Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Galloping Gourmet, I'm not

But I did make a couple of things for my friend, Nancy, to take to her tailgaiting party at the Little Everglades Steeplechase in Dade City on Sunday.

She commissioned me to make deviled eggs and a cucumber salad. When I asked her what kind of cucumber salad she said one with tomatoes, onions, mayonaise and dill.
As hard as I searched to find a recipe that fit her description, I came up empty-handed and I had to make one up so I guess I'll call it:

Nancy's Creamy Cucumber Salad for 12


5 medium to large cucumbers

3 large ripe tomatoes

1 medium red onion

3/4 cups mayonaise

3/4 cups sour cream

1 1/2 tsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar

1 1/2 Tbs coarse ground mustard

1 tsp salt

6 Tbs fresh dill

1/2 tsp pepper


Peel the cucumbers and slice them about 1/4 inch thick.

Dice the tomatoes and the onion.

Mix together the mayonaise, sour cream, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Mince the dill and stir it into the dressing.

In a large bowl, layer the cucumbers, tomatoes and onion and pour the dressing on top.

Mix right before serving.

Hint: don't let the salad sit too long or the cucumbers will seep some of their liquid and the salad will be watery. If you have to make this ahead, keep the dressing in a seperate container and pour the liquid out of the vegetables before adding it to the salad. (Live and learn).

I also made two different kinds of deviled eggs - a dozen filled with a simple classic mixture for the purists and a second dozen with sweet pickle relish for the Southerners among us.

A couple of tips: I can't stress this enough, read the labels on the ingredients you plan to use.

I drive William absolutely crazy at the grocery store. He claims that I have to pick up every jar or relish on the shelves and every bottle of mustard before I pick one.

He's absolutely right. I do. Why pay twice as much for mustard because you recognise the label when the generic is exactly the same?

I know it is the same because the ingredients are listed on the label in the order of volume. So, if you are comparing one with the other, if the same ingredients are listed in the same order, you can pretty much bet that it would take a more discerning palate than yours or mine to differentiate between the two.

Sometimes generics are a great option. Sometimes they are not.

When I was comparing the sweet pickle relish jars I noticed that the bargain generic brands listed cauliflower as an ingredient, the name brands did not. Cauiflower is not one of those things that jump into my mind when I am thinking about pickles so I paid more for the smaller jar of what I consider "the real thing."

If anyone can tell me how to boil eggs so that they peel consistently please let me know. Out of 2 dozen eggs, one in three peeled easily. I said some ugly things about eggs and chickens too while I was making those deviled eggs.

Deviled eggs are easy once you get past the peeling part of it. If you use jumbo eggs, for each dozen egg yolks, add 6 Tbs mayonaise, 1 Tbs of mustard (I used coarse grained) 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. To make eggs with sweet pickle relish follow the same ratio of ingredients except for each tablespoon of relish, subtract one tablespoon of mayonaise.

To make filling the egg halves easier, spoon the filling into a 1 quart plastic storage bag. Cut the tip off one corner of the bottom of the bag and squeeze the filling into the eggs.

A pastry bag will do the same thing, but then you have to wash it. When you are through with the storage bag you just throw it away.


Bill said...

I've heard that if you plunge boiled eggs into a cold water bath after they're done that they'll peel easier.

Jill said...

I've tried that and just about every other helpful tip for egg peeling made easy. Maybe it's just me.
But tell me this... why does one in three from the same dozen peel perfectly and the rest of the suckers end up looking like they have the pox?