Thursday, June 18, 2009

Melon & Strawberries in Honey Sauce

IMG_10168 by you.

1/4 c. honey

1 tbsp grated orange rind

2-3 tbsp orange juice

1 tbsp Grand Marnier

1 large cantaloupe (about 1 1/2 lbs), seeded, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces (2 1/2 cups)

1 cup strawberries, washed, hulled, and halved or quartered, depending on size (about 3/4 cup)

1. Combine the honey, orange rind, orange juice, and Grand Marnier in a bowl large enough to hold the melon and strawberries. Add both fruits and toss thoroughly.

2. Refrigerate until serving time (can be assembled up to 6 hours ahead).

3. At serving time, divide the fruit mixture among 4 goblets.

I used a "Tuscan Extra Sweet" Cantaloupe. It looks pretty much like a regular cantaloupe, except for greenish ridges on the outside that are supposed to fade in color as it ripens. It really was quite sweet and the rind was very thin. I think because of that, I didn't end up needing the whole thing - half of the melon yielded close to 3 cups, diced.

I also ran into some issues with my honey, which had crystallized. Running the bottle under hot water melted it enough to get it out of the container, and I even zapped the sauce in the microwave after mixing to try and get all the honey dissolved but I still ended up with some gritty bits in the bottom. By the time we ate the dish though, it either all disappeared, or we just didn't notice since I strained out the liquid as I served.

Cheats & Changes
I left out the Grand Marnier since we had small children eating with us. I also once again used my handy microplane to zest the entire orange, which I think came out to more or less 1 tablespoon. I juiced half of the same orange which yielded just over 3 tbsp.

The Verdict
Like most of the rest of this menu, I thought this was good, but not a knockout by any means. And like the cole slaw, this was also a dish that benefited from having some time to marinate/macerate before serving. The melon I bought was so so sweet that I'm not sure the honey sauce really added anything. I think this would be better with either just the strawberries, or perhaps some melon that hasn't quite ripened. However, the kids loved it and had at least 3 (toddler-sized) helpings each. But I suppose they'll scarf down anything that's marinated in sugar or honey.

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