Pumpkin Ricotta Lasagne #glutenfree

Pumpkin Ricotta Lasagne with Fried Sage #glutenfree

Pumpkin Ricotta Lasagne with Fried Sage
Green Lentil Lasagne Noodles
#vegetarian #glutenfree

It was our pleasure to serve Pumpkin Ricotta Lasagne with Fried Sage at last weekend’s successful benefit “Sip & Savor: A Gluten-Free Experience” to support the Celiac Disease Foundation on behalf of Explore Cuisine.

A pumpkin ricotta mixture seasoned with warm complex pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, cloves) is layered with gluten-free green lentil lasagne noodles, plenty of gooey mozzarella, and nutmeg-scented béchamel. Fresh sage leaves fried in butter enhance the seasonal flavors. Due to its overwhelming popularity, I promised to share the recipe here on Taste With The Eyes.

The Celiac Disease Foundation Board of Directors held Sip & Savor in a design center at the state-of-the-art Custom Design & Construction in El Segundo, California – it was a terrific venue for this event.

Design Center in El Segundo, CA

Event proceeds benefited Celiac Disease Foundation, the internationally-recognized non-profit organization that drives diagnosis, treatment, and a cure through research, education, and advocacy to improve the quality of life for individuals affected by celiac disease and non-celiac gluten/wheat sensitivity.

Pumpkin Ricotta Lasagne with Fried Sage #glutenfree

Explore Cuisine makes an extraordinary noodle for lasagne recipes. It is produced in Italy of green lentil flour (50%), green pea flour, and brown rice flour. These no-boil noodles soak up sauce to two-and-a-half times their size to a perfect al dente texture.

The noodles are full of plant-based pea protein, a lovely pale olive-green color, organic and gluten-free. They are also higher in fiber and lower in carbs than traditional lasagne noodles.

Pumpkin Ricotta Lasagne with Fried Sage Recipe

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Lemon Butter Spaghetti Tower with Caviar

Lemon Butter Spaghetti Tower with Caviar, Creme Fraiche, Chives

Lemon Butter Spaghetti Tower with Caviar
Crème Fraîche, Chives

Taking little sturgeon eggs to new heights, the usual suspects are combined in an unusual presentation. Spaghetti is tossed with lemon butter and twirled into a tall tower. Chives and crème fraîche make their predictable appearance then the pasta is crowned with a most heavenly California caviar. It’s definitely a special occasion pasta dish.

Lemon Butter Spaghetti Tower with Caviar Recipe

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Sole Veronique

Sole Veronique

Sole Véronique

Auguste Escoffier created Sole Véronique in 1898 at the London Carlton Hotel to celebrate the popular comedic opera Véronique. It is a delightful recipe where fresh sole is paired with a creamy sauce balanced with lightly sweet yet tart green grapes and the distinctively French accent of fresh tarragon.

Les Dames d’Escoffier is a philanthropic organization of women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. We will be holding our Annual Conference in Newport Beach, CA the weekend of October 26-29. I am looking forward to attending some of the seminars and volunteering at the event.

I thought it would be fun to adapt an Escoffier recipe in celebration of our conference. I chose Sole Véronique as a way to use some of the grapes I had from the last photoshoot “Grape Still Life.”

Grapes with Wine and Cheese

Sole Véronique Recipe

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Wild Mushrooms

Wild Mushrooms

Wild Mushroom Still Life

There was absolutely no way I could resist the fantastic selection of exotic mushrooms for sale at the Torrance Farmers Market. Chanterelles, Black Trumpets, Cordycep Militaris, Chestnut Royale, Wood Ear, Persimmon Enoki and Blue Foots to name a few… I paired them with Pink Peppercorns from my neighborhood trees to create a mysterious and colorful Wild Mushroom Still Life. Due to their psychedelic deep lilac colored stems, the Blue Foots just had to take center stage.

The Mushrooms

blue

  • blue foot (pied bleu) – highly perfumed aroma and flavor, cook before eating

gold

  • chanterelles – nutty with a fruity aroma
  • cordeycep militaris – savory earthy-nutty flavor
  • persimmon enoki  – impossibly fruity!

black

  • black trumpet – buttery woodsy smoky flavor
  • chestnut royale – porous texture absorbs other flavors (like butter) well
  • wood ear – crunchy gelatinous texture

After the photoshoot, what did I do with all those various wild mushrooms?

