Keeping Cool with the Cool Guys-MainPhoto

Beccaglia-Keeping Cool Cucumbers-Photo3FRIED CUCUMBER STICKS
Serves: 4

½ cup vegetable oil
2 large cucumbers
2 eggs, beaten
6 leaves fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried thyme
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of cayenne pepper or wasabi paste
1 cup Panko crumbs, or fresh bread crumbs
Sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste

1. Peel the cucumbers, cut them lengthwise and remove seeds. Cut into french fry-style sticks and place on tray with extra paper towels to remove excess of moisture
2. In a medium bowl, place the eggs and add the basil, oregano, thyme, mustard, and cayenne pepper. Beat together until combined. If you are using Panko, remember that these crumbs are already salted so you might want to be careful with the amount of salt you add at the end.)
3. Dip cucumber sticks in egg batter. Gently shake off the excess and roll into the flour mixture to evenly coat. Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side depending on size. (For thicker crust, do two rounds of batter-flour before frying.)
4. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil. Line two trays with paper towels and set aside.
5. Remove the cucumber sticks from oil using a slotted spoon and place on the prepared tray to remove excess of oil. Season immediately with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with the soup or with your favorite dip.
6. For a quick summer salad to serve with your grilled fish or chicken, peel cucumbers, cut lengthwise and slice. Mix with equal parts of sour cream and plain yogurt with either  chives, dill, fresh mint and/or green onions. Combine all, season to taste and serve!

Note: These are great served with a glass of cold Riesling, any yogurt mint dipping sauce, or zucchini hummus while getting that grill ready!