Last Saturday, La Bella and I threw our second annual Watermelon Party. (We need a better name.) The gist is this: Every foodstuff served, in some way, involved watermelon or at least a kind of melon. La Bella brought down the house with a watermelon salsa—a watermelon base (instead of tomato), cilantro, onion, jalapeno pepper, minced garlic, lime juice, salt, and cayenne powder. I marinated chicken in watermelon puree with lime and pepper, and then grilled it. Our kebabs featured the chicken, a sweetly marinated shrimp, honeydew melon and cantaloupe chunks. La Bella made spicy watermelon gazpacho shooters. We washed it off with watermelon mojitos.
As with last year, we had planned on having a watermelon-seed spitting contest in the driveway—with prizes and everything—but, alas, the rain stopped us this year. Besides, it was hot.
To cool us off, I tried something new—cantaloupe sorbet. Since it was a hit, I thought I’d share it with the world.
Ingredients: 1 ripe cantaloupe, ½ cup water, ½ cup sugar, ¾ cup chardonnay or other white wine.
Directions: Cut the cantaloupe into small cubes, and place in a blender. Mix the water, sugar, and chardonnay in a saucepan, and heat to almost boiling while stirring continually. Add this liquid to the blender. Puree until smooth. Pour puree into ice cube trays—you’ll need four or five. Put the trays in the freezer, and chill them until the cubes are hardened. (Due to the alcoholic content, this may take eight to twelve hours.)
Once the melon cubes are hardened, place them back into the blender. Let them sit for five to ten minutes, so that they’ve thawed just a little. Then, set the blender on highest setting, and press the cubes down gradually with a large metal spoon or some sort of plunger. (Do not use your bare hands.) Keep pressing and grinding until the mixture is velvety smooth. Scoop into bowls, and serve. As a garnish, splash a small amount of rum on top of each scoop.
It’s an easy, delicious, refreshing dessert that’s not even that bad for you.