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Entries in Watermelon (1)


Fire Island End of Summer Sit Down Dinner 

Where: Fire Island, NY
What: Catered Dinner for 10 Guests

Plated Watermelon, feta, tomato Amuse Bouche
This Search took me to Saltaire, Fire Island to cater a 10 person sit down dinner. Fire Island is a tiny strip of land, about 26 miles long, off the coast of Long Island. You take a ferry there that leaves from a town called Bayshore. There are pretty much no stores out there, and no cars. Everyone rides bikes and walks around barefoot and most of the streets are made of wood. It's a very strange, very cool place. And it is a serious challenge cooking there. I have to bring EVERYTHING out by ferry. The one store in the town of Saltaire, where this dinner took place, has a limited selection and it is very expensive. After getting off the ferry, I have to transport all of the food by wagon to the house, which is an amusing site. I don't have a picture of this, so you'll just have to imagine me schelping tons of food in a cute wooden wagon.

Anyway, this dinner was for a new client. It was a laid back meal, with a simple, but sopisticated menu:

* Seared Scallops with Scallions, Corn and Cherry Tomatoes
* Roasted Red Beets with Mache lettuce, goat cheese, Toasted Walnuts and Walnut Vinaigrette
* Filet Mignon with Herbed Shallot Butter, Haricot Verts Truffle Salad and Yukon Gold potato puree.
* Blueberry Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream.

Every dish came out wonderfully. It was tough cooking in 90 degree weather in an unairconditioned house, but I soldiered through! My favorite part of the dinner was the Amuse Bouche, a "little bite" of food served before the meal. I almost always serve an Amuse before my sit down dinners. It's a great, fun way to kick off a meal. I loved this Amuse because I sort of threw it together at the last minute, based on some fabulous impromptu ingredients I picked up at the Union Square Greenmarket:

* Big red seedless watermelon
* A couple of wrinkly juicy yellow heirloom tomatoes
* Locally made sheep’s milk feta, super salty and packed in olive oil with a handful of dried herbs.

I just so happened to have some fancy Extra Virgin Olive Oil I had picked up the week before (It’s called No 5, Lorenzo—I don’t know, I just liked the bottle). And then there was some of the 50 year old aged Balsamic Vinegar I had brought back with me from a trip to Modena, Italy (home of the best Balsamic Vinegar on the planet). And some flaky fleur de sel, a crack of black pepper…(See recipe)

I know I didn't reinvent the wheel with this dish, but it was still special and definitely earned its place in my ongoing Search for Delicious. Fresh and clean, salty, sweet and tangy. Yum. Check out the picture below:

Close up of my pretty amuse