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Dec 9, 2012 05:30 AM

How to jazz up presentation saucy sortribs w/?? starch

One of my specialties is shortribs (the boneless chuck ribs from Costco) done in wine w/jammy onions & tomatos & it creates a yummy pan sauce so I just serve it home-style over whole wheat noodles. I want to serve the ribs on Christmas day but am looking to jazz up my presentation - which might mean replacing the noodles with ??? - and how to present?

I'll probably serve with a field green/feta/cranberry/balsamic salad before and with something green like sugar snaps.

Any "jazzy" presentation ideas, Chowhounds??? And by jazzy I mean not fancy-schmancy but Christmas-worthy :~)


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  1. Always serve on the largest plates you have.

    One trick is to create height. This would mean making a heap of mashed potatoes (or similar) and leaning the meat on that so it goes as high as you dare. Dribble a bit of sauce around this centerpiece. You could use celery root puree and stick a deep-fried slice of celery in the centre of the puree to gain even more height - very dramatic.

    Vegetables tend to crowd the plate if served in realistic portions. Sugar snaps or green beans are good as they have a nice form, but to make the plate dramatic, you should only put a very small pile on it. Half a dozen sugar snaps neatly arranged or some green beans wrapped in bacon and you're done. Just put the rest of the vegetables in a serving dish on the table. Same with sauce: we all love it, but it looks awful when the rest of the food seems to drown in it.

    Salad: dress your greens in a bowl and then arrange them on the plate like a bouquet of flowers. Use your fingers. Arrange toppings on this like you would create a painting. I like to use soup plates for salads. Use different greens: lamb's lettuce, aragula, endives, radicchio. Add roasted nuts for the festive accent.

    1. I'd rock the polenta with some nice cheese mixed in.
      Or a risotto (polenta is much easier.)

      1. I'd do polenta--quick cooking polenta and garnish with gremolata.

        1. thanks for the ideas, everyone. Funny, I was thinking about some of these ideas - using polenta but I wasn't sure if it would be as good a juice-soaker-upper, stacking the ribs atop - I was thinking a vertical rosemary sprig for garnish & serving the ENTREE in soup plates. I wan't sure how to do that since I always serve my salads in soup hadn't figured that out, and actually the bigger the plate the better, so back to the 11" plain white porcelain. Also, I should have mentioned that my family gets uncomfortable if I get too frou-frou, but I also really appreciate the advice to just add a few sugar snaps, a drizzle of sauce, etc., and let people serve more to themselves at the table since my family also has real appetites! Thanks, chowhounds!!

          ok, speaking of frou-frou, maybe I could arrange the sugar snaps like boughs of a Christmas tree & garnish with some chopped sundried tomatoes....ok, I'll quit now!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: nojunk

            Soup plates for your entree if you want to serve lots of sauce. So place polenta in the middle, top with meat and carefully pour sauce around. You'll need very steady hands serving this. The problem with this is that there is virtually no place for the vegetable. I have often seen this in restaurants where they serve really small courses, so if you create a seperate course for your vegetables, it could work nicely.

          2. +1 on the polenta. I recently had this in a restaurant-short ribs over polenta, with parmesan. It really worked well together.