Watermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca (Aguas Frescas)

Watermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca Recipe 4




 

A couple of years ago, when I was finishing my book, Mr. Wonderful and I went on a trip to the Los Angeles area for a week. He worked for two days and I sat on the beach with my laptop writing. Then, we traveled up and down Highway 1 along the coast stopping at every beach and staying at various hotels along the way.  One in particular near Santa Monica was absolutely wonderful. It had an outdoor lobby in the center and had lush groupings of fire-pits with beautiful couches and chairs, complete with the ability to privacy with long resplendent curtains you could pull around them. The pool had cabanas around it with lounge chairs at ground level built down into wooden platforms. It was by far, one of the most-glamorous and enjoyable hotels we’ve ever stayed at.



By day we would traipse down to the beach and enjoy watching the surf-dudes try and conquer the waves, and then we’d come back for a clothing change and head out to a local place to have lunch. When we returned to the hotel from the beach, however, man were we thirsty!

In the hotel lobby were giant glass urns full of ice water infused with various fruits and vegetables, and I fell in love with one in particular – watermelon and jalapeno. At first, it seemed off-kilter to me but I fell in love with the sweetness of the watermelon and the soft heat of the jalapeno flaring up after the fact in the back of my throat.

That is the inspiration for this agua fresca.

Agua frescas are common to Mexico, Central America and parts of the Carribean. The term agua fresca means “fresh water” and is nothing more than a blending of sweet or sour fruits or sometimes rice (in the case of horchata) with water and some sort of sweetener. They are extremely refreshing in the hot summer and exceptionally good for you too! Watch how easy this one is to make.

Start out by getting a really good watermelon.


Photo Jul 21, 1 59 27 AM

I have the best luck looking for one that has a yellow spot on it and thumps hollow-like when I rap it with my knuckles. The yellow spot means it has rested on that particular spot on the ground for awhile ripening and this peculiar method of selection has usually ended up with sweet ripe results in a watermelon.

Cut it up into slices, remove the rind and cut into rough chunks until you get six cups. This was about a half of a medium-sized seedless watermelon. Except it had seeds, so I’m not sure what’s up with that.


Watermelon cut collage

Now slice off the tail end of a jalapeno and slice it in half. Scrape the seeds and white ribs out with the pointed end of a spoon. If you think the jalapeno is too adventurous for you, simply leave it out. The plain ol’ regular watermelon agua fresca is delicious by itself!


jalapeno slice

Place both the watermelon chunks and the pieces of jalapeno into your blender and then pop the lid on. If need be to get your blender going, add a bit of water (maybe a couple of tablespoons) to the blender. Then whiz it up! If you can’t fit all six cups, do about four and then when it begins to liquify, you can push the other remaining chunks through the hole of the blender. Puree this to a very smooth consistency and then pour it into a bowl or pitcher through a fine sieve. You can press the solids (kind of foamy-looking stuff) in the sieve with the back of a large spoon or spatula to really get all the juice out.


Blend watermelon for Agua Fresca

Now add in the juice of two limes, one and one-half cups of water and two tablespoons of either honey or Truvia (maybe less depending on your sweet preference). Also take your jalapeno slices and 2/3 cup of fresh mint leaves and two more limes sliced thinly and add them in along with 2-3 cups of ice cubes.


watermelon agua fresca collage

Stir up the pitcher with a long spoon.


pitcher of watermelon jalapeno agua fresca

And pour some into glasses.


Watermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca Recipe 3

Refreshing doesn’t even begin to cover it.

AWatermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca (Aguas Frescas)

 

Author:

Recipe type: Drink

  • 6 c. watermelon, cut in chunks
  • ½ medium sized jalapeno, ribs and seeds scraped out
  • 1½ c. water
  • 2 large limes, juiced (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 T. honey or 2 T. Truvia
  • Garnish: 2 limes, sliced into rounds, 1 jalapeno, sliced into rounds, seeds removed, ⅔ c. fresh mint leaves
  1. Place watermelon and jalapeno in blender. If needed, add a little of the water to start the blending process.
  2. Once the mixture is finely blended, pour it through a fine sieve into a bowl.
  3. Squeeze in lime juice and add any remaining water and honey or Truvia.
  4. Pour into large pitcher and add ice, lime and jalepeno slices and mint
  5. Serve in glasses with ice

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Want some more some more watermelon inspired recipes? check out what other wonderful food bloggers are featuring in Food Network’s Summer Soirée below!

