Last Yummy Bits
I visited my food photography archive files in my computer and found these. Both were shot outdoors with the summer afternoon sun a little less than 3 years ago. I used to do some serious and a bit elaborate food styling and “photo-shoots” in my front yard that time… And as you all can see, the job of shooting food isn’t that hard for me (never), well I can’t even deny it if I wanted to because I also take pictures of the evidences that implicates myself (at the scene of the crime).
Steamed Sunday Crabs
If you are a seafood lover and love crabs, then Sunday is the perfect day of the week to eat these crustaceans mainly because I believe that eating crabs require a good amount of one’s patience, even tenacity. You have to take time extracting every bit of delicate sweet meat inside every leg, both claws and body to appreciate and honour this fine sea creature and it is only at a leisurely pace that this is ever possible.
© Jeannie Gust 2013
Spaghetti and Spicy Meatballs
This is my very first proper food photo shoot after a few months of what seemed to be a very long hiatus. I am very happy that I finally got my food photography mojo back, very inspired to again cook simple but beautiful and scrumptious food and share the wonderful colours and texture of food through my photographs.
© Jeannie Gust 2013
Homemade Strawberry Jam
Lemon juice or Balsamic vinegar brings out the berry-ness of berries specially strawberry, so I used both. These two acids did not made this jam overly tart, but made this strawberry jam taste bright and fruity because of the lemon juice, and rich and more ruby-red coloured because of the balsamic vinegar.
Fish Steak in Sriracha Escabeche
Larousse Gastronomique describes * Escabeche as A spicy cold marinade intended for preserving cooked foods and originating from Spain. It is used chiefly for small cooked fish. the fish are headed (hence the name, from cabeza, "head").
The preparation has spread throughout the Mediterranean region; it is called scavetche in North Africa, escabecio or scavece in Italy, and escaveche in Belgium. Escabeche is also used in poultry and game birds. In Spain, partridge is fried quickly in oil with garlic then drained and marinated in its cooking juices with spices, and served cold. In Chile, chicken in escabeche is prepared in the same way and served cold with lemon and onions. (Larousse Gastronomique, Completely Revised and Updated, 2009 Publication)
* Escabeche is a typical Mediterranean cuisine which refers to a dish of either poached or fried fish (escabeche of chicken, rabbit or pork is common in Spain) that is marinated in an acidic mixture before serving, and to the marinade itself. The dish is common in Spain and Latin America, and popular in Catalonia, Portugal, Provence and the Philippines. Influences of the dish appear as far as Asia-Pacific with adjustments to local food staples. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escabeche)
My version of Escabeche is more Asian and much more similar to the Chinese Sweet and Sour dish for it is sour because of the vinegar and sweet because of the addition of sugar in the marinade/sauce. My addition of Sriracha is a wicked twist making the dish a bit spicy.
I always consider this dish a humble and homey dish, because basically you just take a few bits and pieces of onions, ginger, tomatoes, carrots and spring onions from the pantry and veg chiller, whisk a mixture of vinegar, tomato sauce, tomato ketchup, stock, sugar, salt and pepper. Simple everyday ingredients found in anyone’s kitchen and you got a great and healthy dish ideal to be eaten with plain boiled rice.
3 (1/3 pound each, 3/4 inch thick) fish steaks
(Mahi-Mahi/Yellow Fin or Ahi Tuna/whole Tilapia or Tilapia fillets)
salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 canola oil (for pan-frying the fish and sauteeing vegetables)
1 cup carrots, julienned
2 Tablespoons ginger, julienned
1 large red onion, julienned
1 large tomato, deseeded and julienned
2 stalks spring onions, sliced diagonal
1/2 cup white vinegar (or white cane vinegar, if available)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
1 Tablespoon Sriracha (or more according to taste and spice preference, also Optional)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1/3 - 1/2 cup sugar (less or more according to taste)
salt and pepper (according to taste)
- Season both sides of fish steaks with salt and pepper and pan-fry in canola oil. When cooked, transfer to a plate and set aside.
- In the same pan with the same oil used to pan-fry fish, saute ginger and onions for 2 minutes or until aromatics are fragrant. Add carrots and tomatoes and saute for 2 minutes.
- In a bowl, mix all liquid (sauce) ingredients together and adjust seasonings according to preference.
- Pour escabeche sauce mixture in saute pan with vegetables. simmer sauce until slightly thickened.
- Place fish steaks on a serving dish and pour sauce over. Garnish with sliced spring onions.
Goddess of Scrumptiousness Food Photography and Original Recipes by Jeannie Maristela are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at goddessofscrumptiousness.tumblr.com
The Art of Food Photography
Earlier I received a nice and lovely message from cnicolepd (+follow) photodesign blog. She complimented my blog (this blog) for making her hungry ALL the time she sees my posts.
I thanked her very graciously for the compliment and for having asked me if my works are published elsewhere other than in this blog. I quite frankly answered her that my works are unpublished and that I would really love to make my food styling and food photography a part time professional career, it’s just that I still haven’t encountered or landed any opportunities yet. :)
Watching this video, I have to say that they have it easy… I can only do my food photography at home, and always, I can only shoot during late afternoon or at night, means I always have to deal and use artificial lighting (aside from the incandescent lights above, I also use LED lamps… like all makeshift stuff- reflectors/deflectors, really).
And styling my food to look great and delicious is also a pain in the butt with differentiating levels of epic perfectionist frustrations for me. I have to frequently move the plate, tweak a garnish, tweak one or two component/s of the dish, trickle or dribble sauce on the major component of the dish (usually the protein) so that it will look supple and juicy and tender and succulent… I have to be meticulous… at least I try my very best to make my shots close to greatness. And some days, my food photography MOJO is just absent or is just not up for the challenge, and anyone of you can see it… what are my best shots and what are my Meh shots.
I never went to photography school, or attended any food photography/photography workshop or seminar or even heard a speech from a professional photographer. I just all of a sudden grabbed my father’s camera and began shooting food a year ago. I just gone/still go with my instinct (what looks great), my visual unique taste (I can always copy the styles of Tartelette and Cannelle et Vanille, but it’s not who I am), and my food presentation/plating skills I honed from culinary school and now from the culinary business, plus I put my heart into every photo… and even if you all see an occasional crappy photo I post, just know I had still put my heart in that one… it’s just that my photography MOJO that day most probably suffered a major migraine!
- jeannie :)