Using melon two different ways for your weeknight meals. A fruity, mellow counterbalance to the smoky/spicy meat we’re all eating off the grill this summer.
A few weeks ago I was graced by the presence of one of my creators whom inevitably is responsible for any gastronomical gene I claim to represent. My mom is a 5’10″ tower that has gracefully aged with a metabolism I hope to still have in my fifties. Similar to myself, she loves to eat. As a proud mama, she begged me to express my culinary side while she was here. Her taste buds were craving salmon with a fruity salsa; however, the mango which I generally include was missing from my kitchen. Unfortunately, these tropical delights are typically rock hard for a few days before ready to consume; a last-minute grocery visit was out of the question. I dismissed her idea and requested that we settle for a pesto/Dijon glazed fish. She accepted but confirmed her craving still existed post meal. We realized after the fact that I had cantaloupe I could have gotten creative with. Naturally, the idea of cooking with melon has tortured my cooking soul for the last few weeks.
After a few experiments, I have learned that this neutral, slightly sweet, cancer fighting, and juicy fruit pairs best with smoky or slightly spicy meats. When thinking of barbecue season, this became the perfect accompaniment. Trial number one occurred over the 4th of July weekend with my in-laws. With the help of my mother-in-law’s tasty creation of pulled pork braised in beer and smoky barbecue sauce, I enlightened them with one more item to layer on the sandwich. Thin slices of melon added the perfect touch! Tonight, I concocted a weeknight chicken marinated in adobo sauce (found in cans in the Mexican food aisle), fresh lemon, olive oil, honey, and salt with grilled melon on the side. A bite to bite ratio while eating made me realize that this dish would be just as tasty as a kabob. See below for pictures and recipes for pulled pork sandos and grilled melon as well as weeknight adobo chicken with slightly charred melon bites.
Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Sliced Melon- serves party of 6-8
- 2 lbs pork shoulder
- 1 bottle light beer
- 1 btl of favorite barbecue sauce
- 1/2 cantaloupe sliced
- fresh buns
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 lemon squeezed
- 3-4 tbsp adobo sauce (from chipotle chiles in adobo)
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cantaloupe sliced