Come Spring, designers of the fashion world send their glamorous models down the runways showcasing the season’s most chic and trendy styles. So, I decided to drape my food up in the season’s hottest designs…
… Check out my Spring ’09 Collection!
This is “Foodé Couture” – my first ever creation of fashionable foods!
The Elegant – Phyllo Cups with Asparagus, Spring Onions and Scrambled Eggs
The Colorful – Cucumber and Raddish bites with Smoked Salmon, Dill and Caper Cream Cheese
The Dazzling – Lemon Panna Cotta
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Phyllo Cups with Asparagus, Spring Onions and Scambled Eggs
With their lush green color and mild delicate flavor, asparagus and spring onions are natural spring-time vegetables. These are the first among my “food models” to enter the green room backstage. I used some pre-baked ready-to-eat mini phyllo cups and filled them up with scrambled eggs, spring onions and asparagus, for breakfast one weekend morning.
With the bright green contrasting the sunny yellow, these decked-up munchies are the showstoppers of my Spring Show!
Makes 15 phyllo cups
1 pack of Athens Mini Fillo Shells (contains 15 shells), thawed at room temperature or slightly warmed up in the oven as per the directions on the box
1 spring onion stem, white and the green parts chopped
3-4 asparagus stems, trimmed and sliced diagonally into 1 inch pieces
1 tbsp butter
2 jumbo eggs (3 if using large or extra large)
4 tbsp whole milk, cream or half ‘n’ half
freshly ground black pepper
chives, cut into about 2 inch pieces (for garnishing)
paprika (for garnishing)
Heat a medium non-stick frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and asparagus and sauté for about 3-4 mins. Season with salt and black pepper.
In the mean time, in a prep bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour the eggs mixture into the pan with the spring onions and asparagus and cook them over medium low heat, folding them over continuously with a spatula, until the desired doneness. Take off the heat and check for seasonings.
Spoon sufficient amount of scrambled eggs mixture into the phyllo shells and garnish with a couple of chives. Sprinkle paprika for some added color and flavor and serve immediately or at room temperature.
Cucumber and Radish Bites with Smoked Salmon, Dill and Caper Cream Cheese
Next in line …. some cucumbers and radishes. I have created a low fat, heart healthy snack that brings out the season’s best colors, textures and flavors.
Silky cream cheese and smoked salmon get an added crunch when served on radish and cucumber slices. Dill goes very well with smoked salmon and it adds a subtle flavor to the overall taste.
Dressed in pretty pinks and cool greens, these bite-size beauties hit the ramp looking absolutely stunning!
Makes about 20-22 snack bites
1 kirby (pickling) cucumber (or about ½ of regular cucumber), sliced into ¼th inch thick slices
3-4 radishes, sliced into ¼th inch thick slices
¼ cream cheese, plain or flavored like garlic ‘n’ herb or chives (I used Philadelphia Whipped Garlic ‘n’ Herb)
1 tsp capers, drained
4-6 slices (about 1 packet) of smoked salmon, ½ chopped and ½ rolled and cut into 1 inch pieces forming pinwheels
dill, chopped and some sprigs, for garnishing
Combine the capers and the cream cheese. Mix well and keep aside.
Lay the cucumber slices on a serving plate, top it with chopped smoked salmon and a dollop of cream cheese. Garnish with chopped dill.
Lay the radish slices on a serving plate. Spoon a dollop of cream cheese and place the cut up smoked salmon roll on top of it. Tuck in a sprig of dill in the smoked salmon for garnish.
Lemon Panna Cotta
Lemons, for me, usher in the taste of Spring! Their contrasting sweet – tart citrusy zing is perfect to perk up the flavor of any dish, even a sweet one! Here’s how I use them to make a luscious dessert that is a great Spring dessert – Lemon Panna Cotta.
This delicate dessert uses the acidic taste from the lemons to accentuate the velvety cream. And I accessorize each dessert cup with some mint leaves and lemon swirls.
Mouth watering and irresistibly attractive, these petite sweeties dazzle on the ramp at this Spring show!
Makes 3 mini desserts -1/3 cup each
1 cup half ‘n’ half (alternatively use ½ cup whole milk and ½ cup heavy cream)
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1-2 drops of pure vanilla extract
½ tbsp lemon zest (about 1 lemon zested)
scant ½ tbsp gelatin powder
1 tbsp water
In a sauce pan gently warm the half ‘n’ half over low heat. Add the sugar along with a couple of drops of pure vanilla extract and once dissolved add the grated lemon zest.
Mix the gelatin powder into water and add it to the cream mixture. Bring it to a light simmer, stirring continuously to make sure the gelatin dissolves completely and the citrus flavor infuses the cream mixture, for about 4-5 mins. (The half ‘n’ half should be heated only till it forms tiny bubbles around the edge of the pan and steam starts to rise. It should not be boiled.)
Remove from heat and pour the cream through a fine-meshed sieve to seperate the lemon zest and any undissolved gelatin from it. Then pour into the dessert moulds, dividing equally.
Chill until set, about 4- 6 hours and up to 2 days.
When ready to serve, garnish with a lemon swirl and a sprig of mint.
toothpicks, broken into halves
mint leaves, with a little part of stem
Make a cut from the center to the edge of a slice and then twist it to create a lemon swirl.
Hold the swirl between your fingers and try to squeeze as much juice as possible.
Tuck the two ends using a half broken toothpick to hold it in place.
Insert the stem of the mint leaves and then place the lemon swirl on the side by inserting the toothpick. Try to hide the tooth pick as much as possible!