Elaine Marie Smith from Reisterstown was looking for a recipe for making creamed cucumbers like the ones her mother used to serve. She said she remembers that her mother used to soak the sliced cucumbers overnight in salt water then drain them and mix them with a creamed dressing of some kind.
Virginia Terzian from Santa Rosa, Calif., sent in her family recipe for creamed cucumbers that she is certain Smith will enjoy. She said her mother, Viola Knapp, who was wonderful cook from Pennsylvania Dutch country, always served this cucumber dish with string beans, potatoes and ham or as a side dish with Weiner Schnitzel when she was growing up. She said the recipe must be at least 100 years old and is still one of her favorites.
Soaking the cucumbers in salted water helps to offset any bitterness. I tested her recipe using a seedless English cucumber so peeling was not necessary, it also probably would have been fine to skip the soaking step as the English variety are rarely very bitter. If you use a regular garden-variety cucumber I would recommend soaking it for at least a few hours and peeling it as well. Terzian's recipe calls for sour cream, but I have seen similar recipes that use plain yogurt, mayonnaise or Miracle Whip instead. I liked the sour cream combined with the vinegar. It gave the cucumbers a rich and creamy yet slightly tart taste.
This simple and delicious dish is likely to remind you of dinners at your grandma's house. It is old fashioned comfort food at its best.
Bob Hammill from Baltimore is looking for a recipe for making a Greek-style beef soup similar to the one served seasonally at Gibby's restaurant in Timonium.
Joann Delmonico from Utica, N.Y., is looking for an authentic recipe for Spanish rice and beans.
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Makes: 4 servings
1 large cucumber
1 medium onion
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
Peel cucumber and onion. Slice as thin as possible. Place in bowl with salt. Let stand at least 1 hour or longer. Rinse in cold water and drain thoroughly and pat dry. Place in bowl.
Add vinegar and sugar and press and press with hands until sugar is dissolved. Add sour cream and dill mixing well.
Sprinkle with paprika before serving.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun