August 16, 2010

That's What She Said

I bought a melon baller and used it for the first time on Sunday. As an understatement, I was excited to use this new tool (to the point where I choreographed a dance routine to our sorority pseudo "anthem" called "Percolator"and changed out the words from "it's time for the percolator" to "it's time for the melon baller."). I kind of felt like I had become my mother, in the way that we'd sometimes give her funny looks when she would be doing jazz and or tap dance moves while cleaning the kitchen floor to Annie Lennox. I far surpassed that on Sunday afternoon while rhythmically making balls of melon. What a perfect transition to link back to the title that I chose for this post....basically, when it involves the melon baller, there is no way to talk about the end product without a handful of (much enjoyed) snickering comments ending with "that's what she said, Mish." (Example 1: Would anyone like some balls? They are cold and wet! Oey vay.)

We decided to have a very casual Sunday for some of Doug's (and now my) friends to stop over and join us on our roof deck to listen to the Top Gun Soundtrack and watch the final day of the Air and Water Show (while celebrating the inaugural usage of Doug's new meat smoker!). Welcome to Chicago Blair, Marc, and Brian. I couldn't help to write their names on the chalk board. I like when people feel special!

Smoker and baller united for rooftop greatness. What an excellent Sunday. I took the lead with the side salads and the hosting aspects of the day, while Doug focused on the smoking of the ribs that he purchased a few days earlier (from this really sketchy meat market in the West Loop that is one big fridge basically, and people on the website blog said it reminded them of a morgue--sounds li
ke a place any guy would dream of with meats hanging from the ceiling).

I have included the Martha Stewart Recipes I used below from the book "Great Food Fast." It's absolutely excellent. Click Here to View the Book & Purchase. In addition, I added in the cilantro recipe below. I just wanted to put a photo of Doug's ribs, since that was the main purpose of our Sunday (the salads below were just a fresh and healthy side to contrast the smoked meat).

Cantaloupe Mint Salad
1 Ripe Cantaloupe
8 ounces (1 container circle size) of mozzarella balls (fresh)
1/4 pound prosciutto, cut it into strips & I pull off excess fat from the ends
1 tablespoon (I added a tad more) of lemon juice
Salt & Pepper
1/4 cup chopped mint (it says to tear it, but I used a knife)

1. Use that melon baller baby! It's time for the melon baller! (Make balls out of the cantaloupe. Put them into a bowl).
2. Cut the mozzarella balls in halves. Add them to the bowl.
3. Mix in the strips of prosciutto.
4. Add in the salt, pepper, lemon, and mint. Mix with your hands.
5. Enjoy handling the balls to ensure they are coated evenly. That's what she said. (Who started that saying anyways. It's pretty stupid but for some reason it apparently stuck).

Cucumber Radish Slaw
2 seedless cucumbers
6 radishes (one bunch)
3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Splenda (or regular white sugar. I just love Splenda. Sorry I know it's not great for you).

1. Cut the skin off the cucumbers. Cut them in half short-way. Get out a grater. Trust me on this. Use the side that you'd typically utilize to grate cheese into shreds. Use it on the cucumbers and grate all 4 pieces.
4. Use a spaghetti strainer & strain the cucumber shreds. They have too much water on them for the salad to actually be good and not get soggy within the first 5 minutes it sits out. If it helps to pat it with paper towels, DO IT!
5. Mix in the radishes. Cut the radishes in thin disks. If there is a secret to doing this, then let me know if you find out. I'd like to know.
6. Refrigerate until serving time.

Cilantro Pesto
3 Garlic cloves
2 cups fresh cilantro (I used a little more because Doug is obsessed)
1/4 cup olive oil drizzle
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 a lemon worth of juice
salt and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon each)

1. Place garlic and cilantro into food processor. PULSE IT.
2. While pulsing, add in the oils, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
3. Put in the fridge along with the cucumber slaw.

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