Saturday, July 24, 2010


4 C diced watermelon Rinds without skin with some pink flesh
1 green chili pepper finely chopped
4 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
4 Tbsp chopped Cilantro
1 Tbsp white vinegar
A pinch of freshly grinded sea salt
1 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
Be sure to Wash the outer surface of watermelon with a drop of dish soap and rinse very well before cutting.
Use cutting board and knife that is specifically used to prepare fresh uncook food. 
Several watermelon favorites can be made during this process
Watermelon balls, watermelon cupcakes, watermelon sangria, watermelon lemonade, pickled watermelon rinds, etc, etc.  But the important thing is to save 1 inch to 1-1/2 inches of clean watermelon rinds with some pink flesh.
I like to cut watermelon into cubes and save them in plastic ware.  For this recipe, I kept the rinds enough to make 4 Cups diced watermelon rinds without skin.  The rinds should have some pink flesh still on them.

Slice the watermelon rinds with some pink flesh off the skin.    Cut 1/4 inch+ away from the skin.  This is approximate.   You don’t want it to have the bitter taste.  Dice them up.
Keep the diced watermelon rinds in a covered glass bowl in the refrigerator, until the salsa mix is ready.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a glass bowl.
Pour over the watermelon.
Toss to mix well.
Chill before serving.

I think it turned out very good.  Since my Romano tomatoes in the garden have not ripened, yet.  Who knows when it will be happy? So this is a great alternative to the salsa that I want for my Mexican dinner I am going to have tonight.


Serves 3


1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp finely chopped green chili pepper
3 fresh white corns with at 3 to 4 layers of fresh husks still on them
1 Tbsp of water
1 large microwaveable plate
Microwave splatter shield food cover
Black pepper to sprinkle

Chop off the top part of the fresh white corns still in fresh husks to remove the silk, but do not remove husks yet.
Remove, but save at least 3 to 4 layers of husks on the corn.
Place them on a microwaveable plate – staggered in different direction – tail, head, tail.
Add 1 Tbsp of water (for steam)  (If microwaving only one corn – no water needed.)
Cover and Microwave for 4 minutes – depending on your microwave power. 
Open the microwave and Turn the corns, top to bottom.
Cover and microwave 2 more minutes.
Let it rest at least 5 minutes+ in the microwave.
Prepare the butter while they are cooling.

Add lime juice into a microwaveable bowl.  Add butter and finely chopped green chili pepper.
Microwave for 20 seconds.

Prepare the corn serving boat on kitchen counter.
Remove corn husks and place them in the boat.
Drizzle the corn with melted butter lime chili sauce.
Then, sprinkle with grounded black pepper.  Enjoy!

*If microwaving 4 large fresh corns  - Cover and cook for  5 minutes + 3 minutes after you flip sides.

Note:  ** My microwave oven is 800 watt.  It takes about  4 minutes to steam cook a single corn + 3 min ”rest” period in the aluminum foil.  The reason for the rest period is to give the cooling period and avoid mouth burn.  It’s very dangerous to bite into microwaved food that are dense or sticky.  * I know you know that.  :-)

The best part of this butter lime chili sauce is that it is so tasty that you don’t even need salt sprinkle... but everyone’s taste buds is different.
Double or tripple the recipe if more corns are prepared.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Tai-Chi Poolish Baguettes

Tai-Chi and Baguette sound like east and west.  But I decided to dub this baguette just that - the "Tai-Chi Poolish Baguettes".  My intention is not to disguise someone's recipe idea and make it into mine, but really, I basically kneaded my dough Tai-Chi ball style.  I got this recipe for the Poolish Baguettes, which I thought is a 'possible' method to use my natural grape starter that I have been culturing (nurturing) since April.  I have made quite a few artisan breads with it, but not to my satisfaction.  This particular formula sounded promising, so I gave it a try.
One thing I noticed with my grape starter is that anytime I mix it into the dough, the dough results in a very interesting texture.  It is silky smooth sticky glue.  After several testing, I honestly told myself that I need to sit down and do the baker's percentage calculation before using it in a recipe and 'hoping' that the product would turn out.  For now, my strategy is to incorporate it into a recipe that has proven to be successful, then, record my starter's behaviour.  This will give me a base in how to use it more properly with higher success rate.
The original recipe came from - Baguettes with Poolish.  I love to browse through this site and admire those beautifully home-baked artisan breads.  I got so used to using the commercial mixer that I've forgotten about the good ole fashion hand kneading and elbow power.  The last few times I made the bread at home, I noticed that my Kitchen Aide Artisan mixer is not powerful enough nor the dough cook designed well to knead the dough the way the commercial mixer would.  I almost gave up on baking bread at home.  On top of it, it's summer.  Heating up the oven to 460'F in the summer is not too fun.  But my solution to knead-by-hands the Tai-Chi style worked out.  After watching the "Kung-Fu Soccer" - just so happened to be on Fox-Latin channel in my area (in time for World Cup), I got an idea of kneading the dough the way the young lady was making the Chinese "bao".  Surprisingly and I am very pleased that it worked.  I love the texture of the bread it produced.
Ingredients I used are as follows.

Tai-Chi Poolish Baguettes
666 g Naturally cultured grape starter - 2-1/2 mths old

Final Dough
1 lb 10 oz All Purpose Flour + 6 oz for work surface and during keading for hands
10.6 oz Water
0.6 oz salt
1-1/2 tsp Instant Yeast
666 g Starter (above)
Calculate the DTC

Combine flour, yeast, salt together.  Add water to the 666 g Starter and mix well with hand.
Add flour mixture to the Starter.  Mix well. 
The dough is very sticky at the beginning.  It will become tacky. 
Keep flouring your hands and keep the dough rolling between your palms with right hand on the top and left hand on the bottom.  The motion is in the Circling motion.  As long as the dough is in the motion, the dough would stay in shape and remain tacky.  Flour hands as often as needed.  As soon as the motion is stopped, the dough would drop out of the hands in a blob like.  Continue kneading for 15 min to 30 min.  Give some good roll and knead on the floured work surface every 5 minutes for 3 minutes.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled, covered container.  Ferment for 1-1/2 hours.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces by weight.  Round it to a shape.  Bench rest for 20 min.
After the rest, shape each dough into a baguette and place in floured sack cloth. 
Hand pleat each section to keep baguette in its shape during the 2nd fermentation.
Let rise less than double.  **This is where I always miss.
Bake in preheated 450'F oven for 20 min with steam - first 10 minutes.
* I used baking sheet pan with Silpat on top.
*  Pizza stone is preheated in the oven during the preheat - baking rack is set at the lower 2nd level.
* Home Steam Injection Remedy for my overn:  A pan of hot water pan at the bottom of the oven.
A spray bottle to spray dough every 2 minutes for the first 10 minutes.
*After forming the dough into baguette shape, place the baguette on top of the Sipat.
Spray a plastic wrap with vegalene and cover the baguettes.  Cover the top with another bake sheet pan  to ferment for 30 min.  Then, remove plastic wrap gently and Score.
Open the oven, place the baking sheet on top of the pizza stone.  Spray with spray bottle.