I think I do a pretty good job multi-tasking meals to the table. There's a confidence that comes with years and years of practice. I also think some people have a knack for getting the various dishes to the table at the same time, perfectly cooked of course. I think I do OK most of the time.
But I must confess cooking is one thing, trying to take attractive, creative, eye-catching "finished" photos is quite another. When people stand around asking me when dinner will be done and I still need to take photos and get creative with the "food styling", more often than not, I crack under the pressure. I don't spaz out and have some sort of meltdown, I usually just grab the camera and shoot hoping to get something, anything, I can use on the blog. Sometimes this approach works, and sometimes it doesn't.
That's what happened when I made the Chicken Tikka Masala with homemade Naan Bread. It all came together at the same time and I was able to get a few photos of the chicken with Naan on the side. When it came to taking pictures of the Naan alone I fell victim to the pressure and went to eat dinner with the family! The aroma of the perfectly spiced, tender chicken, inspired my decision. But then I wanted to post this recipe because honestly it was fantastic! I will make this simple, wonderful, skillet Indian bread again and again. So please overlook the not-so-great photos and roll with the dough, so to speak.
It was all I could do to take these few pictures before the Naan was devoured. Cookies are much easier to shoot. Throw a few to the wolves while sneaking away with a camera to find the best daylight - easy peasy! When people (and you know who you are) stand behind me holding a dinner plate, I get out of the way.
So if these photos-on-the-fly don't inspire you, maybe our giveaway will!
We're giving away a copy of Nicole S. Young's book, Food Photography - From Snapshots to Great Shots
This book covers all things Foodie! From photography fundamentals, equipment, lighting (my favorite), styling & props (perhaps I should study this chapter more), framing and composition, a behind the scenes look from a professional photographer, and Photoshop processing. A great book with something for everybody!
Here's how you can win: Leave a comment on this post answering the following question: What is your favorite subject matter to shoot? And if you don't have a camera which would you pick - a Canon, Nikon or iPhone?
I'll pick a winner using Random.Org and announce the winner Thursday morning, February 14th - Valentine's Day!
If you want another chance to win "Like" Saving Room for Dessert on Facebook! Leave a comment letting me know you did. Good luck - you're going to love this book!
WINNER NO. 4 - Larry! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and address so I can send you your new book! Thanks everybody for leaving comments!
Naan - Indian Flat Bread
(adapted from a recipe Aarti Sequeira on foodnetwork.com)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt (I used 2% Fage)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
melted butter for spreading on the finished Naans
coarse sea salt for sprinkling
In a large glass, dissolve the dry yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar with 3/4 cup warm water (about 100-105 degrees). Allow the yeast to bloom until it's frothy, about 10 minutes.
Sift the flour, salt, the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
Once the yeast is frothy, gently stir in the yogurt and olive oil directly in the glass. Pour the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a fork just until incorporated. Just when the mixture starts to come together, mix the dough with your hands. It may seem a little wet but keep gently folding and working until you have a soft, slightly sticky, pliable dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let is sit in a warm, draft-free place for 2-4 hours.
When ready to roll out the dough have two bowls on the counter. One with extra flour and the other one with water. Separate the dough into 6 equal parts and lightly roll each one in the bowl with extra flour to keep them from sticking together.
Roll the dough into the traditional teardrop Naan shape using a rolling pin. Each Naan should be about 8-9 inches long, 4-inches wide, and about 1/4 inch thick.
Warm a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. You will also need a lid large enough to fit the skillet.
Mix the cilantro into the melted butter and have it standing by along with the coarse sea salt. Dampen your hands with the water, flip-flopping the Naan from one hand to the other to lightly dampen it. Place the dough in the skillet and cook for about one minute. The dough should start to bubble. Flip the Naan and cover the skillet with the lid and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute more. Don't worry if some of the bubbles are blackened, this is good. Brush each cooked Naan with a little butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Place the Naan on a tea towel and repeat with the rest of the dough. Serve and enjoy!
Don't forget to leave a comment and enter a chance to win this fabulous book! Good luck, I hope you have a great weekend and thanks so much for stopping by!