Bowl Crazy: Farro, Cucumber, Radish, Fried Egg, Yogurt Sauce

Bowl Crazy: Farro, Cucumber, Radish, Fried Egg, Yogurt Sauce

Bowl Crazy
Farro, Cucumber, Radish, Fried Egg, Yogurt Sauce

The food world has gone crazy for healthy grain bowls. And with good reason. They are fabulously nutritious, easy to compose, colorful and tasty, and can be economical often turning leftovers into another great meal.

Composing a grain bowl is fun. It is a creative construction of whole grains; vegetables (fresh, cooked, pickled); a protein (meat, fish, tofu, egg, beans); a flavorful sauce; and a jaunty garnish (nuts, seeds, herbs, cheese).

I liked the idea of smashed cucumbers and radishes in this recipe from Bon Appétit. In the end it was the wild spectrum of flavors and textures that made this particular bowl a winner – chewy earthy farro, crunchy peppery radish, refreshing cucumber, crispy fried egg, tangy creamy yogurt, and bright fresh herbs.

Farro Bowl Recipe

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Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi with Shrimp and Minari

 stuffed cucumber kimchi with shrimp, minari
Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi
Oi Sobaegi 오이소박이

With Shrimp, Minari, Sesame Oil, Sesame Seeds, Gochugaru

Jupiter has aligned once again with Mars, in the blogging universe that is. Food Network’s Summer Fest features cucumbers this week. Our monthly cooking group, the Creative Cooking Club’s theme is “stuff-it.” And I planned to create another seasonal Korean fusion dish this week celebrating the honor of having my recipes featured in the Korea Herald Business.

Korean + Summer + Cucumber + Stuffed = Oi Sobaegi 

 stuffed cucumber kimchi recipe, oi sobaegi

My recipe for stuffed cucumber kimchi came from studying 5 Korean cookbooks in my collection, plus researching many recipes online. One thing I kept noticing, especially on google image – the final dish was not very attractive; green logs with all this stuffing hanging out. No doubt they were delicious, but my challenge was to make the dish pleasing to the eye as well as the palate.

Pairing with shrimp was a natural combination, as the kimchi recipe contains tiny dried white shrimp. My recipe also contains a good deal of ginger, it is quite zippy. Minari is a bright herb sometimes called Korean watercress which adds a fresh note. I also used the thicker Chinese chives to hold the sliced cucumber together, making for a neat pretty presentation. This, my first attempt at oi sobaegi was surprisingly successful, so I am sharing the original recipe here.

Cookbook Resources:

  • Korean Cooking by Young Jin Song
  • Seoultown Kitchen by Debbie Lee
  • The Korean Table by Taeyung Chung
  • The Kimchi Cookbook by Kim Man-Jo
  • Aeri’s Korean Cookbook 1 by Aeri Lee

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A Heavenly Dinner Featuring Truffle Carpaccio

cucumber carpaccio, truffle carpaccio, gourmet attitude

First Course:
Cucumber & Truffle Carpaccio with Bucheron
Olive Oil, Verjus, Fleur de Sel, Chives

ilet mignon, mushroom duxelles, potato cake, truffle carpaccio, bordelaise reduction

Second Course:
Filet Mignon Wrapped in Speck
Duxelles with Truffle, Potato Cake, Creme Fraiche, Truffle Carpaccio
Painted Bordelaise Reduction

Jupiter aligned with Mars. Our Creative Cooking Crew challenge for the month of February was to put an imaginative spin on “meat & potatoes.” A gift of Truffle Carpaccio arrived in the mail. My dear friend and savvy cook, FA, was coming to town. Meat. Potatoes. Truffles. Sounds like a party. Dinner party.

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hot pot! swordfish, kimchi, soba noodle

 swordfish kimchi hot pot
hot pot! swordfish, kimchi, soba noodles
in a rich beef broth
with cucumber, tomato, scallion, jalapeño
togarashi & cilantro garnish

A super-satisfying one dish meal complex in flavor and texture. Generally a HOT POT is a pot of simmering hot stock for cooking meats and vegetables, which is placed in the center of the dining table. Here, this Korean~Japanese~Californian fusion hot pot meal is composed in individual bowls. Rich beef stock adds depth and pairs surprisingly well with fresh local California swordfish fillets while kimchi adds complexity with its sour, spicy, and umami notes. Farmers Market tomatoes, cucumber, and green jalapeño add bright crisp fresh notes to the pot.

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Pan-Seared Branzino, Cucumber Salmoriglio, Borage Blossoms

branzino, salmoriglio, ciao fiore

Pan-Seared Branzino, Cucumber Salmoriglio, Borage Blossoms

Here we are on the sparkling azure Mediterranean. I’m in the cucina with Chefs Norma and Debi, cooking for opening day of our virtual ristorante Ciao Fiore! Norma is in the process making ricotta fresca for the extravagant antipasti tavola, and Debi is using sodium alginate and calcium chloride to craft the strawberry caviar which will top her lavender & mascarpone panna cotta as a part of the fabulous dessert course.

branzino, borage, salmoriglio, castelvetrano

My job is to execute the main course, and with the risotto already done, imagine my delight as the fishing boat pulled up to the dock, loaded with just-caught branzino! Fresh from the sea pan-seared fillets will be served with salmoriglio, a Sicilian fish sauce made with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and herbs. For our grand opening, this particular version of the classic sauce will be enhanced with Meyer lemon confit, red chiles, cucumber, and Castelvetrano olives. Borage blossoms will finish the dish, with their sweet cucumber flavor accenting the sauce while their bright blue hue mirrors the sea.

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Avocado Cucumber Salsa

Avocado Cucumber Salsa over Panko Crusted Petrale Sole
  • Avocado – diced
  • Cucumber – peeled, seeded, diced
  • Spicy green chile pepper – finely chopped
  • Cilantro
  • Red onion – finely chopped
  • Lime juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

To equal amounts of diced cucumber and avocado add green chile, red onion, cilantro. Gently mix with a generous squeeze of lime juice and a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fish, shrimp, scallops, chicken? Or with a finer dice, great with chips, too.
The recipe for Panko Crusted Petrale Sole here.

Mike’s Produce Truck

On my way home from work, I just pull over to the side of the road and shop for all the vegetables for my fresh salsa.  Now that’s my kind of Fast Food!
Today marks the One Year Anniversary of Taste With The Eyes.
Having a food blog has been and continues to be a whole lot of fun, a learning experience, a terrific creative outlet,  a source of pride, and a way to make new friends. Thank you all.