Tuesday, July 19, 2011

BBQ Chicken and.... Cucumbers

Just another simple summer dinner here: BBQ drumsticks alongside some perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes and Asian inspired cucumbers. Fun, fresh and delicious. The chicken was finger lickin' thanks to my husband and his BBQ skills, but what I really want to talk about here is the cucumbers.

Now let me to fill you in on the story behind these cucumbers... It has been a summer tradition with my group of friends from college to do a camping canoe trip on the Russian River up in Northern California. We camp for the weekend and on Saturday we pack up coolers, rent canoes and spend the day lazily floating. And drinking. And eating. And generally just soaking up the sun.

We make quite a few stops along the way... swimming holes, rope swings, beaches where we pull over and drink Coors Light until the rest of the group catches up. Even though we only go about 2 miles an hour, it's somehow really easy for our 8 canoes to get split up.

One of the very last stops we make is at the little private beach where my friend Conor's parents have a house. Now Conor's mom is so sweet. She always makes about thirty PB&J sandwiches and packs them up to bring down to us. I think it takes about 2 minutes for our group to devour all of them. Anyway, a few years back she had so many cucumbers from her garden, she brought us some of those too. She marinated them 3 different ways... and I can clearly remember only one of them. It was amazing. It entailed some rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. She let them soak it up and put them in little ziplocks for us. I remember laying on the hot rocky beach, eating one after another just blown away by the flavors.

So this is my little rendition of those cucumbers. 
I don't think any I make will ever be as good as Ceci's, though.... 

I slice them lengthwise as thinly as possible. Sometimes I use a vegetable peeler. You can use a mandolin if you have one. Let them hang out with about a 2:1 ratio of rice wine vinegar to sesame oil. Sprinkle on some sea salt and some whole sesame seeds and you've got a refreshing summer snack. Paired with Scott's BBQ chicken and I was in heaven. I love Summer.

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