FEATURED RECIPE: WATERMELON CRANBERRY-GLAZED PORK CHOPS

January 8th, 2016 by The Watermelon Guy

There are many reasons why I like the holidays, many of which revolve around the incredible amount of food that crosses my plate during the season. For me, there’s no better way to celebrate with my family and friends than by sharing a delicious, homemade meal.

The only bad part about all that holiday grub is figuring out what to do with it all. If you’re lucky, your family and friends will gladly take some of it off your hands. If not, I’ve got the perfect recipe for you.

Got some leftover cranberry sauce? With a few additions, you could turn it into Watermelon Cranberry-Glazed Pork Chops.

WATERMELON CRANBERRY-GLAZED PORK CHOPS 

2INGREDIENTS (GLAZE)

  • 2 cups watermelon puree
  • 4 cups frozen or fresh cranberries (or use leftovers from your holiday dinners)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Dash of cloves
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS (GLAZE)

Simmer ingredients for glaze together in a heavy saucepan for 20 minutes or until cranberries are tender, and sauce is thick.

INGREDIENTS (PORK CHOPS)

  • 8 pork chops
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • Watermelon Cranberry Glaze

INSTRUCTIONS (PORK CHOPS)

Place the pork in a large zipper lock bag with rest of the ingredients (except the glaze), and seal tightly. Allow to marinate for at least two hours or up to 12. Grill until cooked, and arrange on a warm platter. Pour the glaze over the chops, and serve immediately.

For more recipes like this, check out the “Recipes” page of the National Watermelon Promotion Board website.

REMEMBER: All comments left on the blog this month are entered to win our January prize — the watermelon backpack — so comment as often as you’d like!

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RECIPE: BLUE WATERMELON WALNUT SALAD

May 22nd, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “don’t knock it ‘til you try it,” you may be a picky eater. Or maybe you’re just very emotive about foods you don’t really like. Either way, your reaction to certain snacks is most commonly expressed with a short, sweet, “eww” or “thanks, but no thanks.”

Since I’ve always been a foodie, I will literally try any food item once. My wife, however, does not share the same dining mindset. When I told her I was going to feature this recipe for Blue Watermelon Walnut Salad, she thought it sounded great. Her only hang-up was the blue cheese, of which she’s not a big fan (to be completely honest, neither am I).

I gave her the old, “don’t knock it ‘til you try it” speech, and that’s exactly what she did. I prepared it, she tried it, and she liked it! Whether you’re a picky eater or not, you should definitely give this recipe a try. The sweetness of the fruits paired with the blue cheese and walnuts is a combination you won’t regret.

BLUE WATERMELON WALNUT SALAD

INGREDIENTSp

1 cup walnut pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cups balsamic vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 ounces fresh baby greens
2 oranges, seedless, peeled and sectioned
4 cups seedless watermelon cubes
2 cups seedless grapes, halved
2 cups fresh, trimmed and sliced strawberries
1 cup crumbled blue cheese

DIRECTIONS

Heat the walnuts in a seasoned wok or heavy non-stick sauté pan over medium for a minute, and stir in the sugar and soy sauce. Adjust heat to prevent burning while constantly stirring the nuts until the sugar melts. Continue to stir and cook until the nuts begin to stick, and the mixture becomes sticky. Spread the nuts over a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper and cool. Break apart into small pieces and crumble. Set aside.

Heat the vinegar in a heavy, non-corrosive saucepan over medium heat, and stir in sugar. Continue to stir, and adjust heat to bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the rosemary sprig to the pan. Continue to simmer until the contents of the pan reduces by 1/2 its original volume. Set aside.

Divide the greens among six or eight salad plates, and arrange the orange sections, watermelon, grapes and strawberries over the greens. Drizzle the balsamic syrup over the fruit, and the cheese crumbles over that. Top with the candied walnut pieces and serve.

For more recipes using watermelon, check out the “Recipes” section of the National Watermelon Promotion Board website.

UP NEXT: Interview with a Watermelon Carver

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! (AND MY 2015 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION)

December 31st, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy


It’s New Year’s Eve, and I hope everyone has plans to ring in 2015 in style…even if that means you’ll be fast asleep by the time Ryan Seacrest leads us in the annual Times Square countdown. I also hope you’ve given some thought to your New Year’s resolutions. pic

 

Back in October, I asked everyone what my 2015 watermelon-themed New Year’s resolution should be. So far, in my quest to become a better watermelon fan, I’ve competed in a watermelon-eating contest (2014), grown my own watermelon (2013) and competed in a watermelon seed-spitting contest (2012).

