Watermelon Recipes: Pickled Beet & Watermelon Carpaccio!

Watermelon Recipes: Pickled Beet & Watermelon Carpaccio!

National Watermelon Day can create unexpected opportunities! Learn how to craft a darn delicious fancy appetizer that you’ll soon crave! From my book, “Canvas & Cuisine: Art of the Fresh Market”.

The fusion of different flavors is what tasting different cuisines is really about.

Ingredients that don’t appear together in our culture are often traditionally paired in others.

If you take that concept into your home kitchen, you give yourself permission to become creative in your cooking.

Just like Sue’s creativity on canvas, your cuisine will have a taste all its own!

For this dish, peppery, crisp radishes are elevated by pickling them in a quick brine.

I put these together with an Asian-flavored pesto on some crunchy crostini and you have a first-course appy that makes you say, “Whaaaaaaat!”

Pickled Beet & Watermelon Carpaccio from
“Canvas & Cuisine: The Art of the Fresh Market”

Servings

A Crowd

Ready In:

30 minutes plus 1 hour or so for roasting

Good For:

Appetizer
Salad

For pickled beets: 
4 medium red beets, tops removed, scrubbed 
4 medium golden beets, tops removed, scrubbed 
½ red onion, peeled and thinly sliced 
4 cups apple cider vinegar 
1 cup granulated sugar 
1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
 
For vinaigrette: 
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar 
Juice from 1 large orange, about ¼ cup 
1 medium shallot, peeled, about 1 tablespoon 
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard 
½ cup olive oil
For carpaccio: 
6 thin slices prosciutto 
¼ medium watermelon 
½ fennel bulb, tough outer parts remove, (save a few of the top leaves for garnish) 

Tried it? Tag it!

I would love to see what you did with this recipe.  Share your creation by tagging #inthekitchenwithjorj and with Scrumptious Possibilities With Jorj, my free private home cooking group.

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and place them into a baking dish. Bake until the beets just begin to soften, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. Remove the baking dish from the oven and cool the beets to room temperature. Remove the skin from the beets by rubbing with paper towels. Use a mandoline slicer to slice the beets as thin as possible. Place the beets into a bowl with red onion slices.

Whisk together the apple cider vinegar and granulated sugar in a separate bowl until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in the salt and pepper. Pour this liquid over the beets and onions and gently toss so that all the slices are coated in the brine. Set the bowl aside for at least 30 minutes. (You can cover and refrigerate the beets at this point for several days.)

Pour the balsamic vinegar and orange juice into a blender. Add the shallot and mustard. Pulse to emulsify. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Season with additional salt and pepper. Place your serving platter into the freezer to chill. Increase the oven temperature to 400°.

Place the prosciutto slices onto a parchment line baking sheet. Bake until the prosciutto is crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and cool the crisp prosciutto to room temperature. Cut the watermelon into ¼-inch slices. Use a 3-inch round biscuit cutter to cut medallions from the watermelon slices.

Use the mandolin slicer to thinly shave the fennel bulb. Remove your serving platter from the freezer and brush it with olive oil. Remove the beet slices from the brine. Lay the beets and watermelon onto the plater, slightly overlapping each round.

Break the prosciutto into pieces and scatter over the top. Scatter thin slices of fennel over all. Drizzle just a spoonful or two of vinaigrette over the carpaccio. Garnish with the fresh green leaves cut from the fennel.

 

Fry Day, My Way: Make Duck Fat Fries Easy

Fry Day, My Way: Make Duck Fat Fries Easy

Make fries at home with this easy French Fry recipe that calls for a secret ingredient: Duck fat!

I LOVE French fries.

I love fries whether they come supersized from that drive-thru joint on the corner or truffled from that upscale restaurant calling them frites.

I love fries smothered in ketchup or piled high with chili and cheese. I love fries alongside a burger or in a basket with fried shrimp. I just love fries!

I make fries at home, fry them twice as preferred and even serve them with my homemade ketchup.

However, the one thing I haven’t tried was to fry them in duck fat.

Why duck fat? Well, when I researched duck fat, some believe it to be a better-for-you fat than other animal fats like lard.

But, since I don’t use lard to fry, I don’t see this as a huge benefit. Then I read that frying in duck fat produces a crispier fry. Well, you had me at crispy!

So, I gave it a try and darn if it isn’t true. 

You can render the fat from duck and store it in the fridge.

Or you can buy a jar or two of duck fat right from the grocery shelf.

The fat is clean and clear when cooking and afterward. The fries are less greasy, crisp on the outside and moist on the inside.

These fries hold up; rigid and perfect for dipping.

In honor of National French Fry Day, I encourage you to cook up a batch of fries…and then eat a bunch for me!

A Fry Above All Others: Jorj’s Duck Fat Fries

Servings

A Crowd

Ready In:

30 Minutes ‘Til Ready

Good For:

Appetizer, Snack, Side

For Fries:

2 large Idaho potatoes, scrubbed

Duck fat for frying

For ketchup:

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste 

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 

¼ teaspoon ground mustard 

¼ teaspoon cinnamon 

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice 

¼ teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for fries 

¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper

Tried it? Tag it!

