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!

I just love the idea of mixing two of my passions – food and fashion! Spring fashion focuses on a clean look with pretty floral patterns and bright  bold colors. I have created a spread of fascinating foods to showcase the fresh flavors of this rejuvenating season.  With the advent of Spring, the markets are filling up with the freshest produce of the season. Tender asparagus, delicate spring onions, cool cucumbers, crunchy radishes, refreshing citrus lemons – all of these have inspired me to create a line of contemporary foods that look beautiful and taste delicious.

This is “Foodé Couture” –  my first ever creation of  fashionable foods!

Coming up…

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

Join me for a behind-the-scenes coverage, exclusively on Signature Concoctions.

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!

phyllo cups

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

salt

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!

cucumber & raddish bites

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!

lemon panna cotta

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.

Recycled Plastic Dessert Cups

 

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.

Optional Garnish/Decoration

 for decoration

 toothpicks, broken into halves

 lemon slices

 mint leaves, with a little part of  stem

 

 

 

 

 

 

twisting a lemon slice

 

 

Make a cut from the center to the edge of a slice and  then twist it to create a lemon swirl.

 

 

 

 

 

lemon flower

 

 

Hold the swirl between your fingers and try to squeeze  as much juice as possible.

 

 

 

 

tucked with a toothpick

 

 

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!

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34 thoughts on “foodé couture

  1. Vas!! this is certainly a statement collection! Love it !! BTW..Have you considered finger modeling?

  2. Hey Vas,

    Very cool..I like what u r doing with this…looks and seems delicious…

    I will say that I probably wouldn’t attempt to make this myself….but
    certainly look fwd to ur invitation to try it..;) hehe..

    great work..keep it up

    ~m

  3. one word..WOW!!!! WOW WOW WOW!! like manish, am waiting for an invite now….truly fashionista style 🙂

  4. Tres chic….Very elegant. This is def. haute cuisine :))

  5. Everything looks absolutely amazing and delicious. Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to make the Cucumber and Radish Bites with Smoked Salmon, Dill and Caper Cream Cheese.

  6. Well Done!
    The photos are fabulous, it makes me want to throw on a frock and sip champers!

  7. Loved the presentation of the recipes. Was wondering what (vegetarian) could replace the scrambled eggs in the phyllo cups to make them a scrumptious appetizer

  8. Wow, each dish looks great and really delicious, especially the panna cotta. Maybe it’s my sweet tooth doing the talking 😉

  9. Waw! amazing desserts! I loved your raddish bite and lemon panna cotta.Its beautiful and hope they would taste great.

  10. Vas,

    After browsing through the Spring’09 section of your website, I hate to be busy with my courses.Just can’t wait to get over with my studies and start trying hands at these wonderful recipes :)Waiting for May 26th now….

  11. Hello. I think the article is really interesting. I am even interested in reading more. How soon will you update your blog?

  12. I really like what you did with the food and the show here! Great job 🙂

  13. This is a really cool blog and I just love love love this post!

  14. Hi Vasanti, I tried your Panna Cotta for few of our friends and it was an instant HIT…from elders to even 2 yr old…each and everyone loved it. The lemon zest actually gives a very refreshing taste. It’s such a simple and delicious recipe. It was my first non-indian recipe which I tried. I also tried ur Kesari dudh and it was good too. I m really excited to try some more recipes from your blog. I will also like to mention that I really like your blog….the presentation is simply beautiful. Overall a very fresh look… Great job!!!

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