Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Big News!!!

Thank you for visiting me on blogspot, but The Undercover Cook blog has moved to

Please make the jump and visit me on my website blog for the latest recipes, easy smarter eating tips and interesting food trends.  See below for easy links to my most recent July posts on The Undercover Cook.  Hope to see you soon on my new website!

■7/18/11 Fantastic Blueberry Cinnamon Multigrain Pancakes

■7/16/11 Blueberry Boy Bait

■7/14/11 The Nutty Banana Smoothie

■7/11/11 Chickpea Marsala Burgers

■7/7/11 Chipotle Mango BBQ Chicken

■7/5/11 Banana Nutella Muffins

■7/1/11 Homemade Watermelon Sorbet

Friday, July 1, 2011

Homemade Watermelon Sorbet

The 4th of July weekend is finally here!  For me that means barbecues with friends, beach time with my little guy and even a little neighborhood parade for the kids.   Now that is the good stuff!
So I have been looking for a great new recipe worthy of the 4th of July weekend.  I wanted something cool and refreshing and not too complicated for my laid back weekend of fun.  The first food that popped into my mind was watermelon.   
To me watermelon is one of the quintessential signs that it is summer!  I have lots of great memories of sitting in the backyard with all the neighborhood kids around a couple of giant watermelons.   One of the dads would slice and pass out big pieces to all the kids.  We would sit in the grass eating watermelon right out of the rind with glorious sweet red sticky juice running down our arms.  The collective moms would generally ban us from returning inside until we hosed down.  What you want us to play in the hose on a hot summer day??  Bonus!!
In my quest for the ultimate 4th of July dish I found a great recipe for Watermelon Sorbet with Chocolate Seeds on Epicurious.com.  The recipe for watermelon sorbet, which was previously published in Gourmet magazine, was simple.  I followed it exactly leaving out the optional liqueur kick at the end to keep my sorbet kid-friendly.  
The most time consuming preparation step was cutting up the watermelon and picking out all the seeds.  You could opt for a seedless watermelon to save time, but they aren’t quite as flavorful as the seeded variety.

I did skipped more complicated Gourmet presentation suggestions of trying to freeze the sorbet in the left over watermelon rind and making my own chocolate “watermelon seeds” out of melted chocolate.   Simply serving sorbet in bowls with a sprinkling of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips will be perfect!

Now I mentioned that I left out the optional liqueur when making the sorbet to keep my dish family friendly.  There is still an opportunity for a more adult version after the sorbet is made if you so desire.  This sorbet makes phenomenal Watermelon Zinger drinks.  Just skip the the chocolate chips, scoop servings into drink glasses, add a shot of vodka and give a quick stir.  
Happy 4th of July weekend everyone!
Watermelon Sorbet with Chocolate Seeds
Total Recipe Time: 3-4 hours  (25 minutes prep + freezing time)
Makes: 1 1/2 quarts
Approx 3 1/2 pound piece of watermelon
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
Cut the watermelon into chunks remove and discard all the seeds and rind.
Place watermelon chunks into a food processor. Give a few pulses on low until you get watermelon  puree.  Repeat until you have 5 cups of watermelon puree.
Place 1 cup of puree and sugar in a sauce pan.  Heat on moderate heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved (approximately 2-3 minutes).
Remove sauce pan form heat and stir in the remaining watermelon puree and lime juice.  Blend well.
Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until the watermelon mixture is fully cold.
Pour the watermelon mixture into an ice-cream maker.  Run ice-cream maker until sorbet is frozen to a slushy state (approx 25 minutes).  Place frozen sorbet in the freezer for at least 2-3 hours to further freeze.
Portion into bowls, sprinkle semi-sweet mini chocolate chips and serve immediately to your delighted guests!
Watermelon Zingers
watermelon sorbet (without semi-sweet chocolate chips)
vodka or rum
Portion watermelon sorbet into glasses.  Top with 1-2 oz of vodka or liqueur of choice.  Stir and serve with a straw.