Napoleon of Portobella & Turnip, Ginger-Soy-Mirin Sauce

Roasted Napoleon of Portobella and Turnip
Little Buna-Shimeji Mushrooms and Corn Kernels
in a
Ginger Soy Mirin Sauce
Cilantro Garnish

“The recipes… are only a guide. You can use any or all of a recipe, deviate wherever you like, or indeed substitute ingredients completely if it suits your desires. In fact, you may want to forget about the recipe specifics and use the photographs alone as your inspiration,” penned Charlie Trotter in 1994.

I received his eponymous cookbook Charlie Trotter’s in 1998. After making this extraordinary napoleon I just today read the introduction quoted above. No wonder he is my hero. His words written 16 years ago perfectly describe my blog:  where the image is meant to titillate and inspire the cook!

The more I cook from these two books – Charlie Trotter’s and Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables the more I appreciate the genius of this chef.

(Cookbook GIVEAWAY winner posted below)

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Cooking Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables – Sublime!


Black-Eyed Peas with Haricots Verts
Baby Spinach and Baby White Potatoes
Spicy Curry Emulsion

“To me, June is synonymous with exuberance, mostly because the flavors and colors of the month’s offering are so dramatic. I like elegant playful spicing in June, which is perfect for these fresh ingredients. I’m not yet ready for the big, assertive spices and flavors of late summer.”
Charlie Trotter

A little over a week ago you all helped me celebrate the 3rd Anniversary of Taste With The Eyes. Thank you again for all your kind words and support. This little blog is a source of much joy due to your involvement. As a small token of appreciation, I am giving away a copy of my very favorite vegetable cookbook, Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables. Oh how I wish you all could experience this book! Black-Eyed Peas with Haricots Verts and Spicy Curry Emulsion was truly sublime…Mr. Trotter is a genius.

The winner of the Giveaway for Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables will be announced on June 26.

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Blog is 3! Celebrating with King Trumpets and Shishito Peppers!

Grilled King Trumpet Mushrooms &  Shishito Peppers on Rosemary Skewers
Baby Spinach and Rosemary Roasted Golden Soybeans
Toasted Sesame Oil & Tomato Water

Pleurotus eryngii
King Trumpet Mushroom also known as King Oyster, Eryngii, Pleorote du Panicaut,
Argonane, Bouligoule, Champignon de Garrigue, Cardoncello, Cardarello

Taste With The Eyes is 3 years old!

Cooking, photographing, writing, then ultimately sharing my culinary adventures on Taste With The Eyes is a source of much joy for me. This little food blog is an ongoing learning experience, a terrific creative outlet, and a source of pride. It has opened doors and provided new opportunities. It is the means with which to connect with fellow foodies, and a wonderful way make new friends with various interests and passions from all around the globe. I am grateful to have the opportunity to share food and ideas and experiences with you.

Reading your blogs provides an awesome source of inspiration, a conduit of creativity, and a heartfelt connection through your personal stories. Your enthusiasm is infectious. I cook, dine, laugh, and cry with you.

Your kind, knowledgeable, clever, and sometimes funny comments are deeply appreciated. I learn so much from you, way beyond food and cooking. You amaze and inspire me.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Continue reading “Blog is 3! Celebrating with King Trumpets and Shishito Peppers!”

Cilantro-Scented Navy Bean Mash, Smoked Fish

Cilantro-Scented Navy Bean Mash
Smoked Salmon Rosette

Cook navy beans in chicken stock with smashed garlic cloves. Add cilantro sprigs for the last half hour of cooking. Let cool. Remove the sprigs and garlic.

Mash the beans with a potato masher, add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Fold in crème fraîche and rough chopped cilantro leaves.
The Navy Bean is a mild-tasting, smaller-sized dense white bean that got its name from being a staple food for the US Navy, as they do not spoil and provide excellent nutrition.

Courtney of Chicago’s Coco Cooks blog is hosting this month’s My Legume Love Affair, a wildly successful event created by Susan, The Well-Seasoned Cook. April is its tenth incarnation, and one of which I am excited to participate in once again. Next month’s host will be yours truly, Taste With The Eyes.

Courtney’s challenge was to create a starter or dessert with legumes. For this party, I am serving a starter of cilantro-scented navy bean mash on spoons topped with a rosette of smoked salmon or a morsel of smoked trout.

My friends Heather and Abbi, stopped by during the creative stage. I served them the cilantro-scented navy bean dip with toast points brushed with olive oil. Cooking the beans with garlic cloves, stock, and cilantro imparts a wonderful depth of flavor to the beans. My vegetarian friends would love this too, just use a rich vegetable stock in place of chicken stock.

Another post, another thank you to my brother. This one, to my brother Don. You see, he waited in a not-so-short line last December to get an autographed cookbook by Charlie Trotter. Those of you who have been following Taste With The Eyes may recall that my birthday gift from Don & Kristy last year was Guest Chef For The Day in Charlie Trotter’s kitchen. I am a big fan of Charlie, and this cookbook, Home Cooking with Charlie Trotter, is a favorite; with casual recipes for the home chef, focusing on crisp flavors and straight-forward presentations. That’s where the idea for cilantro-scented navy beans came from!
Next up for MLLA 11, Three Bean and Potato Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette, inspired by Charlie, too.  Bean aficionados, won’t you please join us in May and share your favorite legume recipe?