The broth is fresh watermelon juice, strained and thickened with xanthan gum. We seasoned it with salt, agave nectar and yuzu juice. Then we took some of the watermelon with the rinds attached and removed the skin. We used a butane torch to char the flesh and cooked it with honey and salt sous vide at 85°C for 45 minutes.
We brined the squid for ten minutes in a 5% salt water solution and then cooked it in some reserved watermelon juice with kombu. We have changed our squid cooking technique. After a batch of squid cooked at 59°C for 2-1/2 hours turned into squid pudding, we did some investigating. Omri Aflalo, the chef at Bourbon Steak in San Francisco, recommended that we try cooking the squid at 72°C for 10 minutes. It turns out Omri had faced the same squid pudding issue and consulted Dr. Bruno Goussalt who recommended that he raise the temperature and lower the amount of cooking time. We gave the technique a shot and it worked like a charm. Now we are able to cook squid perfectly in a short period of time with wonderfully consistent results.
Once the squid was cooked and cooled, we sliced it into rings. We took the cooked watermelon and seared it in a hot pan to warm it and to add additional caramelized notes to the dish. The cooking of the watermelon made it taste remarkably like winter squash. Then we sauteed the squid in the same pan to capture the flavor of the pan drippings. Finally we seasoned the squid and watermelon with some extra virgin olive oil, fleur de sel, torn lovage and young mitsuba seeds. Since we had some fairy tale squash blossoms growing in the garden we were inspired to add them as a fresh note to the combination. A few spoonfuls of the watermelon juice were the finishing touch, leaving us with a bright, delicious combination of land and sea.