garnish for fish soup??

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Joined Dec 1, 2002
I am trying to think of a garnish. Something different than ordinary, for a fish chowder/ soup. The soup base is standard miropoix pureed w/ red lentils. Then creamed. The interesting part is that it has sauteed Red Scorpion Fish. Does anybody have any feelings about a cool garnish for a soup of this nature? Also it is flavored with mint and red pepper.
 

kuan

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You know I was just kidding. How about some lentil crisps?

Kuan
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
Kuan, do you mean papadums? YEAH! One place where I worked cut little circles of them (I think now it's possible to by tiny ones, which is a lot easier), and deep-fried them. They made a neat, crunchy contrast to the smooth soup. And they float!

Also, since there's mint already in the soup, how about a sprig? Complementary, and outside-the-box for a savory item.
 
153
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Joined Dec 1, 2002
How do you make the lentil crisps? That would be cool. The problem is that here at the CIA they would refer to the mint as an NFG (non-functional garnish). I had thought fried fish skin would be cool, but papadums, i guess some fried lentil, would be awsome. The thingthat would work about that is the tasting is not from a bowl, but a cup. The lentils would fit, were as a garnish with height would not really work, Or the standard cream swirls would get mixed up inside of it.
 

kuan

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Depending on the flavor, the mint may or may not be a NFG. In Laos and Vietnam mint and basil are considered part of the meal. You almost always whole mint and basil leaves with your salad or noodles. It's eaten raw. People have to get past that NFG thing sometimes. As if any one of your instructors would scoff at Paul Bocuse if he put a sprig of parsley on the plate. That sprig of parsley doesn't ruin the sauce.

Anyway, the lentil crisp I was thinking about is more substantial, kinda like a long skinny cookie made with lentil flour about 1/8" thick. Flour water lentil flour salt cracked black pepper and a little shortening. Roll it out, cut into strips, twist and bake.

Kuan
 
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To take Kuans thought a step further, roll out the crisp but cut it into a fish shape with a rather large mouth that when cooked can be "hooked" onto the lip of the cup, if you can picture what I mean.
 
153
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cool. the lentil "flour" is fine ground lentil??
yeah and the NFG thing is taken a bit seriously around here, and it is fully functional in some applications. I agree with the stance of the CIA on this because they want to teach the students to think about what they throw on a plate. It is an example of how they are extreme about some aspects of cooking, but usually to teach a good lesson.
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
I don't understand how an edible sprig of an herb that's already in the dish could be considered "non-functional." That plastic grass they sometimes put on sushi plates, sure. But fresh herbs already there? That makes no sense to me. If you try it and they give you trouble, tell them it FUNCTIONS to enhance the flavor and appearance. So there! :mad:
 
153
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Joined Dec 1, 2002
You are right I feel it would be totally functional too it is just such a big BUZZ word around here. Especially the mint in some cases. e.g. desserts (Like that Ewok looking guy on FoodTV, with the powdered sugar and mint) Maybe I will use some fresh leaves or a chiffannode. I already had thought to put a few of the pepper flakes around the top. To add extra spice to some bites, without cooking the extra spice into it. The problem is that the fish is very subtle and the addition of the fresh mint or extra peppers might be too strong. :bounce:
I can fry the papadums right? I want to cut strips of them and fry them.
 
3,853
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Absolutely! If you deep-fry them, they'll curl into strange shapes. Shallow-fry, and I think they'll stay flat. (That's actually one preferred way to prepare them normally.)

Papadums can be quite dry -- so if you want to cut them without breaking them, dampen them just a little bit first. Not as much as summer roll wrappers -- just enough to make them a little pliable.

And if you choose to chiffonade the mint, try to do it just before presentation so it doesn't blacken.
 
153
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Joined Dec 1, 2002
Alright I am going to do the competition this weekend. We were chosen to be one of the ten finalists. I added some southern to the papdums though. I made them with flour, lentil flour, butter, and provelone cheese. Lentil cheese straws!:crazy: They are good. I did even cut a few to look like fish. I need to try to fry the celery root now though. I want like haystack potatoes, but with celery root, and also a few potato timbals. I hope we win.
 
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Joined Dec 1, 2002
LMAO Mezzaluna.:D

I have also heard from my instructors, few rips on ole Tony. He was the comencement speaker a few months ago. One chef said he was smoking a cigarette with him (Tony smoked a few). Anyway the conversation was a bit like,
Tony: "Me Me Me Me ME. Now why dont you talk about ME?"
 

pete

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I always like to pour soups tableside, when I can, so I am always looking for to put in the bowl to garnish that. The nice thing about doing that is you can put things in there that you normally wouldn't, because they would get too soggy as they were being taken out to the table. So with that in mind some ideas might be: Rice paper rolls filled with shrimp, basil and mint, or a samosa-like fried dumpling (maybe filled with a little curried fish), or a little "napolean" of papadums and a mousse made from the Scorpion fish.
 

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