This morning I awoke with my taste buds yearning to travel. Of course I travel with not just the intent to see places but also to dive into the local cuisine each country is famous for. For me, travel and food comprise the ultimate combination and without a doubt, food takes a place that goes beyond passion. The places I wish to visit are scattered all across; right from The United States of America to The Oriental Land of China. All together around 8 different places. Each country I want to visit has a special dish to its name and I love each one of them! The moment I woke up, I ached to sample them all! Such a quandary!
It was then that my eyes fell on the dishes that Borosil had couriered to me for winning Round 1 of the Borosil Beautiful Food contest on Indiblogger. It sat spread around my dinner table from the previous night after a proud show and tell with all my relatives. The mega hamper sent consisted of: A rectangular 1.5L Bake and Serve Dish , set of gourmet bowls of 0.5L each, set of 6 small, squat vision glasses, smart triple set of 3- a mixing bowl of 0.5Lwith lid, square dish of 0.8L with lid and a round casserole of 1.1L with lid. Each dish that Borosil had sent was pristine, beautiful and microwavable (save the glasses and the gourmet bowls). They could also be used in the freezer which would be perfect for leftovers.
As the glassware gleamed up at me, I was struck with a rather delicious idea. If I can’t travel around the world, then maybe world cuisine could come to me served up in beautiful Borosil glassware spread across a single table.
Thus was born the very theme of this piece for Round 2 of The Beautiful Food contest “The world on a single table”. Round 2 would be based entirely on pictures. The two points to be highlighted in the pictures taken for this round was one, to make the food look as appealing as possible and two, to highlight the beauty of the glassware in which it was to be served.
The menu would be simple yet absolutely delectable and would in every way emphasise the glassware in which it was presented. Though the contest rules did say that I could use restaurant bought food, I decided to make everything at home as apart from being an avid cook I also believe in a rustic presentation that only a home cooked meal could provide.
My tour of world cuisine starts now.
ð LAYING OUT MY TRAVEL PLANS
I am so riddled with OCD it’s not even funny. Anything and everything I do has a set plan in mind. This contest too was no different. My “Travel” plans involved deciding which countries I would love to visit, a particular dish from each of those countries that I would love to cook and devour and of course drawing up the set up for the food photographs. I already had in mind the places I wanted to visit but narrowing down to a single dish option from each country was the most difficult part as there were a multitude of epicurean delights available all over! Finally a list was drawn up.
We start off our culinary adventure at SPAIN and then INDIA represented by a fresh and zingy MOJITO and a thick and delicious MANGO LASSI SWIRLED WITH STRAWBERRY SYRUP respectively. We slowly travel to RUSSIA for a taste of rich creamy RUSSIAN SALAD and then to KOREA for a subtle and colourful PICKLE OF VEGETABLES. Off we rush then to THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA for a starter of succulent BARBECUED CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS topped with a RICH JUS. For the mains we enter the country of CHINA with a light, soul filling PRAWN FRIED RICE followed by a quick visit to ITALY for some fiery and saucy SPICY SAUSAGE SPAGHETTI. We wind down the mains at beautiful SCOTLAND where a sumptuous, cheesy SHEPHERDS PIE lay in wait. No meal is complete without dessert so ‘allo to BRITAIN with a decadent FRUIT TRIFLE that will melt in ones mouth.
Each dish was allocated to a specific glassware and each set up for the picture was drawn as well.
After a few sketches on my trusty phone; which turned out to be my camera as well; the set up for each dish was finalized. Now time to PACK MY BAGS!
ð PACKING MY BAGS
This stage of my contest preparation was a complete doozy! I hardly had any time after I laid out the plans what with the ton of cooking and then photography to finish. Off I ran to the supermarket where a major grocery shopping fest happened. Heavily laden with umpteen number of packages I made it to the kitchen only to start cleaning, chopping, grinding, peeling, mashing, juicing, stirring, straining and every other sort of verb possible that would describe a kitchen in the eye of a storm! Each dish had to be perfect and a lot of effort and love went into the cooking.
