Garlic-Herb Cucumber Bites

Garlic Herb Cucumber Bites

Garlic Herb Cucumber Bites

This is the time of year when many springtime events take place.  It might be a bridal shower or baby shower, or even a Mother’s Day gathering taking place at mid-day when brunch would be served.  Light refreshments are welcome at these events especially if you’re “waist-watching”.

I made these little cucumber appetizers recently and they were so well received that it’s only fair that I share them with you.  I think they would be great on a buffet table to nibble on while waiting for the rest of the refreshments.  They are light -in content and in calories- so they are not too filling for what’s to follow.

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I made these without a recipe, because they are so simple, but I made an attempt to write something here for you to follow if you care to make them, too. I used Boursin cheese  because  I love it, and because it’s already perfectly seasoned.  Why put yourself through the task of starting with cream cheese and trying to achieve the perfect blend of herbs and seasonings, when this one is already done for you.  I thinned it a little with some heavy cream to get a thinner consistency that would be well suited to piping onto the cucumbers if you wanted to make them extra fancy, but all I did was put a small spoonful onto the cucumbers.

These are ridiculously easy, pretty cute and impressive too.  Nice for a party!

GARLIC HERB CUCUMBER BITES

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A two-step appetizer. Nothing could be easier.

Yield:    About 18 pieces

Ingredients:

  • 1  (5.2 oz.) package garlic herb Boursin cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 long English cucumber, peeled partially or totally, as desired

Directions:

1.  Make the filling:  Place Boursin in a small bowl.  Add in 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and stir with a fork until lightened and smooth.  If needed, sir in an additional tablespoon of cream until the mixture is a good consistency for piping.  Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip; set aside.

2.  Slice the cucumber into 1/2-inch thick slices.  Gently scoop out most of the seeds from the center of each slice, leaving a small portion to keep the filling from falling out.  I found a 1/4-teaspoon measuring spoon did the job very well, using it as you would a melon baller.  Arrange the slices on a serving platter.  Pipe or spoon a dollop of the filling onto each cucumber slice.  Serve chilled.

Kind of cute, yes?

Note:  These can be assembled and refrigerated up to 6 hours in advance of serving.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Can we talk for a few minutes about pickles?   Dill pickles, that is.  Many people that I know love anything pickled, but I’m not one of them.  I like pickled beets well enough, but I love dill pickles!!   Years ago I remember helping my mother make pickles and it seemed like a lot of work.  I know there was some cooking involved, the hot vinegar bath, I think.  And I remember those little round dill seeds and black peppercorns.  It has always seemed lots easier to just buy the kind I like at the grocery store.

So I’m very proud of myself when I say I made refrigerator dill pickles, and they were so easy.  Nothing at all like what I remember. This recipe is so ridiculously simple, I wonder why I never heard of it until just this year.   I can’t believe I got these fantastically crisp and fresh pickles with only a few ingredients.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles.

You can use traditional cucumbers or pickling cucumbers for this–whatever you like.   Some of the pickling cucumbers end up being quite fat and round, so I used regular cucumbers because I wanted long spears.   If you have 10 minutes you can make these pickles.  Just watch me!

REFRIGERATOR DILL PICKLES

Yield:   about 3 – 4  16.oz. jars of pickles

About the jars:  They can be any jars saved from other products and repurposed,  just be sure they are really clean with no lingering odors.  It’s wise to wash them in the dishwasher prior to using again.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 – 4 medium-large cucumbers, washed well
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons kosher salt

Directions:

1.  Add 1 minced or pressed clove of garlic and a few sprigs of dill to the bottom of each jar.  Don’t stress over exact amounts.  They will be great.

Place sprigs of dill in bottom of jars.  Add a clove of garlic.

Place sprigs of dill in bottom of jars. Add a clove of garlic.

2.  Cut the cucumbers into spears or whatever shape you like.  Add the spears to the jars, packing in as many as  you can without having to force them in.

Pack the  jars with cucumbers.

Pack the jars with cucumbers.

3.  In a large liquid measuring cup or pitcher, combine the water, vinegar, and salt.  Stir well until the salt is dissolved.  Pour the mixture into each jar over the cucumber spears so they are completely covered.  Top with an additional few sprigs of dill, if desired.

Add vinegar brine, then more dill on top.

Add vinegar brine, then more dill on top.

4.  Screw on the lids of the jars.  Repeat with remaining cucumbers, making additional brine as needed  (it only take a few seconds.)

5.  Refrigerate for two days.  Enjoy!   Continue to store in the refrigerator….presuming there are leftovers, of course.

Oh my gosh–these are fantastic.  As soon as you finish one your mouth wants another.  We couldn’t stop eating them.  Mr. D. says they are better than “real pickles”.   What ever that means, I think it’s a compliment.

A great sandwich deserves a great pickle!

A great sandwich deserves a great pickle!

I will be starting my next batch before the first batch is gone, because I won’t be able to wait the two days for a second batch to “cure”.    Ya gotta plan ahead when you love something this much!!!

SOURCE:   Adapted from Delicious Meliscious via Annie’s Eats