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How To Make a Watermelon Basket

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Carving your own watermelon basket couldn’t be easier. In just a few simple steps I’ll show you how to make a watermelon basket in the most delicious way possible!

Because really, has summer actually began if you’re not diving your face into a watermelon basket fruit salad? I know, I’m just THAT extra these days 😂 But hey, looks pretty neat right!?

So when the heck are you going to make a watermelon basket?

Good question.

The watermelon basket is perfect for any sort of get to together. Sure, a big bowl of fruit salad looks great, but stick it in a watermelon basket and people flock to it. I’m talking BBQs, I’m talking dinner parties and realistically I’m talking any sort of event where there’s also a chocolate fountain. Can you imagine!? 😭

And truly it’s really not that difficult to make a watermelon basket.

Here, lemme show you…

How to make a Watermelon Basket

Tools you’ll need:

  • Sharp knife
  • Melon baller
  • 2 Elastic bands
  • Non-toxic pen (optional)

6 easy steps to carving a Watermelon Basket:

  1. Grab your watermelon, 2 elastic bands and a sharp knife. Wrap one elastic band horizontally through the centre and the other vertically through the centre.
  2. Gently carve an outline approx 1/2″ either side of the top elastic band. This will shape the handle. Gently carve an outline straight along the other elastic band. You can also use a non-toxic pen to do this.
  3. Once happy with the guidelines, slice through and remove the chunk.
  4. Repeat with the other side, leaving the handle with flesh intact.
  5. Carefully cut through the flesh left underneath the handle. Level out the surface so it’s even if you need to.
  6. Use a melon baller to scoop out all of the flesh and combine with your favourite fruit!

That’s it!

Once you’ve combined your fruit with the watermelon, just chuck it back in the empty watermelon basket and garnish to the high heavens.

Best homemade fruit salad

A fruit salad is one of those recipes that has no real rules or boundaries. For me? I keep it fairly simple, garnish it well and tend to prefer fruit salads without juice. My tips for the best fruit salad are to keep the colours vibrant and steer away from your average everyday fruit.

Here’s what I used:

  • Pineapple
  • Pomegranate
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Fig
  • Passion Fruit
  • Mint

And just FYI, it actually holds it’s weight as an actual basket, I’ve tested 😂

How to make a Watermelon Basket (Full Recipe & Video)

  • 1 Perfectly ripe Watermelon
  • 1/2 Pineapple, peeled, cored & sliced
  • 2 cups Strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup Blueberries
  • 1/2 cup Pomegranate Seeds
  • 1 Passion fruit
  • 1 Fig
  • few sprigs of Fresh Mint

Utensils:

  • 1 Melon Baller
  • 2 Elastic bands
  • Sharp Knife
  • Prep all your fruit ready to go in the fruit salad. Place in the fridge to chill.
  • Grab your Watermelon and wrap two elastic bands around it, one horizontal and one vertical, both crossing directly in the centre.
  • Carefully slice approx 1/2″ either side of the top elastic band to form the handle. Slice along the middle elastic band and remove both of the chunks.
  • Slice away the flesh from underneath the handle, then use a melon baller to remove the flesh from the watermelon.
  • Combine in a bowl with your prepped fruit, pour back into the watermelon and garnish with fresh mint!
a) Leftover Watermelon – You won’t need to use the two chunks you remove when making the handle, so pop in the fridge ready for your next watermelon craving.
b) Watermelon Juice – There will be a lot of juice leftover in the watermelon, up to you if you want to combine that (and maybe with other juices) with the fruit. With the same token this process can get quite messy, so make sure you cover your worktop accordingly!

Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 49.5g (17%) | Protein: 3.5g (7%) | Fat: 1.1g (2%) | Saturated Fat: 0.1g (1%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 645mg (18%) | Fiber: 5.3g (21%) | Sugar: 38.2g | Vitamin A: 92% | Vitamin C: 129% | Calcium: 5% | Iron: 8%

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The Crisper Whisperer: How to Glaze Root Vegetables Recipe

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One of the first lessons you learn in culinary school is the unyielding power of mispronounced French words. Culinary French don’t sound purdy, but it can inspire a vast range of emotion, from dread to desire, among the clog-wearing set.

Few words wield more fury than the unassuming-sounding tournage, the name for the meticulous cutting of vegetables out of hand into small, seven-faced footballs, often for hours at a stretch. If the ability to tourne carrots, turnips, and potatoes is not particularly relevant for the vast majority of professional chefs these days, schools don’t see that as reason to cancel the plumage-fest that its teaching inevitably becomes.

You might not think this topic bears heavily on the home cook, but it does. Because of tournage, home cooks have been robbed blind of one of the simplest and most delicious methods of cooking winter’s abundance of root vegetables. The classic French practice of glazing is quick and rewarding and produces a surprisingly elegant result (which bears little resemblance to the cloying dishes sometimes called glazed vegetables in the United States).

More Whispers

For whatever reasons to do with peacocks and machismo and what have you, the perfectly proper way to glaze root vegetables requires that you tourne them first. But chopping them into bite-sized pieces gets you 99 percent of the way to perfection with maybe one percent of the effort. I’m no Good Will Hunting, but that looks like 100 to me.

