Trio of Vietnamese Dipping Sauces with California Citrus

Vietnamese Dipping Sauces

A Trio of Vietnamese Dipping Sauces with California Citrus
Grapefruit, Ginger, Fresno Chile Dipping Sauce
Key Lime Jalapeño Dipping Sauce
Tangelo Nuoc Cham

Get your taste buds ready for a wild ride! I’ve spiked traditional invigorating Vietnamese sauces with fresh citrus from my winter garden: grapefruit, key lime, and tangelo. Now those bracing Viet dipping sauces have a sunny California twist.

Try them to perk up grilled chicken or seafood; lift flavors in soups; brighten noodles or rice; add zip as a dressing for salads; to make a vibrant dip for spring rolls; add a tangy heat when paired with beef or pork. All three are magically refreshing, each with a unique combination of sweet, fruity, salty, sour, and spicy flavors.

Vietnamese Dipping Sauces

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Sardine Smørrebrød

Sardine Smørrebrød

Sardine Smørrebrød

Smørrebrød is a Danish word that simply translates to buttered bread. What comes after the butter has been spread, however, is where plain bread is elevated to an absolute art form.

There is specific etiquette associated with composing and consuming these fabulous Danish open-faced sandwiches:

  • It would not be prudent to lift the sandwich to the mouth and risk the precious toppings falling off. A knife and fork are required.
  • Proteins are not mixed, each smørrebrød has a stand-alone special protein.
  • Several types of smørrebrød sandwiches are to be eaten in a particular order: herring is always enjoyed first, then other fish, then on to meats and last, cheeses.
  • The bread is always spread with a generous portion of butter, for taste, of course, but it also adds a protective layer to keep the other ingredients from turning the bread into a soggy mess.
  • Dense dark rye bread is the bread used most often, and always paired with herring. But sometimes white bread is used and often paired with smoked salmon.
  • The toppings always generously cover the entire piece of bread in an artful manner.

In planning to make a sardine smørrebrød, I chose ingredients that have a natural affinity for the fish: fennel, orange, lemon, dill, onion, garlic, chili. As always, color and texture enhance the taste, so I added peppery pink radish and some edible flowers too. It is the presentation that makes this open-faced sandwich so compelling.

Sustainable wild-caught sardines are a nutritional powerhouse. Ounce per ounce they boast more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, more potassium than coconut water, and as much protein as steak.

Sardines are an excellent source of Omega 3s and low in mercury due to their petite size on the food chain. Canned sardines are readily available and have a long shelf-life. Lightly smoked canned sardines packed in extra virgin olive oil that are cleaned and scale-free are preferred.

Mimosas make the perfect sparkling orange accompaniment. Be sure to toast with friends between bites. Cheers and Skol!

Sardine Smørrebrød Recipe

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Norwegian Smoked Salmon Toast

Norwegian Smoked Salmon ToastNorwegian Smoked Salmon Toast
Poached Egg, Steamed Baby Beets, Wild Arugula
Horseradish Cream Cheese, Pickled Red Onion

How many colors, textures, and flavors can fit on one piece of toast? Well, lots. But to be worth the effort, they must harmonize and have a natural affinity for each other. That is the beauty of this Norwegian Smoked Salmon Toast. It is pleasing to the eye with pretty hues of orange, yellow, red, pink and green. And it has a balanced variety of tastes and textures: earthy and sweet, creamy and pungent, silky and buttery, peppery, jammy, fresh, crunchy, sour, toasty, rich, salty…all this makes for one delicious piece of toast.

Norwegian Smoked Salmon Toast Recipe

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Chicken Spätzle Soup

Spätzle SoupChicken Spätzle Soup

Take your favorite homemade chicken noodle soup and give it a hearty twist: substitute spätzle (little German dumplings) for packaged noodles.

Spätzle is fun to make, although it’s a little bit messy. It is certainly more work than dumping a bag of egg noodles into boiling water, but the end result is definitely worth the time and energy.

Made from wholesome ingredients including eggs, milk, and flour; you probably have everything on hand to make spätzle right now. The only thing missing would be a spätzle maker, an inexpensive gadget that cuts the batter into small knobs. Don’t fret though, you could easily use a colander with large holes and press the dough through with a spatula.

How To Make Spätzle

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The Port of Los Angeles Area Brunch Scene

The Port of Los Angeles Area Brunch SceneThe Port of Los Angeles Area Brunch Scene

Gone are those kitschy restaurants and funky shops that once lined the docks of the busiest port in the country. The entire Ports O’ Call Village was recently demolished…with bulldozers, and it was painfully traumatic for the locals. But it will be a good thing in the end (we hope) because by 2020 the old fish joints will be replaced by a mega development of glossy restaurants and high-end shops called the San Pedro Public Market.

In the meantime, here are five places to enjoy brunch now, perhaps while waiting for your cruise ship to sail from the iconic Port of Los Angeles.

Enjoy Brunch Now

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Perfect Soup for the New Year

Chicken Soup with Lima Beans

Chicken Soup with Lima Beans

Whether one has over-indulged over the holidays or not, Chicken Soup with Lima Beans is perfect for the New Year. The soup is light and lemony, but definitely rich enough to satisfy. It’s chock-full of vegetables and protein, plus it is lower in carbs and higher in fiber than traditional chicken noodle soup.

The secret to its greatness is creamy-buttery large white lima beans from Rancho Gordo that cook up beautifully smooth and tender. They taste more like fresh vegetables than other beans.

Bean Lover’s Gift Box

I’m looking forward to sharing many more bean recipes this year on Taste With The Eyes! My gift box included Black Eyed Peas (recipe here), Christmas Limas, White Limas, Yellow Eye, Pozole, and Classic Cassoulet Beans plus a wonderful book, French Beans by Georgeanne Brennan.

Rancho Gordo Lima Beans

Chicken Soup with Lima Beans Recipe

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What Are You Eating New Year’s Day?

Black-Eyed Peas With Ham Hock and CollardsWhat Are You Eating New Year’s Day?

Maybe it’s much too early in the game
Oh, but I thought I’d ask you just the same
What are you eating New Year’s? New Year’s Day?

Maybe I’m crazy to suppose
BLACK-EYED PEAS be the one you chose
Out of a thousand recipes
You received

Oh, but in case they stand one little chance
Here comes the JACKPOT question in advance
What are you eating New Year’s? New Year’s Day?

Eat BLACK-EYED PEAS for luck and COLLARD GREENS for money. Add CORNBREAD for gold and PORK because pigs have long been a symbol of wealth and gluttony. Their forward rooting motion is a symbol of positivity. So here’s to a happy, healthy, delicious, and super lucky new year!

Black-Eyed Peas With Ham Hock and Collards Recipe

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