When there are only three children, it’s obvious which would be the middle child. When there are three girls and one boy, again obvious. But what about four boys? Or two girls and two boys? Would the two in the middle be equally the middle child?Continue reading “The Middle Child and a Friday Feast”
As luck would have it, today is National Baked Scallops Day. It’s that day set aside to celebrate all things Scallop. Scallops can be found in all the world’s oceans. They are among the most popular shellfish on the planet; highly prized as a food source. Their preparation vary from place to place.Continue reading “Oven Baked Scallops for the 4th Friday of Lent”
Do you believe in Guardian Angels? If not, while you are not alone, you might just find yourself in the minority. While the term “Guardian” does not appear in the Bible, the idea of Guardian Angels does. And you don’t have to believe in Angels for Angels to exist. Believers and nonbelievers alike walk the earth with Angels.Continue reading “Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels”
Today is the 5th Friday of Lent. Normally, during this time of the year Catholics world-wide refrain from eating meat on Fridays. This year, for some Catholics in the United States, things are different.
One of Hubby’s favorite things from the sea has to be Scallops. They are almost like round, sweetly mild white fish, just not flaky like a perfectly cooked piece of fish would be. Scallops lend themselves beautifully to an array of flavor enhancements.
While strolling through the ales of my local World Market one day, I spotted several interesting pastas of the dried variety. One in particular that really got me excited was the Squid Ink Spaghetti. Wow! I’ve always wanted to try squid ink pasta. Here was my chance.
For whatever reason, we’ve been in a Pasta-Scallop frame of mind. Hubby is a big fan of Scallops. I really don’t think I had ever tasted a scallop before marring him. And to be honest, the first time I tried scallop anything I was not thrilled. So what changed?
Today is my birthday. So indulge me here . . . Hubby suggested we go out to dinner. For me, going out to dinner is a problem – when it comes to food, I have very expensive, elaborate tastes. In our little neck of the woods, there are no Five-Star French Restaurants. I’m not sure we have any Five-Star restaurants close by. I suppose we could drive to San Francisco and splurge with a ten-course supper at Quince. Both the menu and the price are fixed – oh bother!
One of Hubby’s all-time favorites from the sea has got to be Scallops. I had never eaten a scallop until I married this man. I’ve got to tell you, one bite and it was instant gotta have this! They are tender, sweet and so delicate that scallops compliment rather than overpower the sauce, a salad or whatever vehicle used to get them from your plate to your lips.Continue reading “Seared Sea Scallops with Lemon Caper Sauce”
While some people have their tradition of Taco Tuesday, I like to mix things up a bit with delicious dishes from Mexico or that have a truly Mexican influence. Today is a Tuesday, the twelfth day of the Lenten Season. These beautiful scallops are perfect. The Salsa Verde is mild, with just enough heat to let you know it’s a Verde Sauce. These scallops are awesome served in so many ways. This is wonderful with a rice pilaf and salad for a light yet delightful supper. It could also be served as a fish or seafood course to an elaborate meal or as an appetizer to a sit down formal affair.
Let’s start with this is not the post I intended to write. What I really wanted to write was a post about were Crawdads (aka crawfish). The truth of the matter is, I’ve never cooked crawdads. I’ve never even eaten crawdads despite the fact that there is a large festival in the delta every year on Father’s Day weekend. I’ve taken my guys there, wandered about looking at all the buckets of crawdads, but even with someone else doing the cooking, could not bring myself to eat something that requires you to suck out its head. So why the obsession with crawdads?
Hubby loves scallops. He would eat scallops for breakfast if he could (now there’s a thought – hum). This recipe calls for either Sea or Bay Scallops. What’s the difference, you ask. The long and the short of it is that Bay Scallops are much smaller, about 100 count per pound. In the US, these scallops come mainly from the East Coast. Their meat is much sweeter, less chewy than their less expensive “cousins” – the Sea Scallop.
Hubby and I have a wedding anniversary coming up. Seems to come up around this same time every year for as long as I can remember. Our anniversary got me to thinking – and planning a meal for my soul mate, the love of my life. Something special – my gift to him. Hubby adores bounties from the sea. Scallops are right up there on his hit parade. As are dishes that contain a bit of heat. This bright, beautiful recipe for scallops contain both.
One of my favorite herbs has to be tarragon. I love all the complex flavors of this herb. Slightly sweet yet subtlety bitter with hint of pepper and a dash of licorice. I love it in butter both as a spread for warm bread and to pat over a perfectly grilled steak. Tarragon is great in sauces, too. It goes with just about anything – from beef to seafood. Sweet, mild scallops seared in butter just scream for a white wine tarragon sauce. This is one wonderful dish that won’t disappoint.
I especially love how quickly the seared scallops comes together for a spectacular supper after a long day. From beginning to end, we are talking twenty-minutes at most. Wow, that’s what I call quick!
While these scallops would do justice to just about any bed of rice, I served my scallops with Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Pilaf. It’s flavorful, fluffy and cooks up in under two minutes. Hey, every shortcut in the kitchen adds up to more relaxation time with my family.
Pan-Seared Scallops with Browned Butter Tarragon Sauce
1 lb Sea Scallops (about 15 large scallops_
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
1/8 teaspoon white pepper or to taste
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Rinse scallops and place on paper towels to drain. Pat dry. Sprinkle scallops on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat large non-stick skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the oil and butter. Swirl pan to blend oil with butter. Heat until bubbling and the butter is just beginning to brown.
Pat the scallops dry once more. Add scallops to the pan and sear 2 minutes or until golden. With tongs, turn scallops over and sear other side about 2 minutes longer, until golden. When done, scallops should feel firm to the touch.
Remove scallops from pan and place on serving platter. Hold in a warm oven while the sauce is made.
Browned Butter Herb Sauce
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 medium shallot finely diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/8 cup finely chopped fresh chopped tarragon
1/8 cup finely chopped fresh chopped chives
1 Lemon, Zested
2 to 3 lemon wedges reserved for serving
To the now empty skillet over medium heat, melt 1/2 tablespoon butter. Add shallots and sauté for about a minute, scrapping up any browned bits left behind in the skillet.
Add the wine, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture is reduced by half.
Add the herbs and lemon zest, stir to blend.
Reduce the heat to low. Add the remaining butter, and whisk constantly until all the butter is melted.
Return the scallops to the skillet and roll gently in the sauce to coat. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning as needed with more salt and pepper to taste.
Place scallops with sauce on serving platter. Garnish with slices of lemon if desired.
For a nice presentation with awesome flavor, surround scallops with Rice Pilaf.
NOTE: Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Pilaf cooks up in the micro wave in 90 seconds for a quick finish to the meal.
Hot, hot, hot! Feel it . . . hot, hot, hot. I don’t know which sizzles more, the bay scallops or the spicy rice. Put the two together and you’ve got one incredibly spicy dish. While so many dishes feature the Sea Scallops (those are the bigger scallops – 20 or so per pound), this recipe centers around the Bay Scallops (their smaller cousin – 70 or so per pound). Bay Scallops are naturally sweeter, which helps to offset the intense heat of this scorching hot dish.