Magazine article Sunset

Working Wonders with Watermelon

Magazine article Sunset

Working Wonders with Watermelon

Article excerpt

Pink, crisp, and cool, watermelon reigns supreme as nature's refreshment in the heat of summer.

As an ingredient, it can also have a stunning impact, as in these three very different dishes: one a surprisingly spicy but simple appetizer; the second, a showy pink sherbet touched with rum; and last, a hearty salad combining smoked chicken, black beans, pink melon, and sweet-tart pickles made from watermelon rind.

Water-melon-Lime Appetizers 1 small (12- to 15-lb. size) watermelon 3/4 cup lime juice Salt About 1/2 teaspoon liquid hot pepper seasoning

Split watermelon in half crossswise, then cut half the melon into 1-inch-thick slices. Cut slices into wedges, with rind side about 2 inches wide. Set unsliced half of watermelon on platter; mound wedges alongside.

Rub the rim of a 1-cup shallow glass or bowl with some of the lime juice. Dip rim in salt to coat. Mix remaining lime juice in the glass with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and liquid hot pepper seasoning. Dip a wedge of watermelon into lime mixture and taste; add more salt and hot pepper seasoning if desired. To eat, dip wedges into lime juice mixture; have a knife at hand to cut remaining melon. Makes about 16 appetizer servings. (To serve 8, start with half a watermelon.)

Watermelon Snow 1 cup water 1/2 cup sugar 1 piece watermelon, 5 to 6 pounds 1/4 cup light or dark rum 1/4 cup lime juice Mint sprigs Lime wedges

In a 1- to 2-quart pan, combine water and sugar. Boil on high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/2 cup. Let cool. Cut watermelon flesh from rind; discard rind. Cut flesh into chunks, discarding seeds. Puree melon, a portion at a time, in a blender or food processor. Rub puree through a fine wire strainer into a bowl; discard any residue. You should have about 6 cups of puree.

Combine puree, syrup, rum, and lime juice. Pour into a 9-inch-square metal pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until solid, 3 to 4 hours. With a heavy spoon, break up frozen mixture. Beat with a mixer or in a food processor until a smooth slush forms. Return to pan, cover, and freeze until solid, at least 3 hours; or store as long as 3 months. Let stand at room temperature until the ice softens enough to scoop, about 15 minutes. Scoop into bowls or stemmed glasses; garnish with mint. Offer lime wedges to squeeze over each portion. Makes about 1-1/2 quarts, about 8 servings.

Watermelon and Smoked Chicken Salad

You can make the watermelon pickles up to 2 weeks ahead, using rind from another watermelon. …

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