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Basil Infused Compressed Watermelon

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ThEoRy

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Compressed fruits are a great way to bring out vibrant colors and increase the density in texture. I make a simple syrup(1-1 ratio sugar to water) then add fresh basil white it's still hot and let it boil for a few minutes then let it steep till cool and strain into an ice bath. Add the basil infused simple syrup to the vacuum bag with the fruit and compress on the highest pressure.

Knife Used:
Tojiro 270mm ITK Bread Knife

[video=youtube;bcpBh0f4bzI]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcpBh0f4bzI[/video]
 

bieniek

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I believe cooking gentle herbs like basil takes some flavour away of it. Try to cook the basil sous vide in the syrup :)
And also, isn't the watermelon getting to sweet, how much of the syrup are you using in the bag??
 

StephanFowler

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those look beautiful.

aside from popping them in my mouth like candy :headbang::headbang:

what do you use them for?

garnish is the only thing I can think off the top of my head but I'm sure you've got something much more interesting up your sleeve.
 

ThEoRy

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I believe cooking gentle herbs like basil takes some flavour away of it. Try to cook the basil sous vide in the syrup :)
And also, isn't the watermelon getting to sweet, how much of the syrup are you using in the bag??
I guess I just didn't think of that one, but it seems to work quite well. The syrup tastes quite basil-y and not bitter at all and it's a rather quick process. While making the video, the melon bagging, syrup pouring scene was out of the cameras view so I had to cut it. You don't need much in the bag though, really only about a 1/4 cup per bag which is about a half a watermelon. It's not too sweet as the melons aren't quite at their peak yet so it kinda just helps them into their flavor. Though it's a nice surprise when you bite the watermelon and get a nice basil flavor.

These were used in a baby arugula salad with house made duck prosciutto and a lemon basil vinaigrette. And yes at :06 there is a smiley face in the watermelon. :)
 

JohnnyChance

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cool technique. will have to remember that one.

hows that tojiro?
 

Eamon Burke

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You know you're making a winner when all the passers-by are trying to snake a piece from your board like seagulls.

I wish I had a vacuum sealer now.
 

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