Recreating Restaurant Classics In Your Kitchen: Watermelon-Mint Salad
One of the greatest challenges for young hobby chefs is learning to replicate savory dishes from high quality restaurants in their own homes.
It can be tough to gauge the intricacies of a chef’s favorite recipe once the dish is plated and served to you.
However, when attempting to recreate a beloved meal, start with a single recipe and perfect it until you reach the desired outcome: for instance, a summery watermelon-mint-salad is a good example of a classic dish that can be adapted to suit your personal taste.
Use The Right Appliances
You don’t have to splurge on all the fancy appliances on the market these days, but make sure your kitchen essentials are high quality to get better results when replicating the dishes you love from professional dining.
Often, hobby chefs lose points on kitchen prep: if your knives aren’t sharpened or you don’t have the tools you need at your disposal, it will delay the process once you set down to start the preparation.
In Greece, dishes such as watermelon and feta salad are traditionally diced into small cubes of cucumber and watermelon, with fresh mint and crumbled feta tossed in.
Dicing your vegetables finely will allow the flavors to spread more evenly. Finally, season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to taste.
Hone In On Your Ingredient List
When choosing ingredients for a recipe, it’s important to keep your ingredients fresh and seasonal to bring out the best flavors, especially with produce.
For that reason, watermelon and feta salad is best served in the summer, when watermelon is ripe and in season: it’s also a lovely, refreshing dish perfect for hot days.
Often, you can find good deals on ingredients by searching local restaurant warehouse stores or linking a groceries rewards system to your credit card.
However, if you struggle to find a particular ingredient, ask your local chef where the restaurant buys their supply: many establishments will even sell you some of their stock for a reasonable price if you’re in a pinch.
Ask For The Recipe
It never hurts to ask your local cafe or restaurant to share their recipe with you.
If they are unwilling to give you the full recipe, try asking for helpful pointers such as, “what makes this so spicy?” or “how do you get such nice texture?”
Once you have an idea for what makes a restaurant dish’s specific recipe unique, look up a comparable recipe online and trial and error your way to recreating it at home.
For example, although watermelon, mint, and feta are the three key ingredients to a classic dish, you can personalize it by adding fresh basil or diced tomatoes to suit your personal liking.
The best moments in cooking are trial and error. Over time, you will be able to develop a variation of your favorite restaurant recipes that works in your kitchen as you gain a sense of how key ingredients pair with each other to achieve a balance seasonal dishes in your repertoire.