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Old 07-18-2013, 04:11 PM   #1
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Default Benedictine

This is the first time I've even heard of Benedictine, but I learned about it recently on an NPR show. It is a traditional spread made basically from cream cheese and cucumbers and was invented by a Miss Jennie Benedict, a caterer from Louisville, KY in the 1800s. It is a traditional food of Kentucky Derby luncheons.

To me it reminds me of Tzatziki, a Greek sauce which uses yogurt instead of cream cheese along with the cucumber and can have other flavorings. I just made some Benedictine today for the first time. I will say that you really have to drain and dry the cucumber, and use full fat cream cheese to get a spreading consistancy instead of a dip. We always use Neufchatel cheese in our house instead of cream cheese so it didn't hold up as well.

The old recipe calls for a drop of green food coloring, something most of us won't use. The idea is for color in your finger sandwiches, white bread with the crust cut off with that lovely green filling. So much for tradition.

The basic recipe is simple:

8 oz cream cheese
1tbsp mayo
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp dill weed
3/4 c grated cucumber
1/4 c grated onion.

I used green onion in mine and added a dash of Tobasco as some recipes call for. I think this sauce will make a fine addition to fish or chicken as well as a nice appetizer with pita bread. I pulled some out and added chopped clams and Worcestershire sauce for another interesting twist on a clam dip.

So if you find yourself awash in too many cukes this season, here's something to try!
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:06 PM   #2
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I've been making that all my life only we use sour cream, do not grate the cucumbers but slice and call it cucumber salad.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:41 PM   #3
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That sounds pretty interesting. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by havalotta View Post
I've been making that all my life only we use sour cream, do not grate the cucumbers but slice and call it cucumber salad.
Now that sounds like my favorite cucumber salad...I definitely want to try making that with *thinly* sliced cucumbers. Yum.

Come to think of it, I did see one cucumber developing in the vegetable garden the other day...unfortunately, it was in the shape of a U!
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:39 PM   #5
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I do make a Balkan Cucumber Salad ala Moosewood that uses thinly sliced cucumbers and equal parts of sour cream and yogurt with garlic, mint, red onion, parsley, scallion and dill.

Also very delicious. We used our "Benedictine" tonight as a salad dressing, very nice!
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:42 PM   #6
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Too bad it will spoil, so you can't mail me some.
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:41 AM   #7
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Make a note of it. I can make it for us in our October run to your place but with I suppose by then....bought cukes.
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by havalotta View Post
Make a note of it. I can make it for us in our October run to your place but with I suppose by then....bought cukes.
...
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:03 PM   #9
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Come to think of it, I did see one cucumber developing in the vegetable garden the other day...unfortunately, it was in the shape of a U!
I went out to look at it and now it looks more like a Q. ~sigh~. Well as long as it tastes good, I'll figure out how to cut it.
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:27 AM   #10
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That was a favorite of my mother's! With thinly sliced cukes! She served it as a side, and I have also, but I had forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding me! I will do it very soon. I am sure I can get some dill where I am headed right now. Crossroads Market in Mayville NY, then Erie to try for IDs on recently found Pefas.
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