioned early Bible as a favorite food of the Hebrews. (Numbers 11:5)  Credit for the dish goes to a man named Irving Lefferts.  Who is Irving Lefferts?  I have no idea, but if he's the guy that came up with this then my hat is off to him!  So I give you Irving's Cucumber Salad

Here is what you need:
2 Cucumbers  thinly sliced (use a mandolin if you have one)
1 yellow onion peeled and sliced thin
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 cup of water
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

And here is what you do with it:
In a bowl, put the cucumbers and onions.

In a small saucepan combine the salt, water, vinegar, and sugar heating slightly to dissolve the sugar.  Add the celery seeds and mustard seeds.

Pour over the onion and cucumber.  Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

That's it! Super easy!  If you like it don't toss out the leftover liquid, just cut up some more cucumbers and onions and mix it up again!

Hey!  Don't have a mandolin?  You should! I consider a mandolin an absolute requirement in any kitchen.  Check out the link below.  Excellent product at a great price!! 

Stay Hungry!

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