May 3, 2011

Limpid Pools of Cucumber Jelly

I don't recall ever hoping to eat a spoonful of anything that could be described as 'limpid'. Perhaps that explains the difference between what I think is tasty vs. what editors of vintage cookbooks seem to consider a real treat. Today's frightening food is Stuffed Eggs in Cucumber Jelly.  Not cucumbers in jelly - jelly made from cooked and sieved cucumbers. The mental picture of the slop that would result from that step alone qualifies this as a frightening food. This recipe offers a variation, too - Stuffed Eggs in Tomato Jelly. The exciting addition in the tomato version is an anchovy curled on top of the egg filling, which will be visible through the 'limpid exterior' of shimmering red jelly, much like a tiny shark swimming in a little pool of blood. Yum. The real crime in both of these recipes is that they take a perfectly good version of deviled egg and coat it in slime, thus making it inedible.


2 large cucumbers
3/4 cup cold water
1 TBS. unflavored gelatin
1/4 tsp. onion juice
1 tsp. lemon juice
3 Picnic Eggs, cut crosswise (recipe follows)

Pare, slice and cook cucumbers in 1/2 cup of cold water until tender.  Force through a sieve, measure, and add enough water to make 2 cups. Soften gelatin in remaining water (1/4 cup). Dissolve in hot cucumber mixture. Cool. Add remaining ingredients. Chill until mixture starts to thicken. Cover bottom of individual molds with 1/4 inch of jelly. Chill. When nearly firm, place 1/2 stuffed egg, cut side down, on gelatin in each mold. Cover with remaining jelly and chill until firm. Unmold and serve on lettuce. Serves 6. 


Soften 1 tablespoon of gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Dissolve in 2 cups of tomato juice and add 1/2 tsp. of salt. Use as above. Add minced onion to yolks of Picnic Eggs. Press a curled anchovy into center of each yolk. Add chopped olives to egg yolks. 


4 hard cooked eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
Dash cayenne
1 tsp. vinegar
1 TBS. melted butter.

Cut eggs into halves. Remove yolks and mash. Combine with remaining ingedients. Refill the whites with mixture. (If desired, add 3 drops onion juice or 1 TBS. mayonnaise or Thousand Island dressing).

All recipes from: 300 Ways to Serve EGGS, Frances Troy Northcross in collaboration with the Culinary Arts Institute, Consolidated Book Publishers, 1940.

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