ð THE PERFECT TOURIST
The dishes were all finally done and like a good tourist at any tourist locale I was all set to start clicking pictures. I’m more likely the person to jump in front of the camera and pose rather than stand behind it clicking away! Food photography however, has always been an interest beautifully gift wrapped and this contest was the ultimate way to rip off that wrapping and test my skills.
I started off slow and shaky. I wasn’t sure about angles or lighting or what props to place where. But then after a number of shots, I started getting the hang of things and everything started falling into place much to this humble tourists’ delight! The results were quite lovely for an amateur phone camera photographer and here they are!
I used the Borosil Vision Short and Squat glass for the mojito. Ideally this drink should be served in a tall glass but I couldn’t help but love the intense green that the short glass lent to the drink. Acidic lime and fresh mint along with crushed ice and a touch of rum and I was sorted!
INDIA: MANGO LASSI WITH STRAWBERRY SWIRLS
Ask anyone to name some of the most loved drinks in India and not one person would miss out the luscious lassi. In a twist to the classic, I blitzed mine with fresh, juicy mangoes which were in season and added some strawberry swirls on the glass in order to give the yellow of the lassi a big pop! Another vision glass acted host to this delicious drink.
RUSSIA: RUSSIAN SALAD
Such humble ingredients; crunchy apple, soft potato, fresh peas and unctuous mayo and yet, when they come together, something magical happens. Served cold, this salad is a definite crowd pleaser. I served this salad in a Borosil Gourmet Bowl. Such a delightful bowl to serve this fresh salad in, furthermore it could be put directly into the fridge for a quick chill.
KOREA: PICKLED VEGETABLES
This light pickle is served at every Korean joint and I always finish an entire bowlful happily! I used the second Borosil gourmet bowl to serve up this beauty. Sweet, salty and slightly acidic, this pickle is colourful and fresh and always a delight to have at the dinner table.
THE USA: BARBECUED CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS with JUS
The US is synonymous with barbecues and what’s there not to like? Juicy, succulent meats, smoky barbecue sauce all paired with a cooling ranch dip. These drumsticks were barbecued to perfection and covered in a sticky and rich jus made from the juices that dripped off the cooking chicken. Yum indeed! Does the dish I used to plate the chicken look familiarly unfamiliar? Surprise! When I ran out of plating options, I simply used the lid of the Borosil round casserole dish. The result was real nice!
CHINA: PRAWN FRIED RICE
Think China and I instantly think of fried rice. I used flavourful jumbo prawns to give another dimension to the fluffy rice and vegetables. The dish used to plate the rice is the Borosil round casserole and it worked beautifully to offset each grain of rice and every morsel of vegetable and prawn.
ITALY: SPICY SAUSAGE SPAGHETTI
Mama mia! This pasta is mouth-watering indeed. Probably might have something to do with it being tastefully spicy. The Borosil mixing bowl with lid was perfect to set the spicy sausage pasta into a beautiful little pile garnished with slices of sausage and scrumptious arabiatta sauce.
SCOTLAND: SHEPHERDS’ PIE
Layers of stringy, oozy cheese, mouthfuls of seasoned potato mash and a mix of juicy minced meat and veges. Who can resist digging into this amazing combination? I used the Borosil square dish with lid to bake this amazing shepherd’s pie. Every time I cut into it, each layer of cheese, mash and meat is enhanced beautifully! So easy to use, this dish! Butter, layer, bake and freeze!
BRITAIN: FRUIT TRIFLE PUDDING
A sweet ending to a lovely meal. A seductive fruit trifle with layers of rich vanilla sponge and mixed fruit jam, thick velvety custard and a medley of sweet summer fruits makes any mouth water. The Borosil Rectangular Dish was perfect to layer the trifle in. Not only did the glass compliment the layers beautifully, it also helped check how well the trifle set on being refrigerated! Absolute heaven with each spoon!
ð HEADING BACK HOME
Pleasantly stuffed and 100% satiated, all I can say is that I am one happy traveller (minus all the clean up!). A lot of cleaning was avoided as I could place in the bowls directly into the fridge! At the end of it all, I feel thrilled at having accomplished this feat and thoroughly feel that all the effort was definitely worth it! And because all Borosil glassware is microwave friendly, I can always take a world trip anytime my tummy craves it!
So there you have it, “THE WORLD ON A SINGLE TABLE!”