Welcome to our first ingredient of the month post! We are excited to announce this new journey as we visit local farms and chat with our agriculture friends about what’s coming up each month. We will be featuring this blog at least once a month…. We hope you enjoy!
This month (August) with all the rain and sunshine Rosebank Farms informed us to be on the lookout for an always summer favorite…… Watermelon.
When both Chef Bashford and I went to Rosebank Farms we ran into Ms. Lindsay. She described the melon that is coming out lately the best of the season. Unlike peaches and a number of other produce, which at this time have truly been affected by all the rain we have here in Charleston in May, the watermelon has only benefited.
After visiting Rosebank, Chef and I got a chance to discuss this delicious ingredient, here is what he had to say. “Normally, our spring weather is good for our summer harvest, allowing us to have an abundance to choose from but this year, with all the rain the watermelon is really the only produce that’s truly at its peak this month. Making this more of a challenge for our culinarians, but keeps things excited by pushing us to expand our skills and taking the produce and looking at it different ways, such as sous vide (we’ll get to this later on)… using the vacuumed element of the machine to not only compress the texture but also the flavor.” Chef Bashford went on as he began to reflect back on the conversation we had out on the farm. “When we met with Lindsay, one thing she said that struck was to focus on utilizing the heart of the watermelon more than anything else. Typically this is the piece that everyone throws out as it seems too watery, but actually it’s the most intense part of the fruit. This important tip has been a great tool especially for our gazpacho.”
Jasmine Porch is switching their gazpacho plate from Tomato to WATERMELON! on their Late Summer menu. When I had stopped down to Jasmine Porch to take a look at this new gazpacho dish, this is what Sous Chef Andrew Rhea shared with me. “Watermelon always reminds me of summer days down next to the river. It makes me reminisce of the dog days of summer when you almost had to have a slice of ice cold watermelon to cool down. Not only that, but a friendly seed spitting contest among rival siblings never hurt either. Between the lush texture and the amazing flavor it’s a summer fruit that everyone can enjoy. We made this gazpacho to accent the wonderful products that we receive from Rosebank farms on a daily basis. Typically we make gazpacho with a tomato base but with this amazing product that we have on hand we really wanted to show off the product, and the skill sets of all the chefs here at Jasmine Porch.” This menu change is scheduled to be released in September.
This water based fruit it truly something special when sous vide. Sous vide is a French style of cooking, which is when food is sealed in air tight bags to compress the flavors and then cooked in a warm bath for longer than normal cooking times. The flavors that are delivered bring a heightened experience for all!