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Posts Tagged ‘scallops’

Scallops

 

Summer Sunday mornings at the green market always inspire me.  This past Sunday I picked up some scallops along with a bag of pea shoots, foraged trumpet mushrooms, and a plastic clam shell of edible flowers – among other things, of course.  But, these were to be the makings of a light Sunday supper.  When time came to put it all together, I placed the pea shoots on a nice plate and spread some of the flowers around and on top of them.  I lightly dusted the scallops with Wondra flour and salt and pepper and gave them a quick sear in extra virgin olive oil.  I had some vinaigrette on hand that was made from moscato vinegar so once the scallops were seared I placed them on the pea shoots and drizzled some of the vinaigrette over the top.  (Totally forgot the mushrooms, but they will not go unused, I can assure you – at $25.00 a pound we will relish every bite.)  The scallop dish was light and very tasty and the flowers were the most delightful addition.  I’ve always loved nasturtiums and in this case their bite added just enough zest to an otherwise very sweet dish.

 

Fancy Scallops

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We have been so busy with the promotion of An American Family Cooks that our meals have been a little haphazard – a pizza here, rice and beans (from our favorite Flor de Mayo on Amsterdam Avenue) there, a throw-together sandwich at the end of a long day have been too frequently on the table.  I promised Steve a quiet, indulgent, sit-down dinner and since fall had officially arrived with a bit of a chill in the air, it seemed time to get back to work in the kitchen.
Here’s what I put together.  Mashed sweet potatoes (mashed with a bit of butter and a touch of honey), sautéed spinach and mushrooms, and deliciously sweet Nantucket Bay scallops.  For the scallops, I placed about ½ cup of diced pancetta in a nonstick frying pan and cooked it until all of the fat had rendered out and I had a pan full of little crispy nuggets.  I scooped the nuggets from the pan and left a bit of the fat in.  I added the scallops which I had tossed in Wondra flour and seasoned with salt and pepper.  Gave them a quick flip around the pan to color slightly and set.  Removed them from the pan and added a little white wine and lemon juice.  Brought it to a boil and then whisked in a little pat of butter.  When slightly thick, I returned the pancetta to the pan and instantly had a lovely sauce for the plate.  We sat down to a quiet, indulgent dinner with a chilled bottle of Sancerre to quaff.  A lovely fall dinner, indeed.

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A week or so ago, our son, Mickey, came into the city for a Diana Krall concert and although we had planned to go out to dinner, much to my delight he decided to cook.  What a joy!  Off we went to the market and when we got back laden with shopping bags, Steve got the camera and I got my knife to be his sous chef.  After dinner, when Mick and Steve went off to the concert, I did the dishes and thought how lucky can any one mother be.

Here’s what he made – this is Mickey’s idea of an easy Friday night dinner celebrating spring.

Seared Scallops on Pea Puree with Spring Vegetables:  Fresh peas steamed and pureed with a little broth and salt and pepper.  Fresh fava beans, snap peas, and garden peas lightly sautéed in a bit of chicken broth and butter.  Scallops seared for a couple of minutes to caramelize nicely and still be almost raw in the center.  The puree was spooned into the center of each of our plates, the sautéed veggies scattered about and 3 scallops nestled in the center.  It was light and delicious.

Roasted Chicken Breast with Mushroom Sauce, grilled purple asparagus, and basmati rice:  Whole chicken breasts were roasted with the skin on until just barely cooked; then, deboned and skinned.  A lovely sauce of mushrooms, marsala wine, herbs, and stock was made and the chicken breast halves added for just a couple of minutes to warm and season.  The asparagus was grilled.  The rice cooked and dinner was served.  I felt as though I had eaten in a starred restaurant with none of the associated hype.

 

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Mickeys dinner

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©stephen kolyer_scallop

It’s not very often that we see fresh scallops with their roe attached in the market.  Recently not only did I find them, but they were gigantic.  I cleaned them up and placed them, one at a time, into a hot pan.  I added a bit of white wine and butter into the shell, seasoned with salt and pepper, covered the pan, and cooked for just a few minutes to warm the shellfish and make a little sauce.  They made an exceptionally exotic appetizer with the barely cooked scallop devoured on its own and the bright orange roe slathered on some rye toast.  Along with some lovely New Zealand sauvignon blanc, of course!

 

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A few days ago we were in upstate New York spending a couple of days with our wonderful friends, Bee and Doug.  I was on dinner duty with 3 packs of frozen scallops and whatever I could fend from our not insignificant pantry.  I wasn’t too sure about the scallops – although I’m sure most of what we buy in our fancy neighborhood fish store have probably been frozen and thawed – but as it turned out they were quite delicious.  But, that’s not the story.

The weather was not really very spring-like – in fact, big flakes of snow filled the air off and on all day – but Mother Nature had begun her work a few weeks ago when the temperatures hit the 80s – a rarity in summer in the country – and the countryside was rife with daffodils, grape hyacinths, some tulips, wild strawberries spreading in the grass with their delicate little white flowers peeking up—- and the window boxes, although moved inside, had verdant bunches of basil, sage, thyme, and parsley – no rosemary – that was in the winter-over corner where it has managed to survive through 3 winters.

Bee took our man’s best friend, Lena Mae, out for her constitutional and came back with a handful of sweet wild purple and yellow violets and 2 stalks of asparagus (the only 2 big enough to pick).  So, I cooked up those scallops – dusted them with Wondra flour and salt and pepper and gave them a fast and furious sear in clarified butter – layered them on some couscous cooked in lemon/sage scented broth, drizzled the lot with a tangy lemon vinaigrette and garnished the plate with slivered raw asparagus and those little violets.  Added a side of sautéed julienne of carrots and snow peas and Viola an easy and spring-like dinner was on the table in minutes.

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