favorite garnishings

67
10
Joined Feb 8, 2001
My entree's are always garnished with the "parsley", ...green beans with almonds or diced yellow peppers...smashed potatoes with butter and paprika...new potatoes with paprika and parsley.
Any creative suggestions ?
 

kuan

Moderator
Staff member
7,089
529
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Sigh, for some people this is what they like, and I'm not saying customers. Red, green, and yellow... every dish splattered with parsley confetti and paprika! Unfortunately for most banquet situations where you don't have the time to properly garnish the plate then that's probably the best you can do. Try something different and you might be asked to work on your presentation skills. (yes I speak from experience) What limits things is also the darn lids and the way servers carry those trays. You can't get any kind of height on your presentation. To make things worse, the trays are always slightly too small so the plates always tip inward so the sauce runs allover the plate, and some do 12-16 at a time even!

Oh, you asked for alternatives. Try a bed of sauteed spinach. For traditional, try a small bunch of herbs tied with a chive set on the side. Tomato rose? NOT! :) Try different shapes for your boiled potatoes too.

Kuan
 
1,640
12
Joined Mar 6, 2001
I used to used to cut small pepper flowers when I had time. They are easy and pretty.

I noticed in the JB Prince catalog that there is a book about savory garnishes that looked cool. It covers contemporary items like tuiles but it probably has other items you could use too.

Parmesan tuiles are easy.........
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
I hit the oriental store and pick up baby eggplants, tarragon sprays, mint, thai basil, long chives, funky leaves as a bed....I use cabbage leaves to line slaw or legume salad bowls. Lemons and the ubiquitous parsley still.....Like last night I made caponata and had baby eggplants and parsley as garnish.

I try to use whatever is in the dish or complementary to it....ie...seafood generally lemons, dillweed, parsley, capers....
Fruit usually I'll throw on a bunch of fun things to give it a better feel...figs, wedged pomagranites, kumquats, champagne grapes, etc....
Garnishing is important to me and I will spend to have something look good.
 
4,508
32
Joined Jul 31, 2000
The less contrived the better. (IMHO)

Fresh flowering herbs work simple wonders.

I also love to have a # of purees around in squeeze bottles.

I always have on hand a carrot and horseradish,yellow pepper and saffron,red beet and balsamic,chive with kosher salt,roast red pepper,tomato and basil.

A simple dot of this and that can do wonders.

Always be aware of what colores will be on your plate or platter.

Also, many dishes benefit from no garnish except for the food itself.
 
1,640
12
Joined Mar 6, 2001
I noticed a interesting looking book in JBPrince's lastest catalog. Now I've forgotten the title and who wrote it, but it was about contemporary savory plating, savory tuiles and such. I thought it's looked like a "must have" for chefs.

On sat. we had our sweetest day event and I noticed my chef did a beautiful plate with his crab cakes, just using two colorful sauces drizzled on a dinner size plate. I complimented him, then he made me a plate later to taste it. It was auesome, but it highlighted a problem I notice even with my desserts......an artistic presentation with sauces looks great, BUT when you eat the items, I personally would like MORE sauce because a drizzle isn't enough unless it's a strong tasting sauce.

Any thoughts or remedes?
 

kuan

Moderator
Staff member
7,089
529
Joined Jun 11, 2001
THAT is a GOOD observation W. I'm guilty a thousand times over.
I guess if you're going to make something which tastes good, for goodness sake make enough of it so we can taste it more than once! Otherwise use watercolor paint :)

Kuan
 
1,245
267
Joined Sep 21, 2001
Give them a little sauce on the side, if necessary, or find a more functional plating alternative. I believe you can integrate the right amounts of sauce and proportions of garnishes that actually have a place in the dish and aren't thrown on for some sort of color that was missing when this thing was created. Sometimes parsley and paprika have a purpose. I put fresh scallions and chopped parsley on most of my soups and they taste better because they "bloom" as they are stirred into the soup. An old cooking term I heard for an overly large or inapproptrate dinner garnish is "A tree grows in Brooklyn".
 
341
38
Joined Jul 18, 2002
A few years ago at the food show at Jacob Javits we found this Asian distributor who was selling cutters very reasonably priced (have seen them for big bucks too).

Things like small palm trees, crabs, daisies (can use one color for center), etc. There was a huge assortment to choose from.
We cut long thin slices of large carrot and diakon on the bias on the slicing machine and make cut outs. It looks really cool on platters and for plating.

I had forgotten about this - I'll have to dig them out again.

Also, stupid but simple I like to make carrot flowers, scallion flowers and cucumber or zuccini crowns. They make simple but effective garnishes cheaply.
 
332
10
Joined Jan 26, 2001
Edible hibiscus- low preparation, but they look beautiful. We used to smack 'em on all the evening specials, on top of sirloin, etc.

Substitute bias-cut thin scallions for parsley, and it also looks nice.

Or how about a decorated plate, where the food can speak for itself?

~~Shimmer~~
 
149
10
Joined Nov 17, 2002
I love the simple and unique garnishes...edible flowers, herb flowers, bouquet garni tied with chives, carrot and parsnip straws blah, blah, blah...

I take trips to our Asian Stores here quite frequently, they always have some pretty cool tools to play around with...

I don't do parsley...can't stand it, won't allow it to be used as a garnish in my kitchen, there are so many alternatives, such as were suggested by the other threads.

