Oven-roasted Heirloom Chilis, Compressed Honeyloupe & Oro Amarillo Melon, Heirloom Cherry Tomato, Lime Creme Fraiche, Pickled Watermelon Rind, Cuban Oregano
The base layer of the bowl, which I bought in Nicaragua last year (it was hand made), is a lime spiked creme fraiche. At least I think it's a creme fraiche having not been made in it's traditional manner. I used raw milk from grass-fed cows to make some ricotta cheese. When you make cheese you heat the milk with either rennet or in this case vinegar to seperate the curds (cheese) from the whey. I saved the way, placing it in quart containers in my fridge. After chilling for about a day or so a thick layer of cream formed on top. After scooping it off I realized that it tasted just like creme fraiche (sour cream), so that's what I'm calling it. I whipped the cream with freshly grated lime zest.
I scooped and diced pieces of the honeyloupe and Oro Amarillo melons, seasoned them with sugar and salt and vacuum-packed them. This compresses the melons a little bit and concentrates their flavor and alters the texture. I removed the very outer layer of the watermelon rind and discarded it. I cut cubes as well as thin slices from the rind and pickled them with sugar, salt, white vinegar, clove, fennel and star anise. These were all served super cold to add to there cooling properties.
I coated the chilis in olive oil and placed them under the broiler for about five minutes to roast them. I tossed them with some maldon sea salt and allowed them to cool slightly before plating.
I sliced a red cherry tomato and plated it as-is. And I finished the plate off with some fuzzy leaves of Cuban oregano, also known as "lime-cerveza" oregano. So you can see where I was going with that.
If you want to imagine what this dish tasted like just picture yourself on the beach. It's 95 degrees and you forgot to put sunscreen on. But you do have a mojito in one hand and an ice cold beer in the other.
Organic Mixed Heirloom Chilis - Blooming Glen Farm
Organic Cherry Tomato - Savoie Organics
Organic Honeyloupe & Oro Amarillo Melon - Culton Organics
Organic Cuban Oregano - Weaver's Way
Raw Cow's Milk for Creme Fraiche - Hillacres Pride
Watermelon - Buzby Farms