Monday, September 10, 2012

Garnishing with Cucumber

BM # 20   Day 1

For the second group of BM # 20 , I have picked the theme Garnishing, Kitchen set up  and storage, Styling your pantry. Since I have already done a post on My Kitchen, where I have my kitchen set up and tips for storage, I decided to do Garnishing 's.

Enjoyment of a meal is affected by how it looks.If food has an eye appeal then enjoyment of the meal tends to increase, that is why garnishing properly is essential when serving food.The garnishes will complement the main dish in color, texture and flavor. I would divide garnishes in three major categories....

When we talk of decorative garnishes it is those garnishes which add a creative dimension to the dish.Neon orange carrots,shocking red tomatoes,melons with those beautiful stripes and  vibrant red pulp.... lets not forget oranges and lemons ..they have a texture which I totally admire , and when we have such beautiful material it should not take long to produce a decoration which shall have a appeal.Most of these garnishes are simple all you need  is just a bit of imagination and color combination to highlight the dish.One needs to be careful while picking the vegetables or fruits, in regard to color, size ,shape and texture.Also always pick fresh and firm fruits and vegetables.Decorative garnishes could vary from simple to highly elaborated carved ones. For this BM I shall be doing the simple decorative garnishes with different vegetables.

The right tools play an important role in the  finished product. Most of these are in our kitchens and we really don't need to buy them , but for some garnishing techniques ,however you will need specific tools.

For today I have picked up cucumber and will try to show a few garnishes with it.

Cucumber circles
Peel the cucumber.
Cut off heads and tails.
Using a fork in a straight motion, pull it down.
Repeat on the same incisions two three times so you get those grooves.
Repeat all around the cucumber.
Cut in circles.

These can be further garnished with different toppings...
Cherry tomato

Cream cheese
To give it that contrast use mint, parsley or coriander sprigs.

Cucumber Flowers
Hold the cucumber and using peel stripper pull strips of peel from cucumber. 
Repeat all around the cucumber evenly to get stripes .
Cut into slices.
You shall get beautiful flowers.
These can be cut into thicker slices, scooped out and filled with some kind of cheese.

Cucumber fan
Cut about 2 cms thick slice and halve it.
Place one half , cut side down and make comb like incisions,along one edge.
Pull the thin slices apart to make a fan shape.
The similar fan  can be made lengthwise too you could cut the cucumber in a slant and repeat the comb procedure.

Cucumber coronet
Cut a cucumber crosswise into 3'"long pieces.
Make a zig zag cut around and into the center of the cucumber.
Twist the halves to separate them.
You can further embellish with carrots and mint sprigs.

Cucumber boats
Halve an peeled cucumber lengthwise.
Scoop out the flesh with a spoon.
Cut the cucumbers into 2-3" long pieces.
The first boat has been filled with capsicum salad and cottage cheese with  tiny capsicum hearts.
for the second boat 
I have scooped a unpeeled cucumber at regular intervals.filled cheese, garnished with olives and filled ketchup.
Dill sprigs and zig zag carrots add color to the boat.

Some of the tools which I use while garnishing.

List of the tools.....
1. kitchen knife
2. zig zag/ fluted knife
3. pointed Knife
4. carving knife.
5. apple corer
6. peel stripper
7. melon baller
8. zester
9. mini cookie cutters

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  1. wonderful post Vaishali...loved the last pic of the tools...simply superb

  2. Wonderful Post... definitely used this tips in my next or further recipes... thanks for sharing...

  3. Great post Vaishali! Really helpful one if one wants to do a simple, but impressive decoration.

  4. Such a great talent... So amazing!!! I did not read your post, just saw the pictures many many times!!!! Such appetizing pictures....


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  5. Very nice post Vaishali .. you really are imparting knowledge to the world..

  6. Omg, such a beautiful post, those gadgets looks fabulous..looking forward for ur other posts.

  7. Awesome post vaishali. Loved that you have shared your tools as well :).Excellent!!

  8. nice interesting post... especially liked the boat and your tool set !

    look forward to other such posts :)

  9. I love this. infact before leaving for work I saw you post and it was quite a effort to stop myself from opening the post.

    I have the peel stripper but have not been able to manage it as yet. Guess I need to work.
    Thanks for the beautiful decorations.

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  10. Love all your garnishes with cucumber. Thanks for sharing your garnishing ideas.

  11. Amazing post. I just loved every single word, picture and the method you've described for garnishing. Keep it going gal, I'm loving it.

  12. This is one of my fav hobbies I love the carvings.

  13. Loved the post. It had lot of awesome ideas. Thanks for sharing such wonderful ideas..

    Divya's Culinary Journey

  14. wow...very cool ideas, thanks a lot sharing...loved all your garnishes, awesome...will try it some :)

  15. Simply superb all your tools and the way you have stocked up your spices..