We had a busy weekend which started with the celebration of this gal’s birthday.
You may know her as “Momma” from the comments section of this blog. I know her as the best mom a gal could ever have.
Our two-day celebration was capped off with a delicious dinner at McCormick & Schmick’s. By the way, did you know that they will print a special occasion message to the guest of honor on the top of your menus? Nice touch, McCormick & Schmick’s.
On Saturday night we had a mini-reunion with part of our Camino de Santiago group at the home of fellow pilgrims, Nora and G.
Before dinner, we plugged our computers into G’s gigantic and gorgeous television to share pictures from the trip. We scrolled through 300+ photos bringing back great memories of a most amazing journey.
In honor of the evening’s theme, Nora prepared a lovely and delicious paella.
Paella is something I enjoy eating but would never attempt to make myself. Nora is a gifted cook who whips up dishes like this with her eyes closed.
I’m delighted to be the frequent beneficiary of Nora’s culinary skills and have, in fact, “borrowed” her recipes for posts (Panzanella salad).
Today I’m going to share another of Nora’s recipes with you.
See that pretty bowl of soup served with the paella?
This Two Melon Soup, served chilled, is the perfect, refreshing start to a summertime meal.
Also, Nora assures me that the recipe fits my requirements of being High Impact, Low Effort. The hardest part, she says, is pouring the soup into the bowls.
Nora’s Two Melon Soup
- 1 ripe cantaloupe, diced
- 1 small honeydew melon, diced
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon minced fresh mint
Puree cantaloupe with lemon juice until smooth. Transfer to a container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Rinse blender then puree honeydew with lime juice and mint until smooth. Transfer to a container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
When ready to serve, either:
Transfer purees into two separate measuring cups. With one in each hand, pour simultaneously into the bowl, pouring equal amounts on each side.
or use Nora’s preferred method:
Tip bowl slightly to the side and pour in the desired amount of cantaloupe puree. Pour the honeydew puree into the other side of the bowl as you are lowering the bowl back to level.
Either way might take some practice but the result is beautiful.
Garnish with a mint sprig.
Easy, peasy. Or so I’m told.
Big surprise, Peter and I brought wine to enjoy with dinner.
First up, a bottle of Albariño.
Albariño is a white wine commonly grown in Galicia, the Northwest region of Spain. Galicia is the very same part of Spain we walked through on the Camino of St. James. Along the way, we enjoyed lots and lots of great Spanish Albariño.
Peter and I brought a bottle from one of the few U.S. producers of Albariño, Hendry Vineyard. It was on a trip to Hendry’s winery in Napa that we first tasted Albariño and fell in love with it.
The 2014 Hendry Albariño ($22) is light and refreshing with good acidity. It is fruity and floral without going over the top.
Floral, herbal and peachy aromas. On the palate, tangy citrus, nectarine and passion fruit flavors reflect the bright acidity.
– Tasting notes via Hendry.com
Albariño reminds me a bit of Viognier in that it is a pretty versatile food wine. It pairs best with shellfish like mussels and clams but is also great with chicken. It’s the perfect white wine to serve with paella.
For the red wine lovers in the group, we brought a bottle of 2007 Clos Mogador Priorat from Spain.
This bold red Spanish wine, a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carinena, is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Albariño.
The 2007 Clos Mogador Priorat is dark and juicy and immensely satisfying. It brings flavors of licorice, blackberry, and black cherry. It’s a little bit spicy and a little bit smoky.
Oddly, though, because of the hearty nature of paella, this wine played well and did not overpower the flavors in the main course.
You have to love a dish with which you can pair both a light white wine and a bold red wine. Something for everyone.
For dessert, Nora made (you won’t believe this) homemade non-dairy rocky road ice cream with mini-marshmallows, almonds, and dashes of cayenne and red pepper.
That’s what I call a “HIGH EFFORT, HIGH IMPACT” recipe!
We ended the evening re-watching the movie that inspired us to do the walk in the first place, The Way.
This film from 2011 stars Martin Sheen and is written, produced and directed by his son, Emilio Estevez. Dedicated to Sheen’s father, Francisco Estevez, who hailed from Galicia, the film was inspired by a trip Sheen took with Emilio’s son on which they walked part of the Camino. A real family affair.
Although the movie tells the sad story of a dad completing the pilgrimage on behalf of his late son, it also captures the beauty, the community, and the spirit of The Way.
I highly recommend it!
And if you can get Nora to make some Two Melon Soup and paella for you – even better!!
I’ll bring the Albariño.
You Might Also Like: