Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cantaloupe and Prosciutto Salad with Perfectly Grilled Chicken and Potatoes for #SundaySupper

In my ongoing search for delicious and nutritious recipes to try and - if they're successful - add to my arsenal,  sometimes I hit the jackpot. That's what I did with this salad. It is a re-imagined version of the old Italian prosciutto and melon appetizer. I have already made it twice this summer for backyard get-togethers. And it's a hit. It'll be a hit for your July 4th party:




The great thing about this salad is you avoid the mess with the traditional prosciutto and melon. You know, when you bite into it and the melon juice drips all over you? So you scurry back to your plate for protection, or to put your hand under your chin. Only to find your white linen pants have melon juice all over them and it looks like you peed yourself. Not to mention, the stringy prosciutto getting stuck in your teeth with every bite. Not only that,  every time you take a bite the rest of the prosciutto becomes unwrapped from the melon. Then you're re-wrapping and playing drip-prevent defense at the same time.

It's a nuisance and this recipe eliminates all of that because you still get the awesome-sauce taste with added kick AND the bonus of using a fork. Novel concept, I know. This is simple and delicious:

Ingredients:
  • 1-lb cantaloupe, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces. 
  • 1/2 lb. honeydew melon. 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • 10 mint leaves, chopped finely 
  • 4 (about 1/4 lb.) slices fresh prosciutto, chopped finely 
  • ground black pepper 
  • 1/4 lb. fresh shaved Pecorino Romano cheese
Preparation:
  • I admit I buy the pre-cubed containers of cantaloupe and honeydew for this. Since I make it when we're entertaining, and you probably will too, it's just easier. (Although more expensive. But worth it to me, and I'm a cheapskate. To each their own.) 
  • Still, I further cut that melon myself into small enough cubes. 
  • Then add your lemon juice, mint, and prosciutto. (Make sure you get the prosciutto from an Italian butcher. I've gone over this before.)
  • Give it a few turns on the old peppermill, depending on your taste. 
  • Shave your Pecorino and set it aside. Add it right before serving so it doesn't get soggy. Mix and serve. Easy and yum. Takes 10-15 minutes.
Make that ahead of everything else. Put it in the fridge and let all of the flavors absorb for a couple of hours. Cut and marinate your chicken (details below) and let that sit in the fridge for a couple of hours too. When you're ready for dinner, fire up the grill and do exactly what I say for potatoes and chicken that are grilled to perfection.
Ingredients:
  • 2-3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 4-5 inch pieces. 
  • Marinade of your choice. (For a giggle, I like Caribbean Jerk.) 
  • 3-4 roasting potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes. (I use Yukon or fingerling.)
Preparation:

  • Rip off a 10"-12" sheet of tin foil. Curl it into the shape of a bowl. Spray it with cooking spray. (If you don't spray the foil, the potatoes will stick. I know because I forget most of the time.) 
  • Put your cut potatoes into your foil bowl. Now double up on the foil. Season your potatoes however you like. Salt, pepper, garlic salt, rosemary, parsley, and/or butter or olive oil:
Before: A hot pocket of potato love
  • Place your foil bowl of potatoes on one side of the grill on high. Close grill. You may walk away. (The potatoes are pretty much self-contained. Just make sure not to put them on a really hot spot on the grill.) 
  • In about 20-25 minutes, put your marinated chicken on the grill. Keep an eye on the potatoes. If need be, lower the heat on that side of the grill. 
  • Your window to walk away has now closed. (Remember what I said about the pork tenderloin?) That chicken is small and will cook fast. Walk away and you're doomed. 
  • After 3-4 minutes, turn the chicken over. Reduce heat to medium. Let cook 2-3 minutes. Close grill. 
  • Don't walk away. Sit in a patio chair with a beer and use your smart phone to catch up on any recent DKL posts you may have missed. 
  • In another 3-4 minutes, open the grill, reduce heat to low, turn the chicken again. Once the temperature drops to warm, close the lid. Turn the grill off. 
  • Let it cool and serve. Should take 45 minutes from the time you first put the potatoes on the grill.
Your chicken should look like this:


You gonna tell me that's not perfect?
Making it Peanut-friendly:
  • The chicken is always juicy and tasty. The potatoes too. This makes for a happy Peanut. 
  • The cantaloupe salad is hit or miss with her. You might have to take the mint off. Sometimes she can't grasp that we're having fruit as our vegetable. She'll learn to deal.
  • She also doesn't like the skin on potatoes, but I don't peel potatoes. She IS learning to deal. (The skins also peel off easily when you cook them like this.) 

