in the kitchen x ricotta cheesecake, frog hollow peaches, and bourbon

Imagine a light ricotta cheesecake sitting on a spoonful of buttery Maker's Mark sauce. On top of the cake are fresh blueberries, micro basil, sliced Frog Hollow peaches dripping with sugary goodness, and a sprinkling of a nutty hazelnut crumble with traces of cinnamon. Enjoy all this with a canelle of prosciutto ice cream. This is my newest addition to the summer dessert menu. The prosciutto ice cream is such a challenging item to pair with because it is a very delicate (who knew you could use prosciutto and delicate in the same sentence). Good thing the sweet, salty, and pork flavor of this ice cream ends up pairing  pretty well with fresh fruit. Now that summer is here, I've just been so excited to showcase the bounty of produce in it's perfect state. Our first shipment of Frog Hollow peaches came in from CA and I couldn't be more excited. They needed a couple of days to reach optimal ripeness, but hey, all good things are worth waiting for. The sweet and juicy fruit is such a good match for the prosciutto and ricotta. Everything together evokes such memories of a good summer meal, namely, fresh fruit, crispy pork, and bourbon.

in the kitchen x prosciutto & melon

Recently, I have been working on a dessert version of a popular summer snack, prosciutto & melon. There's nothing quite like a cold, sweet juicy slice of melon wrapped in salty prosciutto while dining al fresco and sipping a chilled glass of prosecco. This idea occurred to me when, half-joking, a cook gave me prosciutto scraps and suggested I make ice cream out of it. Someone mentioned prosciutto and melon and BAM, I was taking them up on their offer of prosciutto scraps. I decided on a prosciutto ice cream, fresh honeydew melon, olive oil cake, balsamic reduction, and ricotta, yogurt, and mint sauce.The addition of balsamic, olive oil, and mint are reminiscent of the original prosciutto and melon. I fried the prosciutto until crispy, before infusing it in milk and heavy cream mixture overnight. The resulting liquid end up making a delicious sweet, salty, and bacon-esque eggy ice cream. I didn't want to put actual prosciutto pieces in the dessert, since those slivers of salty goodness can overpower all the other subtle flavors at work. Unfortunately, I'm still waiting for really amazing honeydew melon to pop up at the market before making it part of the dessert repertoire. Now everyone in the kitchen are offering me scraps chicken skin and pork blood and challenging me to make ice cream with them. Take note future pastry chefs, savory cooks will do this quite often. Sigh.