Readers at a recent Simply Her cooking workshop received clever food presentation and preparation advice. AMANDA JAYNE LEE brings you the best tips.
Chef Jimmy Chok demonstrates how to present food.
Three-cup Braised Chicken with Assorted Mushrooms
Open-face Parma Ham Melon with Mandarin Orange Compote.
Readers had the opportunity to taste each dish.
Slow-cooked Salmon with Seaweed and Simple Soya Glaze.
WHAT: The Simply Her Cooking Workshop in January at Tott, in collaboration with Fairprice Finest and helmed by Chef Jimmy Chok. He demonstrated three recipes: Three-cup Braised Chicken with Assorted Mushrooms, Slow-cooked Salmon with Seaweed and Simple Soya Glaze, and Openface Parma Ham Melon with Mandarin Orange Compote.
• When freezing fish, cover each piece with cling wrap and press out the air. Frozen air bubbles create ice pockets that could lead to spoilage when the fish thaws.
• Season fish with salt only after cooking. Doing so beforehand draws out the moisture and leaves you with dry fish.
• Salmon is best cooked at 55 deg C as its protein doesn’t break down. You know the salmon protein has broken down when white bits come off the fish – lower the heat immediately.
• To test if the salmon is cooked, slide the blunt end of a piece of cutlery into the middle. If it slides in easily, it’s done.
PRESENTING YOUR FOOD
• To give your dish a gourmet look and finish, garnish with an odd number of elements. An even number, such as four pieces of carrots, will look incomplete to the eye.
• Serve food in the direction you faced it while plating – it plays a part in how your guest sees the dish and makes a world of difference.
• Buy a large wooden chopping board for special occasions. Dishes served on it look extra impressive against the raw, natural look of wood.
MAKE YOUR OWN…
Balsamic vinaigrette. Combine 2 tbsp of sugar and a bottle of black vinegar in a pot. Turn up the heat and leave to simmer until the liquid has reduced to about one-third of the original amount. As long as the mixture is kept from boiling, the vinegar and sugar should turn into a thick sauce. Store in a squeeze bottle and make more to top up when needed.
Orange tea. Turn old oranges into a sweet drink to help soothe the throat. Steam the oranges for 2 hours, then blend into a puree.