Make this recipe when fragrant local melons are in season for an especially delectable treat. Bamboo skewers are infinitely versatile: good for grilling, but equally useful for threading pre-cooked or uncooked items to be eaten as finger food, with or without dips.
- 36 shrimp, deveined, peeled (peel the tail also), and cooked
- 2 T. minced shallot OR sweet onion OR scallion
- ˝ c. seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 2 T. chopped fresh tarragon, OR substitute Italian or Asian basil
- 1-2 T. sugar
- ˝ tsp. freshly ground pepper, preferably white, or to taste
- 1 ripe but firm cantaloupe, halved and seeds removed
- 1 ripe but firm honeydew, halved and seeds removed
- 12 bamboo skewers
Using a melon baller, make 18 balls EACH from the cantaloupe and the honeydew. The size of the balls you need depends on the size of the shrimp. The shrimp should curve around the balls and cover at least half of the ball. Make the balls as perfect as possible, saving the “rejects” for another use such as fruit salad.
Drain the shrimp in a colander and shake a few times to remove excess moisture and some of the bits of herbs and shallots. It’s OK if little bits of the tarragon and shallot stick to them.
Thread a melon ball about 3 inches down one of the bamboo skewers. Then spear a shrimp in the middle of the inside curve and bring it down so that the shrimp curves over and around the melon ball. Whichever kind of melon ball you used first, thread a ball of the alternate melon down on top of the shrimp and place another shrimp over it in the same manner as the first. Repeat, using another melon ball of the first kind. Continue making skewers in the same manner, alternating which kind of melon you start with. Each skewer should have three shrimp and two melon balls of one kind and one melon ball of the other kind.