One of the most significant culinary events for me was a dinner at GILT in NYC, September 2010. I had been at fancy-pants restaurants before, but those were usually heavily influenced by classic French cuisine, albeit with a modern twist. But GILT was something else. It was… indescribable. I would definitely mark it as the start of my more serious embarkment into the culinary arts. Shortly thereafter I purchased the Alinea cookbook. And then I went completely nuts; buying one book after another, reading hundreds of blogs, sourcing down all those obscure ingredients. I might even admit I went a little bit overboard there.
It took me a while to figure out that all those beautiful dishes in the Alinea cookbook (and the Fat Duck cookbook, …) take a small army to complete. Certainly if you’re entertaining guests, and need more than one of them. Unconsciously, I started to drift away from the grandeur of these complex pieces of heaven. I started focusing more on modest plates, but at the same time really trying to bring forward the cleanest possible flavours. Incidentally, I’m picking that one up at a lot of other blogs where the writer owns a copy of Modernist Cuisine.
The recipe is from the GILT website, the presentation is all on me.
Sashimi with Watermelon “Margarita”, Cucumber, Jicama, and Yuzu Yogurt (See here)
- 1 pound of Hamachi, or other tuna, thinly sliced
- ½ cucumber, diced
- 1 tablespoon Togarashi seasoning
- 1 one-inch slice of Watermelon
- 1 ounce Tequila
- 1 ounce Triple Sec
- 1 ounce Lime Juice
- 1 cup Water
- ½ green apple
- 2 sprigs of Basil, keep 1 sprig whole and slice 2 leaves
- ¼ cup Greek Yogurt
- ½ teaspoon Yuzu juice
- 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 slices of Garlic
- 1 sliced Jalapeno
- 3 tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 1 pinch Lemon Zest
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 5 pieces Chives, sliced
- 1 sprig Parsley, sliced
Preparing the Watermelon:
Cut a perfect rectangle out of the watermelon slice. Add the tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and 1 ounce of water into a bowl and mix well. Place the watermelon into the bowl and marinate for 6 hours in the refrigerator. After 6 hours, remove the watermelon from the bowl and dice into medium pieces.
Preparing the apple:
Slice the apple into very fine julienne. Combine the remaining amount of the water, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 sprig of basil, and the julienne apple into a small container. Let the apple marinate for at least 1 hour before using.
Preparing the Yuzu Yogurt:
Mix the yogurt, yuzu juice, and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce well.
Dressing for the Hamachi Sashimi: Place the garlic, jalapeno, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and the lemon zest in a mortar and start to mash with the pestle. When the ingredients are well mashed, add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, sliced chives, sliced basil, and sliced parsley. Mix the ingredients together.
Note: the original recipe requires jicama instead of green apple, which we were unable to find. Green apple seemed like a decent substitute.