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Nika's Culinaria - Eat With Your Eyes: March 2006

Nika's Culinaria - Eat With Your Eyes

Culinary Photography

Auto-design that has gone to the fishes

So, what do you get when you give your advertising department a big budget at a Seafood Company?

Fish Pimping that AINT right :-)

FIsh Pimping - 3

FIsh Pimping - 1

FIsh Pimping - 2

FIsh Pimping - 4

My daughter asks: "What happens if you go to fast? Do you FISHtail?" :-)

Ducktrap orgy

At the IBSS, the Ducktrap company had like 15 different stations with an assortment of free samples of their smoked fish products.

I, needless to say, was in ecstasy :-).

ducktrap smoked salmon, dill, damn fine stuff

ducktrap all varieties

Ichthyological super models

Like I mentioned before, the fish and crustasea I saw at the International Boston Seafood Show was on a par with none I have ever experienced before. While many vendors served fantastic samples, most also had breathtaking displays of almost impossibly fresh, plump, perfections from the sea.

I will share a few of those shots below.


Glorious Fish

Fish Boat

Dolfin Tuna

Crab Stack

Tiger Prawns

Chinese Crawdads

Parrot Fish Stone Crab

Hmm.. I think I am hungry for some fish.

Mango Sunshine - Well Fed Network piece

You can also read this piece at The Well Fed Network!

Mango Sunshine

mango model

I hope you enjoyed St. Patrick's day as much as we did! In our young family, we are always low key. No bar hopping, no drinking at all actually (that ensures no hangover the next day, something that you do NOT want around an early rising toddler) BUT, we do a whole lot of cooking. So, as with anyone that overindulged, its time to listen to the body, which is likely crying out for something light, filled with vitamin C, and which begins to fill the promise of spring. For me, living in the frozen wastes of the north, the body is pretty much begging daily so it's time to listen.

A good way to bring in the spring is to explore the world of tropical drinks. You don't have to wait until your plane lands in Jamaica or Hawaii to enjoy these. To optimize the experience, I suggest that you stay away from the frozen mixes and stick to recipes that use what is fresh in the store.

Where I live, we seem to have a vast bounty of mangos in our grocery stores so I thought I would share recipes for one non-alcoholic and two spiked mango drinks.

The first is my personal favorite, it never fails to fill me with sunshine and smiles.

Mango Lassi

1 ripe mango
1 C whole milk
1/2 C plain yogurt
2 T sugar
1 C water, ice cold


Carefully, mangos are super slippery fellows, peel your mango, cut the yellow flesh from the oval seed and then dice it into small chunks. Blend on high.

To the blender, add in the yogurt, sugar, milk and water. Allow to continue to blend for several minutes, till frothy.

Some people drink this straight, others serve over ice.

A good mango lassi leaves a lassi-mustache.

For mango drinks that have some punch to them, try the following.

Mango Margarita

1 1/4 ounces silver tequila
1-ounce triple sec
1 1/2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 ounces simple syrup or sweet-and-sour mix
3/4 cup partially frozen mango, unsweetened (prefer individual quick frozen or fresh)

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a hurricane-style glass.

I found this recipe on the Food Network and is sourced to Al Lucero, the author of The Great Margarita Book.

Show: FoodNation With Bobby Flay

Episode: Santa Fe, NM

Mango Champagne Aperitif

1/2 pound frozen mango chunks, slightly defrosted
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup Moscato
1 bottle chilled dry Champagne
4 to 5 lavender blossoms or rose petals

Combine the mango and sugar in blender and pulse to puree. Add the Moscato and blend briefly.

To serve: Fill a chilled champagne flute halfway with the mango-Moscato combination. Add chilled Champagne to fill and stir gently to blend. Sprinkle with chopped lavender blossoms.

I found this recipe at the Food Network as well. The recipe is sourced to Nicole Aloni.

Show: Sara's Secrets

Episode: Terrace Lunch

Books of Interest

The Great Margarita Book by Al Lucero

King of Crabs

Big Crab

Quite a few vendors at the International Boston Seafood Show (IBSS) were purveyors of king crabs. I didnt taste any, mostly the displays were not for consumption. That was ok with me because I have never liked these (I prefer blue crabs in Maryland and Texas).

Recently I watched a whole series of TV documentaries called "The Deadliest Catch" which chronicles the huge danger and lives lost in the crab fisheries in the arctic north. After watching that, I respect what they do and I gotta wonder if people who scarf these types of crab have any clue what people go through and how they risk their lives for this delicacy.

King Crab Face

King Crab Balls

Cornucopia del Mar

sign International Boston Seafood Show

Over the next few days I will be sharing some of the pics I took at the International Boston Seafood Show earlier this week.

I wish I could have shared the flavors with you.

Now when I go to the grocery store I sigh because the seafood there looks so sad compared to what I saw at this show.

Imagine, huge multinational companies, going all out to impress the show-goers with the BEST seafood they could pull from the ocean.

I have never tasted such sweet lump crab meat, succulent crab cakes, divine salmon (smoked and otherwise), and the sheer visual impact of the supermodels of the sea became almost overwhelming!

incrementally better!

As you well know, I have been quite out of touch here, been laying low, been laid low. I have not cooked in ages and I am lucky when I can eat what the husband cooks. He will ask me what I want and then by the time he is done cooking, I want something else and what he cooked seems to be unfathomable to my poor tummy.

As I am not cooking and cant stand the sight of food, its been impossible to shoot food so I have been taking a break, tho I feel bad about it.

There is a simple explanation for all this craziness, one that I still am reticent to share (only because Life is Risky .. and one never knows how these things turn out).

See, I cant eat, I lost 4 pounds in 2 weeks without trying, all because of hormones. You can see what I mean in the pic below.

Ultrasound 3-1-06

So I have come out :-).

The good news is that the nausea, fatigue, and vertigo are easing a bit so I am emerging a bit back into the world.

Another really good thing, something that is getting my behind up and moving next week, is that I have been granted a press pass as a writer for The Well Fed Network to the International Boston Seafood Show next week!

This is very exciting and I will be shooting lots and writing several articles for this blog and the Well Fed Network.

Imagine more than a 1000 exhibitors showing off their fresh seafood! I will have to be careful to pace myself and naturally will be looking for seafood from specialty providors that certify a low heavy metal and toxin count in their product.

Mercury, other heavy metals, toxins like pesticides and sustainable and organic aquaculture will be my bias.

I will be very sad to not be able to eat sushi samples tho!

Thats gonna really tear my heart out!

I am going all day Monday and after that I will be posting stuff here on it.

Stay tuned!

© 2005-2007 Nika's Culinaria - Eat With Your Eyes

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