Watermelon Rind Preserves

While they are perfectly edible, watermelon rinds usually end up in the garbage. However, once the green layer is peeled, they can be used in numerous ways: they can be eaten fresh, as a crunchy snack, or added to salads; they can be cooked in stews and curries; they can also be pickled or cooked into tasty preserves, as in the recipe I have here.
While cooking, the rinds change their color from whitish-opaque to clear orange, and develop a delicate flavor and aroma, that will both surprise and please anyone who tries them.
Serve this wonderful treat with fresh scones, place on top of thick yogurt, sprinkled with nuts, or in any other way you prefer, and enjoy.

* Many recipes for watermelon rind preserves require placing the rinds overnight in salty brine. They also contain an even larger amount of sugar than what I have here. While this helps keep the preserves longer, I prefer to skip this step, add less sugar, and keep the preserves in the fridge instead.
However, if you plan to cook a bigger amount and to keep it longer, look for these recipes instead of this one.
* Many of these recipes also call for adding cut citrus fruits and different spices to the rinds. I find that it diminishes the delicate and unique flavor of the watermelon, so I prefer to add only lemon juice. Feel free to experiment and decide for yourself.

Makes: 3 cups
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours

4 cups medium cubes prepared watermelon rinds (see step 1)
2 cup water
2 cups sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ tsp salt

1. Once you’ve used the red flesh, cut the leftover rinds into cubes, about 1”X0.5” (2.5cmX1.5cm). With a sharp knife, remove the green part on one side, and any red flesh that is still on the other side.
2. Measure 4 cups of cubes and place in a deep medium pot. Cover with water, bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes. Strain and place back in the pot.

3. Add 2 cups of water, the sugar, lemon juice and salt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 3 hours, mixing gently with a spatula occasionally, until the rinds change color to clear orange and the liquids reduced to a thick syrup. Transfer to jars. Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating for up to two months.

Two Oven-Roasted Chicken Wings and One Dip

I am taking the weekend off, and so I’ve decided to re-post this recipe, which was published almost 4 years ago. Whether you’ve already seen the recipe here, or you’ve followed the blog later, I’m sure you’ll find the recipe worth trying. See you next week with new recipes.

Tasty Eats

lemon rosemary chicken wings ronit pensoWhile chicken is the most common poultry around the world, in many places chicken wings were not considered a separate food item. They were usually thrown into a stock, or thrown away altogether. There are many theories about who first transformed this formerly boring part into a tasty snack. Most probably, all the theories are correct, as so often happens in the culinary world.

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Pan seared Sweet and Spicy Pork Chops and Endive

Unlike last week’s time consuming recipe, this week I have for you a very quick and easy to prepare dinner, which nevertheless has lots of flavor and different textures.
This “all in one pan” dish is not a recipe per se, but more of an idea for improvising with whatever ingredients you have at hand. Continue reading

Herbed Meatballs and Stuffed Onions with Cherries

Herbed Meatballs and Stuffed Onions with Cherries Ronit PensoMeatballs cooked with cherries, are known in the Persian, Bukharin and Georgian cuisines. Stuffed onions are also known in these cuisines, and in the Turkish and Greek ones as well. In the following dish, I took the liberty of combining all the above into a free-style version, while using different seasoning and mixing the two dishes in the same pot. Continue reading