Two Contrasting Salad Flavors On One Plate!
Eye catching salad presentations are en vogue these days. Modern salad presentations require combinations of height, texture, color, design shape and flavors that are presented with dramatic flair. The element of surprise entertains guests, when a modern salad is served.
Today's recipe features two salads served on one plate. The flavor of each salad tastes good on its own and the separate salad flavors compliment each other. If the ingredients of the two salads were combined from the start, it would look like an ordinary fancy dinner salad and part of customer dining experience would be abandoned. By keeping the two salads separated, the dining experience is more entertaining, because this allows a guest to taste two separate flavors and combine the flavors at will.
The best way to present two contrasting salads on one plate is to contain one of the salads. In European cuisine, one salad might possibly be served in a crisp pastry shell cup. For Asian style cuisine, a hollow vegetable can be used as a container. Something like a hollow cucumber can be used to contain one salad and the cucumber will be integrated into the salad theme. When the cucumber is cut open, the salad inside springs to life and the flavors accent the other featured salad on the plate.
The French word Tonnelet translates to "a drum shape or cylinder shape." Tonnelet is a traditional French precision knife cut. Tonnelet vegetables are usually stuffed or they are used as containment cups for a plated food presentation. Perfection Tonnelet requires a perfectly round even cylinder shape. Paisan Tonnelet follows the natural contour of the vegetable. .
The cylinder wall of a Tonnelet vegetable should be about 1/4" to 3/8" thick. The hollow inside of a Tonnelet cylinder can be formed with a paring knife, but the hollow tube is easier to shape with an apple coring tool.
Slots or holes can be carved into a Tonnelet vegetable to create an open airy presentation. This way, the hidden salad that is stuffed in the Tonnelet vegetable can be seen. An apple coring tool can be used to cut a pattern of holes in a cucumber tonnelet to create a perforated "Swiss Cheese" effect.
This recipe yields 1 Tonnelet.
Step 1: Cut a center section of cucumber that is about 4" long.
Peel the cucumber section.
Step 2: Use a paring knife or apple coring tool to hollow the cucumber, so it is a tonnelet shape.
Use an apple coring tool to cut a few decorative holes in the walls of the cucumber tonnelet.
Chill the tonnelet cucumber till it is needed.
Sesame Ginger Perilla Snow Pea Salad:
This recipe yields 1 petite portion.
Step 1: Blanch 5 or 6 large snow peas in salted boiling water for 10 to 15 seconds.
Remove the blanched snow peas from the hot water and cool them in ice water.
Cut the snow peas into thin julienne strips.
Step 2: Place the julienne snow peas in a small mixing bowl.
Add a few very thin julienne slices of carrot. (The amount of carrot should be about half the amount of the snow peas.)
Add 1 Vietnamese Perilla Leaf that is chiffonade sliced.
Step 3: Add 1/2 teaspoon of rice wine vinegar.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of granulated sugar.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of ginger paste.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of pure sesame oil.
Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
Step 4: Toss the ingredients together.
Chill the salad, till it is needed later in the recipe.
Cilantro Lime Sunburst Tomato Beef Salad:
This recipe yields 1 portion.
Step 1: Lightly season a 4 ounce piece of Beef Top Sirloin Steak with sea salt and white pepper.
Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium high heat.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Place the steak in the pan.
Sear the beef till it browned on all sides and the steak cooked to the finish temperature of your preference.
Step 2: Remove the seared beef steak from the pan and place it on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan.
Allow the seared steak to rest and cool to room temperature.
Bias cut the steak into thin slices.
Cut the sliced beef into uniform bite size pieces.
Step 3: Place the sliced seared steak in a mixing bowl.
Add 10 yellow sunburst tomatoes that are cut in half.
Add 1 thin bias sliced green onion.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of cilantro leaves that are chiffonade sliced. (chiffonade = thin ribbons)
Step 4: Add 1 teaspoon of lime juice.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of white wine vinegar.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
Step 5: Toss the ingredients together.
Set the salad aside.
Cilantro Lime Sunburst Tomato Beef Salad with Sesame Ginger Perilla Snow Pea Salad en Cucumber Tonnelet:
This recipe yields 1 salad entrée.
Step 1: Loosely stuff the Sesame Ginger Perilla Snow Pea Salad inside the Tonnelet Cucumber.
Place the stuffed tonnelet cucumber vertically on the back half of a plate.
Garnish the top of the stuffed tonnelet cucumber with a couple of green onion slivers.
Step 2: Place the Cilantro Lime Sunburst Tomato Beef Salad on the plate next to the stuffed cucumber. Try to arrange the salad so some of the beef steak slices are exposed.
Step 3: Garnish the plate around the face of the Cilantro Lime Sunburst Tomato Beef Salad with thin lime slices that are cut in half.
Place a sprig of cilantro next to the stuffed cucumber and the beef salad.
This is a nice tasting fusion style summer salad!