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Mouthwatering Melons

If I were stranded on an island with a choice of food, it would be melons. They are great sources of nutrition, low in fat, and as versatile as your imagination. I’ve included salad, an entrée, and other keepers. Enjoy and take advantage of all the varieties at the farmer’s market this summer.

MELON, LIME, AND MINT KABOBS WITH YOGURT HONEY DIPPING SAUCE
1 lime
1/2 small cantaloupe
1/2 small honeydew
1/2 small personal-size watermelon
1 bunch fresh mint
Long wooden skewers

Dipping Sauce
1 cup light vanilla yogurt
1 Tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon lime juice

Zest the lime, and reserve for dipping sauce. Juice the lime. Cut melons into large chunks and put in a large bowl. Sprinkle 3/4 of the lime juice over melon. Mix fresh, whole mint leaves with melon and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least two hours (or make the day before) and assemble right before serving. The mint and lime will become more intense the longer it is chilled. Toss frequently. When ready to serve, combine honey, yogurt, and remaining lime juice. Add zest. Assemble melons on skewers and add mint leaves if desired. Serve with dipping sauce. Great as a summer appetizer. Serves 6-8.

FIRECRACKER SHRIMP AND MELON SALAD
1 small red onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup horseradish
3 large cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1/2 cup lime juice
1 Tablespoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
20 to 25 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 small heads Bibb lettuce, washed and dried
1 cup honeydew, cut in medium chunks
1 cup watermelon, cut in medium chunks
1 cup cantaloupe, cut in medium chunks

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except last five. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Continue to cook on low for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely. Add clean, dry shrimp to mixture and pour into a glass bowl. Cover with plastic and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours. When ready to serve, place Bibb lettuce on four salad plates and cover with melon chunks. Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and let it become very hot without smoking. Drain shrimp but reserve liquid. Cook shrimp very quickly, tossing or turning until shrimp curls slightly and turns pink, about three minutes. Remove shrimp and arrange over salad. Add liquid to hot skillet and reduce by half. When cooked, pour over shrimp and serve. Serves 4.

GRILLED BLEU MELON CHICKEN SALAD
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, ribs intact for grilling
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1-1/2 cups fresh cantaloupe, cut into chunks
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled bleu-vein cheese (such as Stilton)
Large lettuce leaves

Mix salt with olive oil and rub into chicken breasts. Chill for at least an hour. Grill over hot coals until meat is done. When cool, remove meat and pull apart in shreds. Add cantaloupe to chicken and set aside. Mix sour cream with mayo and add black pepper. Fold into chicken mixture and divide into four portions on a salad plate atop a large lettuce leaf. Sprinkle crumbled bleu cheese on top and serve with crackers. Serves 4.

EASY SUMMER SALSA
1/2 cup orange-pineapple juice
1 Tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, chopped fine
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 small banana pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup cantaloupe, cut in chunks
1/2 cup honeydew, cut in chunks
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine juice, honey, and olive oil and whisk together until blended. Add pepper flakes, chopped cilantro, and set aside. Combine onion, banana pepper, cantaloupe, and honeydew in a bowl. Add juice mixture and taste for seasoning. Chill until time to serve. I like to spread this on grilled French bread slices and serve with grilled entrées. Makes 1-1/2 cups.

Coming Next Month: Midway Munchies

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