Two little tricks up our sleeve at last week's Dinner Club were the melon shooters and the coffee granita: we served these in between courses as a sort of palate cleanser. They certainly were tasty interludes and they bought us the time we needed to plate the next course!
The first was adapted from an idea given to me by Chef Renée Lavallée, otherwise known as Halifax's Feisty Chef. I attended two of her cooking classes recently (great fun!), and in the midst of my chilled soup woes, she gave me some much needed advice and a fun idea. Rather than serving it as a soup, however, we wound up making it into this simple shooter.
1/2 honeydew melon, chopped
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 bottle sparkling rosé
1 bunch mint leaves (garnish)
Put chopped melon and pineapple juice in your blender and puree. Set aside. Fill each shot glass 1/2 way with rosé, then top up with the melon mixture. Garnish with a mint leaf and serve.
The end result is this pretty separation between the rosy bottom and melon-filled top!
Next up was the coffee granita, which, as I've mentioned a few times now, I found on Marnely Rodriguez's gorgeous food blog, Cooking with Books. I've made this several times in the past two weeks, and this is definitely my new favourite way to enjoy coffee at home in the summer. Making this yourself, you get to tweak it to your own liking and preferred caffeine intake.
|Coffee granita at work? Yes, please! I forgot to photograph this at Dinner Club, so made some at the office last week.|
I have a sneaky suspicion this would be equally delicious spiked with rum or a liqueur. Possibly a good way to keep summer party guests both intoxicated and awake?
from Cooking with Books
1 cup brewed coffee
1/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons simple syrup (or your preferred sweetener)
1. Brew coffee as usual and mix with milk and sweetener.
2. Place in small shallow pan and reserve in freezer. Every 15 minutes scrape ice crystals with fork. Do this until the entire liquid has frozen into small crystals.
3. Serve in small glasses as a light dessert served with fresh berries or drizzled with dulce de leche.
We were originally going to serve this in a shot glass as well, but realized belatedly that it wouldn't 'shoot' so well. We quadrupled this recipe for our 8 guests and then filled coffee cups half way with the mixture and some raspberries, which meant they could eat it with a spoon. The first time I made this, I used honey to sweeten the granita, but found it wasn't really the flavour I wanted. Every time thereafter, and at Dinner Club, I used brown sugar. It really hit the sweet spot.
Give these two treats a try while the summer sun is still with us!