Monday, April 12, 2010

Melon, Arugula, and Serrano Ham with Smoked Paprika Dressing (Page 153)

RECIPE #1136

  • Date: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 -- 7pm
  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • Kitchen: Our Temporary California Home
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B

I have had some trouble finding Serrano ham in the Midwest, but I saw some at Berkeley Bowl so I figured I would make this recipe. We started by making the dressing: whisking together lime juice, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Then we tossed some of the dressing with chunks of cantaloupe and honeydew. We tossed the rest of the dressing with arugula and thin strips of Serrano ham. We added the melon to the greens, seasoned, and served. I love melon with Serrano (or melon with prosciutto), and that combination did not disappoint in this dish. If this dish had just those components, I would have liked it better. The arugula was ok, but between the dressing and the liquid from the melon there was just too much moisture for it, so it wilted very quickly. And the dressing was really lacking in flavor. We ended up adding more lime juice and more paprika just to get some flavor out of it. Even after the modifications it was only ok. If I were to make a dish like this again I would ditch the dressing and the arugula and just toss some melon with Serrano slices and serve!

The recipe is here.

I travel a lot and it is definitely true that sometimes I feel burnt out by all the travel. Other times I realize how lucky I am that I get to go to some spectacular places through my job. This weekend I was at a topology conference, which was held inside a national park in the Canadian Rockies. I had never been in Western Canada at all before, and Banff was beautiful. My special gentleman and I flew into Calgary Thursday night and stayed with our good friends Vero and Philippe for the night. On Friday morning, Vero, Mike, my special gentleman, and I drove up to Banff. We rented some crampons (the trails were quite snowy/icy!) and went for a beautiful hike in a canyon with spectacular ice formations. On Saturday there were two talks in the morning and two talks in the late afternoon, with a nice break for a hike in between. We went for an easy hike up one of the mountains. The weather was great for hiking and the views were fantastic. Saturday night we had a banquet dinner at a nearby resort. Sunday morning I gave my talk. I was exhausted by the time we flew back last night, but the weekend was really fun. I always like it when a conference combines interesting mathematics with natural beauty. Plus, I didn't get attacked by any grizzly bears! (The bears are out in the park now, and apparently they are hungry!). It was a great trip -- I would have loved to stay a little longer! But I am happy to be home now, and excited about several weeks without travel!


Scott said...

I still miss that wonderful Berkeley Bowl. I got Serrano ham there about 5 years ago in an attempt to duplicate an appetizer I had at LaLime's (which also had figs, goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar).

Teena said...

That sounds very tasty!

Yeah, Berkeley Bowl is awesome. I am definitely going to miss it when we head back to the Midwest.