Plate Me, Eat Me

Ribeye and Caprese Salad
Ribeye and Caprese Salad

I don’t think I can mention enough how much I enjoy eating a good steak. If I had one culinary skill that I could master it would be that of cooking the perfect steak. I’m sure I’ve said this before and I’ll probably say it again. At the beginning of the year, when I set out on my odyssey, I was tired of cooking all protein meals with no sides. these just weren’t that appetizing although probably perfect for anyone on the Atkins diet. I knew I had to learn more about creating the complete meal and this seams to be one of my biggest sticking points.

A side effect of working with many ingredients and a key benefit is the addition of color to the plate. More ingredients make the food more fun and appetizing. For tonight’s dinner I opted for making a simple addition to my meal, a Caprese Salad. It didn’t take much effort and added a nice balance to my steak, which instead of plating whole, I sliced after letting it rest.

While the meal overall was quite good, it was immediately obvious that something was off. I took pictures of my meal and realized my errors after the fact.

I first realized that I need new plates. There’s a reason that restaurants mainly serve their meals on white plates. See through glass just doesn’t do it. While food may not be art, a meal needs a better canvas to rest on.

Secondly, my plating was a bit messy. I have seen chefs use towels to clean their errors before serving. I should have done that as well.

I also realized that my proportions just seemed off. While I was able to add some tasty components and new dimensions to my meal, they weren’t combined in a way that really made them stand out alone and yet together at the same time. The tomatoes and mozzarella just seemed to lay on the plate as an added extra instead of part of the steak.

Plating is the lost chapter in every cookbook that I have come across which is a shame because it is useful knowledge for just about any meal whether a casual one with family, or a gourmet meal at a fine dining establishment. I know I need a lot more practice and hope my skill improves greatly over time.

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