1. How to compress watermelon for an awesome hors d'oeurve!
Love the mix of sweet & savory! Here I use a little physics to help me intensify the flavor of my watermelon. Use as an hors d'oeurve or add to an arugula salad for a super-summery starter! Enjoy.
|1.0 Vacuum chamber sealer - preferably Orved|
2. Compressed Melon
|1 super ripe cantaloupe, about 2.5-3 lbs., peeled, quartered, and seeded|
|1 cup white verjus|
|1 tbsp agave syrup|
|1 loaf whole-grain bread|
|1 cup mascarpone|
|1 tbsp honey|
|12 pieces prosciutto, thinly sliced|
|1. Place sliced melon in a resealable plastic bag. Add verjus and agave syrup. Seal bag and marinate at room temperature for 2 hours.|
|2. Carefully slice whole-grain bread into 1⁄2-inch thick crostinis; think two bites as a reference. Toast and set aside to cool.|
|3. In a mixing bowl, fold mascarpone and honey together, then generously spread onto crostini.|
|4. Gently place a folded slice of prosciutto on top of mascarpone.|
|5. Remove melon from bag and cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes. Plate melon next to or on top of prosciutto. Serve and enjoy immediately.|
3. Crab and compressed watermelon
This is complex crab and watermelon recipe from Simon Hulstone is a truly challenging recipe. It requires specialist ingredients, specialist equipment and cooking sous vide. However, if you are prepared to make the effort and have the equipment, you will not be disappointed.
|200g of white crab meat|
|50g of mayonnaise|
|10g of chives|
|1 small ripe melon|
|2 cucumbers, juiced|
|2g of gellan gum type F|
|1g of gellan LT100|
|1 tbsp of cider vinegar|
|1 tsp sugar|
|400ml of chicken stock|
|4g of gellan gum type F|
|1g of gellan LT100|
|1 handful of fresh lovage|
|1 drop of green food colouring|
|1 handful of edible flowers|
|1. Infuse the lovage with the stock and simmer over a medium heat. Pass through a sieve and add a touch of green food colouring|
|2. Place the stock in Thermomix and bring to 100°C, add the gellans at speed 4 and mix at 95°c for a further 2 minutes. Pour onto a flat metal tray to cover a thickness of about 1mm|
|3. Leave to cool. Once cool, cut into squares of approximately 10cm|
|4. For the watermelon, peel and trim the fruit and slice into pieces approximately 1cm thick, choosing the best pip free areas. Cut into rectangles approximately 4 x7cm|
|5. Put the pieces in a vac pac bag and vacuum. Then release from the bags; this compresses the juices and makes the watermelon transparent but bright red|
|6. For the crab, use fresh white crab meat. Check for shells and cartilage. Add the mayonnaise to bind, then add the seasoning and chives|
|7. For the cucumber ketchup, bring the cucumber juice up to 100°C in the Thermomix. Add the gellans and blend for a further 2 minutes|
|8. Pour into a deep bowl. As it cools, use a stick blender to break up the setting gel. Continue this until the gel is cold and fluid|
|9. Add the vinegar and sugar whilst still blending. Pass through a fine sieve; you should have a thick fluid gel. Spoon into a piping bag|
|10. To serve, place the watermelon on the plate. Fill the lovage gel with the crab mix and roll over, ensuring it is tightly wrapped|
|11. Place on top of the watermelon, garnish with flowers|
|12. Pipe dots of cucumber ketchup and serve|
4. Compressed Watermelon Salad and Creamy Lemon-Lime Avocado
Have you ever compressed watermelon? You won't believe what a difference it makes! The flavor of the watermelon becomes sweeter and more intense, and in this recipe it's balanced perfectly with a bit of spice, fresh tomatoes and a tangy, creamy dressing.*Please note that the Creamy Lemon-Lime Avocado Dressing should be made in advance -- it takes about 10 minutes.
|about ¼ of a large seedless watermelon|
|about ½ cup Creamy Lemon-Lime Avocado Dressing (click here for the recipe)|
|1 cup tiny, multi-color heirloom tomatoes, (sliced in half or quarters)|
|1 small to medium-sized jalapeño pepper, (super thinly sliced)|
|a few sprigs of fresh thyme|
|1. To compress the watermelon|
|2. Use a long slicing knife to cut the watermelon in half, horizontally. Place one half flat side down on a clean, dry surface. Then slice a portion off the round top and then each side, making it a square or rectangle.|
|3. Now decide on your serving plates. Cut the watermelon flesh to match the shape of the plate -- could be circular, square, rectangular, or into cubes if you'd like --- it's up to you! Whatever you choose, the slices should be about ½ thick, and you should have 4 of them, or 4 generous handful of the cubes.|
|4. Place the slices (or cubes) in a large, heavy-duty zip-lock bag -- be sure the watermelon pieces are laying flat and as close together as possible. Remove as much air possible form the bag as you seal it. You may need more than one, if not a few bags. Now lay the bags flat on a baking sheet or tray that will fit into your freezer. Place something flat on top -- I use another baking sheet, but if that doesn't work for you, you can even use a piece of cardboard. Now place heavy items on top to weigh it down -- could be cans of food, packages of frozen meat or even ice packs. Whatever works. Leave it in the freezer for 2 hours.|
|5. When you're ready to plate the watermelon, after the 2 hours, let it sit out just until it’s thawed through, about 15 minutes or so. Then use the bottom of a spoon to thickly spread about 2 tablespoons of the Creamy Lemon-Lime Avocado Dressing on the plate -- mostly in the center. Add a watermelon slice on top and gently press it into the dressing so that it spreads beneath it.|
|6. Add about ¼ of the tomatoes to each plate, and a few slices of the jalapeño pepper (use as many as you'd like, depending on how much heat you want). Add a sprig or two of thyme and serve!|
5. Compressed Fruit (on a budget!)
|1 cup fresh fruit, diced 1". (We used melon (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew).)|
|1 teaspoon Monin syrup of your choice (optional).|
|1. Fully charge the Food Saver Cordless Food Vacuum Sealer. We recommend leaving it in the charging station for 24 hours.|
|2. Place the fruit on paper towels to drain any excess fruit juice.|
|3. Add the syrup (if using) and fruit to the vacuum sealer bag.|
|4. Lay the bag on a flat surface and arrange the fruit in a single layer. Then, use your hands to close the bag like you would a standard ziplock bag.|
|5. Line up the handheld Food Saver to the circle on the bag. Press the silver button down until all air is removed from the bag. The vacuum may pull out excess fruit juice. If it does, drain the juice from the handheld vacuum (by removing the clear plastic cover at the base) before proceeding.|
|6. Keeping the fruit sealed in the bag, refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Enjoy!|
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