This blog post has a dual purpose. One: I have conquered yet another recipe. Two (and I hope will improve my posts from now on): I have learned a little bit about food styling thanks to an old friend Kavey and a delightful new blog I found through Kavey's site called Culinary Travels, written by Georgina. You can find Kavey and Georgina's links in my "food and wine porn" link list.
As luck would have it, Kavey's latest blog post was about a seminar she attended on food styling and photography. Georgina had a similar recent post with detailed tips about food photography as well. Armed with some ideas, I took some photos this evening with my Canon 30D and 35mm F1.4L lens. A lens with a max aperture of F1.4 can have some really tight DOF shots which makes for some interesting effects. You can also hand hold a shot with that size of aperture - no flash!
After all that, I could not decide which shot I preferred to highlight for this post. I narrowed it down to two shots on different plates. If you are so inclined, feel free to vote on which you like better. Muchas Gracias!
PLEASE CLICK ON PHOTOS TO SEE THE WHOLE SHOT.
Here is the recipe I made tonight. Incredibly easy, delicious, and yes, crispy. I found it here:
EASY CRISPY EGGPLANT
2 small eggplants (I only used one)
1/2 c. fine dry bread crumbs
4 tablespoons freshly minced parsley (omitted)
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning (I used a McCormick's spice blend of garlic, onion, and a few other herbs in place of all spices listed here)
1/4 tsp. ea. celery seed, paprika (optional)
1/4 tsp. ea. garlic and onion powder
salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic, whole (I used the pre-chopped-and-steeping-in-olive-oil garlic in a glass bottle).
3 tablespoons olive oil (you need more than this!)
Wash and slice eggplant and sprinkle generously with salt. Allow to sit out for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
Set out 2 shallow dishes or trays.
Into the first tray, measure bread crumbs, parsley, celery seed, 1/2 of the cheese, paprika, garlic and onion powder.
In the second tray, beat the 2 eggs well with a fork. Add the chopped parsley and the other half of the cheese.
Heat a pan with 1/4 inch olive oil. Add the garlic in whole pieces; as the oil toasts the garlic, mash it into the oil with the tines of a fork to flavor the oil; remove before browning. Meanwhile, dip the eggplant into the egg mixture, turn to coat both sides; dip and coat both sides in the bread crumb mixtures. Fry in hot olive oil over medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes or until golden on both sides and eggplant is tender in center. If eggplant is later to be baked in a casserole, fry only until edges are browned as cooking will be finished in the oven.
Serve as is, seasoned to taste with salt and pepper, or bake in a casserole dish for 30 minutes at 375°F topped with grated Parmesan, mozzarella and pasta sauce. (I left out the pasta sauce for this last step).
Here is the other photo:
(NUMBER NINETEEN in 2010)