Tuesday, August 2, 2011

cucumber marmalade

So I went a little bit overboard in the cucumber planting this spring and now find myself scrambling to figure out what to do with them all. While we love our pickles (post up coming) we only eat so many pickles in a year, besides, we are just now finishing off our pickles from two years ago so we do not need THAT many. In my search for cool cuke recipes I ran across one for cucumber cakes, breads, cookies (post upcoming), jams and marmalade. Since I do not have much time to mess about cooking for hours I decided to try the marmalade today and it is tasty! Beyond that it uses pulp in the recipe and since I have been on the agua fresca kick it is a good way to use some of the pulp in food products and not as a face mask. Granted, it does make a lovely face mask and all I am just not that kind of girl.

Someone saw my post about making this today and said it is delicious on fish. I also saw a recipe that suggested adding a couple of drops of green food coloring to the mix to make it prettier. I think it looks fine as is and didn't add any.

2 cups cucumber pulp (4-6 cukes)
4 cups sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
1 pack pectin or 1/2 of a 6 oz bottle of liquid pectin

Wash, trim ends, remove seeds and peel the cucumbers (I left the peel on).Throw the cucumber into a food processor until it is a pulp. Place two cups into a pan, add everything but the pectin and mix well. Bring to rolling boil, and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat, and stir in pectin. Skim the foam off and put into jelly jars. Process 15 minutes in hot water bath.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

cucumber agua fresca

When I went to Mexico many years ago, everywhere I went had large jars of agua fresca sitting around for purchase. At the family home each morning a large jar was made up for drinking throughout the day. I was hooked and for years after returning I made but like many things, for some reason I stopped. This year, after having a bumper crop of cucumbers from the gardens I found myself looking for cucumber recipes of different sorts and ran across one for a cucumber mint agua fresca and boy is it good! The color is a bit weird I must warn you but do not let that stop you from drinking it.
For those that do not know what an agua fresca is, it is basically a natural made, no chemical added Kool-Aid type drink. Fresh fruits are blended to a pulp, drained and simple syrup is added to it. It is then refrigerated and served over lots of ice.It is very refreshing on its own and is excellent when served along side spicy foods. It's also a great way to use up fruits and veggies that you have too much of.

2 pounds cucumbers
1 cup mint leaves
1/4-1/2 cup lemon or lime juice
1/2 cup sugar

Trim the ends off the cukes and chop them up into chunks,there is no need to peel them. Strip the mint leaves from the stems. Throw the ingredients into a processor or blender, add a 1/4 cup water and blend into a pulp. You may need to do it in batches. Strain through cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer into a container then add 1/2 cup sugar, the lemon or lime and enough water to make two quarts. Refrigerate and serve over ice.