Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hanger steaks, squash, tomatoes, color theory

We're getting saturated with squash. The plants don't care; they keep producing. This time, I just julienned the vegetable and boiled it in salted water. It was just there to brighten the plate, glowing greenly between the steak and the carmine chunks of tomato added for acid and herbal notes. Braised shallots in a wine reduction nestle against the deep purplish red near-raw meat. Their function: add more umami to intensify the steak flavor and counterpoint all those veggies.

So, the color theory works like this: red/green complimentary contrast, not too strong since the squash sits way over toward the yellow side. The stronger complimentary contrast comes from the purplish meat and yellowish squash, even though the meat's color isn't as saturated. The gray plate and shallots intensify the colors, making them appear much more vivid than they would if the plate were white. Since the steak is dark and the squash light, there's a value contrast to perk things up even more. Texturally, everything is similar shapes, but different sizes.

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