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Kirk's Traveling Kitchen News and Blog

New Southern Cooking in Miami


Had a great food experience at Yardbird Southern Table while in Miami recently. 'Nouvelle Southern' cooking seems to be de rigueur these days (my French quota is now fulfilled), but rather than simply substitute pork cheeks or heirloom green tomatoes for standard southern staples, Yardbird does a wonderful job of creating delicious (and rather light) and original dishes with just the right patina of Southern authenticity. Really good stuff!

Here it is:
Yardbird Southern Table

Now here's one of my favorite pickles, using watermelon rind (never a shortage of that this time of year):

Watermelon Rind Pickle

Quantity Produced:  1 Qt.

Kosher Salt                                          ¼ Cup
Water                                                  1 Qt.
Watermelon Rind*, Peeled/Sliced      6 Cups (*all red flesh and green skin removed)

Lemon, Sliced Thin                             ½
3” Cinnamon Stick, Broken                1
Cardamom Pods, Black                      ½ Teaspoon
Cloves, Whole                                     ½ Teaspoon
Allspice Berries                                    ½ Teaspoon
1” Piece of Ginger, Sliced                    1
Cheesecloth to Wrap                           As Needed

Water                                                              1 Cup
White Vinegar                                                 1 Cup
Sugar                                                               2 Cups

Preparation Procedure-
Brine prepped watermelon rind for 12 to 24 hours in a plastic container. Strain, rinse and strain rind again. Combine pickle ingredients with sachet and bring to a simmer in a medium sauce pan, cook 5 to 10 minutes. Add watermelon rind and simmer additional 10 minutes, remove from heat and let steep overnight or until translucent. Remove sachet and keep refrigerated with rind submerged beneath liquid (use a small plate or saucer for this). Will keep for 3-4 weeks.