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25 August 2010

Play With Your Food!

I don't think it's a secret that I like to play with my food. When I have the time and energy, I love to take something ordinary and make it special. A little fancy. Maybe even fancy pants. Like these sandwiches.



I had some leftover smoked salmon and some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes in all sorts of colors. I also had some of that darkdark pumpernickel bread that smells like molasses (I love that stuff). I cut the bread in little rounds, spread some of them with cream cheese and others with goat cheese. Then I sliced the tomatoes, cut the smoked salmon in smaller rounds than the bread, and cut cucumber slices in still smaller rounds. After some artful assembly and herb toppings, I had some fancy pants sandwiches:




It's also fun to deconstruct a classic dish, taking it apart and putting it back together in a new way—like this appetiser version of insalata caprese:


Begin by cutting rounds from some hearty bread—I think it needs to be hearty so that it won't fall apart when it gets soaked with tomato juice. Then slice golf-ball sized tomatoes and your mozzarella. Cut shapes from the mozzarella (smaller than the tomatoes, natch) and assemble. Top with basil leaves. Or balsamic crème (thickened balsamic sauce). YUM!



Or, as a garnish, you can dispense with the bread and slice the side of the tomato off and cut it into a shape, then top it with mozzarella cut into the same shape, then top with basil and dot with balsamic crème:


Or you can dispense with the balsamic crème:



Anything that you can slice you can make fancier by cutting the slices with a cookie cutter (or aspic cutter, for smaller pieces). You can do this with potatoes:



Or croutons:


Or sandwiches:



Anyone who was a girl scout cut holes in bread and fried eggs in them. Why not use the same idea for salads? Or sandwiches? Or even side dishes! Go ahead—play with your food. You know you want to.



Note: I know I've been derelict for most of the summer. Between projects and visitors and travel, it's been exceptionally crazy. It's likely to continue for another month or so, then things should get back to normal around here. That means I'll have time to cook, and take photos, and post--and visit your blogs! Thanks for sticking around, if you have. If you haven't, then come back...

17 comments:

ButterYum said...

What a fabulous post - I'm so glad I found your wonderful blog.

:)
ButterYum

Stella said...

I want to play with my food, Kate! These sandwiches look wonderful. Now where's the big pot of tea (smile)?

Carol at Serendipity said...

Kate,

Love your fancy pants sandwiches.

Carol

Sophie said...

Hi Kate!!

I also love to play with my foods!

Georgous & pretty ideas! thanks for sharing,..I love the stars potatoes!

Kate said...

That is the best kind of playing! You get to sit down and enjoy something lovely and delicious.

Barbara said...

What fun ideas, Kate! I'm going to steal a bunch of them!

The Rowdy Chowgirl said...

Fancy pants indeed! Every picture was more beautiful than the last. Such colors! Now I'm plotting when I can try making some of these...

grace said...

fun. i love to play with my food...as long as it's still edible in the end. :)

Susan @ The Spice Garden said...

Beautiful ... every one! Love the creativity of this post! Kudos, again!

Hungry Dog said...

What fun! These look both lovely and delicious.

Kathryn said...

Wow- those look totally delicious! Have you ever tried a muffaletta? It's a New Orleans style sandwich and it's my absolute favorite!

gnee @ Singing With Birds said...

I'm new here! Glad you've had a great summer and love these petite lovelies...anxious to see more from you. Thanks!

The Gypsy Chef said...

Kate,
I don't know who is worse, you or me! between the two of us we've posted 5 things!
I love the idea of the fancy pants sandwiches. Seeing the pictures just made me miss you and Dan. I wanna come back!
See you at Lynn's.
Pam

Kitchen Butterfly said...

Gorgeous Kate, very dainty and posh these are - great appetizers. I especially have a soft spot for the caprese offering. Take care

Junglefrog said...

Love the idea of all those different shapes Kate! And don't feel bad for being absent... In fact I have been so absent myself that I didn't even notice you being absent too... I guess it must be the time of year but I do hope things settle down a bit over the next months for me at least. I want to go back to more cooking!

WizzyTheStick said...

So pretty all the cakes. I do this a lot on account of the kids

A Canadian Foodie said...

GORGEOUS!
That is exactly how I teach my students. I do a demonstration. They practice. Then we do a couple of other recipes to practice the technique (like the muffin method: pancakes - and a few.... then muffins, and a few...) then I teach them how to look at the recipe and DESIGN their own: play with their food! It is SO much fun!
:)
Valerie