Sunday, May 1, 2011

Cucumber Cooler and Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Appetizers

I just want to start with a thank you!  I just passed the 10,000 page views point.  I still don’t know what it means, but either way it makes me feel good.  I wouldn’t think more than five or so people would be interested in what I had to say.  And if it is just five people, who clicked 10,000 times...the next round of drinks is on me! So thanks again, you know how to make a blogger feel all special and stuff.

Speaking of feeling special, I love cucumbers.  Of course, typing that reminds me of Dr. Ruth Westheimer.  If you don’t remember or haven’t heard of her, she is a noted sex expert.  Her heyday (har har) was in the 1980’s.  Anyway, she went on David Letterman one night and listed cucumbers in her handy (har har) list of sex objects women could find around the house.  My immaturity will not let me forget her statement nor allow me to not make reference (using my best overly German, Dr. Ruth impersonation, or course) when I purchase, slice or generally just get near a cucumber.  Anyway, I digress.  I love cucumbers, although sound advice in a pinch…not so much in the Dr. Ruth way.  Cucumbers just make salads and sandwiches so much better.  Plus a half a cup of sliced cucumber only has about 2 grams of carbs (yes I am still doing the low carb thing and no I haven’t killed anyone yet).  So in honor of cucumbers, I decided to include a few recipes.  These two recipes are perfect for a springtime, before dinner kind of thing.  So, invite some friends over, serve some cocktails and appetizers, juggle some cucumbers for their amusement and then in your best German accent, tell them all about Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

1 2” piece of cucumber, thinly sliced crosswise, plus one additional slice for garnish
1/8 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 ½ oz vodka
½ oz simple syrup

In a cocktail shaker, combine the cucumber slices, thyme, and ¼ cup crushed ice.  Using a muddler*, crush ingredients until slushy.  Add more ice, vodka and simple syrup.  Cover, shake vigorously to combine and pour contents into a glass garnish with cucumber slice.

*although not included in Dr. Ruth’s list of potential sex objects found around the house, one could, if so inclined add a muddler, to that list.

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Appetizers (

2 cucumbers
8 oz plain cream cheese
4 oz sour cream
8 oz smoked salmon, minced
1 shallot, minced
½ lemon, juiced
2 tbsp fresh dill, minced
Salt and white pepper to taste

Using a vegetable peeler, carve stripes along the outside lengths of the cucumbers leaving every other section intact.  Cut off the ends of the cucumber and slice into ¾” thick rounds.  Using a melon baller*, scoop out the seeds and inner portion from the top of each cucumber slice, to about 2/3 deep.  Set aside.  Place the smoked salmon, cream cheese, ½ of the sour cream, shallots, dill, lemon juice and salt and pepper in a food processor.  Pulse the processor on and off quickly so that the mixture is combined but still firm enough to hold its shape once piped.  Add some more sour cream if you need more moisture.  Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag with a medium star tip (#8) and pipe into cucumber rounds.  (Alternatively, you could use a plastic sandwich bag and cut off a small corner to pipe the mixture).  Garnish each round with a sprig of dill and serve.

*although not included in Dr. Ruth’s list of potential sex objects found around the house, one could, if so inclined add a melon baller, to that list.

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