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Food that plays with Perception


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How about a seared banana " scallop" on a half shell topped with a stabilized cream and caramel and brandy "caviar"? It would taste like bananas foster but look like seared scallop with creme fraiche and caviar.

P.S. Top Chef has had a dish that featured bananas seared to look like scallops so this isn't completely original.

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The tiny rice is called Kalijira rice and I have made tiny fried rice appetizers with it by trimming the very tips of broccoli florets, cutting carrots and other veggies very small, and then serving it in crescent standing spoons. People are amazed at how small this rice is; each grain is less than half the size of small, short-grain rice.

If you did deviled quail eggs, you could also do a contrasting dish of deviled ostrich egg, if you can source one or two. Just remember to time the cooking time carefully, and have tools to get into the shell.

Tiny seafood may be available, you could have fun doing mini versions of classics like shrimp cocktail in a small 2 ounce disposable martini glass.

I have seen 'champagne' grapes at Trader Joes, they may be good for dressing the table, or making something if you trim the stems so the bunches look like mini versions of larger grape bunches.

Crepes are easy to make tiny, and are easy to transport and keep cold. You could then make anything from mini crepes suzette to mini seafood newberg crepes.

You could get cornish game hens, roast them, carve like a turkey and then serve tiny plates of it with teeny mounds of mashed potatoes and gravy. -Maybe make a tray that has a tableau of a doll-sized holiday meal.

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i don't really know how to include other links but....

Linda at playingwithfireandwater has marinated octopus heads before in squid ink so they look like black olives.

she's also done something clever with zebra tomatoes and gel and black sesame seeds to make them look like baby watermelon....

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I talked to the Chef and Sous Chef yesterday and gave them a list of the suggestions mentioned here as well as a few other ideas I had. This is what I came up with:

• Shrimp Cocktail with dehydrated cocktail sauce leather – wraps around shrimp to look like bacon or prosciutto

• Compressed watermelon “tuna sashimi” with “wasabi” (mint mousse?) , coconut sticky rice & “pickled ginger” (shaved papaya?)

• Something using a faux egg pana cotta – sized like quail egg, served in Chinese soup spoon

• Sweet & savory “bruschetta”: traditional with chunky tomato sauce, chiffonade of basil on crostini and sweet version with chopped strawberries, chiffonade of mint on brioche

• Savory cheesecake: looks like a mini cheese cake, is a tortilla crust, has layer of salsa on bottom, cheesecake, sour cream top

• Meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato topping

• Something with chocolate “soil”…

• Faux sushi of all types

• Micro Salad: Large crouton with microgreen salad, and fried quail egg on top.

The issues we have are price (approx $15-$17 per person, including kitchen labor), skill (for a few items), and facility space for production. They are going to look over what I have and come up with a final menu for me. The event isn't until May, but I'll definitely follow up with the menu and pictures.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I love doing custom menus for my facility, even though I know it drives the Chef crazy! :biggrin:

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If you're looking for more insights on the faux sushi, we had a sushi birthday party for my friend. Along with traditional rolls and a few Americanized ones, we did:

-a breakfast spin on tamago--make a rectangular thin omelet, fill it with whatever (cheese/veggies) and roll along the short side (you don't want a spiral, just a cylinder). We wrapped some of the rolls in mostly cooked bacon (flexible enough to roll) that we gave a quick sear to finish crisping

-pb&j sushi if there will be kids (white bread w/ crusts removed; add a strawberry slice for texture contrast)

-and my favorite: Carrot cake sushi! I made a spice sponge cake, spread cream cheese icing on one side, lay a healthy amount of julienned carrots down the roll, rolled up, spread with a little more cc icing, and rolled it in chopped walnuts (looks like the sesame seeds that some put on sushi).

Excited to hear what you finally decide!

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