Weelicious: Watermelon Cinnamon Granita
Homemade Delish: Refreshing Watermelon Salsa
Healthy Eats: Pretty in Pink: 6 Dishes Made Better with Watermelon
Creative Culinary: Margarita Watermelon
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Watermelon and Peach Salsa
Dishin & Dishes: Watermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Watermelon Salsa
Red or Green: Watermelon, Corn & Jalapeno Salad
The Mom 100: Watermelon Strawberry Smoothie
Taste with the Eyes: Unique Watermelon Salad – Pomegranate Syrup, Feta, Cucumber
FN Dish: 6 Party-Ready Ways to Take Watermelon Off the Rind

 

 

 

 

 

 


how do you make agua fresca

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Holiday Spiced Cider | Dishin & Dishes

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Baby it’s cold outside…well sometimes.  We actually had a 75 degree day one day this week.  Ya just never know in Oklahoma.

The holidays are and have been upon us. We like to start a crockpot of this cider on Thanksgiving and Christmas and pretty much every weekend in between. Not only is it warm goodness to sip on in the evenings, but it makes your house smell heavenly as well.



But for the most part, the  weather here has dropped significantly requiring hoodies, sweaters, blankets. socks and the worst of all…pantyhose.  I hate pantyhose almost as much as I hate spiked high heels, and think it highly unfair that men don’t have to suffer the misery of either.  I mean, the things us woman have to endure to look marvelous..I tell ya..

Anyway, I actually like cool weather.  I realize that places that stay warm all year have their perks, but I love the change in seasons.  Especially here in Oklahoma.  I love it when the 100 degree days spiral down to the 80’s, and then the mercury continues to drop to even the 60’s and 50’s.  I love wrapping up in a blanket on a cold Saturday afternoon and popping in a movie.

But nothing makes it more perfect than a good cup of warm, fragrant Spiced Cider.

 

This recipe is made in your crock pot, but can be made in a pot on your stove as well. Just simmer it for 15 minutes or so on your stove and you’re good to go.  However, the added bonus to the crockpot over the stove is

#1)  if you walk away and forget about it, it won’t evaporate or reduce away, and

#2) the heavenly aroma it fragrances your home with all day long.

So, to begin, pour a gallon of apple cider into your crockpot.


cidercollage


Cloves.


cloves

Now, the spices of mulled cider beg for this spice, the most important ingredient of spiced cider.

Cloves just give it that little hint of something’ something’ at the back of your palate.  Add in one tablespoon of ground cloves.


allspice

Next, add 1/4 cup of brown sugar.  I like my cider smooth with just a hint of tartness.


sugar

Add 1 tablespoon of Allspice.


clovesin

Add 4-5 whole cinnamon sticks.  They look pretty floating on top.


cinnamonsticks

Slice up one whole orange.


oranges

And float the pieces right into the pool.


orangesin

Some people use juice, but I prefer the pretty oranges floating on top and also, this way you release the essential oils in the rind of the orange as well.

And that’s all folks.  Just pop on your crockpot lid and turn your setting to High.


lidon

I left mine like this for several hours, then turned it down to Low.

Mmmmm….

Now if you are a picky texture floaty person, you  might want to strain this before you serve it through some cheese cloth or a fine sieve.

However, as one person who refuses to drink pulp in orange juice, it didn’t bother me at all.  The spices kind of melt in with the cider.  But there may be some residue in the bottom of your cup, so you decide.

Ladle it out into a nice mug or cup.


final collage

During mid-afternoon at some point, it occurred to me that this would be fabulously amazing with one of my Triple Cinnamon Snickerdoodle Bars.  I think it was the incredible scent of the mix of apples and spices that drew me.

I made up a tray and set off to watch Patrick Swayze for the millionth time in Point Break on some off-cable channel.


8

Let’s have a minute of silence in remembrance of Patrick.  I will always have the biggest crush on him that goes way back to the 80’s.  I remember being pregnant with Tori and with my hormones all out of whack, sobbing all the way to the parking lot after watching Ghost for the first time.  I was astounded to learn he was 57 when he died recently.  I would have guessed early 40’s.  He still looked that good.

So, it was a lovely, cool autumn day.

I was under a quilt, sipping Mulled Cider.

5

 

Holiday Spiced Cider

 

Total time

 

Author:

Recipe type: Drinks

  • 1 gal. Apple cider
  • 1 T. ground cloves or 8 whole cloves
  • ¼ c. brown sugar
  • 1 T. Allspice
  • 4-5 whole cinnamon sticks
  • One whole orange sliced thinly
  1. Add all ingredients to crockpot
  2. Turn on high heat
  3. Allow to heat to hot temperature then turn crockpot on low or warm for the rest of the day!
  4. After 2-3 hours can strain if desired or just serve with a little strainer and let guests ladle into their cups through the strainer.

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It doesn’t get much better than that.

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