The Chefs: Caroline Carr
The Chefs column highlights our local culinary masters. They share a recipe that has a lot of meaning to them and thankfully, how to make it. (Well at least most of it, sometimes secrets must remain that.) This month’s chef is Caroline Carr.
I grew up in a suburb of Maryland, just outside of Washington D.C. it was a very multicultural neighborhood and neighborhood gatherings were very common. At an early age I was introduced to numerous and diverse cultural dishes, and being the Chef at Contemporary Catering for the last 12 years, I have been given the opportunity to expand on that experience. The company was founded in 1992 by brother/sister owners John Hanna and Jennifer Hanna with the focus of freshly prepared, robust, flavorful cuisine paired with impeccable service and attention to every detail. My eclectic background became a great fit for the varied menus items Contemporary offers through our full service catering and our meals to go menu.
This recipe, Grilled Watermelon with Shrimp & Goat Cheese, is a result of experimenting with grilling fruits with fellow Chef Brandon Doucette. The great thing about this recipe is that it is very simple to create, the result is extremely elegant and the sweet and salty effect is mouth-watering.
Grilled Watermelon with Shrimp and Goat Cheese
1 inch thick round of fresh watermelon-use a large seedless watermelon for this, not one of the small personal size. Cut your round just off the center of the watermelon. Do not season the watermelon.
12 large raw shrimp, shell off.
10 oz of goat cheese crumbles.
BBQ spice, butt rub or Gochujang sauce (a spicy Korean pepper sauce) to season the shrimp.
Good quality extra virgin olive oil.
Micro greens and cherry tomatoes to garnish.
Using a sharp knife, cut around the rind of the watermelon on the inside, getting all of the pink flesh. Lift away the rind and cut the slab in half for easier handling.
Place the watermelon on a hot grill and grill each side for 5 – 7 minutes. The melon will start to darken as you grill, resembling a rare steak. Make sure your grill marks are well defined!
Transfer the grilled melon to a cutting board and cut 12 1×1 inch squares – set aside.
Season the shrimp with the spice or sauce of your choice and place them on the grill for approx.. 3-5 minutes per side – you’ll want them to be a light pink.
Plating the dish
Scatter the micro greens onto 4 plates and nestle 3 squares of watermelon amongst them. Place a shrimp on each square, then crumble the goat cheese around the plate. Place cherry tomato halves around the plate for an eye pleasing effect, drizzle the olive oil all over the whole works and then sit back and listen to the compliments roll in! Bon Appetit!