I began with cheese. I wanted to make hot sheets of Pierre Robert cheese, and so the dish began there. The question then came up how to highlight these cheese sheets? I thought back to cheese boards and country clubs and there was always brie and strawberries. Alright, I can work with these ingredients. No, Pierre Robert is not a brie, but it has an intense buttery richness which mimics brie and goes even better with strawberries. Now I needed to intensify the strawberries. I had recieved some Hoja Santa leaves the other day and had yet to put them into action. (Actually, these leaves provided another bit of confusion with a purveyor who insisted that they were rootbeer leaves. I only new the leaves as Hoja Santa and so a small debate occured over the phone. Turns out we were both right, I just like the sound of Hoja Santa better.)
I seasoned the berries with salt and pepper and then wrapped them in the leaves. I proceeded to dry roast these fruit parcels to perfume and soften the stawberries and release the intense rootbeer aroma into the air. When the berries were warmed I opened the package and draped the hot Pierre Robert over them. I balanced the dish with mango-kosho (mango, yuzu-kosho, salt and lime juice) and our melon pepitas. The mango added a sweet and sour heat to the dish and the pepitas added texture and nuttiness. However, it was the perfume of the Hoja Santa leaf which stole the show, perfuming the room and tieing the dish together.