 

It gets harder each year to pick a watermelon resolution, which is why I asked all of you back in October for ideas. Jim Long suggested that I train with NASA to deliver some watermelon to the International Space Station. I really like that idea, mainly because becoming an astronaut is something I’ve wanted to do ever since I was 4 years old. Unfortunately, the likelihood of me accomplishing that objective is about as likely as me growing a watermelon that can actually be eaten.

 

And so, I’m forced to consider resolutions that don’t require eight months of intense zero gravity training and a trip into outer space. In fact, the resolution I’ve chosen for 2015 doesn’t even require me to leave my own kitchen (except to visit the grocery store to pick up a few things).

 

That’s because, in 2015, I resolve to prepare more recipes using watermelon. And not just any recipes. I resolve to prepare at least one recipe per month that I’ve never prepared before. Sure, I’ll still make my favorite watermelon smoothies, watermelon salsas and watermelon & feta salads, but I’ll also be tackling unusual recipes like Kung Pao Watermelon Shrimp, Watermelon Taboule Stacks with Grilled Watermelon and even homemade Watermelon Sherbet.

 

Those are just a few recipes I found on the Watermelon.org recipes page. I’ll also scour the Internet for ideas and ask you — What About Watermelon’s readers — for your suggestions as well. And I’ll be chronicling each creation with a monthly entry right here on the blog, including the successful creations, the not-so-successful creations and everything in between.

 

Get ready, because 2015 is going to be a very tasty year. At least I hope so!

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RECIPE: WATERMELON WALDORF SALAD

October 21st, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy

picThe Waldorf Salad, according to its Wikipedia page, is “a salad generally made of fresh apples, celery and walnuts, dressed in mayonnaise, and usually served on a bed of lettuce as an appetizer or a light meal.” It was created in the 1890s by a chef at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City (today, it’s better known as the Waldorf Astoria Hotel).

I don’t think I’ve ever had a Waldorf Salad, but the combination of fruit, vegetables and mayonnaise definitely sounds interesting. This version of the salad, which trades the apples for watermelon and the mayo for Greek yogurt, sounds even better. Oh, it also uses sliced almonds instead of the more traditional Waldorf walnuts.

If you want to switch back to the walnuts, go right ahead. And if you want to swap out the celery for something like, I don’t know, cubes of cheddar cheese, be my guest. In fact, that actually sounds like a great idea.

WATERMELON WALDORF SALAD

INGREDIENTS

2 cups cubed watermelon (about ½-inch cubes)
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup seedless red grape halves
Dash of salt
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

INSTRUCTIONS

Stir together watermelon, celery and grapes in bowl. Just before serving, stir salt into yogurt for dressing. Add a sprinkle of water to dressing to reduce the thickness, if desired. Pour mixture over fruit and stir until coated. Sprinkle with almonds.

For more recipes using watermelon, check out the “Recipes” section of the National Watermelon Promotion Board website.

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TOUCHDOWN! 7 WATERMELON IDEAS FOR YOUR NEXT TAILGATING PARTY

September 5th, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy

picSummer is my favorite season, but fall isn’t so bad, either. I like the crisp, coolness in the air and all of the pumpkin-flavored goodies that make their annual appearance. As a football fan, I also like fall because it signals the start of tailgating season.

If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next tailgating party, you’d be wise to start with a visit to the “Recipes” section of the National Watermelon Promotion Board website.

Below are just a few ideas I found on the website to help take you next tailgating event to the next level.

A watermelon keg – Okay, this is more of a carving than a recipe, but you’ll find lots of ideas for beverages to put in the keg on the “Drinks” page of the website, too.

Watermelon BBQ Sauce – This sauce is easy to make, and it goes great on just about anything you might be grilling.

Watermelon Glazed Mini Barbeque Meatballs – If you love meatballs (and who doesn’t?), you’ll love these meatballs made with a watermelon barbeque sauce.

Pulled Pork with Watermelon BBQ Sauce – A little pulled pork at a tailgating event is never a bad thing, right? A little pulled pork with watermelon? Even better.

Chipotle Maple Citrus Watermelon Wings – Wings are a staple of any football party, and these will not only score you some points, they’ll probably be the game-winning touchdown.

Flash Grilled Watermelon Cheddar Burgers – This recipe is so simple, you have no excuse NOT to make it. Just grill up a slice of watermelon and slap it on top of a burger. That’s it!

Grilled Spicy Watermelon – As long as you’ve got the grill fired up, you might as well throw a few of these spicy watermelon wedges on there.

UP NEXT: The fastest way to cut watermelon cubes

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