I would love to see what you did with this recipe.  Share your creation by tagging #inthekitchenwithjorj and with Scrumptious Possibilities With Jorj, my free private home cooking group.

Peel the potato and cut it into 4 planks. Cut each plank into 4 strips. Place the strips into a bowl of cold water for at least 30 minutes. This removes some of the starch. Alternately, you can leave the peel on. It’s a more rustic fry this way. And you can cut it into thinner strips for a skinnier fry. It’s YOUR choice.

For the ketchup, whisk together tomato paste, sugar, vinegar, mustard, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice in a small pan over low heat. Pour in ¼ cup water. Whisk until smooth. Cook until the sugar melts and the ketchup is warmed through, about 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and let the flavors blend at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight. The longer it sits, the better your ketchup.

Transfer the potato strips to paper toweling and blot dry. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Pour enough olive oil to come ⅓-inch up the side of the skillet. Use a candy thermometer to heat the oil to 325°. Place some of the potatoes into the oil and cook until just beginning to turn golden, about 5 minutes. This will cook the inside of the potato. Do this in batches so you do not crowd the skillet. Transfer the potato strips to a cooking sheet lined with paper towels. You can pre-cook the fries in advance and finish the frying just before mealtime.

Increase the temperature until the oil reaches 375°. Place the pre-cooked potato strips into the hot oil. Cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer the fries to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Season with a generous sprinkle of coarse salt.

Serve your French fries with ketchup to dip!

Cheers to Dad’s Good Health This Father’s Day!

Cheers to Dad’s Good Health This Father’s Day!

Let’s honor Dad this Father’s Day and show him the love with these super tasty ideas that “sneak” veggies into every delectable bite! Try my twist on zesty enchiladas using farm-fresh zucchini in place of tortillas.

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For years now, I’ve written about ways to sneak veggies into your child’s diet.

You’ve written back with tons of great ideas that have made their way into recipes that we are all familiar with today.

You know what? It turns out that kids are not the only ones that need those veggies.

As we grow older, our healthy diets become just as important for us as they are for our children.

If your household is anything like mine, it’s Daddy dearest who often shoves away that cauliflower while he adds a serving or two of French fries. I’ll make you a bet that nary a pickled beet has been spooned onto his salad plate.

Even with Popeye as a role model, our father shuns any green leafy veg unless it is swimming in cream sauce.

This Father’s Day let’s honor Dad and show him the love by sneaking a couple of veggies into his everyday meals. Won’t that be FUN!

Here are some ideas…

A SALAD is a terrific way to hide fresh veggies. In addition to good old lettuce and tomatoes, try sneaking in these:

🌿Microgreens – full of nutrients and a big punch of taste in a little bitty leaf.
🥬Squash – Shave thin slices of zucchini and yellow squash into thin strips that resemble lettuce leaves.
🥕 Carrots – I know, you’re saying anybody can add carrots to a salad. BUT what if Daddy hates carrots? Here’s a secret. Put the carrot in the dressing! Use your trusty food processor to emulsify the veg into your vinaigrette. You can do this with any veggie. 🥦 Cauliflower, broccoli, and spinach will work too.

Sneak those veggies into your MAIN meals so that Dad won’t know what hit him!

For pasta sauce make your favorite red, white, or green sauce and add some new veggies into the mix. For spaghetti and meatballs, add sauteed veggies to the meatball like eggplant, peppers, or kale.

When sautéing onions and garlic to make your red sauce, add shaved Brussels, diced cabbage, or riced cauliflower. Add roasted butternut squash to your fettuccini sauce. Make pesto with spinach and pea sprouts instead of basil.

You can add every veggie to stews and soups. Bell and spicy peppers are a terrific addition to chili. Add turmeric root, turnips, or sweet potatoes to your chicken noodle soup.

VEGGIE VESSELS are a terrific way to merge more veggies into your main meal. Stuff roasted peppers with chicken and rice. Add Cajun-spiced shrimp to spaghetti squash boats. Hollow out zucchini for veggie enchiladas. (This recipe comes from “Canvas and Cuisine”, my most veggie-filled cookbook!)

Let’s give Dad a real present this year. One that will keep him around for lots of future Fathers Days!!

Zucchini Enchilada Boats
With Chorizo and Black Bean Filling

This dish has all the flavors of enchiladas but stars farm-fresh zucchini in place of tortillas. Spicy chorizo sausage and meaty black beans are the heart of its fiery filling. The yummy enchilada sauce brings the whole thing together. It’s pretty darn delicious!

Servings

6-8

Ready In:

30 minutes

Good For:

Dinner
Entertaining

Tried it? Tag it!

I would love to see what you did with this recipe.  Share your creation by tagging #inthekitchenwithjorj and with Scrumptious Possibilities With Jorj, my free private home cooking group.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion in the skillet until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the sirloin and chorizo and stir, breaking up large clumps, until the meat is browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the black beans. Season with salt and pepper. Use a potato masher to break up the beans into the meat filling. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Whisk together the vegetable oil, flour, and chili powder in a pot over medium heat to form a paste. Stir in the tomato paste and ½ cup of water. Stir in onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and oregano. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes to thicken and allow the seasonings to merge. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick you can pour in a bit more water. Remove the pan from the heat.

