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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hors d'oeuvre: Stuffed Cucumbers

It's been a while since my friends and I had a party.  Naturally, with people enduring various life changes just weeks before Valentine's Day (Which was a Friday this year), we took advantage of it to celebrate, commemorate and memorialize.  No celemoratorialization cermony would complete without comfort foods and a full spread.

Here you see all the things girls need to survive: Sparkles, Carbs, Chocolate, Pizza, Cake, Fruit, and Veggies, and Flowers
Since it had been a while, we decided to expand on what we usually do.  DECORATIONS!  FANCY hors d'oevres!  FLOWERS!

We did it potluck style, as is our usual.  I was in charge of the vegetable based appetizer.  Oddly enough, I was at a loss.  I wanted to make kale and tomatoes- but that would have been messy to transport and a veggie platter was LAME.  I had to come up with something finger friendly, but still kind of awesome.  As we were browsing for decorations in party city, I was inspired to pull this one out of thin air.

Stuffed Cucumbers.

Cucumbers (I'm not posting a picture of a cucumber.  You guys should know what that is by now.)
Boursin (Or Goat Cheese)
Cream Cheese
Greek Herbs (Or Spinach dip mix)
Siracha- or any hot sauce
Tomato Sauce.
I bought boursin because I didn't feel like prepping my own spinach and artichokes.

We didn't have siracha, so I used hot sauce.  It works.
Melon Baller
Potato Peeler

Just Three tools!

1. Prep your cucumbers!  I always wash them with soap and warm water because, that oily wax stuff that they put on them in the grocery store is disgusting.  Once clean, slice off their ends and use the potato peeler to slice the skin off in stripes.  I left some of the skin on for decorative effect.

2. Prep your cucumbers some more!  Next, you slice them into 1.5 inch long cylinders.  It's ok if it's not exact, but if you're putting them all on the same platter, it looks better if they are about the same size.  Next, use the melon baller to scoop out the cucumber middles.  DO NOT scoop it all the way down to the bottom of the cucumber.  You want them to look like little cups.  Arrange them in the platter and put them in the fridge while you prep the rest of the dish.  You don't want soggy cucumbers.

SEE, cups! 

Arrange them attractively in a platter.
3. Blend your cheeses and herbs with the whisk until smooth.  It is unfortunate that I do not measure as I mix, but this one's easy.  For whatever amount of goat cheese and herbs or Boursin you use, add half that amount of cream cheese.  The cream cheese is mostly there to make the mixture SMOOTH and creamy.  I added additional herbs to pump up the flavor. Once the cheese mixture is smooth, put it into a ziplock bag.

4. Blend your hot sauce or siracha with a couple teaspoons of tomato sauce.  That's a nobrainer.  I had to add tomato sauce to avoid roasting my Polish friend's tonsils out. 

5. FILL THE CUPS!  Take your cucumbers from the fridge.  Drip a small dollop of the hot sauce mixture into each cup, just a little bit, not a lot.  Then, take that ziplock bag of cheese, snip off a corner and use it to pipe the cheese into the cups.  It's best to swirl it into the cups, working from the outer edges towards the middle.  It works up quickly.  Once finished, you may choose to garnish the tops of your cucumbers with a bit of red pepper or pickled vegetable.

AND YOU ARE DONE. That took what?  20-30 minutes tops? 

Enjoy with a light, fruity wine. 

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