With Melon, Cucumber, Pickled Malaysian Fennel, Spiced Seaweed and Citrus Vinaigrette
Recipe courtesy Kevin Hudson, executive chef of Stelle at Gansevoort Turks + Caicos
Stelle is the newest restaurant in the deluxe Gansevoort Turks + Caicos resort in Providenciales, the island outpost of the New York City-based luxury hotel. Executive Chef Kevin Hudson uses local Caribbean delicacies to craft Mediterranean-inspired fare, like this exotic lobster salad. Perfect for a small first course, this dish channels the summer through its ravishing colors and striking flavors.
1 medium white onion, sliced into large medallions
2 thyme sprigs
2 lemons, sliced in half
2/3 cup dry white wine
Salt, to taste
2 medium South Caicos spiny lobsters, about 9 ounces each (local spiny lobster may be substituted)
1 cup white vinegar
½ cup sugar
1 piece lemongrass, about 3–4 inches long
1 piece fresh ginger, about 2–3 inches long, cut into large chunks
1⁄8 red onion, sliced paper thin
¼ bulb fennel, sliced paper thin
½ cucumber, seeds removed, sliced paper thin
¼ honeydew, rind removed, sliced paper thin
¼ cantaloupe melon, rind removed, sliced paper thin
Watercress sprig, to garnish
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, boil 4 cups of water with the white onion, thyme, lemons and wine. Season with salt and add the lobsters. Boil the lobsters until they are cooked through, about 6 minutes, then remove to cool. Once cool, remove the meat from the shells and chop roughly.
In a medium saucepan, create a pickling liquid by bringing the vinegar, cup of water, sugar, lemongrass and ginger to a boil. Once boiling, discard the lemongrass and ginger. In a small bowl, combine the red onion and fennel; pour the liquid on top and allow the red onion and fennel to steep until the onion’s flesh becomes soft. Remove the onion and fennel to a holding container, reserving 3 tablespoons of the pickling liquid for the citrus vinaigrette (recipe available at winemag.com/hudson). In a large bowl, toss the cucumber, melon and pickled vegetables with the citrus vinaigrette.
To serve, place half of the seaweed (recipe available at winemag.com/hudson) in a small mound on the center of a plate. Layer the cucumber, melon and pickled vegetables, and top with half of the lobster. Garnish each plate with a sprig of watercress. Serves 2.
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup vegetable oil
Salt, to taste
Make the vinaigrette by combining the reserved pickling liquid, orange marmalade and lemon juice in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil to create an emulsion and season with salt.
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
½ cup seaweed, such as kelp
For the spiced seaweed, mix the soy sauce, honey, sesame oil and sesame seeds in a medium bowl. Add the seaweed and toss to coat with the dressing.
Hudson recommends Merry Edwards’s 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (91 points, $30) from the Russian River Valley. He notes that the wine’s time spent maturing in French oak adds complexity to its lively notes of melon, citrus and mineral, creating a natural pairing for warm weather and this fresh lobster recipe.