Friday, 30 May 2014


Crispy Tempura battered Melon with Chorizo yoghurt, Balsamic vinegar pearls, Jalapeno and cilantro.

                  This is another one of those left over summer dishes inspired by the flavours of Mexico. The pairing of melon with any spanish or Italian cold cut always works well and this pairing is no exception. The sweet flavoured melon is encapsulated in a crispy light tempura batter and the spicy pork flavours coming from the chorizo yoghurt along with the kick from the peppers and the zing from the balsamic pearls makes for a great snack and could possibly be used as finger food in small portion sizes. if I did a take two, I would most likely exchange the balsamic pearls for a lime preparation of some sort giving the dish a citrus zesty element more true to the mexican theme.                                            
                   I started with the yoghurt sauce with this one, pulling apart some spanish chorizo sausages and frying them off to render the fat from them. Once the sausage meat was cooked through I removed them from the stove, draining and reserving the fat that rendered off while cooking. This was then cooled in the fridge until mostly solid, while this was cooling I prepared an emulsifier by bringing some milk to a simmer, shearing in some gellan at 6% and whisking to dissolve. Once dissolved this was poured into a container and allowed to set fully in the fridge 20-30 minutes. Then into a mixing bowl I added some 1/2 cup of plain natural yoghurt, 2 tbsp. of gellan milk and the reserved solidified chorizo oil. This was beaten to form a thick orangey yellow cream consistency and then placed in the fridge to chill before serving. To make the pearls I used the cold oil spherefication technique that I've used before, for information on this see 'tags' for explanation. Next I prepared the melon by slicing into rectangle shapes approx. 2cm wide, 1/2 a cm thick and 4 cm long, I coated these in arrowroot flour and set aside to soak the starch while I heated the frying oil and made a quick batter. For my batter I placed a cup of seasoned plain flour in a mixing bowl and with a whisk I gradually added some sweet apple cider, whisking to form a runny batter consistency. After testing the oil I coated the starched melon pieces in the batter and deep fried them until golden in colour before removing and draining on paper towel. To serve I smeared the centre of the plate with the chorizo yoghurt using a off set pallet knife.
Placing the pieces of battered melon on top of the sauce and arranging the accompaniments of thinly sliced jalapeno peppers, balsamic vinegar pearls and fresh cilantro leaves.

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