Monday, July 11, 2016

Fried cucumbers

Cucumbers were fried in round slices, cubed or stuffed whole.  Hannah Glasse's Art of Cookery had cucumbers sliced and a whole one stuffed with fried onions then fried and put into a flavor-full sauce of the frying butter, flour (to thicken), water, wine, catchup, mace, cloves, and nutmeg. 
Similar to fried green tomatoes, the cucumbers pictured above were made following the Acton recipe - coated with flour and then salted when eaten.

Fried cucumbers to serve in common hashes and minces
If very young they need not be pared, but otherwise, take off the rind, slice, and dredge them lightly with pepper and flour, but put no salt at first; throw them into very hot butter or clarified dripping, or they will not brown; when they are nearly done sprinkle some salt amongst them, and as soon as they are quite tender, lift them out with a slice, drain them well, and place them lightly over the hash or mince. A small portion of onion may be fried with them when it is liked. 
Acton, Eliza.  Modern cookery. London: 1854

To stew Cucumbers
PARE twelve cucumbers, and slice them as thick as a half crown, lay them in a coarse cloth to drain, and when they are dry, flour them and fry them brown in fresh butter ; then take them out with an egg-slice, lay them in a plate before the fire, and have ready one cucumber whole, cut a long piece out of the side, and scoop out all the pulp ; have ready fried onions peeled and sliced, and fried brown with the diced cucumber. Fill the whole cucumber with the fried onion, season with pepper and salt; put on the piece you cut out, and tie it round with a pack thread. Fry it brown, first flouring it, then take it out of the pan and keep it hot ; keep the pan on the fire, and with one hand put in a little flour, while with the other you stir it. When it is thick, put in two or three spoonfuls of water, and half a pint of white or red wine, two spoonfuls of catchup, stir it together, put in three blades of mace, four cloves, half a nutmeg a little pepper and salt, all beat fine together; stir it into the sauce-pan, then throw in your cucumbers, give them a toss or two, then lay the whole cucumbers in the middle, the rest round, pour the sauce all over, untie the cucumbers before you lay it into the dish. Garnish the dish with fried onions, and send it to table hot. This is a pretty side-dish at a first course.
Glasse, Hannah.  The Art of Cookery: Made Plain and Easy.  London: 1788

©2016 Patricia Bixler Reber
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