“Typical” meals are generally tried and true… why change a good thing? A sandwich is composed of a protein/veggies in between two pieces of bread. Lasagna is a patterned layer of melted cheese/meat/veggies – difficult to identify one element form another. Salad is tossed with a dressing and protein/veggies/cheese are generally added. Most meals are of comfort… what we are used to… nothing too outlandish or surprising.
But what occurs when one separates all elements of a certain dish… then rebuilds in a new creation?
Deconstructed food is artistic and modern. The classic components found in the “original” dish should be incorporated into the new plating… but each of the components are often treated “as their own.”
A smore, if you will.
A classic campfire smore is composed of: graham cracker, chocolate, marshmallow, graham cracker. Toasted and smashed together – who does not love the gooey mess, despite the sticky-finger result?
Now many would say, “why even mess with a thing of perfection?”
Well… why not? As a chef, I love to challenge myself in the presentation-avenue. Edible art. But always first and foremost: maintain the taste. Sure, we eat with our eyes first… but the taste should even exceed presentation.
Back to the smore. Living in downtown Dallas, I do not exactly have access to a campfire. Ergo, stove. I would not recommend using a scented candle to toast the smore, as the marshmallow will acquire a slight hint of the fragrance… yes, I speak from experience. I have found that the stove top works the best (gas or electric). Toast until warmed through and gooey. (Unfortunately, the “smokey/burned” taste of a campfire cannot quite be emulated… but we make do with what we have!) In order to give the marshmallows more texture, I had roasted almonds, then chopped to a fine powder. After toasting the marshmallows, I rolled them in the toasted almond powder… provides an additional hint of smoky/nutty flavor.
Graham cracker… using a food processor, chop the graham crackers into a crumbled mess (yes, that is the “professional term.”)
Chocolate… using a bain marie (French word for double boiler) – melt the chocolate slowly on the stovetop.
In terms of plating… drizzle the chocolate sauce on a white plate, then add the marshmallows… sprinkle the chopped up graham crackers atop the fluffy sweet pillows of sugar and again – drizzle with more chocolate.
Do you see how this is a “deconstructed dish?” Taking a traditional smore… treating each of the ingredients as their “own element”… then recreating the dish – with the same elements – in a different presentation.
Now will the taste and texture be the same as a traditional smore? Absolutely not. But it is simply a different manner to create a “traditional dish.”
Don’t be afraid to colour outside of the line.
“The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.” - Charles Dickens
Love y’all! ♥