Loving Boyfriend's thing

Now get your mind out of the gutter!
Not that kind of "thing."

Loving Boyfriend has a "thing"
for cucumbers.

A thing for cooked cucumbers.

Now, I know that you're all on my side
(what other side is there?)
so that when you hear those two words together:
"cooked" + "cucumber" =

you want to throw up.

Think about it: cuke even rhymes with puke!

I, myself, would never bastardize a delightfully crisp cucumber by cooking it.

But Loving Boyfriend, being the adventurous soul that he is, never ceases to toss a few cukes into a stir fry, a bulgogi-type dish, a casserole...

all the while cackling evily and ignoring my gagging noises in the background.

The first time he told me he wanted to make Sauteed Salmon with Cucumbers, I immediately thought, "Oh no, not again."
(Blech. Gag. Cough.)

But the fact of the matter is: I was wrong.

So, so wrong.
Yes, that's me admitting that I was wrong.

Enjoy it while you can, LB.

Because I am never wrong.
Except maybe this once.
Don't worry, it won't happen again.

(This, of course, does not mean that you were "right,"
only that I was mistaken.)

This time, and this time only, sauteed cukes were incredibly delicious. So delicious, in fact, that although the recipe says it will feed "4," it really only feeds "2..."

in one glorious, hedonistic sitting.

Try it, you'll see. This has become one of our favorite dishes (really). It looks heavy in all of its luscious creaminess, but it's not. It's just perfect, and light, and oh so tasty.

Sauteed Salmon with Cucumber, from the Four Seasons Cookbook by Shirley Gill

1 lb salmon filet, skinned
3 tbsp. butter
2 spring onions, chopped
1/2 cucumber (we use English cucumbers so we don't have to seed them)
4 tbsp. dry white wine
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2 tbsp. snipped fresh chives
2 tomatoes, diced
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the salmon into thin strips. Melt the butter in a large saute pan, add the salmon and saute for 1-2 minutes. Remove the salmon strips using a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the spring onions to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the cucumber and saute for 1-2 minutes, or until hot. Be extremely careful not to overcook the cucumber, or the texture will be lost and remember: overcooked cuke still = pu... Remove the cucumber and keep warm with the salmon. Add the wine to the pan and let it bubble until well reduced. Stir in the cucumber, creme fraiche, 1 tbsp. of the chives and the salt and pepper to taste. Return the salmon to the pan and warm through gently. Sprinkle the tomatoes and remaining chives over the mixture and serve at once.

**PS. Yeah, um, those of you who have been with me since the early days of my little blog might be wondering what happened to The Challenge. Well, truth be told, ever since the couscous incident, we pretty much haven't opened the book since. Five days of trying to make that stuff edible sort of burnt us out (I really do hate wasting food...even if it means I have die a slow death of eating awful, unsatisfying food that I've cooked myself). The Challenge itself, I think, is over because we are so behind but after opening the book once more to get this little gem of a recipe out, you might be seeing a few more recipes in the future. We'll see.

13 comments from you:

ilva said...

Never give up a Challenge! And who cares about failures? This time it went so well that it kind of made up for the couscous stuff. 1+ and 1- should be 0 no?

Anonymous said...

No one should be afraid of my side. The cooking Cukes idea came from this wonderful dish I had at a vietnamese place. It was chicken, tomato, and cukes with a thick spicy sauce. It was great. Whose with me? LB

cookiecrumb said...

[Tentatively raises hand...]
Yes, I've definitely heard of cooked cucumbers, and may have tried them myself. Probably brings out more of their apple-y flavor.
However, that salmon recipe strikes me as -- well, I was going to say "counterintuitive," but I'll go for "unexpected." I get the creme fraiche, the spring onion, even the cukes. But the tomatoes kinda came out of nowhere!

Kitchen Queen said...

I bet my kids would love to give that recipe a try! Maybe next time dear hubby is on a business trip (he doesn't like fish) we can give it a go.

vlb5757 said...

LB-in your defense, sort of. Cooked cukes is to me like cooked lettuce. ECK. Okay, now to your defense. They aren't that bad. It takes a few minutes to wrap your head around a concept that you have never had to deal with. It's right up there with Steak Tar Tar. You are always taught that eating raw meat will make you sick. So you plunge in and whoa, what a surprise! You didn't die and it tasted pretty good.

I am sorry Michelle, LB did have the leg up on this one hone! So, you were mistaken on this one but I know that will never happen again and if you think it might, give me an E and I will straighten you RIGHT out! I haven't been married 27 years by admitting I was wrong...much...lol!

J said...

hi michelle, ok, given that you have given your thumbs-up, i just might be able to set aside my cucumber prejudices (no prizes for guessing which camp i'm in ;)) and give this a shot!

michelle said...

Hi Ilva, good point! I just don't know if we could get it done in by september! Maybe we can "amend" our challenge?

LB, I thought you didn't comment on my blog...you learn to make that vietnamese dish and if it's good, I'll reconsider my cucumber stance, but until then, I'm stickin' to it!

Hi Cookie,
I like "soapy" better! The onions actually are really nice because they're freshness sort of breaks up all that creaminess from the creme fraiche (that the cooked cucumbers are missing!!!).

Hi Kitchenqueen, If you do try it, let me know what you and the kids think!

Hi Vickie, you're right - the first time I was offered steak carpacio, I thought: completely raw steak? I can't eat that!! but now I wish I had and I keep looking for it on a menu... and I now I want to try steak tar tar too! Well, my dear, you may have let me down this once, but I know who to turn to for relationship advice now!

Hi J, Finally! Somebody who agrees with me! This one really is tasty - let me know what you think if you get around to trying it - I'd be really interested in knowing!

rob said...

Michelle, I have to admit the idea of cooked cucumber sounds... not so good to me too, but this is the second time I've heard effusive praise for them. Of course, I have no idea where I read it the first time.

Guess I'll just have to try it myself.

michelle said...

Hi Rob! Yea, yuck, huh? This one is good though...this once. ;)

McAuliflower said...

Oooo, Sweets has a Chinese co-worker who took us in and fed us proper with an amazing spread of dishes. One of my surprise favorites was a sauted cucumber dish lightly dressed in vinegar and chilies. Thanks for the reminder of this amazing dish!

Paz said...

Cool! I'd like to try this!


Anonymous said...

I never thought cucumber could be cooked either. I am on this special diet right now and I was late at work so my husband made me dinner. He saw the cucumber in the fridge and thought it was a zucchini. So he did cut up the chicken in small pieces and added the cucumber as well as green onions up the same adding ginger and garlic powder. When I came home I told him what he had just cooked. He was surprised but took a taste and found it was wonderful! So I decided (after I devoured it) to see if there were any recipes out there with cooked cucumber in it. Not too many so far, but it is wonderful cooked.

Anonymous said...

I saw what I thought was a zuchini on the kitchen counter; I sliced it up and added it to olive oil, diced chicken, and grape tomatoes; simmered the lot with wine, balsamic vinegar, garlic and ginger; boiled small, red potatoes in a separate pot and then added them in, too. My daughter was the one who told me that I had cooked a cucumber. The meal was delicious though!