Hi there! The last post was pretty rushed because I was trying to get it up in time for Kirst to peruse ASAP ( btw, the babe was impressed with the crepes so I feel that the work of this blog is basically done).
This will be another pretty quick post because I’m writing it up while Una’s asleep. That’s right! The baby arrived and she’s totally fucking wonderful. I am a completely insufferable smitten mum, so I’ll just shut up about it because nobody likes to hear about how great your kids are. But look here’s a piccy just in case you’re interested.
Ahem, so, anyway – here’s a little recipe for cucumber sandwiches made with slightly pickled slices of cucumber, pseudo-Viet style. I made these today to take to my mothers’ group. Makes about six sandwiches/24 triangles, or points, if you will (I won’t). I love to be able to make things with cucumber in for other people because Andy hates cucumbers more than anything else in the world. When he’s king of the world cucumbers will be the first against the wall.
Note: I made this vegetarian but if you’d prefer you can replace the lemon, tamari, vinegar, and tamarind with 1 TBS of fish sauce.
Wholemeal bread – okay, this is important. It’s gotta be said that standard square bread is generally not my bag but it is the correct thing here. The bread is here simply to carry the cucumber which has a subtle flavour, and it’s gotta be soft – something like sourdough (which is my general go to) is too dominant and dense for what we’re after here. Ideally you want square wholemeal bread with sesame seeds in a sandwich slice (that’s the thin one). I couldn’t get that today so I got plain wholemeal in a toast slice, it was fine.
1 ½ Lebanese cucumbers
1 TBS salt
1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 TBS lime juice
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp tamari (see note above about this)
½ – 1 tsp tamarind pulp (see note above about this)
½ tsp vinegar (see note above about this)
2 tsp lemon juice (see note above about this)
1 tsp sesame seeds (black or white, doesn’t matter)
1 long red chilli finely diced (seeds in or out depending on how hot you like things)
handful of coriander (leaves only, no stalks), roughly chopped
Butter, soft enough to spread
Peel the cucumbers lengthways in a striped pattern – so that there’s a stripe of green, then white, then green etc. Not at all necessary, just for prettiness. Slice the cucumbers into thin rounds, put them in a bowl and salt them. Put the bowl aside for at least 20 mins, time enough for the salt to draw out some of the water from the cucumbers.
Put the garlic, lime juice, sugar, tamari, tamarind, vinegar, and lemon juice (or fish sauce) into a bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your palate. Add the sesame seeds, chilli, and coriander.
Once the cucumber slices have gone a bit floppy give them a rinse and pat them dry either with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel. Add them to the sauce and stir.
Butter your slices of bread – each sandwich should have both slices buttered on the inside. You don’t want a great hunk of butter but there’s no need to be stingy – the butter acts as a barrier to prevent the bread getting soggy and also adds a nice, contrasting mouth-feel to crunch of the cucumbers and the mealiness of the bread.
make sandwiches and cut into naff little triangles. Scoff.