CUCUMBER RECIPES: Spicy Cucumber Salad . . . 14-Day Sweet Pickles
Spicy Cucumber Salad
3 dried red chilies
5 cloves garlic
3 cups thinly shredded peeled cucumber
1 cup shredded peeled carrot
4 cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons roasted peanuts
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tamarind sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
Cut open chilies, remove seeds and soak in water a few minutes. Remove chilies, squeeze them dry and place in a large bowl together with the garlic, cucumber, carrot, tomatoes and peanuts. Pound well with back of a heavy spoon while seasoning to taste with lime juice, soy sauce, salt, tamarind sauce and sugar.
Yield: Serves 3 or 4.
Note: Tamarind sauce is available in the Asian foods section of most supermarkets.
14-Day Sweet Pickles
4 pounds pickling cucumbers, 2 to 5 inches long
¾ cup canning or pickling salt
6 quarts water
4 cups vinegar at 5 percent acidity
5½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons celery seed
2 tablespoons pickling spices
Wash cucumbers, slice off blossom end; trim stem to ¼-inch long. Bring to a boil ¼ cup salt and 2 quarts water in a large kettle and pour over cucumbers in 1-gallon container. Cover, weight and cover again with clean towel. Maintain temperature of about 70 degrees and let rest 2 days.
On the third day, drain cucumbers, rinse them and re-sterilize cover and weight. Return cucumbers to container; bring to a boil ¼ cup salt and 2 quarts water in a large kettle and pour over cucumbers; replace cover, weight and clean towel. Repeat this procedure on day 5. On day 7, drain cucumbers, rinse them and re-sterilize container, cover and weight. Slice cucumbers and return to container. Combine vinegar and 2 cups sugar in a large kettle, add spices in spice bag and bring to a boil. Pour over cucumbers, cover, weight and cover with clean towel.
On each of the next six days, follow this procedure: Drain and reserve syrup and spice bag. Re-sterilize container, cover and weight. Add an additional ½ cup sugar with spice bag and pour over cucumbers. Cover, weight and cover with a clean towel.
On the 14th day, drain syrup into large kettle, add ½ cup sugar and bring to a boil. Pack cucumbers into hot, sterilized pint jars and pour over boiling syrup (removing spice bag), leaving ½-inch headspace. Seal and process 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.