Mise en Place: Cantaloupe

August 6, 2010

Welcome to Mise en Place, a journey of culinary delight where anything can happen. Based on the Colorado Department of Agriculture's list of food by month, KRCC takes a look at farmers, chefs, and fodder, all with a Centennial State bent.

Each month, the state's agriculture department highlights a commodity and provides a recipe using that product. We take it a step further.

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Right now is the prime picking season for cantaloupe, and the prime place to find the melon is certainly Rocky Ford. KRCC's Andrea Chalfin went down to visit with melon farmer Greg Smith and his son Adam of Smith Farms, and also spoke with Rocky Ford entrepreneur Shirley Ann Cathey of Shirley Ann's Field Fresh Produce, who sells Rocky Ford cantaloupe preserves.

Click below for the recipe from the Colorado Department of Agriculture for Sweet Chile Chicken and Grilled Cantaloupe Panini.

Sweet Chile Chicken and Grilled Cantaloupe Panini
Chef Jason K. Morse, C.E.C., Valley Country Club, Aurora, Colo.

2 slices Panini Bread
1 ea. 5oz. Chicken Breast, marinated in olive oil, red wine vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. Sweet Chile Sauce
1/4 ea. Cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and sliced
2 Tbsp. Rondele or Boursin Cheese Spread
1 ball Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
1 cup Mixed Greens
2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinaigrette

Grill the marinated chicken until fully cooked, then glaze with the sweet chile sauce and remove from heat. Slightly season the sliced cantaloupe and grill until nicely marked.

Spread cheese on both slices of bread. Place the grilled cantaloupe on top of the cheese spread on one piece of bread. Slice the chicken on a bias and place on top of the cantaloupe. Place three slices of mozzarella on top of the chicken and then add the other slice of bread on top. Lightly butter both sides of the bread and place into a Panini press. Cook until the cheese has started to melt and the bread is golden brown.

Toss mixed greens with balsamic vinaigrette. Separate the chicken from the bread, insert the mixed greens and reassemble the sandwich. Slice and serve.