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Old 04-27-2008, 11:57 AM   #1
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Garnishing Food

I understand flavour, but I can't garnish food so it looks nice. Does anyone know of any websites, books, or advice I can use to make my food look pretty?

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Old 04-27-2008, 12:20 PM   #2
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nope----but a lemon slice turned 180 degrees always looks nice or a sprig of parsley or a sprinkle of paprika over a casserole looks great....don't be afraid to tread new ground
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:13 PM   #3
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You can take a look online and get ideas but a lot of what you see is REALLY fancy. A garnish should be an element FROM the dish i.e., a sprig of rosemary, a sprig of thyme, lemon slice, or something that enhances the dish. A garnish should be edible but a sprig of rosemary doesn't really qualify

A garnish can be two pieces of chives crossed on a piece of fish, or julienned red peppers, yellow peppers, etc., done the same way. You can also make spring onion "brushes" or what I call carrot ribbons (slice down the side of a carrot with a vegetable peeler, roll up and place in an ice tray so it stays curled. When ready to use remove and it should still be somewhat wavy.) I like to top my macaroni salad with these ribbons.
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:57 PM   #4
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I love to garnish, but agree with elf. Minimal is often the most elegant.

Wish I could find my books about that but they are in boxes at the moment.

But look at the dish.

A bit too white? Well a scattering of paprika or some of the greens of scallions cut into small rounds looks great. As would bits of peppers, red, green or yellow.

A couple of slices of star fruit or kiwi fruit on a plate looks great, as do many pieces of fruit.

Some nicely presented thin slices of apples or pears with pork would be wonderful (sprinkle some lemon juice on them to prevent oxidation). Add a bit of green, such as parsley, and it would be great.

One can get fancy. For example take the white end of a scallion. Slice it longitudinally with a very sharp knife four times or so. Put it in a water bath with ice and you will get something that resembles a flower.

For the fancy stuff you probably need a book. But there are many out there and the good news is that making those things are not very difficult.
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:00 PM   #5
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Here are a couple of good places to look at
http://www.how-to-cook-gourmet.com/platingfood.htm click plating food on the left

eG Forums -> Plating and Presentation
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:07 PM   #6
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Garnished with a knife and fork has always suited me
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmcgrew View Post
Here are a couple of good places to look at
http://www.how-to-cook-gourmet.com/platingfood.htm click plating food on the left

eG Forums -> Plating and Presentation
I like the first link the best it's a bit more simple than the second link. Also be sure to look on the bottom of first link it has 2 more links to plating and garnishing. As the others have said simple is usually better than over doing it my reason is in my quote below.
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:50 PM   #8
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Years ago, I ordered a book on garnishing that came with a little tool kit. Most items in the tool kit were superfluous, and even dangerous looking, but the book is great. I'll look it up to see the exact title, and maybe you can find it on eBay.

In the meantime, consider the colors already on your plate, and think of what color might best compliment those colors. Often a snippet of fresh herbs, a few grape tomatoes or olives, a slice of lemon or pickle, or a bell pepper or onion ring is all that is needed.

A sharp paring knife will be all you need for most garnishes, but there is a little tool that looks like a crochet hook that does come in very handy for carving out strings of orange rind or scoring a cucumber so the slices look pretty.
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:55 PM   #9
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A bowl of minestrone is easily garnished with nothing more than some shaved Parmesan, as is a lot of other dishes.

Black bean soup can be garnished with homemade pico de gallo and sour cream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance
A sharp paring knife will be all you need for most garnishes, but there is a little tool that looks like a crochet hook that does come in very handy for carving out strings of orange rind or scoring a cucumber so the slices look pretty.
YES, very handy tool! It's called a channel knife and now is normally found with the "channel" part on one end and a zester on the other. LOVE that tool for making little lemon ties when I do smoked salmon, or carrot ties for a salad, or, like you said, to channel a cucumber or orange. Makes for a really nice presentation!
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Old 04-27-2008, 11:58 PM   #10
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Could not live without my zester---I use it for so many dishes and recipes
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