Shark's Fin Melon

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Shark's Fin Melon
« on: January 15, 2018, 11:18 »
I opened the first one yesterday.  This proved a trouble free, productive crop for me last year and I have several fruits in the shed, but I usually grow vegetable spaghetti (a close relation), so wondered if I needed both.  It is easier to grow, makes more fruits and they store better for starters.  Downside to the last point is that the skins are really tough to get through.

This was the smallest one and its flesh is white, rather than the golden yellow spaghetti squash sitting next to it.  It is different.  The vegetable spaghetti tastes more like squash, whereas this is more cucumber/courgette, but sweeter.  You can roast them whole, boil them in soup, even make sweet preserves, but this was a like to like comparison, so it got cut in half, seeded and baked for about 20-25 mins in a moderate oven.

I've read recipes mixing the strands with spag sauce and also baked with spices and cheese, so first try is for a pasta/melon bake of some kind this week.

OH tasted it and said he liked it and would be happy with both.  1 plant of each would make more than enough fruits - unless the jam turns out as nice as it sounds ;)

http://www.chickenfish.cc/bio/cabell-dangel-melon-jam/



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snowdrops

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Re: Shark's Fin Melon
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2018, 12:37 »
Since Ive got 5 very large specimens waiting in the conservatory Im very interested to hear how this turns out. I gave 2 away to a chap at the garden club who told me his daughter really liked them. When asked how she got on with it he said she couldnt stand the smell when she cut it open which was strange as she likes all squashes. I think 1 of them got mixed up along the way,which is a shame as thats 2 wasted plus I was looking to forward to getting her recipes from her as its the first time Ive grown them

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Re: Shark's Fin Melon
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2018, 12:50 »
he said she couldnt stand the smell when she cut it open which was strange as she likes all squashes.

That is strange  :wacko:  It doesn't have a strong smell at all.  I ate some raw to see what it was like and it was quite nice - mild, crispy, sweet and with a more pronounced melon flavour than when it was cooked.  The raw juice is a bit sticky when you cut into them, but no more than usual in a squash.

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Re: Shark's Fin Melon
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2018, 13:40 »
I have actually eaten angel-hair jam on holiday in Spain, and didn't realise what it was made from... it was delicious!

The fruit you gave me is still in store, as we have had lots of fresh veg to use up, but I shall try it soon. IT looks very enticing sitting with the orange and pink beasts!

Did you notice that little comment in the recipe that the seeds make a good "peanut" brittle? Sounds interesting too!

Do youthink the seeds will come true to type, being such a different family to other squashes?
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snowdrops

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Re: Shark's Fin Melon
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2018, 15:39 »
I have actually eaten angel-hair jam on holiday in Spain, and didn't realise what it was made from... it was delicious!

The fruit you gave me is still in store, as we have had lots of fresh veg to use up, but I shall try it soon. IT looks very enticing sitting with the orange and pink beasts!

Did you notice that little comment in the recipe that the seeds make a good "peanut" brittle? Sounds interesting too!

Do youthink the seeds will come true to type, being such a different family to other squashes?

Yes I noticed that about the seeds. Hubby loves peanut brittle,do you think hell notice lol? If he gets an inkling he wouldnt try it 🤯

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Re: Shark's Fin Melon
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2018, 19:47 »
Hubby loves peanut brittle,do you think hell notice lol? If he gets an inkling he wouldnt try it 🤯

The seeds are black, so you could get rumbled Snowdrops  :lol:  I had a bowlful of seeds I was drying so I've just munched a couple.  They do taste a bit like raw peanuts.  The black outer coating is quite thick, so I don't know if that will prove a challenge once they are roasted. The fresh seeds are large and you get loads, so I'll save more next time and try it. 

I'm hoping they will come true, but I have the original seeds if you want a few Sunny.  I'll grow them further away from the other squashes next year to be sure.  The plants look different - one of the other common names for it is Fig Leaved Gourd.

I have actually eaten angel-hair jam on holiday in Spain, and didn't realise what it was made from... it was delicious!

Now I have to make it  :lol:

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Re: Shark's Fin Melon
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2018, 19:51 »
Oops, got diverted by talk of jam and fake peanut brittle and forgot what I came here to say  :lol:

Stir-fried some of the melon with garlic, chilli and spinach, together with seasoning and lemon juice and served it up as a side dish to tonight's curry.  A nice addition and it soaks up flavours really well  :)

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Re: Shark's Fin Melon
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2018, 08:51 »
Concoctions thrown together so far. I feel they are too casual to be called recipes.  Both made with melon halved, seeded and baked until just soft enough to get the flesh out, like I treat vegetable spaghetti.  Overcooking veg spag = mush, so I reckon the melon will be the same.

Veggie bake - mix with a spicy tomato sauce and layer with veggies of your choice.  I used roasted peppers and wilted spinach.  Top with cheese/cheese sauce and bake for 20-30 mins at 200 degrees C.

'Noodle' soup bowl - heat chicken stock and season with soy sauce, garlic, ginger and the like.  Once the soup is flavourful and has heated up, add shredded veg of your choice and melon strands.  Cook briefly, then add sliced cooked chicken, sliced spring onions and coriander if you like it. The melon is like rice noodles in the soup.

The 2nd melon I opened had lots of unripe seeds. They were just starting to colour, so I made roasted seeds with oil and salt like pumpkin seeds.  They were pretty nice as well  :)  Once the seed ripens, it has a thick black seed coat, so I reckon you would have to peel them. 

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snowdrops

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Re: Shark's Fin Melon
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2018, 10:48 »
Did you add the melon raw to the soup or after you have roasted it?
Thanks for the ideas, I seem to have lost all my adventurous ideas when it comes to these fruits! Which is a pity as I have 5 humongous specimens in the conservatory 😂

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Re: Shark's Fin Melon
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2018, 10:41 »
Did you add the melon raw to the soup or after you have roasted it?

After it was roasted, although I think you can add it raw.

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Re: Shark's Fin Melon
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2018, 20:30 »
So... I made the jam with a few adjustments to the recipe at the start of the thread.  The full quantity of the recipe filled 3 x 0.5L Le Parfait jars.

-I baked halved and seeded melons until just tender to get the strands.  I have 2 BBQ forks (also shown in piccy) that were ideal for combing out the strands in the pan and it was far less work than peeling and boiling lots of melon.
-I used the grated zest from both the lemon and orange in the mix, rather than peel strips that had to be fished out
-No cinnamon as OH isn't a fan, so I used Kewra Water.  I think rose or orange blossom water would also go well.
-I let the mix boil gently for 30 mins, then upped the heat to get the final set, once the strands were fully saturated with syrup

It is sweet, fragrant preserve with the melon ending up almost candied and retaining quite a bit of texture.  Its not the kind of thing you would eat on toast, but I can see it working perfectly in pastries or desserts.  I've also seen a recipe for rolling it up in a sweet bread dough, then coiling that into a spiral before baking, that has me interested  :D

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« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 20:31 by New shoot »

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snowdrops

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Re: Shark's Fin Melon
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2018, 20:57 »
Lol I think youve talked me into it,but no rush as supposedly theyll keep for 2 years! Plus Ive got lots of beetroot to preserve on Monday whilst hubby is out of the way,he hates the pickling smell!


 

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