Quick-and-Easy Food Tips from Midwest Chefs
Garnish food with style
A few easy techniques will help you present your food with flair. Here are tips from Charles Worthington, the food stylist behind many of Midwest Living's® photographs.
Peel veggies and chocolate You can use an all-purpose vegetable peeler not only to make cucumbers into strips, but also to make easy chocolate curls from a milk chocolate or white chocolate baking bar. If the bar is cold and crumbles, set it out for 15 minutes on a warm kitchen counter so it curls when peeled.
Use a citrus zester Long, thin curls of lemon or orange peel (aka zest) add color. Avoid the bitter white membrane when scraping the tool through the zest. Some zesters, such as the one pictured at left, also have a channeling tool that cuts a wider strip of citrus. We used one to cut strips from cucumber before we sliced it and piped it with filling.
Top with herbs Crown sweet or savory food with fresh herbs. Some herbs wilt faster than others. A delicate dill works fine on a plate served immediately, while sturdier sage might do better on a buffet table. To store herbs, trim 1/2 inch off ends and stand stems in a small jar of water. Cover loosely with a plastic bag and refrigerate. Keep basil at room temperature.