Saturday, October 24, 2009

Stuffed Cucumbers

We are all so excited that the CSA has started up again! Not that we don't enjoy shopping at the Summer Farmer's Market, but there is something exhiliarating about not knowing what you'll get each week and then trying to figure out what to do with everything. (Although, I know this can be an issue for folks, too, which is why the newsletter and this blog come in so handy!)

I'm sure many folks were befuddled over what to do with such giant cucumbers as we got the last few weeks. I, personally, don't understand why some farmers grow these cukes so large, other than that they can. They are perfectly edible, and much less daunting, when they are "small." Whining aside, we love cucumbers around here, so there really isn't much problem using up so much vegetable. Additionally, they are very mild flavored cucumbers, and so are versatile, too, and can even be used in a fashion similar to a melon. In fact, these particular cucumbers also go by the name "Snake Melon."

We made this as a main dish for a light dinner one night, and served it with a side of Chinese-style omelette. Apologies for not including a picture; we wolfed these down before I thought of it!

1/2 medium or large Armenian cucumber (aka Snake Melon)
4 oz cream cheese
2 Tbs mayonnaise
1 avocado, mashed
3 Tbs chives or green onions, minced
1 can crab meat or tiny shrimp, well drained (for a vegetarian version, substitute crumbled tofu)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (substitute soy sauce, fish sauce, or Braggs)
1/2 tsp dried dill weed
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbs prepared horseradish (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel cucumber and halve lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and cut into 1-inch pieces. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Spoon filling into each cucumber "boat" and sprinkle with additional pepper to serve.

Notes: without the horseradish, the filling is on the mild side. The horseradish kicks it up nicely, but you could also put in comething like capers, fresh garlic, or cayenne pepper to add more depth.