Sautéed Branzino with Cordycep Mushrooms

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Halibut Sinigang (Filipino Tamarind Soup)

Halibut Sinigang (Filipino Tamarind Soup)

Halibut Sinigang (Filipino Tamarind Soup)

Sinigang, a sour and savory Filipino Tamarind Soup can be made with a variety of ingredients from fish to meat, seafood, or poultry. It always includes tamarind for that signature sour flavor, various local vegetables, and often contains chili peppers.

We’re thrilled that Los Angeles Harbor College’s Culinary Arts program is participating in the upcoming Sustainable Seafood Expo again. This year they are serving samples of this lovely Sustainable Halibut Sinigang.

The Sustainable Seafood Expo will be held on Sunday, October 1st. It is the culmination of a year-round promotion of the sustainability movement by the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.

The Expo provides great opportunities to sample new seafood options and see professional chefs turn sustainable seafood into fabulous dishes. Marine experts will be on hand to explain fisheries, habitats, and species management. Cooking demonstrations and panel discussions run throughout the event.

Halibut caught by hook-and-line off the California coast is a sustainable choice, however halibut caught off the U.S. Atlantic coast is to be avoided because the stock is depleted. When it comes to sustainability, the species matters, but it is equally important to know how and where the fish was caught.

Since 2006, Los Angeles Harbor College’s Culinary Arts program has offered highly comprehensive classroom and practical instruction delivered by experienced industry professionals. Their full-production model is unique among other culinary programs because it provides students with the opportunity to develop their skills in a real-time environment. Once completing the program, students are prepared to meet the challenges of their new culinary careers.

Los Angeles Harbor College Halibut Sinigang Recipe

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Ahi Poke and Sustainable Seafood

Ahi Poke and Seared Ahi

Hawaiian Ahi Poke and Seared Ahi

As food photographer for the upcoming 4th Annual Sustainable Seafood Expo, I had the opportunity to meet Shane Yoshimoto of Ali’i Fish Company and photograph (and taste!) his fabulous Hawaiian ahi dishes.

We are so excited for the upcoming grand-opening of Ali’i Fish in downtown Los Angeles where always-fresh Hawaiian seafood is expertly prepared to let the pristine nature of the fish shine through.

Quality, taste, sustainability, and authenticity are all hallmarks of Ali’i seafood. Raw fish has the potential to cause foodborne illness, so the sourcing, handling, and processing are of utmost importance to them.

Recently, the classic Hawaiian raw fish dish “poke” has exploded in popularity here on the mainland. Unfortunately, much of the raw tuna is imported and many foreign fishing fleets are not held to the same standards as U.S. fleets. To make a more healthful choice and to support sustainability, be sure to check the source of the tuna you choose to eat.

Shane says, “Ali’i Fish Company was founded with the idea of serving high quality, authentic poke and seafood dishes. Many of our ingredients are flown directly from Hawaii and our fish is always fresh and never frozen or treated with carbon monoxide gas.  We believe in sourcing from sustainable fisheries such as Hawaii and supporting US product when made available.  With over 40 years of combined seafood experience in Hawaii, not one aspect of our process goes unnoticed.”

Their Sesame Onion Ahi Poke will be served at the Sustainable Seafood Expo on October 1st. I’m very grateful to Shane for sharing his superb recipe here on Taste With The Eyes.

Sustainable Seafood

According to Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch yellowfin tuna caught in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) with handlines is a “Best Choice.” Yellowfin stocks are depleted everywhere except in the WCPO. Handlines have very low bycatch, and no species of concern are caught by this fishery.

Yellowfin and bigeye tuna caught in Hawaii’s Eastern Central Pacific Ocean (ECPO) with deep-set longlines is a “Good Alternative.” Hawaiian fleets have lower bycatch than international longline fisheries because of tougher U.S. regulations.

Ali’i Fish Co. Ahi Poke Recipe

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