Read these 12 Garnishes & Presentation Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Gourmet tips and hundreds of other topics.
Try this simple process for making an impressive ice centerpiece for your next party.
Take one 6 quart bowl and one 3 quart bowl. Fill the larger bowl 1/2 way up with DISTILLED water. Put the smaller bowl inside the other bowl and tape it down with freezer tape. Let it stick up a little above the bigger bowl. Take some fresh flowers and arrange them around the sides along with some greenery. Freeze the bowl for 2 days. Take out and let sit until you can remove the bowls.
You have a perfect ice bowl very clear and beautifully decorated. You can put sherbet in it, or even some shrimp. Place the bowl on a silver tray, that has sides to catch the water as it melts.
Place a few paper towels on it and then place a decorative doily on top of that.
The icebowl will last about two hours at room temperature; make sure to drain off melting water periodically.
If the bowl doesn't melt completely, you can replace it in the large bowl, top with smaller bowl and pour in water to fill. Freeze as before.
For the most effective presentation use a large cloth napkin for this fold.
Open the napkin completely. Take the left and right sides and fold into the center until they almost touch. Leave a 1/2" opening along the center.
Pleat the entire length of the folded napkin accordion style at least 8 times. Folds will be approximately 1/4 of an inch wide.
Pinch the center, and hold in place with a small piece of pipe cleaner. Spread out the pleats to form a round rosette.
Place a single flower bloom in the center where the pipe cleaner is. A rose, carnation or daisy works nicely for this.
Place the entire rosette flat on a dinner plate of a contrasting color for the most dramatic affect.
Edible flowers can help transform a salad, cheese plate or party platter from good to gourmet with little work.
The following is a list of edible flowers to choose from. Make sure to use pesticide free, well washed
Chocolate drizzle is wonderful for garnishing all types
of desserts. Swirl a design on a plain plate, over top of an ice cream confection or on baked goods.
Place some chocolate in a plastic sandwich bag and melt in microwave, checking at 20-second intervals.
When ready, cut off a small tip of one corner, and squeeze into desired pattern.
Creating cups from green or red cabbage to hold dips or crudite makes for a different, yet inexpensive presentation.
Cut a thin slice off the root end of the cabbage so it will be upright.
Using a small, sharp knife, hollow out the center of the cabbage to desired size and depth.
Smooth the cut out cavity by scraping with the side of a metal spoon. Fill as desired.
The cabbage cups can be placed on a glass plate or directly on the buffet table.
These are a simple but effective garnish that can be used to brighten up anything from anitpasto platters to simple dips and main course entrees.
Using fresh, crisp, green onions, cut the dark green top portion off so that the green onion is 3-4 inches long.
Slice off the root end.
With a small sharp paring knife, cut multiple horizontal slits in each end of the green onion, making sure not to cut through at the center.
The more slits you make the more curls you'll get.
Place the prepared green onions in a bowl of ice water
and place in the refrigerator for at about 20-30 minutes.
Use as desired.
Fresh grape clusters - green & red
1/2 cup pasteurized egg whites
Granulated sugar to coat
Wash and dry grapes.
Separate into clusters of desired size.
Beat pasteurized egg whites until frothy.
Using a small pastry brush, paint a cluster of grapes with egg whites.
Place grapes on a layer of sugar, then shake a thick coating of sugar over the cluster through a sieve.
Shake off excess and set the cluster on a wire rack.
When egg whites have dried, use frosted clusters as edible garnishes.
Impress your guests with this decorative, edible centerpiece.
Buy a Styrofoam cone available at craft stores, cover with curly endive or lettuce secured with plain toothpicks.
Using cello-tipped toothpicks secure baby sweet pickles, sweet onions, cubes of cheese, olives, radish roses, Cherry Tomatoes, cubes of ham, salami and roast beef onto the covered cone.
Place filled cone on a platter secured with a little double stick tape.
Surround cone with additional crudite, melba toast rounds and other small crackers. Serve with your favorite dip on the side.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|