oh hello, blog! The past weeks of August have been filled with a lot of distractions, namely re-painting my toenails, eating out a lot, and pretending to be gainfully employed. Obviously this cah-RAZY summer has not afforded me much time to commit to my writing… since… I have so much… going on (???). I did write another article for the weekly, which will hopefully be published next week, and I took the so simple it’s probably illegal route which was to write about the Copper Hog. The same Copper Hog that I’ve probably already written about on here like, 6 times. What? There are very few places in this town that serve both hard liquor and food that doesn’t make you feel like you just took a bath in old dirty fry grease.
I liked one item on the menu so much that I decided to blatantly copy it at home… and share it with you similarly minded cheapskates.
Watermelon Salad a la Copper Hog
feeds 5 or 6 as a side (cut in half if you don’t have that many- this salad doesn’t keep well!)
-One mini seedless watermelon
-Half an English cucumber, cut into half moons
-About 5 Tbs chopped fresh mint (I think the more mint the merrier, but if this sounds like a mintsplosion to you, tone it down and it will be even MORE Copper-Hoggish)
-Three large lemons to turn into candied goodness (hold yer horses, I’ll explain later)
Since I am lazy I am going to go about this in a numbered list. DEALWITHIT.
- Cut the baby watermelon in half and cut the rind off it. Cube all the watermelon into about ¾ inch cubes. If you don’t understand inches, just go for “bite size”.
- Put those watermelon cubes in a bowl with your half moon cucumbers and the mint. BRACE YOURSELF: The only remotely challenging part of the recipe is coming up! If you need to, pour yourself a cocktail.
- When I said remotely challenging, I meant “requires the use of the stove,” so don’t get too scared. Using a vegetable peeler, take off the lemon skins. Try to go as lightly as possible so you don’t get too much white skin on the underside of the zest.
- Once you have a bunch of zest chunks, scrape any obvious white parts off the skin with a paring knife.
- Cut the skins into long strips, as thin as possible.
- In a saucepan, bring 3 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar to a boil (I made that ratio up… so if it goes berserk don’t be surprised! But, uh, it should be fine).
- Let that simmer for a minute until the sugar is all dissolved.
- Put the zest into the saucepan and let it simmer on med-low for about 30 minutes or until the zest becomes somewhat transparent.
- When it’s finished, remove the zest onto a plate to cool and pour the liquid (which is now lemon simple syrup) into something else to save for later.
At this point I called it good on the candied lemon, but there is one more thing you can do to make it extra amazing… ROLL IT IN SUGAR. Why not? People like sugar, and that way the lemon zest doesn’t stay gummy. Regardless of sugar rolling or not, chop up the lemon zest and add as much as you deem appropriate to the bowl with everything in it. I spooned a little of the simple syrup over the whole mess and tossed it together, but I would be very careful of doing this if you rolled the zest in sugar, since this already a sweet dessert-esque salad.
That’s it! Now I’m tired so I’m going to stop writing, but seriously you should make this and impress people. Like, your mom and dad. Or persnickety friends. Whatever!