This chicken stew is a little bit spicy, a little bit sweet, a little bit sour, and a little bit salty with plenty of exotic spices. I took the liberty of adding non-traditional ingredients such as tamari and butter too. It is chock full of savory umami flavors. A big bunch of herbs brings fresh bright notes at the end. The humble chicken stew is humble no more.
If you are loving raw fish like we are here, definitely put Sashimi-Quality Sockeye Salmon on your list.
The more raw salmon I prepare and serve, the more I prefer the Sockeye species. There are five species of Pacific salmon that can be found in North American waters – king aka chinook, sockeye aka red, coho aka silver, keta aka chum, and pink aka humpback.
Sockeye salmon have a beautiful bright red flesh that is bold and intense and flavorful. Its dense, meaty texture facilitates the cutting of lovely raw thin slices. The leaner flesh of sockeye balances and harmonizes with rich citrusy olive oil emulsions. Sockeye + Crudo = A Winning Combination!
Joyeux Anniversaire Julia Child! Today would have been Julia’s 110th birthday. It has been an honor, a passion, and a tradition to celebrate her birthday on Taste With The Eyes ever since I started this blog in 2007.
This year, we are watching a super-charming episode of the cooking show Julia and Jacques: Cooking at Home “IT’S SALMON DAY!” where they go on to prepare a half-dozen salmon dishes together.
Here we are going to spotlight their gravlax presentations from the show and from their cookbook. Julia calls hers “Quick Gravlax” and Jacques calls his “Instant Gravlax.” Both different and both fabulous.
The television series was the inspiration for the cookbook of the same name. In both, one can sense the pleasure the two have cooking together, tasting, exchanging ideas, joshing with each other, and raising a glass to savor the fruits of their labor.
In this one episode Julia gives Jacques a hard time about using black pepper instead of white pepper in a light colored dish…and he gives it right back.
Jacques asks Julia to add salt and pepper to the salmon tartare they are making together.
“Would you rather have black or white pepper?” teases Julia.
“Black, black without any question,” says Jacques.
“You like speckled food,” declares Julia.
“I do. I also like taste in the food and the black pepper has more taste than the white one,” retorts Jacques.
Again and again they demonstrate that cooking is endlessly fascinating and challenging, and while ultimately personal, it is a joy to be shared!
Iceberg Lettuce, Tomato Wedges, Cucumber
Red Onion, Radish, Italian Dressing
When I was contemplating the ingredients for my Old School House Salad, the kind my mom served in the 60s and early 70s, there could only be one type of lettuce, Iceberg. Nice and crisp Iceberg ✅. Apparently iceberg aka crisphead, shipped on ice, was the only variety of lettuce that traveled well via train across the country back then. Especially from California to Chicago…
Cucumber ✅ Red Onion ✅ Radish ✅. And when it came to tomatoes, we always had tomato wedges in our salad. But curiously enough, nary a cherry tomato in sight back then. Turns out, cherry tomatoes did not become ubiquitous until the 1980s. Our tomatoes were medium-sized, red, round, and tasty. Tomato Wedges ✅. And I do recall that my dad liked Peperoncini ✅.
Italian dressing came in a bottle, made by Wish-Bone. It sat in the center of the dinner table along with bottles of Thousand Island, French, and Russian so everyone could dress their own salad their way. No Ranch though, Ranch dressing didn’t become popular until the early 1990s. Hidden Valley Ranch was first marketed as an herb & spice packet to mix with mayonnaise and buttermilk at home. It wasn’t even sold as a bottled dressing until 1983.
Also absent from our house salad – carrots, celery, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, olives – and I don’t think we ever had an avocado in our Chicago home until the early 70s when we “discovered” Mexican food. We did eat a lot of black olives though, they were served on a relish tray, not in the salad.
There are millions of recipes with the combination of spinach, cheese, and eggs – recipes from wildly different cultures including the Italian frittata, Greek spanakopita, Syrian jibn, French quiche, and so many more…
So why cook this one? Well, it’s easy and inexpensive! It’s crust-free, heavy on the vegetable and light on the eggs & cheese. It’s low-carb, gluten-free, vegetarian. And really quite tasty! A simple salad on the side is all it takes to make a fantastic brunch dish. Or slice it into cubes and serve it as part of a brunch buffet.