Recipe: Watermelon “Sushi”

This past Labor Day weekend, I hosted my second rooftop party. It was very much delayed from the previous rooftop party because the first one was back in 2014!! I should have multiple rooftop parties throughout each summer! There was a total of 14 people, which honestly was more than I had planned for but I don’t regret it because it turned out to be such a blast!

I made four different canapés and I just love, love, love the watermelon “sushi” that I came up with when I used to work at Degustation. It was one of my favorite amuse bouche that I put on the tasting menu – here and here.

I had fish troubles for this one because the fluke that I had bought at the fish market turned bad two days later, which meant that I couldn’t use it, even after I cured it, it was still bad… So I had to rush to my favorite trustworthy Japanese supermarket the day of, which killed one hour of my prep time! I’ve always used some kind of flat fish like sole or fluke but Katagiri didn’t have sashimi grade flat fish so I bought some salmon and yellowtail.

It’s best to use cold, refrigerated watermelon. Cut the watermelon into bite-sized rectangles. To cure the fish, cover the fish in equal parts of salt and sugar and place in refrigerator for 45 minutes. The fish pieces that I had were no more than 5 mm thick.

I always like to have my reduced sherry vinegar on hand at home because I use it to season a lot of random things. I buy a 16-year aged Pedro Ximénez sweet sherry vinegar from Despaña and reduce it with herbs and spices until it becomes syrupy. Once you’re done assembling the watermelon and sliced cuts of fish, drizzle some sherry reduction and grate some fresh lime zest over the top. This is always a big crowd pleasure and is perfect for summer!

Romescada

It’s snowing outside. It’s fucking freezing too. It’s unbearably chilly near my window. And all I want is this Romescada with Monkfish, Octopus, and Gambas.

Happy New Year & Happy Holidays!!!

Ocean Trout Tartare

This was the first course to my Friendmas dinner of 2017.

I haven’t done any tartares with ocean trout before, always with tuna/salmon/yellowtail. Ocean Trout compares favorably to salmon and with a taste that is both milder and richer at the same time. So why ocean trout this time? Because I just wanted to.

Here is Ocean Trout Tartare with Meyer Lemon Zest, diced Jalapeño, and cut Chives, sitting on a bed of sliced Persian Cucumbers, topped with Rice Krispies and micro greens, served with homemade Japanese Sweet Potato Chips.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Plans for Friendmas 2017

This is actually my first Friendmas dinner party! I haven’t had a Christmas Eve off in six years!!! It’s been a weird year and it’s weird to have both eves on a Sunday.

But since I usually go all out during my Friendsgiving dinner parties, I am going light with this dinner. I came up with this menu in one evening.

Ocean Trout Tartare
Meyer Lemon, Jalapeño, Rice Krispies
(1st course)

Duck with 5 Spice
Celeriac Purée, Pommes Fondant, Shanghai Bok Choy
(2nd course)

Cheesecake with Citrus
Mascarpone Mousse,
Streusel, Citrus Sorbet
(3rd course)

Excited!!

Watermelon “Sushi”

My first post was Watermelon “Sushi” – an amuse bouche that I came up with in early spring of 2017. This photo was from mid-summer of 2017 – I have perfected it and its presentation.

Here are three pieces of Sweet Summer Watermelon, topped with Cured Dover Sole, Aged Apple Vinegar, and Lime Zest! One bite of satisfying goodness!

Click here for the recipe.

Dill-Brined Halibut with Farro

This was the second course to my Friendsgiving 2017 dinner.

I saw this on Chef Steps and decided to give it a try, mainly because I love dill and I wanted to use my Joule.

Here is Halibut that was brined in a Dill-Solution and served with a Farro Salad, Sun-Dried Tomato, Pine Nuts, Lemon Yogurt, and fresh Micro Chervil.

Plans for Friendsgiving 2017

I’m a month late this year… I usually have my Friendsgiving menu ready in August – I like to plan early!

Goat’s Milk Ice Cream, Pumpernickel Soil, Lemon Foam, Microgreens
(1st course)

Dill-Brined Halibut with Farro, Sun-Dried Tomato, Pine Nuts, Micro Chervil
(2nd course)

Butternut Squash Velouté, Black Trumpets, Chanterelles, Toasted Pepitas & Chives
(3rd course)

Duck Carnitas, Pickled Onions, Watermelon Radish, Serrano, Cilantro, Lime, Tortillas
(4th course)

Warm Pear Tart, Candied Pecans, Maple Ice Cream
(5th course)

 

 

Arctic Char with English Pea Soup

Spring is literally the best season! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a case of sweet English pea pods in order to make soup… then I remember how painstaking the prep is… shucking peas is the most tedious task out there along with shucking fava beans and shucking chickpeas. At least peas have only one step, after blanching fava beans and fresh chickpeas, there is another step to take them out of their skins.

This is Cured Arctic Char with Marinated Salmon Roe, Shaved Golden Beets, Bronze Fennel, Radish Blossoms, served in a cold Sweet English Pea Soup.

Arctic Char Carbonara

I love Arctic char over salmon, cooked that is. I almost never use salmon in any of my cooked dishes. Arctic char is related to both salmon and lake trout. I think it has better flavor than both of those fish.

This was Olive Oil Poached Arctic Char Carbonara with Housemade Fettuccine, Smoked Trout Roe, Crispy Skin, and Micro Dill.

I took the skin off the char and fried it. As for the flesh, in a water bath at 50°C, I sous vide it in extra virgin olive oil for 40 minutes.

Skate Wing with Barley Risotto

I feel like skate is such an under-appreciated fish. I love skate wing. I love the texture of the flesh, the chewiness of it, and how gelatinous it is. A classic way to cook skate is with brown butter, thyme, and garlic. It’s perfect every time. I don’t think I’ve had it any other way.

This Skate Wing is served with a Barley Risotto, Rock Shrimp, Garlic Chives, a Riesling Saffron Sauce, Mascarpone Foam, and Saltwort.