Shrimp and Grits with Chorizo

Shrimp and Grits with Chorizo

Low Country Fisherman’s Breakfast

That iconic Shrimp & Grits recipe, the original “fisherman’s breakfast” from the Carolina Low Country, gets a makeover with the addition of Mexican chorizo.

The traditional recipe by Southern Chef Bill Neal that gained well-deserved popularity in the early 80s included bacon and Tabasco hot sauce, 4 shakes to be exact.

The late chef is known for elevating Southern cuisine and credited with putting shrimp and grits “on the map” after his dish was glowingly reviewed by New York Times writer Craig Claiborne.

My version includes chorizo instead of bacon, and smoked paprika for a different spice profile. For a twist on texture, the grits are sautéed in butter in a cast iron pan to get a crispy edge while keeping that soft creamy interior. Not better, just different. Thanks for the inspiration, Chef!

Shrimp and Grits with Chorizo Recipe

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Happy Hour: Figs, Cheese, Sherry

Happy Hour: Figs, Cheese, Sherry

International Happy Hour
Mission Figs/Cambozola/Oloroso Sherry

Fresh figs from California, creamy cheese from Germany, and semi-sweet sherry from Spain together create an amazing food synergy. They enhance each other in this simple yet stellar international happy hour fare.

Our cherished dark purple California figs were brought to the New World in the 1500s and got their name from the Franciscan missionaries who brought them up from Mexico and planted them in the mission gardens along the Pacific coast in the late 1700s.

  • Black Mission Figs have a honeyed-earthy-fruity flavor and creamy lusciousness. They are available fresh from mid-May through November.
  • Cambozola is German cow’s milk cheese reminiscent of a combination of French Brie and Italian Gorgonzola…triple creamy with that distinctive bleu cheese flavor.
  • Oloroso Sherry from Jerez, Spain has wonderful aromas of nuts, vanilla and caramel plus rich nutty semi-sweet creamy flavors. Oloroso sherries offer a terrific balance between sweet and dry.
  • A chewy rustic bread brushed with good olive oil is key, be sure to grill the bread over an open flame rather than toast it, that smoky char adds an important element to the combination.
  • Fresh thyme sprigs add another earthy layer.

Enjoy figs warmed in adorable cast iron pans with bubbling cambozola on grilled bread with a nip of oloroso sherry for a rich, savory, smoky, and sweet happy hour. Cheers to Fall!

Fresh Figs and Melted Cambozola 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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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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