Sure, we could serve this delightful Spiced Chilled Blueberry Soup without the garnishes but what fun would that be?
While cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, allspice, and vanilla take a simple fruit soup to another level, the garnish gives it the wow-factor. Plump juicy blueberries and chopped toasted hazelnuts are mounded in the center. It turns out that blueberries and hazelnuts have an affinity for one another. And if a few edible flowers and fresh mint are available, why not add those too? Now the soup is ready to serve for a colorful summer luncheon. Bon appétit! 🌷
🐖 Grilled Pork Chop 🐖
🍒 Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Demi-Glace 🍒
🥬 Baby Bok Choy 🥬
The inspiration for this dish came from a new restaurant in my old stompin’ grounds. If I were still living in LA, I would definitely be dining down at the Port of Los Angeles regularly as Chef Dustin Trani’s food is fabulous!
Trani’s Dockside Station posted a mouthwatering image of their “Tomahawk Pork Chop with a Cherry Demi-Glaze” on Instagram. Having pork chops in the refrigerator, it took but a second to decide to make my own version here in Las Vegas. I also had a jar of Luxardo Maraschino Cherries and bottle of Luxardo Liqueur in my bar, and veal demi-glace in the pantry.
Luxardo Maraschino is a liqueur distilled in Italy from the leaves, pits, stems and skins of sour marasca cherries. It is not overly sweet and has an almond-like, subtly bitter complex cherry flavor. Luxardo Cherries are candied cherries soaked in Luxardo marasca cherry syrup, and they are sweet. I add a small amount of all three of these components to veal demi-glace just before serving to make an intriguing sauce for the smoky tender pork chops. And the no-brainer pairing for this dish was a merlot, seductive & velvety, iconic Duckhorn Merlot.
The meal was delightful. Thanks for the inspiration, Chef! Best wishes for super success with your new place!
(Read more about the Chef and my interpretation of another of his wonderful dishes exactly a decade ago, “Truffle Scented Tortellini, Veal Reduction” here).
Small-batch focaccia dough is topped with olive salad, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, and baked in a loaf pan. It is heavenly, served warm with herbaceous fruity olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar for dipping.
The leftover portion is wrapped up and saved for the next morning’s breakfast – avocado toasts served two ways, plain and loaded. Focaccia is great as a sandwich bread, and loaf-pan focaccia makes for the absolute best avocado toast!
The dough is made with five simple ingredients – bread flour, instant yeast, salt, water, and olive oil. Compared to all-purpose, the amount of protein found in bread flour is higher in order to contain and produce more gluten and achieve the desired rise in bread. Because of this higher protein level, bread flour is able to absorb more liquid, allowing it to hold its shape and rise upward. The high amount of gluten in bread flour also creates a more elastic dough, which helps achieve focaccia’s airy crumb and chewy texture. Olive oil is added to the dough for tenderness and flavor.
Re-Creating Picasso Restaurant At The Bellagio, Las Vegas
If you’ve been following Taste With The Eyes for a while, you know that I love to re-create dishes. Not just the food but the entire experience, including the ambience right down to the china, glass, and silver.
One of my most cherished creative outlets is to re-create historical events through food. The most popular by far is the re-enactment of Julia Child’s first meal in France in 1948 including her recipe for Sole Meunière.
Another favorite is the reimagining Julia’s kitchen in Cambridge, Massachusetts where we sneak a peek at her kitchen table with husband Paul as they enjoy a light supper that begins with Vichyssoise on a hot August night.
Our evening at Picasso Restaurant by Chef Julian Serrano in Las Vegas was worthy of re-creating. We had a fantastic meal where we enjoyed several fabulous courses, were awed by the ambiance and artwork, and thoroughly impressed by the service.
The Chef’s menu is drawn from his own background in the regional cuisines of Spain and France, and in honor of Pablo Picasso’s Spanish heritage and years the master artist spent living in France.
The Day Boat Scallop, Potato Mousseline, Jus de Veau course was especially captivating for its diminutive yet powerful presentation, combination of flavors and textures, and quality. If a restaurant is serving only one scallop, it had better be perfect!
🧀 Smoked Salmon Grilled Cheese Sandwich 🧀
Inspired By Eric Ripert
The Chef is a genius at pairing seafood with minimal ingredients to create a dish where the diner is astonished that those simple components could be combined in such a way to result in something so spectacular.
Here a plain old grilled cheese sandwich is perfect in its four-star simplicity with just four items: smoked salmon, Swiss cheese, bread, and butter. After I came across this Instagram post by Eric Ripert, and being a lover of salmon in all its preparations, Smoked Salmon Grilled Cheese just had to be on my menu.
At Le Bernardin Chef Ripert is world-renowned for his exquisite, clean, seafood-centered cuisine. With this sandwich he proves that every dish does not have to be fancy to be sublime.