I take great pride in my grilling. I am a self-taught grillmaster. Neither my mom nor my dad grilled. I've had many failures, which is why I love sharing my techniques with you. It's a shame to waste good food.

Enjoy and Happy 4th!

Check out the other #SundaySupper recipes for July 4th:

Salads and Sides:
Desserts:

36 comments:

  1. Oh looks delicious. Cantaloupe is a favorite around here and lately we can't get enough of it. I love how it looks paired with the honey dew and prosciutto in the salad. Perfect!

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    1. It looks good and tastes good. So refreshing for a backyard BBQ. Enjoy!

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  2. I can't wait to try this. Sounds delicious.

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  3. This sounds so refershing and delicious! I've bookmarked this to serve at our table very soon!

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    1. That's the ultimate compliment! Thank you.

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  4. Your comment about the white linen pants almost made me wet myself :) I love the cantaloupe/prosciutto combo and I'll be the honeydew makes it even better. Unfortunately, I can only dream of having an Italian butcher.

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    1. Awww... I guess I'm spoiled here in NJ... with the Italian butcher, that is. But I'm glad you liked my humor. I try to infuse (cooking term) some of that into my recipe posts so my regular readers can appreciate it and the foodies who come for #SS know what to expect here f they come back for non-recipes.

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  5. Hot pocket of potato love! haha. Yes, thank you! This looks yummy, a perfect summer dish!

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    1. :-) Why search for a an SAT term to describe it when "hot pocket of potato love" sums it up perfectly?

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  6. Nice salad and chicken recipes. Great grilling tips too.

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    1. Thank you... I learned on my 'culinary' journey that grilling and cooking are two different things. (Like cooking and baking.)

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  7. I'm really going to enjoy that salad! With that explanation, who would eat it any other way!

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    1. I know... and that's how I've eaten it my entire life! Then I came upon this and I don't think I'd ever eat it the 'normal' way again.

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  8. I have never heard of eating melon and prosciutto together and I am so intrigued I need to try it.

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    1. It's great. It's definitely an Italian thing, and probably most popular in the northeast. It's actually on menus as an appetizer in a lot of the restaurants we went to in Italy.

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  9. What fun flavors! I never would've thought to combine prosciutto and cantaloupe!

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  10. What a great sweet and salty salad. I prefer melon/prosciutto on skewers than big and whole and messy!

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  11. I love this idea for an easier way to eat melon and prosciutto...I can't WAIT to make this for our next family cooking event!!

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    1. So glad you like it enough to try it yourself! It's GREAT for parties.

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  12. Your explanation of eating prosciutto and melon is so true! Here we eat it with a knife and fork, can you believe that? Super combination for a salad! Love it

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    1. Don't get me wrong... I love prosciutto and melon... but this makes it a lot easier. And tastier.

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  13. My brother makes something similar with melon and prosciutto, your salad look wonderful!

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  14. I haven't had prosciutto and melon in ages; thanks for the reminder that I used to like that! I will definitely have to try your method.

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    1. Sweet! Glad to re-introduce you to this combo!

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  15. I love your take on the classic melon salad. It looks delicious.

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    1. Thank you! It's great... I hope you try it.

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  16. You are hilarious!!! The chin and white linen line made me laugh out loud. This is some serious eats here. The Italian market is a must, I agree.

    I'm trying to master grilling too. Thanks for the tips. It's great fun except when I screw up a rack of ribs or something similar. You are so right, chicken is a guard required grilling food if you want it moist.

    Have a super holiday!

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    1. Thank you for appreciating my humor. It wouldn't be funny if it weren't true. And if you don;t have an Italian butcher.market, don't avoid the recipe. Just go to a deli. I'm just a snob when it comes to these things.

      As for the grilling: it's tough... but you'll get there. Took me a couple of years.

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  17. Cantaloupe and prosciutto is such a great combination, so brilliant idea to combine them in a salad! Love the salty/sweet.

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