Wow, I am really excited about the number of readers that have expressed interest in our Sweet Potato Recipe Blogger Contest. Of course, the actual recipe is the most important part, but a great picture can make your fantastic Sweet Potato creations as eye-catching as they are mouth-watering.
One of the most important steps to creating a great picture is proper plating. Here are a few guidelines used by professional chefs and photographers. These awesome tips will help you show off your food for blogs, photos, parties, and friends. A great looking plate always make a good first impression.
Think of your plate as afoundation or supportto show off your creation. A strong support should serve to accent your dish and never distract from it. It is for this reason that many chefs only work with white plates. Regardless of your plate color you should leave plenty of “white space” in your picture. Areas where your plate shows through emphasize the contrast of your dish’s color and texture. Notice the plate above. It is full, but appears uncluttered because of the white space that is shown.
As a general rule, avoid heavily patterned plates. While these plates can be beautiful, they can also distract from your dish. In Japan, chefs say that diners “Eat with their eyes first.” Every thing on your plate should be placed to attract your eyes to the main dish. Remember, your plate is the support, not the attraction.
Make sure your plate is complete. Don’t overuse white space, there is such a thing as “too much of a good thing”. Leave your plates uncluttered, but don’t leave them empty. Sometimes a wisp of lettuce or a delicate flower can complete a presentation that otherwise looks a little bare. See the garnishing rules below for more inspiration.
Remember to emphasize the color and texture of the Sweet Potato. Our wonderful spuds are famous for there brightly colored flesh, so be sure to show that off. In fact, brightly orange colors of the Sweet Potato can easily overcome the “white plates looks best” rule. Dark colors, contrasting greens, even blues will make your pictures stand out. Just remember to use the same rules regarding clutter and eye appeal. Just look at the wonderful contrast in the Herb Roasted Vegetable Plate below.
Be sure to add garnishes to your plate. They add texture, depth and even whimsy to your picture. A simply sprig of parsley can add that little je ne sais quoi, that make a plate really pop. Try delicate swirls of rich red sauce, bright green asparagus, the brilliant pop of saffron rice. The garnish serves to balance the plate, so add a lime wedge, a colorful radish flower or try your hand at on of these advanced garnishes. My favorite … the Sweet Potato Butterfly. Bon Apetit!
Easter is a time of renewal and new beginnings; the radiant colors of spring are everywhere around us! Celebrate nature’s glory by including brilliant hues into your Easter dinner. What could be better than a festive meal of Orange Blossom Honey-Glazed Chicken with Sweet Potato Puree. Although this recipe is lighter on calories than the average holiday dinner prepared below the Mason-Dixon line, it is sure to become a new Southern favorite. The floral tones of the honey-based glaze add a flowery sweetness that will awe your guests and ensure that the kids come back for more. Add a centerpiece of fresh flowers and a light dessert, and you will be guaranteed a holiday filled with fragrant flowers, flavorful food and laughter.
Orange Blossom Honey-Glazed Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potato Puree
1 cup(s) orange blossom honey
1/4 cup(s) chicken stock
1 (3- to 4-pound) chicken
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
Note:If orange blossom honey is not available, you can substitute clover honey.
To prepare glaze: Place honey and chicken stock in a small saucepan and whisk over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until smooth. Reserve 1/4 cup glaze for sweet potatoes and 1/3 cup for sauce.
To prepare chicken: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place chicken in a roasting pan and season with salt and pepper. Thoroughly brush chicken with glaze and roast 45 to 60 minutes, or until juices run clear. Brush on additional glaze every 15 minutes during roasting. Remove from oven, let rest 10 minutes, and carve.
To prepare sweet potatoes: Prick sweet potatoes with a fork and bake alongside chicken for 45 minutes, or until soft. Remove skins and place sweet potatoes in a bowl with butter and 1/4 cup glaze. Using an electric mixer or hand masher, whip potatoes until smooth.
To prepare sauce: Drain pan drippings from chicken and skim off the fat. Cook drippings and 1/3 cup reserved glaze in a small saucepan over medium heat 5 minutes, or until warm.
Finishing Touches: Spoon some sweet potatoes on one side of each plate. Layer chicken slices in an overlapping pattern alongside potatoes, and spoon sauce over chicken.
Penny Pincher Sweet Bytes Tip
After you zest, what do you do with the lemon?
Freeze the lemon juice in cube trays. Bring them out for use in tea or recipes. Nothing beats the real taste of lemon, not that artificial stuff.
Use half of a lemon to clean copper pots. Dip the cut side in baking soda and scrub away all of those stains
What are your ideas? I would love to hear your tips.
In just a few days, one of our lucky recipe contest entrants will win $1000. However, you might have your own treasure-trove sitting in your home. Most of us have one of those jars full of spare change stashed somewhere. But how much is really in there? Use this nifty Coin Counter to estimate how much you have saved. All you have to do is count one handful of coins and it does the rest. You will be amazed!!