Story/recipes on watermelon.
Few things illustrate the joy of summer more vividly than a child at a picnic table burrowing into a half-wheel of watermelon, juice dripping to the elbow, until nothing is left but a smile-shaped rind.
Watermelon, like so many fruits, is satisfying as is, with nary an adornment. Oh, some like it with salt. Others like it in a salad mixed with cantaloupe and honeydew. But do we need to go further?
Yes, say the folks at the National Watermelon Promotion Board, and while some of their recipes are ridiculous (Watermelon pizza anyone? Watermelon in a blanket?), some are enticing. Consider the watermelon shooter. Combine strawberry gelatin and watermelon puree and pour into shot glasses. Top with a mixture of pink grapefruit juice and tequila for a palate-pleasing war between tart and sweet.
Watermelon adds sweetness to salsas, relishes and sauces. A glaze for grilled shrimp with layers of flavor, from salty to citrus, includes watermelon puree for a hint of sweet. (See recipe)
Watermelon shines as a decoration, both as garnish and centerpiece. A wedge of watermelon brightens a phyllo cup filled with chicken salad (See photo and recipe ). Instead of buying ready made phyllo cups, try making your own.
Brush a single sheet of phyllo with butter and fold over and over until it is the right size to tuck into a muffin tin.
Hollowed watermelons can serve as bowls for salads or be carved into striking shapes for centerpieces. We’ve included directions for turning a large melon into a fenced “garden” complete with melon daisies and tulips.
Crave more? Visit Cantonrep.com for instructions for making a melon into a pig-shaped serving bowl, as well as recipes for a breakfast parfait, a watermelon relish for kielbasa, and grilled watermelon-pineapple skewers.
Reach Repository Food Writer Saimi Bergmann at (330) 580-8493 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WATERMELON GRAPEFRUIT SHOOTERS
1/2 cup water
1/4 ounce box strawberry flavored gelatin mix
1 1/2 cups watermelon puree
1 cup pink grapefruit juice
Tequila to taste (about 1 1/2 cups)
Bring one-half cup water to a boil. Place gelatin in a heatproof container with a spout and pour the boiling water on gelatin and stir to dissolve.
Combine dissolved gelatin and watermelon puree and divide mixture among 12 shot glasses or small juice glasses. Cool until thick but not set. Top each glass with grapefruit juice and tequila. Makes about 12 shooters.
1 oblong seeded watermelon
1 small yellow watermelon (or substitute mini red watermelon or pineapple)
Flower shape cookie cutters
15-20 skewers for flower stems
40-50 popsicle or jumbo craft sticks for picket fence
Hot glue gun
Green food coloring and pipe cleaners
Wash watermelons. Cut a 1/4 to 1/2-inch inch slice off the bottom of the oblong watermelon to provide a stable base. Cut the top 1/3 off the watermelon lengthwise to provide the flower bed.
Cut out flat pieces from the flesh of the slice and from flesh from the flower bed piece. Use cookie cutters (or free hand cut) for the desired shapes for flowers. Be sure to cut shapes from the yellow watermelon as well. (Shown are daisies and tulips.)
Soak skewers in green food coloring, and set on paper towel to dry. Use a small melon baller to create flower centers from both the yellow and red watermelons. Assemble the flowers by attaching the center balls with toothpicks. Place entire flower head on tinted green skewers. Insert skewer flower stems into base flower bed. Be sure to alternate colors, or experiment with other fruits like cantaloupe or blueberries. Fill the basket flower bed with the rest of the fruit in flower shapes and balls. Shape a couple pipe cleaners into leaves and carefully attach to the skewer stems.
Using caution, use a hot glue gun to attach the Popsicle sticks around the flower bed to create a fence for the garden.
CHICKEN SALAD CUPS
8 sheets phyllo pastry
4 cups cut up marinated grilled chicken breast, cooled
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup light mayonnaise or plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon dill, snipped
Dash seasoned salt
Cut eight 3-inch watermelon isosceles triangles about 1/2 inch thick Brush a phyllo sheet with butter. Fold in half and brush again, repeat brushing and folding until a rectangle is a size that can be pressed into a cupcake tin with the corners laying over the top edge of the cup. Repeat to create 8 phyllo cups in buttered 8-cup cupcake tin. Bake in pre-heated 400-degree oven until golden and brown. Remove from oven and cool on rack.
Place the chicken and celery in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, stir mayonnaise, curry, dill and seasoned salt. Pour over the chicken and celery; toss to coat. Divide chicken salad among the cups and press a watermelon triangle into the center of each mound. Serve immediately. Serves 8.
GRILLED SHRIMP WITH WATERMELON LEMONGRASS GLAZE
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon fresh tender lemongrass, minced
3 tablespoons extra dry vermouth
1 tablespoon soy sauce or to taste
1/2 cup watermelon puree
1 tablespoon sugar
1 to 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, skewered for grilling
Make the glaze by heating the oil over medium high heat and in it sauté the garlic, ginger and lemongrass for a couple of minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in the remaining ingredients except shrimp. Divide the mixture in two so you have one bowl for basting or marinating the raw shrimp, and one that has not been contaminated by the raw shrimp for serving with the grilled shrimp as a drizzle.