Tag Archives: Cucumber

Bread and Butter Pickles

I first made these pickles after a friend gave me a bounty of cucumbers fresh from her garden, and I knew I needed to find a way to use them before they went bad.  This Bread and Butter pickle recipe solved my problem and was very uncomplicated to make.  Even though it isn’t exactly garden season at the moment, you can still find cucumbers at the grocery store and have these stashed in your fridge year round.  They keep for about a month in the fridge and also make great gifts!  I haven’t encountered anyone who doesn’t appreciate a jar of homemade pickles to snack on!

Start by slicing your cucumbers into coins and soaking them in icy water along with onions and a bunch of salt.  Let them sit for at least 2 hours to ensure the pickles stay crunchy.  🙂

Bread and Butter Pickle ingredients

Bread and Butter Pickle ingredients

Then you just bring the vinegar and all the seasonings to a boil.

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Drain the cucumber and onion, and add to the seasoning mixture on the stove.

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Turn the heat off and transfer everything to a jar.  Let it cool to room temp, put the lid on and store in the fridge for up to a month.  Yum!

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Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe

1 lb pickling cucumbers, like Israeli of Kirby,  sliced into coins
1 small yellow onion, sliced as thinly as possible
2 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
A pinch of celery seed
1 bay leaf

  1. Combine the cucumbers, onion and salt in a large mixing bowl of very icy ice water and let them sit for 2 hours (this will help keep the pickles very crunchy).
  2. Meanwhile, bring the vinegar, honey and seasonings to a boil in a large pot.  Drain the cucumbers and onions and add them to the pot.  Bring back to a boil, immediately turn off the heat, and transfer the entire mixture to a glass jar.
  3. Once the jar cools to room temperature, put a lid on it and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Makes about a pint

From:  It’s All Good

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Filed under Apps & Sides, Snacks, Vegetarian

Drunken Soba Noodles

Waaaaay back in December I tried the Drunken Soba Noodles from Sidedoor restaurant and they definitely left a lasting impression.  I loved everything about this dish; the perfectly cooked steak, the balance between the cool noodles and the heat from the sauce, the crunchy fried shallots and the flavourful herbs.  So when I picked up an issue of McLean’s magazine one day that featured “Canada’s Top 50 Restaurants”, imagine my delight when not only was Sidedoor one of them, but they published their recipe for Drunken Soba Noodles!  Rejoice!  I wasted no time in trying to recreate this for myself – take a look 🙂

Drunken Soba Noodle Ingredients

Drunken Soba Noodle Ingredients

At the restaurant they use steak, but since I didn’t have any on hand I sautéed up a nice chicken breast instead.  No complaints about how this turned out!

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Sautéed chicken

Boil the soba noodles for about 4 or 5 minutes and allow them to cool.  Then pile them in a bowl and top with veggies.

Noodles and Veggies

Noodles and Veggies

Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce (soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil) and toss with the noodle/veggie mixture.  Then just top with chicken or steak!  And some black sesame seeds for visual interest.

Drunken Soba Noodles

Drunken Soba Noodles

Then all you have to do is work your way through this flavour heaven of a dish.  Enjoy the journey!

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Drunken Soba Noodles – Halfway through

Drunken Soba Noodles Recipe

 1 3/4 lb (340 g) package buckwheat noodles
Canola oil
2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
3/4 lb. strip loin or rib-eye steak
Salt and pepper1 cup julienned cucumber
1 cup julienned bell pepper
1 cup julienned napa cabbage
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
Fried shallots, to taste
Thai basil, to taste

  1. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.  Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook soba noodles according to package directions, about four to five minutes.  Drain and transfer to iced water.  Drain once chilled.
  3. Toss noodles very lightly with canola oil in a large bowl to prevent sticking.  Reserve.
  4. Whisk soy sauce with rice wine, sugar, chili garlic sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  5. Preheat grill to medium high.
  6. Season steak lightly with salt and pepper.  Grill steaks to medium rare.  Remove from heat and let rest.
  7. Divide the noodles between four bowls.  Arrange the cucumbers, peppers and cabbage on top of the noodles in separate piles.  Top with a small mound each of green onion and fried shallots.
  8. Slice steak thinly and add to bowls.  Top with a sprig of Thai basil.
  9. Divide the sauce into four small ramekins and serve with the bowl.  Let guests pour the sauce on top of the noodles and mix with chopsticks.

1 Comment

July 24, 2013 · 11:55 PM

Tzatziki

I have a mild obsession with Greek food at the moment, caused largely by the discovery of a fantastic new restaurant just a few blocks from my place.  I went to the Greek Souvlaki Shack two nights in a row because the food was so amazing and fresh, I couldn’t get it off my mind after my first visit.  But more details on that to come…

Anyways, it inspired me to post this tzatiki recipe, since it’s an essential condiment for any Greek feast.  Just line up a few simple ingredients…

Tzatziki Ingredients

…and turn it into this!  (Dill works nicely in this recipe too, just didn’t have any this time around.)

Tzatziki

Allow me to show you some possibilities for using this beautiful stuff….

Like along side chicken souvlaki and lemon rice pilaf, for example!

Tzatziki with Chicken Souvlaki and Lemon Rice Pilaf

But of course, it’s fresh, creamy goodness isn’t limited to just Greek food.  Use it as a dip for roasted potatoes, or spread it on falafel…mmmmmm!

Tzatziki and Falafel

Tzatziki Recipe

1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup finely chopped cucumber
1 clove garlic, minced
1 – 2 tbsp lemon juice, to taste
1 tsp salt
1 -2 tbsp fresh dill (optional)

1.  Mix all ingredients together.  Make a few hours ahead if possible, and refrigerate until serving.  If you let it sit for a few hours, the flavours will get really nice and strong.  Also, make sure you use a nice thick Greek yogurt to get good texture.

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Filed under Apps & Sides, Dips, Easy Peasy, Vegetarian