If there is one recipe that takes me back to my childhood and my grandmother's house, it is this creamy cucumbers and onions recipe. Growing up, it would be a side dish at almost every meal!.I think that was partly because it is so stinkin' easy to make and partly because it is such an inexpensive recipe. I have always grown cucumbers in my garden, but even if I didn't – cucumbers are cheap!
Over the years, I have tried many variations on the recipe, scouring the Interwebs for a more “upscale” version of my grandmother's recipe, but I just keep coming back to this one. I don't need dill or tomatoes added to it and I CERTAINLY don't need to make it with mayonnaise. When it comes to the way my grandmother makes it: if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Some people peel their cucumbers completely and some people leave the skin on. I am not a huge fan of leaving the peel on (because Grandma never did), but sometimes I will purposely leave some small strips of peel on the cucumber before I slice it, just to give it a little color. I will tell you, that when it comes to the cucumbers, I like using plain old “regular” cucumbers. My husband's friend (of the bacon-wrapped cheeseburger fame – they make them about 2 times per month!) made my recipe a few weeks ago using English cucumbers and it just wasn't the same. I like the seeds that are in the traditional cucumbers!
As for the onion? I usually use a plain old yellow or white onion. I have tried it using a vidalia onion and you lose much of the “bite” of the onion. Seeing as the sauce is creamy and slightly sweet, I really do think that you need that “bite”. Thinking about using a red onion? The taste is there, but this is a recipe that tastes better the longer it sits…and you will end up with purple cucumbers & onions!
This is a recipe where the sauce will “react” to the cucumbers and make even more sauce/juice, so don't be too worried if it initially looks like there isn't enough sauce for your cucumbers & onions. You are going to want to let it sit for at least 4 hours before serving and I promise you that, by that time, you will need a slotted spoon to serve it without the sauce running all over the plate!
I know that someone is going to ask “why do you soak the cucumbers in salt water?”. It's very simple – soaking the cucumbers “softens them up” a bit and I like my cucumbers “floppy”. Soak them or don't soak them…it's really a matter of personal preference!
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- 3 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
- 8 oz sour cream (full-fat is best, although you can use light sour cream as well. Don't use fat-free sour cream)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place sliced cucumbers in a bowl of cold salted water and allow to sit for at least an hour.
- Drain the water from the cucumbers and return to the bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, vinegar and sugar until smooth.
- Pour mixture over cucumbers and toss to coat.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
- Add salt & pepper to taste.