Thursday, March 26, 2009

Flounder with Polenta & Chard

When I upload photos I've taken of meals I've made for this blog, I'm often woefully disappointed with the way the pictures look.

Disappointed, because I know how absolutely gorgeous food can look when it's staged for the camera.

In my professional cooking days in Australia, I had a friend who worked in the kitchens of Kraft.

Kerry called me one week and asked if I'd be interested in helping her stage food for a photo shoot for Kraft's latest cook book.

I jumped at the opportunity. And what an eye-opening experience it was!

I discovered that because cooked food looks kinda limp, tired, and unappetizing, great food photography takes advantage of partially-cooked or raw food (particularly if vegetables are in the shoot) even if it means the final photograph is a big fib.

The truth is, oftentimes a picture of a dish that is supposedly cooked (like a veggie-rich casserole) is not a photo of cooked vegetables at all, but a manipulated image of par-cooked vegetables.

After all, who would be enticed to read or buy a cook book featuring limp and tired-looking food?

So, in defense of my amateurish food pics, I'm just a girl with an iPhone, a laptop (not a Mac), on a mission to show you real food in all its cooked, and sometimes limp-looking glory.

So with that in mind, let me tell you about the above meal:

Flounder with Polenta and Chard

(Ingredients are from the March 19th shopping list)

1) Add about a cup of polenta to a pot of (3-4 cups) of boiling water. Stir with a wooden spoon, letting the polenta simmer for about 30 mins or until it turns porridge-like. Turn polenta out onto a plate and let it cool and set.
2) Meanwhile, remove woody stalks from chard and chop it into pieces.
3) Saute some chopped onion and garlic in olive oil, toss in chard & a cup of frozen peas, turn heat to low so that veggies stew slowly in their own juice.
4) Cut polenta into chunks and toss it in with veggies.
5) Lay flounder fillets over the top of polenta and veggies, season with salt and pepper and put lid on. Flounder will steam cook in about 5 minutes.

To Serve: Spoon a portion of vegetables and polenta onto plates, top with a piece of steamed flounder, squeeze half a lemon over the lot and serve with chopped cilantro.

1 comment:

Joie de vivre said...

People get so fancy with their food styling that it is easy to feel like you can't measure up. Just enjoy yourself. It's good to finally be here on your blog after following you on Twitter!