"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cantaloupe Cooler (Agua de Melon)

One of the things I love about both of the Gourmet cookbooks are the recipes that use ingredients or a technique that I've never heard of and never could have imagined. THAT'S when I feel my mind expanding and I get so excited I just can't keep my mouth shut.

As a result, a LOT of people now know about Cantaloupe Coolers. Why? Because the main ingredient isn't cantaloupe, as you might suspect, it's this:

Yep--cantaloupe seeds!

This is what you do: take the seeds of one cantaloupe, 1/3 cup sugar and two cups of water and whiz them up in a blender, like so:

Strain into something (I used a jar) and add a third cup of water:

And you're done! Well, not quite done. You want it to be cold, so put it in the fridge. The recipe says to use very cold water, but I just made it several hours before I knew I'd want it so it would be nice and chilled.

Ah, over ice, so refreshing! But being me I'm always thinking about how to make things even better, so I thought I'd add a little:

...but the Rose's overwhelmed the delicate flavor of the cantaloupe. So when my writing group came over, I suggested a squeeze of:

...and that was truly delicious! But THEN Ruth said, boy, I bet this would be good with rum. And I thought, aha. I bet it would be perfect with:

...which I just happened to have kicking around in a cupboard somewhere. A little teensy splash in each glass, and Let the Writing Group Begin!! Yes, I love my writing group, and not just because they are all perfectly fine with the idea of drinking Malibu rum in the middle of the afternoon!

This recipe can be found in the new beautiful Gourmet Today, and for those of you despairing that I'll never swim out of the Drinks chapter and into something else--fear not! I've got the ingredients for the bluefish recipe with the green tomato and watermelon salsa. So stay tuned!


Georgia said...

If only I'd known that this is how it is made, I would have taken the Agua de Melon substitute for the Hibiscus cooler. I thought the melon drink would be too melon-y.

Melissa Bach Palladino said...

Were you at a restaurant that served it?!? I've never seen it before!