One thing I like to do that is simple is finely dice carrots, zucchini skins and squash skins, marinate them in raspberry vinegar for a couple days with a hint of honey (to kill the acid of the vin) drain/wring it out well and use the confetti much like other people would use parsley confetti.

I like using different coulis' to paint the plates, I almost always have some carrot and beet coulis on hand. But I also like to let the plate speak for itself. I attempt to get as much height as I can without screwing up the plate with the plate covers, which sometimes is difficult, but not always...a simple presentation with a bed of sauce and a color co-ordination of vegetables usually is enough to stimulate the sense of sight, and then the sense of taste reiterates what your eyes just told you...(Man, that looks good-Cuz it is.......LOL)

Can't remember who was saying something about the dried kiwi, but I have done that a few times and I also like to take whole slices of pineapple and dehydrate them...even leaving the skin on too gives it this rustic look that I think is pretty neat...

OK...enough CheffyBabbles...
Until Next Time...

Peace, Hugs and Cookies,
Cheffy
 
341
38
Joined Jul 18, 2002
Did you leave the skin on the kiwis too. I cann't remember now how they were when I saw them.

Did you use a dehydrator or can you do them at a low temp in the oven on racks? Please advice.

I like the pineapple idea too. What was so cool about the kiwi is the stained glass look.

Besides Asian -Oriental stores - also look in Asian - Indian stores. They have a variety of interesting vegetables and leaves.

And for passed hors d'ouerves I often use a bed of dried beans and legumes that I oil slightly. The reason I only use it passed trays of h'd , is that customers sometimes try to eat the (hard) raw beans - ouch!

Last night we had a very eclectic international buffet and one of the dishes was a Gado Gado Salad - which we interpreted as boiled potato, hard boiled chopped egg, scallions dressed with Indonesian peanut sauce. It tasted great but didn't look too pretty, so we put it on a platter surrounded by a chiffonade of red cabbage and dotted quartered hard boiled eggs all over the mound of salad. People loved it, by the decscription and ultimately the taste but were willing to try it because it didn't look like the globby mess it was. I called it Indonesian potato salad dressing with peanut sauce.

My hubby did a two week stint with a Japanese chef who rented our mobile kitchen to go to Key West for a Japanese film crew. He said they cut scallions at least 4 different ways. Thin on the bias is one of their favorites.

Fig Leaves in season - if you have a tree/bush are a great garnish
 
149
10
Joined Nov 17, 2002
Hiya...

I have always left the skin on, although taking it off would probably be pretty cool too...

I dehydrated both the kiwi and the pineapple in a hot box at around 130-I don't have a dehydrator and I assume you would get quicker results from a dehydrator because of the constant circlulation of the warm air...

I portray my Eastern influences in a lot of my dishes and foods, although I like marrying a lot of different cuisines and there are a lot of things you can do with an assortment of the Eastern ingredients...

Well...gonna run gotta go work on my websites...

Talk again soon...if I get tired of inputting CheffyBabbles I may check back in later and browse around the site some more, I had fun putzing around and reading last night...

You can check out my greeting on the welcome page and see some pics of my food and other CheffyBabbles at http://geocities.com/chefmikesworld

Will be back soon...

Peace, Hugs and Cookies,
Cheffy

PS I included a pic last night, where did it go? I wanted to see it to make sure it came out right and couldn't find it...CheffyHugs...
 
18
10
Joined Nov 16, 2002
I use things that have nothing to do with their supposed presentation:

Ceviche served in a Big Martini Glass with green fried plantain chips used as scoops?

Little Cordial glasses presented in a set of three: one a cauliflower mousse topped with a smoked eel <BLAH<BLAH
-The other one ...roquefort mousse with Tempranillo gelee
_Then-Foie with a topping of champagne sorbet

This are just bite size, but very well suited when you want everyone to taste.

Another one is make a spoon out of pate brisee and serve three per person.. one with roe and reduction of champagne, the next....and so on. The Spoons are edible, do you follow me??

Nice to meet you
 
149
10
Joined Nov 17, 2002
Those were some pretty cool ideas, I liked the one about the plantanos and the ceviche...

Nice to meet you too...

Cocinar Colito
 
67
10
Joined Feb 8, 2001
Thanks..I love the dried kiwi. It's funny how a few suggestions can get the ceative juices flowing...
 
149
10
Joined Nov 17, 2002
Another thing I like to do for banquets/caterings to fill in the hotel pans is to fry up rice noodles, put them in the center of the hotel pan, sprinkle with a little bit of paprika, some colored shrimp chips, some diced red peppers and some slivered green onions...it actually looks pretty good...

This could be the next topic...how in **** do you make a hotel pan in a buffet look good...garnishing a la carte's possibilities are endless, as is banquet table displays, but what about hotel pans filled with food...

Hmmmmm...

Cheffy
 
149
10
Joined Nov 17, 2002
This was too cool....

I took lotus root that I got from the Asian store-sliced it thin and dehydrated in a hot box at 160 degrees all day---

How freaking cool...it was reminiscent of a spoked wheel and looked absolutely puzzling---One waitress told me that one of her customers picked up the lotus root to her and asked her "...what in *&^(* is this????..."

Took Cheffy into CheffyGiggles...loved it, I thought it was funny as all get out....

Until Next Time---
Cheffy
http://geocities.com/chefmikesworld
 
341
38
Joined Jul 18, 2002
You can also deep fry the lotus root slices - tastes fine. I think they used to include them in terra chips but it got too expensive and they broke too easily.
 
Top Bottom