Today I put my money where my mouth is and bought a thirty-pound watermelon. Yes, you read that right. Thirty. Pounds. Thirty pounds!
Does this ever happen to you? One minute I was innocently stopping by the store to pick up a piece of fish, and the next minute I was staggering to my car carrying a small child and a melon that weighed more than her. Truth be told, I hadn’t even thought of buying a watermelon today. The only reason I bought it was that it was sitting beside a much smaller but more expensive “petite” watermelon, making this organic behemoth an irresistible deal at $8.50. Those marketing geniuses at my co-op know me so well.
And now I have thirty pounds of watermelon to dispatch. Ideas?
Of course I started off by stuffing everyone with sweet slices and encouraging the children to organize a backyard seed-spitting contest. And then I made a double batch of that outstanding Chilled Watermelon Soup with Thai Flavors–have you tried it yet? And that, of course, meant Thai flavors for the fish I’d gone to the co-op to get in the first place. (You thought I’d forgotten the point of this post, didn’t you?)
Every time I make this, J says it’s his favorite dish. (I think he says that about other things too, though–isn’t that sweet?) My favorite dish would probably be something involving chocolate, or maybe these baked eggs, but I agree that this dish is quite good. And if fish isn’t your thing, you could certainly toss the pepper mixture with cubes of fried tofu and serve it over rice instead.
Baked Fish with Thai Basil and Peppers (adapted from the Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School cookbook): Bake, grill, or fry a piece of white fish. Tonight I used cod and just rubbed it with olive oil and salt and baked it at 350 until it was flaky in the thickest part of the fillet.
Meanwhile, dice an onion and chop 6 cloves of garlic. Seed and dice an array of mildly spicy peppers (combine red and green Thai peppers, or mix a sweet pepper or two with a handful of jalapenos), about 2-3 c. chopped peppers total. Saute the onion, garlic, and peppers over medium-high heat until the onion browns in spots, then add 1/4 c. water and 1 Tbsp. each soy sauce and fish sauce and cook for another minute. Add a big handful of Thai basil leaves and stir to combine. Garnish with lots of chopped cilantro and additional basil leaves and serve over fish with jasmine rice on the side.