Spoon some of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and hollow out the zucchini leaving about a ¾-inch boat. Place these into the dish. Season zucchini with salt and pepper. Spoon the filling into the boats. It’s ok if the filling spills over. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the boats. Layer cheese over the top. Cover the dish with a sheet of aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown, and the zucchini is fork-tender, about 20 minutes more.

Garnish the boats with fresh cilantro, jalapeno slices, guacamole, and sour cream. 

Say Cheese! In The Kitchen With Jorj

Say Cheese! In The Kitchen With Jorj

Join Jorj In The Kitchen!

Ready to make a deliciously decadent buffet of cheesy goodness?

Join me in the kitchen and learn how to make magnificent meals that build upon one of my favorite things…CHEESE!

This decadent and well-deserved spread is perfect for your more indulgent Summer menus, with a wonderful pimento cheese twist.

From deviled eggs to really good turkey burgers, there’s a little something for every picnic basket for days to come!

Pimento Cheese with Seasoned Crackers

Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwiches with Bacon and Berry Jam

Crack Crackers

Really Good Turkey Burgers Sliders with Crispy Shallots and Pimento Cheese

Ham and Turkey Roll-Ups with Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs

The Art of The Fresh Market

Grab the book that contains my favorite travel adventures, with inspired original artwork by artist Susan Fazio.
New Year, Old Friends and the Birth of This Book

Asparagus! In The Kitchen With Jorj

Asparagus! In The Kitchen With Jorj

Join Jorj In The Kitchen!

Learn the secrets to delicious asparagus!

Join me in the kitchen and learn how to master asparagus for your next meal!

I will show you my best tips to making the most tender asparagus, from how to buy ’em, to how to prepare ’em, and finally how to serve ’em THREE DIFFERENT WAYS!

The Art of The Fresh Market

Grab the book that contains my favorite travel adventures, with inspired original artwork by artist Susan Fazio.

New Year, Old Friends and the Birth of This Book

Strawberry Field Recipes: Easy Whipped Cream Cake

Strawberry Field Recipes: Easy Whipped Cream Cake

Strawberry Recipes for Desserts

You can just never have too many strawberries! Pick too many and turn excess into opulence with this luscious strawberry whipped cream cake.

I hope there are strawberry fields forever because the strawberries that you harvest from their growing green vines are the reddest, ripest, juiciest, sweetest, most flavorful berries you are ever going to eat.

Add the wonder of youngsters plucking for the first time, and you have a moment to remember…forever.

When you get to the farmer and he weighs your overfilling baskets and you find out you have collected eighteen pounds of strawberries, the wonderment retreats just a bit.

Until the lightbulb goes off and you’re able to prolong the day by making EVERYTHING strawberry. 

Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake

The cake is simple. I start with a box of white cake.

The recipe calls for 3 egg whites. If you have the time, you can beat these and fold them into the batter for a fluffier cake. Pour into 2 round (or square cake pans).

Chop about 4 cups of strawberries and sprinkle them with just a bit of granulated sugar. Let these sit while you bake the cake. When the cakes are cooled, use your electric mixer to whisk together a block (8 ounces) of cream cheese with 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar.

When blended, add 1 tablespoon of vanilla and 1 ½ heavy whipping cream. Continue mixing on high speed until the frosting comes together to form stiff peaks. Assemble the cake by placing one cake onto a platter. Spread a layer of frosting on the cake.

Use a slotted spoon to sprinkle chopped strawberries on the frosting. Cover the strawberries with another layer of frosting. Place the second cake on top and slather the remaining frosting all over the top and sides.

Spoon the remaining strawberries over the top. Chill the cake in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

Here’s the recipe for some really FUN ice cream!

 

Strawberry Ice Cream

Strawberry Recipes for Desserts

Serves:

4 to 6

Ready In:

30 minutes ‘til it’s ready to go into the ice cream machine

Ingredients

1 ½ cups half and half

1 cup granulated sugar

⅛ teaspoon salt

4 large egg yolks

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups chopped strawberries

Directions

Stir together the half and half, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl until pale and frothy. Continue whisking while you slowly pour about ½ cup of the hot half and half mixture into the eggs. This “tempering” of the eggs will prevent them from scrambling. Pour the egg liquid from the bowl back into the pan and place it on the heat. Continue stirring until the liquid thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 to 7 minutes more. 

Place a bowl into a larger bowl that is filled with ice cubes. Pour the thickened custard from the pan through a fine-mesh strainer (or colander) and into the bowl. This will catch any solid pieces. Whisk in the heavy whipping cream and continue whisking until the mixture is cool. 

Pour the custard into an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions, adding the chopped strawberries at the end of the cycle. Serve soft, right from the machine, or transfer to an air-tight container and place into the freezer.

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