Fluke Crudo, Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Fluke Crudo, Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Fluke Crudo, Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Dragon Fruit, Meyer Lemon, Parsley, Mint, Borage

Our fluke crudo with Korean picked radish, nasturtium, and gochugaru vinaigrette was such a hit, we had to share another. A member of the flounder family, fluke has a clean, delicate, fresh taste that is excellent served raw (known as hirame sushi). While dragon fruit also has a mild flavor, it has unique visual appeal, esoteric charm, and a cool name. The taste is enhanced by the delightful Meyer lemon sweet-tart vinaigrette. Together, fluke and dragon fruit make a stunning raw dish.

Borage, my favorite edible flower, is very versatile as a garnish due to the light cucumbery flavor that can be paired with either sweet or savory dishes. And the striking blue color and star shape make every dish pop. Borage grows like a weed in my Southern California garden. I simply sprinkle seeds in a sunny spot, water regularly, et voilà!

growing borage for edible flowersMeyer lemon rinds are soft and edible. This lemon’s texture and lemony-orange flavor pairs wonderfully with the fresh fish. Cold fish and warm weather – an uncomplicated dish with fresh ingredients is simple, harmonious, and spring-pretty.

meyer lemon recipe

Fluke Crudo, Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

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Winter Citrus Chicken

Chicken with Winter Citrus, Artichoke Hearts, Kalamata Olives, Capers, Herbs

Winter Citrus Chicken
Chicken Thighs with Blood Orange and Meyer Lemon
Artichoke Hearts, Kalamata Olives, Capers, White Wine, Herbs

Chicken with Winter Citrus, Artichoke Hearts, Kalamata Olives, Capers, Herbs

How much you wanna bet this is your next chicken dinner? Is there any meal more satisfying than a perfect chicken dish? Ease of preparation, striking presentation, crispy skin, bright sweet winter citrus balanced with tangy artichoke hearts, salty olives and capers. Served over healthful quinoa flavored with the irresistible pan juices…You gonna take the bet?

Winter Citrus Chicken Recipe

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Lemon Risotto Balls with Edible Flower Confetti

meyer lemon arancini, lemon rice balls, ciao fiore appetizer

Meyer Lemon Risotto Balls with Parmesan and Mascarpone
Edible Flower Confetti

Crispy on the outside – warm, creamy, cheesy, and lemony on the inside – these little risotto balls (arancini in Italian) are simply irresistible. And if the texture and flavor aren’t enough to make you swoon, I’m dressing them up with pretty flower petal confetti and lacy Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve them with your favorite Italian white wine and enjoy happy hour!

Meyer Lemon Risotto Recipe

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Amuse Bouche: Scallop, Crab, Black Quinoa, Tomato Meyer Lemon Sauce

Amuse Bouche: Scallop, Crab, Black Quinoa, Tomato Meyer Lemon Sauce

Amuse Bouche

Scallop, Dungeness Crab, Black Quinoa, Spinach, Tomato
Heirloom-Tomato-Meyer-Lemon Sauce

Shall we begin? French for “to amuse the mouth,” an amuse bouche is a delectable morsel sent out by the chef in fine dining establishments to welcome and delight the guests. Unlike appetizers, diners don’t choose an amuse bouche from the menu. It is a lagniappe, a little something extra created by the chef, to whet their appetites for the meal to come.

For elegant entertaining at home, I think of an amuse bouche as mingling plush ingredients and pizazzy flavors in a diminutive eye-popping presentation. This scallop & crab amuse bouche was a perfect way to tickle the tastebuds at our recent sea-centric dinner party.

Scallop, Crab, Black Quinoa, Heirloom-Tomato-Meyer-Lemon Sauce Recipe

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Paella Rice with Baby Octopus & Meyer Lemon

Paella Rice with Baby Octopus & Meyer Lemon

Paella Rice with Baby Octopus & Meyer Lemon
Peas, Fennel, Onion
Lemon Olive Oil, Basil, Black Pepper

“Cooking is a love affair. It’s all about falling in love with your ingredients.”
alain ducasse

Meyer Lemons
Ingredients. Ingredients were the inspiration for this “casserole.” A brown paper bag full of gorgeous Meyer Lemons from my friend Judy’s yard. A Christmas gift of heavenly Lemon Olive Oil from my friend Allison. (Thank you, ladies). A charming cloth bag of arroz tradicional from Spain. And irresistible fresh baby octopus at my local Korean market.

