baby tagine = indian eggplant, lemon confit, garlic, thai basil

baby tagine, indian eggplant, thai basil

baby tagine
indian eggplant, lemon confit, garlic, thai basil, olive oil, red pepper flakes
with toasted ciabatta

indian eggplant, baby tagine

What to cook first in my new baby tagine?  I had been dreaming of a baby tagine ever since our most memorable meal on the 40th Floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange at Everest. Chef Joho serves a vegetable mélange side dish in the most charming vessel.

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Hey Dads! The Perfect Complement To Your Grilled Fish

grilled mahi mahi
Grilled Wild-Caught Mahi Mahi
Cannellini Bean, Meyer Lemon Confit, Kalamata Olive, Italian Parsley, Scallion Salad

Hello Dads. Hello Grilled Fish. We want our beautiful grilled fish to be the star at the table. No heavy sauces, no overpowering seasonings. Light, fresh, and fabulous. Here mahi mahi filets were brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, then grilled over medium high heat until just cooked all the way through.

They’re served over this bright fresh salad that takes only a couple minutes to prepare. The highlight is the Meyer lemon confit which adds a deep sweet-salty-lemony component. Whole Italian parsley leaves are vibrant and intense, great paired with the creamy cannellini beans, sliced green onion, and Kalamata olives.

And Dads, we know most of you love thick juicy steaks, but perhaps you’re planning to eat a bit lighter this summer? Well, this heart-healthy, very satisfying dish is for you. Happy Father’s Day.

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Copper River Sockeye Salmon, Pink Peppercorns

copper river sockeye, copper river salmon, pink peppercorns

Pan-Seared Copper River Sockeye Salmon, Pink Peppercorns
Blistered Shishito Peppers

The celebration continues! Taste With The Eyes is 4-years-old and we’re splurging with Copper River Salmon. The most expensive fresh salmon is only available for about four weeks of the year, from mid-May through mid-June, when the King salmon swim up the Copper River in Alaska to spawn. At our local Bristol Farms Market, Copper River King Salmon was selling for $50/lb.! At $50/lb. the 8 oz. filet in the photo above would have cost $25. Market factors such as commercial harvest, supply and demand, plus the cost of oil have pushed the price from $40 last season to this all time high of $50.

Even for the crème de la crème of salmon, this price is out of range for most people (myself included). In fact, after speaking with the fishmonger at the market, I learned that they were unable to sell their entire shipment of Copper River King at that price, and some had tragically gone to waste. The good news was that Copper River Sockeye sales went way up, as folks were introduced to this smaller, more plentiful species of salmon. Some say that sockeye has the truest pure salmon flavor and is preferred by aficionados.

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Gourmet Picnic with Spicy Cold Soba Noodle Salad

gourmet picnic
Gourmet Picnic

Spicy Cold Soba Noodles with Peanut, Scallion, and Cilantro
Radish, Tofu, Shiitake, Carrot, Cucumber, Edamame, Shrimp

Natasha, the 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! host the 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group, a fabulous monthly event for “sharing ideas and creating gourmet makeovers of selected classic dishes or flavor combinations.”

The 5 Star Makeover assignment for May is Gourmet Picnic Food, perfect for the Memorial Day holiday. “Take your favorite picnic food for a ride and make something special. Lots of leeway and freedom, you choose the ingredients. Just make sure it is 5 Star.”

My contribution to May’s Picnic is a makeover of the ubiquitous pasta salad. This one is portable, delightfully colorful, bursting with flavor, healthy, and since guests compile the salad themselves can be made vegan (just skip the shrimp).

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Branzino Sotto Sale, Salmoriglio

branzino salmoriglio

Branzino Sotto Sale, Salmoriglio

Whole Salt-Baked Mediterranean Sea Bass
with an olive oil-lemon-garlic herb sauce with red chiles

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The Ultimate Vegetable Stir-Fry Tower, Three Vibrant Sauces

ultimate vegetable stir-fry, stir fry, vegetable tower

The Ultimate Vegetable Stir-Fry Tower
Pea Sprouts, Shiitake, Soybean Sprouts, Pickled Japanese Cucumber & Red Jalapeño
Chinese Chives, Tofu, Ginger, Cilantro
Over an Organic Short Grain Rice Timbale
With Three Vibrant Sauces: Cilantro Juice, Chile Oil, Miso Sauce

ultimate vegetable stir-fry, stir fry

Another Sublime Dish Inspired by Charlie Trotter

“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. Thank you, Chef! No wonder you are my hero. Your words written 17 years ago perfectly describe my cooking style and blog: where the image is meant to titillate and inspire the cook!

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an eggs benedict for your heart, really

cholesterol-free eggs benedict:
heart-healthy hollandaise
olive oil tarragon garlic poached tomato “egg yolk”
meatless canadian bacon
rustic whole grain toast with herb oil

On Taste With The Eyes I am always excited to share delicious foods that are also good for the heart. Heart healthy eating has two components. First, it is to eliminate foods that are high in cholesterol and detrimental to the heart, such as trans fat. Second, it is about adding food to the diet that is good for the heart, like those high in fiber and rich in omega-3s. A lean piece of beef, pork, or chicken every now and then is OK. What is NOT OK, is that fabulous brunch dish called Eggs Benedict: poached eggs and Canadian bacon over an English muffin topped with the dreamy “French Egg Yolk Butter Emulsion” AKA hollandaise sauce. Nope, that would never fly with your cardiologist.

5 star makeover cooking group

Natasha, the 5 Star Foodie,  and Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! are hosting a fabulous new event for “sharing ideas and creating gourmet makeovers of selected classic dishes or flavor combinations.”

February’s Classic Combination: Bacon & Eggs

“Your twist can range from modern, fusion cuisine, molecular gastronomy, featuring seasonal ingredients, or a particular cuisine style. We are looking for gourmet creative dishes with your unique culinary point of view.”

Would you think that their first choice of a classic flavor combination, bacon & eggs, might be a challenge for a person committed to eating a low-cholesterol diet?

A small yellow tomato replaces the egg yolk.
Tomatoes are poached in olive oil and infused with tarragon and garlic flavors.

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