Crimini Mushroom Soup with Crème Fraîche

Crimini Mushroom Soup

Crimini Mushroom Soup with Crème Fraîche

I’m a bit embarrassed to showcase three hot soups in a row because the weather this winter in Southern California has been absolutely beautiful.

Yes, we would love more rain for our thirsty environment, but we keep seeing sunny 70°F + days… week after week. So, my Chicago family and friends and everyone Back East with shovels in hand, I am dedicating these three soups to you. Stay warm kids!

The crimini mushroom, also known as baby bella, is actually a young portobella. They are earthy and more flavorful than common white button mushrooms, therefore an excellent choice for mushroom soup. When paired with velvety rich and tangy crème fraîche, the result is a heavenly bowl of warming potage, no matter the outside temperature.

Soup #3

Crimini Mushroom Soup with Crème Fraîche

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Rhode Island Clam Chowder

Rhode Island Clam Chowder

Rhode Island Clam Chowder aka Clear Broth Clam Chowder

My apologies to the fine folks of Rhode Island for preparing their eponymous clam chowder with bivalves from Florida. Our local fishmonger carries Cedar Key Sweets, littleneck clams grown in certified clean Florida waters whose aquaculture farm has the highest quality standards. I have been buying them for years, and they are always tender, fresh and flavorful.

With nary a tomato nor cream in sight, Rhode Island Clam Chowder is made from a clear broth and is lesser known than its more popular cousins – Manhattan Clam Chowder (the red) and New England Clam Chowder (the white).

The true briny clam flavor shines through in this lighter version. Bacon and potatoes play supporting roles, while Asian fish sauce adds a layer of depth and umami qualities. Italian parsley and dill bring bright fresh notes as well as adding nice color to the monochromatic soup.

Rhode Island Clam Chowder Recipe

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Winter Radish Salad

Winter Radish Salad

Winter Radish Salad
Feta, Kalamata Olive, Frisée, Baby Celery, Upland Cress
Dressed with Fresh Lime Juice & Olive Oil

It was difficult to resist all those colorful heirloom radishes…and the frilly heads of frisée, hydroponically grown long thin stalks of baby celery and the delicate lime green leaves of upland cress too. While strolling the outdoor aisles of the Torrance Farmers Market – a crunchy, peppery, chromatic winter salad began to take shape.

Watermelon radish – an heirloom Chinese daikon – is a stunner with its white and green shoulders and vibrant fuchsia interior. The taste is mild with almond-sweet notes. Purple radishes – a Korean radish hybrid – are small and plump with a gorgeous violet ring around striated white flesh. They are far more peppery than the watermelon variety. I chose watermelon and purple radishes for their visual appeal and different flavor profiles.

Frisée, baby celery, upland cress, and chives make up the green elements of this winter salad.  With a bittersweet flavor and unique frizzy texture, frisée adds character. Upland cress has pretty leaves with a pungent spicy flavor. The baby celery has an intense celery flavor concentrated in the leaves. Chives bring that mild classic onion flavor.

Winter Radish Salad Recipe

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Braised Short Ribs over Chickpea Fusilli #glutenfree

Braised Short Ribs over Chickpea Fusilli #glutenfree

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs over Chickpea Fusilli
Roasted Cardamom Carrots, Horseradish Cream, Chives

Braised Short Ribs over Chickpea Fusilli is the second of two very popular dishes we served at “Sip & Savor: A Gluten-Free Experience” to support the Celiac Disease Foundation on behalf of Explore Cuisine.

Often, gluten-free dishes are vegetarian, as many health conscious consumers fall into both categories. However, there are several people with Celiac disease that are neither vegetarian nor vegan and simply crave dishes that are traditionally made with wheat, such as short ribs with buttered egg noodles.

Our dish is a gluten-free version of that crave-worthy meal. We substitute Explore Cuisine chickpea fusilli for the noodles and use gluten-free flour in the preparation.

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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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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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