French glazed vegetables are cooked in a shallow bath of water fortified with small amounts of butter and sugar. One of the few tricks to glazing (and it’s a trick home cooks should learn anyway, since it’s widely applicable and cheap as hell) is to cover the cooking vegetables with a cartouche, a circle of parchment paper with a hole cut out of the middle. This method makes the cooking liquid evaporate slowly, giving the vegetables time to cook through gently and leaving you with just the right amount of glaze. Unlike tournage, cartouche is the kind of poorly pronounced culinary French that you’ll want to keep in your vocabulary.

This week I’ve glazed carrots because that’s what we had in our crisper, but this method works beautifully with just about all root vegetables, from turnips to parsnips to beets to pearl onions. If you’re combining vegetables into one dish, classic technique would have you cook each separately to ensure perfect tenderness, but if you cut them all about the same size, it’s perfectly reasonable (I’d say a lot more so, in fact) to cook them all together. Just be sure not to crowd the pan beyond a single layer, or the veggies won’t brown properly.

Ingredients

    • 5 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (or other root vegetables, to yield about 2 cups)
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
    • Salt and pepper
    • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and/or chives, for garnish

Directions

  1. 1.

    Prepare a cartouche by cutting a circle of parchment the size of your sauté pan with a circular hole in the center. This is a good tutorial, except that you should snip off the pointy end of the triangle to make a hole in the center for steam to escape. (If this sounds like poorly pronounced French to you right now, it will make more sense after watching the short video.)

  2. 2.

    Melt the butter in a medium, heavy-bottomed sauté pan (preferably not non-stick) over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and toss to coat with butter. Sprinkle with the sugar and some salt and pepper. Pour in water to go about halfway up the carrots, not more than 1/2 cup. Cover with the cartouche and adjust the heat to maintain a brisk simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the carrots are just tender on the outside and still a bit too firm in the center.

  3. 3.

    Remove the cartouche, return the heat to medium-high, and cook the carrots uncovered, shaking the pan occasionally, until they brown in spots and the liquid is reduced to just enough glaze to coat the carrots, about 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley or chives (or other herbs of your choice) and serve.

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Dinner Tonight: Broccoli Sautéed with Crisp Garlic Recipe

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Gordon Ramsay’s In the Heat of the Kitchen has been fun to look through, but I haven’t really been able to put it to much use. Most of the recipes seem rather complex for a hectic weekday night. So I was a little surprised to find this quick little broccoli recipe stuck between “Caramelized baby onions with beet jus” and “corn fritters with lime crème fraîche.” With only eight ingredients, seven of which I had already, this proved to be a perfectly practical side.

While the crisp garlic is fun and those onions sure do add a lot of sweetness, what really separates this dish from a standard accompaniment is the oyster sauce. It somehow binds all the ingredients and transforms this into an interesting side dish worth paying attention to. It’s such a simple addition, too. This, of course, all depends on whether you have oyster sauce just hanging around the fridge ready to go in to random dishes. I do. Its cost is so small, and it keeps surprising me with dishes like this one.

Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli, thick stems removed, and cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower or olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. 1.

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Also, get a large bowl of ice water ready. When the water is boiling, dump the broccoli in and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain the broccoli and transfer to the ice water. When cooled, dry the broccoli in a towel.

  2. 2.

    Pour the oil into a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic slivers and saute until golden brown. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

  3. 3.

    Toss the onions into the pan and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the broccoli and cook until hot, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat, pour in the oyster sauce, and sprinkle the garlic slivers atop. Season with salt and serve.

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James Peterson’s Pickled Chiles

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Pickled chiles are a versatile pantry staple. They can be used to add mouth-puckering tang to just about any place you’d ordinarily use hot peppers, they keep for weeks at a time, and they take all of five minutes to prepare.

While it is easy to throw just about anything into a hot pickle brine, James Peterson keeps his pickled chiles simple in Vegetables.

Encouraging readers to experiment with chile varieties (he recommends both hot jalapenos and mild poblanos), he provides a barebones description of the technique as well as a slightly more elaborate recipe. Still, even in the recipe, he adds only onion, garlic, and thyme to the chiles and covers them with brine made of nothing but boiling white wine vinegar and salt.

Ingredients

  • about 1 pound assorted large fresh chiles, such as poblano, Anaheim, or New Mexico, or 1 1/4 pounds small fresh chiles, such as jalapenos
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme or marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 3 cups white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

Directions

  1. 1.

    Rinse off the chiles and remove their stems. Cut large chiles in half lengthwise and, wearing rubber gloves, pull out their seeds. Leave small chiles whole. Fill a 1-quart mason jar with the chiles, distributing the onion, garlic, thyme, and salt evenly among the layers or chiles. Bring the vinegar to a boil and immediately pour it over the chiles. Be sure the chiles are completely covered with the hot vinegar. Immediately twist on the cap and let cool without opening. Refrigerate the chiles and serve within several weeks.

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