Too much watermelon

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I bought a watermelon today to make "Frozen Watermelon-Lime Bars".

I started to just write down the changes I made to the recipe, but realized they were more extensive on paper than they had seemed in my head... so here's the recipe, revised and improved:

For Watermelon Sorbet:
1 (2 1/2-pounds) piece of watermelon (this was about half of the watermelon I had... more on that later)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila

For Lime Semifreddo:
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream

Make watermelon sorbet:
Line a 9-inch square baking pan (2 inches deep) with plastic wrap, leaving a 2-inch overhang. Put lined pan in freezer.
Coarsely chop watermelon flesh (leave seeds in), then purée enough to yield 2 1/2 cups in a blender. Strain this quickly to take off about 1/4 cup of juice.
Return flesh to blender and add sugar, juice, and tequila to purée and blend 30 seconds.
Freeze sorbet in ice cream maker. Transfer to lined baking pan, smoothing top. Put in freezer to harden, for 1 hour.
Break up the semi-frozen watermelon sorbet with a spoon, and then smooth it out again. Freeze another 30-60 minutes.

Meanwhile, make lime semifreddo:
Whisk together condensed milk, zest, and juice. Beat cream until it just holds stiff peaks, then gently fold into condensed-milk mixture.
Spread over sorbet (after the 2-stage freeze), smoothing top. Freeze until solid, at least 2 hours.

The recipe actually caught my eye in an ad for the new Gourmet app. I don't have an iPad, so no comment on the app functionality, but I am glad there is some hope for the Gourmet brand yet. I actually think it's a really interesting development, and don't have the reflexive, "OMG, it's franken-magazine!" response which seems to be the default reaction. Maybe I have worked in technology too long. I am curious whether this was a McKinsey recommendation, an after thought, or the work of yet another consulting company (my guess, the latter).

Anywy, the desert only used half the watermelon, so I made a salad with the other half:

2.5 lbs watermelon
1/4 red onion
1/4 cup chopped black olives
handful chopped mint
1/3 c olive oil
juice of 1 lime (about 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon rice wine vineagar
hot pepper to taste

Chop the watermelon into chunks-- about 2 inches square. Toss with other ingredients, and enjoy-- don't mix until right before you are ready to eat.

All of this was inspired by experimenting with making Horchata for my son, who is addicted, and spends about an hour every Saturday morning (from the time we hang up from chatting with Nonna and Babbo, until the moment we arrive at the stand at Alemany) chanting "Horchada! Horchada! Farmer's Eat!". I started with this recipe, but I am still working on it. Too powdery. And I think my cinnamon was a little stale, even thought I bought it today. Next time, a trip to La Palma is in order.

If only Nopalito would just publish a cookbook already. Which is another way to say that while the green tacos were AWESOME tonight, I still can't even come close to Nopalito's, and no recipe yet.

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