Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Try another recipe with cooked cucumbers

Since fire came into the lives of people, we’ve cooked everything that came our way with some results more edible and tastier than others. I’ve cooked cucumbers for so long that I simply can’t remember when I started.

Today there are likely more than a few people who’ve yet to cook a cucumber. Yet as one of the fastest growing vegetables, it behooves all with gardens to cook cucumbers, thus expanding their culinary choices. They’ll also be able to use the fruits of their labor as it produces or as retailers have blockbuster deals on cucumbers as fields yield crops.

An easy starting place is this three-ingredient soup that could be a light lunch or supper entrée with a crusty roll or crackers as accompaniment. If you’re doing the “low carb” way of eating, skip the bread or crackers and have a salad with fresh chopped cooked beets and celery on a bed of beet greens.

Special note: The chicken needs to be cut into pieces no larger or thicker than two inches by ½ inch…about the size that would be used for a stir-fry.

Chicken and Cucumber Soup

2 small cucumbers (or 1 large cucumber)

1 boneless chicken breast, skinned

4 cups rich chicken broth

Peel cucumbers. Cut in half lengthwise. Using a spoon or melon-baller, scoop seeds from cucumber and discard. Turn the cucumber upside down so the scooped-out side is next to the cutting surface. Cut the cucumber into thin slices.

Cut chicken into small pieces no larger than 2-inches by ½ inch.

Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add cucumber slices and chicken pieces. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and serve. Serves 2.

A simple and easy accompaniment to a chicken, fish, shellfish, or roast pork would be this simple braised cucumber that is seasoned lightly with either dill (fresh or dried) or curry. Many a dinner guest seemed shocked to find cooked cucumbers as a side dish. It has sparked many animated culinary discussions.

Braised Cucumbers

3 medium cucumbers

1/3 cup water

1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill (1 teaspoon dried) or `1/2 teaspoon curry

1 chicken bouillon cube

Peel cucumbers. Slice on the bias. Bring water to a boil with dill weed (or curry) and bouillon cube in a shallow sauté pan or skillet. Add cucumbers and return to a boil. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the cucumbers are just barely tender (al dente). Serves 4.


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