17 August, 2015

DMD Kitchen: Russian Cured Cucumbers (malosolnie ogurtzi) Recipe

Russian Cured Cucumbers Recipe (malosolnie ogurtzi)

It all started with my mom buying some cured cucumbers at a Russian deli one day. They're called Malosolnie Ogurtzi, meaning lightly salted. It's not pickling, it is salt curing. Just like you would with a salmon, for example. The cucumbers my mom got were gherkins, and tasted completely wrong. They had a strange metal taste, which was not pleasant of course. My father, after complaining loudly over the wrong taste, described what these cucumbers supposed to taste like. I was intrigued, and started digging for a way to make my own. I brought a batch to my parents yesterday, my father approved. He said mine tasted exactly like they're supposed to: crunchy, lightly salted, and fresh.

Russian Cured Cucumbers (Malosolnie Ogurtzi) Recipe

2 lbs (1Kg) of Persian Cucumbers. Make sure they're all the same thickness and length. I buy mine at Trader Joe's, they come prepackaged and are already of uniform size.
1T Table Salt
1T Sugar
1C Fresh Chopped Dill*
1/2C Fresh Chopped Parsley*
4 Cloves of Finely Chopped Garlic (if you have a garlic press, use it)
*make sure the herbs are completely dry after washing.

Trim the ends off the cucumbers. Cut them in half. Place them inside a large Ziploc bag. In a bowl, mix together salt and sugar (I use a form for mixing, I found it a lot better for mixing in the herbs than a spoon). Then mix in rest of the ingredients. Make sure that the salt and sugar mixture completely and evenly coats the herbs. You are looking for a consistency of a dry rub. Add the mixture into the bag with cucumbers. Seal the bag, making sure to squeeze out all extra air. Gently massage the mixture into the cucumbers, so they're all evenly coated. Place in the fridge. I make mine around dinner time, then flip the bag onto the other side before going to bed. They're ready in the morning the next day. The cucumbers will give a little when squeezed and the bag will be filled with light-green brine. Rinse the cucumbers in a colander under cold water, keep in a tight container in the fridge.
The cucumbers should taste salty (but not too salty), crisp and crunchy. If they taste too salty, soak them in cold water for about a minute to balance out the salt content.
I assume they would last in the fridge for a while, only in my house they're all gone in about two days.

Best served as part of Zakuzki, Russian appetizers spread. Tiny finger bites, lots of pickled things like herrings, caviar, top shelf vodka chilled to perfection. etc. Let's save that for another post, shall we?

Priyatnovo Apetita!

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