My short-term cooking goal of the year was to make five Julia Child recipes in a year. My long-term goal (which is the goal I'm really shooting for) is to make one Julia Child recipe a month and featuring it here on Catz for you.
Josh and I recently watched Julie and Julia again, which is probably one of my very favorite movies. It involves food, so what's not to love. One of the scenes in the movie is Julie's birthday party. She's talking about how good the lobster thermador is, how she is obsessed with Julia, and that "braised" cucumbers are a revelation to her. Braised??? I looked the recipe up in my very own "Mastering the Art of French Cooking cookbook and I could not find anything about a braised cucumber. I did find a baked cucumber recipe and then I went online to see if it was the same one that is referred to in the movie. It was. Why the name change in the movie? I'm not quite sure.
Yesterday, I wrote a "How To" (wait, did that mention of How To, throw anyone back to the movie "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days?" How To Girl: Andie Anderson here!) #losingmymind
Anyhoo, I wrote a "How To" post on blanching cucumbers which is very much recommended by Julia Child for this recipe. It's a very simple step that will ensure great results with your baked cucumbers.
Baked cucumbers taste like little pickles. While I enjoyed the flavor of the cucumbers and the techniques that went into making them, the overall texture was a thing for me. I like my cucumbers with the peel/skin on. Without the peel, I think they are a bit wet, even though they are still very crisp. Eden and I are the major pickle lovers of the family, and oddly enough, we weren't jumping up and down over them. Josh and Grace however, loved them!
Regardless, it is a really neat recipe. A really simple one to start out with in her cookbook and one I really enjoyed making. It was a fun change from the side of green beans we have often with our dinner.
Julia Child's Baked Cucumbers
Baked cucumbers take on a lemony pickled flavor that makes for a truly inspired French side dish.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
- 6 cucumbers, about 8 inches long
- 2 TB white wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp sugar
- 3 TB melted butter
- 1/2 tsp fresh basil, chopped
- 2-4 TB green onions, minced
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- Peel the cucumbers and cut in half lengthwise; scoop out the seeds with with a spoon. Cut into lengthwise strips and then cut those strips in half, making matchsticks. Blanch the cucumbers.
- After you've blanched the cucumbers, drain. In a medium sized bowl, toss the cucumbers with vinegar, salt, and sugar. Let stand for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Drain and pat dry with a towel.
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Toss the cucumbers in a baking dish with melted butter, basil, onion, and pepper and bake for 1 hour, tossing 2-3 times throughout the cooking process. Cook the cucumbers until they are still crisp and tender.