Sandia Loca
Ingredients
Directions
For the Chamoy
1 pt
dried angeleno plums
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1 pt
dried apricots
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1 qt
water
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1 c
hibiscus tea
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½ c
apple cider vinegar
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½ c
lemon juice
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1 c
orange juice
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½ c
lime juice
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1
knob ginger
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2 tbsp
Mexican Spice Blend*
See below
*Show Note
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Pinch salt
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Sugar to taste
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For the Mexican Spice Blend
1
part Sumac
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1
part Aleppo or Marash
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½
part smoked salt (or sea salt)
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For the Loca Salad
1
watermelon
Jump
1
jicama
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1
cucumber
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2
mangoes
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1 c
candied peanuts
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1 c
tamarind candy
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1 c
pickled pig skin (extremely optional!)
Jump
Sandia Loca

Chef Gerardo Gonzalez’s recipe for sandia loca (a.k.a. crazy watermelon) forgoes mass-produced chamoy sauce and Tajin powder for homemade versions that deliver the same sweet-tart pucker and salty spice, using more wholesome ingredients. Gonzalez encourages improvising the fruit salad with different kinds of melon, pineapple, papaya, even stone fruit—whatever’s good.

4 servings

For the Chamoy
  1. Add the dried fruit and ginger to a pot with the water and hibiscus tea. Bring to boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook until softened. Add vinegar and citrus juices, reduce until incorporated and fruit begins to fall apart. Remove the ginger, add the remaining ingredients, and blend with an immersion blender. (Sugar should be added just for balance—this is a sour plum sauce.) Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Keeps refrigerated for months. Makes a quart and a half.
For the Mexican Spice Blend
  1. Combine ingredients.
For the Loca Salad
  1. Slice the stem end of the watermelon so it can sit flat. Halve the watermelon, the short way if it’s oblong. Scoop the fruit carefully out of the half that has a flat end with a spoon and cut into cubes. Cut the fruit from the other half of the watermelon into bars. Cut up the remaining fruit and vegetables into chunks, spears and batons and pile back into the hollow half shell. Get creative. Make cups out of the cucumbers, make floral designs in the mangoes, etc. Dress with a liberal amount of hot sauce, chamoy, Mexican spice blend, and candied peanuts.

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