K-POP {Korean Popcorn} A Thank You, A Celebration, and A Giveaway

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K-POP korean popcorn

K-POP {Korean Popcorn}

Fresh Popped Corn, Sesame Oil, Gochugaru,
Sesame Seeds, Korean Roasted Sea Salt, Seasoned Seaweed

Last month Taste With The Eyes turned six years old, the date came and went without any fanfare. But I simply cannot let the milestone go by without thanking you, my dear friends and readers. With your encouragement and inspiration I cooked, created, photographed and wrote over 700 posts since 2007.

That’s worthy of a little celebration. So I want to share something really good and really simple. Something you can enjoy with your friends! This popcorn was dreamt up on the spur of the moment when guests stopped by unexpectedly one evening while I was in the middle of cooking a Korean dish. I poured some Hite beers and popped some corn. With the ingredients that were sitting on my counter, I dressed the popped corn. It was an instant hit! A sweet, savory, spicy snack. And thanks to my friend Michelle, it has a name: K-POP!

The K-POP Kit

K-POP Korean Popcorn

Gourmet Popcorn
Toasted Sesame Oil
Gochugaru (red chili powder)
Roasted Sesame Seeds
Korean Roasted Sea Salt
Seasoned Seaweed (sugar, salt, sesame)

Heat a heavy-bottomed medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Add 3 T. canola oil and 1/2 cup corn kernels. Swirl pot to coat the kernels with oil. Cover and cook until the popping stops, about 5 minutes. Place the popcorn in a serving bowl. Sprinkle the popcorn with roasted sea salt, drizzle with sesame oil, season with spicy gochugaru, shake with sesame seeds, toss with the crispy crunchy seaweed. There are no exact measurements, just season according to your taste.

K-POP Korean Popcorn

K-POP Kit Giveaway

As a small token of my appreciation, I would love to send one of you a K-POP Kit. The Kit includes everything you need (except canola oil) to make many batches of this sweet, savory, spicy snack for your friends and family. Simply leave a comment on this post, and I will choose a winner randomly on August 31st. Thanks to you, it has been and continues to be an absolute pleasure to be the author of this culinary anthology…

UPDATE 8/9/2013:

K-POP Korean Popcorn is now a featured recipe in the Korea Herald Business.
Kamsahamnida K-Herald!

UPDATE 8/31/2013:

Congratulations to K-POP Winner ~ Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence!

A Farmers Market Dinner Featuring Salmon & Truffle Cream

farmers market dinner

Pan-Roasted King Salmon with White Truffle Cream
Farmers Market Wild Arugula, Heirloom Baby Cherry Tomatoes, Avocado
Pine Nuts, French Lentils, Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Inspired by a trip to the Farmers Market, fresh king salmon was pan-roasted and served over organic French lentils seasoned with just a kiss of my Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette along with wild arugula, irresistible baby cherry tomatoes, lightly toasted pine nuts, and avocado.

The sauce is made with La Tartufata blended with creme fraiche which added a velvety nuance to the dish. A preserved truffle product from Gourmet Attitude, La Tartufata is an earthy intense white truffle cream. This dinner was a delightful marriage of earth, garden, and sea. It’s the third in a series of three meals, each featuring one of the preserved truffle goodies in the “Trio Boutique.” We especially liked dipping the little heirloom tomatoes in the truffle cream sauce…

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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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A Sweet & Savory Dinner Featuring Truffle Honey

cooking with truffle honey, bacon wrapped pork loin

A Sweet & Savory Dinner ~ Featuring Truffle Honey

Pan-Seared & Roasted Pork Loin Wrapped in Bacon
Demilune of Baked Butternut Squash & Apple with Truffle Honey & Rosemary
Sauteed Purple Cabbage with Truffle Honey, Balsamic Vinegar, Caraway Seeds

My generous friends at Gourmet Attitude in NYC, purveyors of fresh truffles and fine truffle products, sent a gift box called the “Trio Boutique” containing three jars of fancy truffle products ~ truffle honey, truffle carpaccio, and white truffle cream. Merci and Grazie! We thought it would be fun to cook three separate dinners, each featuring one of these preserved truffle goodies.

For the first truffle dinner, lean and mild pork loin was enhanced with thick smoky bacon. Nutty butternut squash was baked with gala apple and laced with truffle honey, rosemary and butter. Then for contrast, purple cabbage was sauteed with onion and butter, flavored with balsamic vinegar and toasted caraway seeds, finished with truffle honey. This rather common combination of pork, apples, and cabbage was elevated by the truffle honey and the pretty demilune squash presentation with a rosette of colorful cabbage. It’s a meal that exemplifies uncomplicated effortless elegance.

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Joël Robuchon, Claude Monet & 5 Years of Taste With The Eyes

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
A Menu of Small Tasting Portions

Monet’s Table: The Cooking Journals of Claude Monet
(book giveaway at the end of this post, thru July 6)

“Cap Martin, Near Menton”
Claude Monet

cap martin, near menton floral arrangement

“Cap Martin, Near Menton”
Floral Arrangement

On our trip to Las Vegas we “encountered” two ultra-gifted Frenchmen, artists Joël Robuchon and Claude Monet – the Chef and the Painter. It wasn’t until after I returned home that I realized how the two are ultimately connected…

The oil-on-canvas landscape painting “Cap Martin, Near Menton” is from Monet’s more experimental works of the French Riviera in 1884. We were delighted by the ingenious flower arrangement on display at the Bellagio Conservatory which has been modeled after Claude Monet’s painting.

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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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