“You can’t cook well without good ingredients. If you don’t treat the ingredient and its flavors with respect, if you drown it in oil, even good olive oil, you spoil it.”
alain ducasse

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Do You Know How To Clean A Sea Urchin?

how to open fresh uni, sea urchin

Fresh Sea Urchin
Meyer Lemon Juice, Single Varietal Olive Oil, Sea Salt

For me, the Farmers Market can be a dangerous place. No, not in the sense of personal safety, but hazardous for my wallet. Last weekend I came home with heirloom baby cherry tomatoes, wild arugula, avocados, fresh salmon. All intended for dinner that night. But also in the shopping bag were yu choy, epazote, unique baby red-speckled romaine, single varietal olive oil, a bottle of safe & organic pesticide purchased from the woman who invented it, and a live sea urchin harvested just down the coast off Dana Point. Impulse purchases.

Decades ago when sushi was just becoming popular here, a date took me out to a sushi bar. He warned, “Don’t order uni, it’s disgusting.” Months (or years?) later I tasted it, and could not believe what I had been missing! I was intoxicated with the exotic, mysterious gonads of a spiky purple sea creature. Over the years I’ve enjoyed uni sushi dozens of times, and have bought many little trays of fresh uni from the Japanese market for various dishes, but until last weekend, I had never handled nor cleaned a live sea urchin.

Sharing the joys of cooking with friends in my kitchen and through Taste With The Eyes is a pleasure and a passion. Should someone one day ask, “Hey Lori Lynn, do you know how to clean a sea urchin?” I want to be able to say, “Sure, let me show you.” And that’s why a live sea urchin ended up in my shopping basket…

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Meyer Lemon Arancini, Flower Confetti, Parmesan

meyer lemon arancini, lemon rice balls, ciao fiore appetizer
Cocktail Hour @ Ciao Fiore!
Meyer Lemon Arancini, Flower Petal Confetti, Parmesan

It’s cocktail hour at Ciao Fiore!  Meyer Lemon Risotto left over from the previous night’s service is formed into balls, coated with panko bread crumbs, and fried in canola oil. We need to watch our food costs so here we transform the day-old risotto into a delightful bar appetizer. Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and a sprinkling of flower petal confetti make the presentation pop!

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Meyer Lemon & Pink Rose Petal Risotto

meyer lemon rose petal risotto
Meyer Lemon & Pink Rose Petal Risotto

Edible flowers are so darn pretty, it is easy to use them to garnish the plate and call it good. No complaints. But for this challenge I wanted to incorporate the flowers into my dishes so as to marry the flavors and colors, to create a synergy where all the elements of the dish are enhanced.

Lemon trees and rose bushes thrive side-by-side in the garden. The colors yellow and pink make a delightful pair. And the aromas of citrus plus floral make for a heady perfume. And so Meyer Lemon & Pink Rose Petal Risotto was born. A hint of rose water plus a chiffonade of “passionate kisses” rose petals transform this creamy citrus risotto into a blissful dish.

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meyer lemon almond vinaigrette

meyer lemon almond vinaigrette

 meyer lemon almond vinaigrette

Here’s a delightful vinaigrette recipe. Great with greens, fish, and roasted cauliflower too.

  • 1/4 c. blanched slivered almonds, lightly toasted
  • grated zest from one medium meyer lemon
  • juice from one medium meyer lemon
  • 1 T. seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c. almond oil
  • 1/4 c. fruity olive oil
  • 1/4 t. sea salt (or to taste)

Rough chop the almonds. Mix almonds, zest, juice, vinegar, garlic, and salt in a bowl. Gradually whisk oils into the mixture.

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Foodbuzz 24×24: Hello Summer! A Meal with Edible Flowers in Every Course

summer-table-setting, garden table
Hello Summer!
A Meal with Edible Flowers in Every Course

lemon salad violas

Come stroll though my garden and the gardens of my dear friends Gail and Sally, and my sweet neighbor Grace. We’ll pick edible flowers including lavender, rose, geranium, society garlic blossoms, viola, nasturtium, and pineapple sage to incorporate into a most beautiful four course meal. The soup, salad, entree, and dessert, as well as the table décor, showcase our edible flowers.

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