Recipe: Melon Vinaigrette

At home, what do you usually do to with seeds when you cut melons such as cantaloupes and honeydews apart? Throw them away right? I sometimes put them in my mouth because the pulp sack around them is really sweet. However, I find it annoying that I have to eat them over the trash because I’m basically spitting out the seeds like a machine gun.

Anyway, save those seeds and pulp next time so you can make delicious melon vinaigrette!

  • Seed cavities from two melons (e.g. cantaloupe, honeydew, Crenshaw)
  • ½ cup white wine/white balsamic/champagne vinegar
  • 1½ cups neutral oil (e.g. grapeseed)
  • Salt
  • Xanthum gum (optional)

Push the seed cavities through a fine mesh strainer or chinois and reserve juices. The more juice you get out, the better.

In a VitaMix, pour reserved juices, vinegar, and oil into blender. Add a pinch of salt and a touch of xanthum to combine.

Sample dishes:

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.

Cuttlefish “Noodles” with Nori Pesto

This has to be one of my most innovative dishes using modernist cuisine methods. I sous vide the cuttlefish, rolled it up tightly, froze it, and then shaved it on a meat slicer.

I served the Cuttlefish “Noodles” with a Nori Pesto, Crispy Quinoa, and fresh Mezza Mâche. The overall taste was quite “Asian” with the texture of the noodles and the consistency of the nori pesto. But it was delicious, as an appetizer.

*Also, this is the dish that I chose for my homepage.

Poached Egg in Sunchoke Velouté

I love this dish – minus the preparation of sunchokes. I love sunchokes but they are the most frustrating ingredients to peel. Because of this, this poached egg was only on the tasting menu for a week.

This is a Poached Egg in a Sunchoke Velouté, Crispy Prosciutto, Sunchoke Chips, Pecans, Thai Basil Oil, and Fried Sage.

Frog Legs with Two Sauces

You don’t see much frog outside of Chinese and French restaurants. We had it briefly on our tasting menus. In my opinion, Frenching the legs so that they look like fancy mini drumsticks was too much for something so little. I still prefer them whole, intact, and cooked the rustic Chinese way. But anyhow, these Frenched Frog Legs are served with a Garlic Chive Purée, a Chinese Black Vinegar Reduction, Sunchoke Chips, and Tangerine Frills.

Crisp Octopus

I’m quite proud of my octopus dish. It was on our a la carte menu for six months, from September through March.

This dish comes with Celeriac Purée, Garlic Purée, Asian Pear, Micro Chervil and sits on a streak of Cuttlefish Ink Miso Paste.

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Sous Vide Egg & Mushroom Panzanella

A hearty dish on the tasting menu earlier this week. This was quite delicious (mainly because of my amazing red wine jus) and I think perfect for NYC’s current weather and season. It’s not entirely spring yet, winter still has its grip on the state of things.

This Sous Vide Egg has a Wild Mushroom Panzanella, Wintered Spinach, a Red Wine Jus, and Arugula Flowers.