Watermelon salad with whiskey smash vinaigrette
1/4 of medium-sized yellow watermelon
1/4 of medium-sized red watermelon
1 head Bibb lettuce, rinsed
2 lemons (zest one and reserve to use in the lemon olive oil recipe and the crepe recipe)
8 sprigs mint, picked
1 cup sugar cane vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup whiskey
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch kosher salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
1. Remove and discard the rind from the yellow watermelon.
2. Cut green skin from red watermelon, and using a vegetable peeler, shave enough two-inch strips from the white rind to measure 1/2 cup.
3. Place peelings in a stainless steel bowl. Remove and discard rest of rind from the watermelon.
4. Bring cane vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the sugar to boil in a medium saucepot.
5. Pour over rind slices, let stand for 45 minutes.
6. In another stainless steel bowl, muddle half the mint with the remaining sugar and the juice of the two lemons. Stir in the whiskey and oil, season with the salt and pepper.
7. Cut both watermelons into 2-inch squares a half-inch thick, removing as many seeds as possible. Tear the Bibb into large pieces, toss with watermelon squares and vinaigrette. Arrange on four salad plates, and garnish with the pickled rind and mint.
Recipe: From Executive Chef Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace
(CBS The Saturday Early Show’s Chef).
Sugar cane vinegar: This is a pantry item in New Orleans, which is why it is not factored into the overall cost of the meal. It’s like having ketchup in your fridge. It’s made from sugar cane syrup and varies in quality. Cane vinegar, made from sugar cane juice, is most popular in the Philippines (where it is called sukang iloko), although it is also produced in France and the United States. It ranges from dark yellow to golden brown in color and has a mellow flavor, similar in some respects to rice vinegar, though with a somewhat “fresher” taste. Contrary to expectation, it is not sweeter than other vinegars and contains no residual sugar. You can get cheap cane vinegar in Asian markets, but it is recommended that you use a smoother cane vinegar made in Louisiana.
Garden District 1403 Washington Ave
New Orleans, LA 70130
Executive Chef Tory McPhail