Al the Retired Army Guy is a reader of this here blog and a student at the New England Culinary Institute. Here's the skinny on of one of his latest projects.
From Al: Here are a few pictures of a display platter my classmates and I worked on. If you’re wondering why everything appears shiny, it is because all of the food is coated in aspic (gelatin) to give the food a shine for display purposes only. It isn’t meant for consumption, though you could eat it if you wanted to. I wouldn’t mainly due to the gelatin. Without the gelatin, though--> ;-)
In the pictures you will find a terrine, a liver pate, and a duck galantine, as well as two vegetable garnishes. There is also a beet/pickled onion salad, with an orange vinaigrette (you can’t really see the vinaigrette). The single plate represents a single serving of the components contained in the platter.
It took us about six hours to put five coats of aspic on every individual piece. The vegetables were individually carved and placed as well. I did the “pointy” rutabaga bases you see, as well as the chioggia beets (the purple ones, carved into fleurons or a crescent shape). I did the orange/white squares you see inside the circular garnish on the right side of the platter. The terrine, galantine, and liver pate were made for us by classmates and our instructor.
Overall it was a lot of fun. All the attention to detail I learned while in the Army definitely pays off while doing things like this.
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Looks good, Al. Now whydontcha come over here and wrangle up something for dinner?
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