We’re visiting John from Kitchen Riffs and I know he used to work and live in Manhattan and I know he’s now semi-retired and has left New York, but I just don’t know where he ended up.
But it doesn’t really matter does it; we just know he’s at large in the USA.
Okay, if you need to find something out, all you need to do is a bit of searching. We’re in St Louis, Missouri and I found that out by reading John’s About Page.
I don’t know how I stumbled across John’s blog but I’m very glad I did as everything he does is done expertly, especially the photography. You can tell John takes a lot of care before he hits the ‘publish’ button.
There is a great variety and an enormous range of recipes on John’s blog including a very detailed cocktail section and every time you visit you know you’re in for something surprising like this Easy Pickled Watermelon Rind. Every time I cut up a watermelon it’s amazing how much waste there is and how quickly it can fill my kitchen bin. I always feel rather guilty throwing it out as it does seem very wasteful especially when you know you could have at least fed it to your chickens if you had a few running around the backyard. Which I don’t.
Finding a recipe that actually uses these mostly discarded rinds is a great idea. John says this recipe has been adapted from a David Chang recipe of Momofuku fame. While other pickled watermelon rind recipes are lengthy drawn out processes, this version can be made in a couple of hours. It also encourages not just the rind but also some of the pink fruit to be used which gives the pickle some colour. However, in the pickling process the watermelon colours will become more dull, a bit like how a vibrantly green cucumber becomes more olive-toned when it becomes a gherkin.
Pickled watermelon rind can be eaten as a snack or as a side dish and goes well with barbecued or fried chicken. As watermelons are now readily available in Oz, it’s a great time to be thinking about other options for the rind, rather than letting it fill up the kitchen bin.
And a word of warning – do be very careful when cutting the tough green skin off the watermelon. I used a knife and cut not only the green skin but my very own thumb. Quite unnecessary if you take a bit of care.
- 1 quart or 1 kg watermelon rind (about half a small watermelon)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup rice wine vinegar (or any white vinegar)
- ½ cup water
- 2½ tspns table salt or 3¾ tspns sea salt
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 star anise
- Cut watermelon into 1 inch slices.
- Remove the fruit leaving ½ an inch on the rind.
- Carefully remove green skin with either a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife.
- Cut watermelon into 1 inch pieces and set aside.
- In a large saucepan combine sugar, vinegar, water, salt, ginger and star anise. Place over medium heat and stir. Bring to the boil.
- Add watermelon rind. Return to the boil then allow to simmer for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and allow to sit for 1 hr.
- Transfer contents into a large pickling jar or similar container and place in fridge until completely cold.
- Pickle will be ready to eat in a couple of hours but leaving it overnight brings the best results.
If you would like to visit John you will find him here at Kitchen Riffs and you can also follow him on facebook.
Tomorrow we’re working with a known aphrodisiac.