Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Inspired Week of Cooking - Day 2 - Christmas-Motif Pasta

Tonight, I decided to experiment with scallops. Why scallops? I had them in my freezer and since my friend, Gil is going fishing, he told me to make room for some tuna or red snapper on Monday, that is next week. He goes fishing in San Diego aboard a chartered fishing boat and mostly guys have this privilege. It is not exclusively guys, the tough women who know how to bait their fishing line and know how to reel in their fish are allowed to come, and of course the fee. It used to be a hundred dollars for a weekend of fishing, including meals on board, but since gasoline skyrocketed in price, it is close to four hundred dollars.

So, let us go through this recipe.

Scallops with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes

1 bag of jumbo scallops ( Trader Joe's brand )
Balsamic Vinegar Blanc ( sweet type, with raisin juice, I bought this bottle in Provence, France )
head of garlic, minced ( reserve half for the spinach )
red pepper flakes, a pinch ( I like it with a bite or a sting, but not fiery that suffocates )
olive oil
cherry tomatoes ( 6 to 8 )
roasted tomatoes ( remove skin and diced them )
1 tablespoon butter ( yes, butter the real one to flavor the scallops before serving )

Heat up cast iron pan. Add olive oil, immediately add garlic and red pepper flakes. Olive oil darkens when heated up, so add the garlic to prevent this. When you get a whiff of garlic smell, add the diced tomatoes. Add scallops, and flavor with two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, blanc, pepper and a dash of salt. Go easy on the salt as scallops are fruits of the sea.

Cover the pan and add cherry tomatoes. The heat will burst the tomatoes. Scallops are done when it changes color from raw flesh to cooked flesh. You will see the change in colors, from opaque to solid white flesh. Do not overcook scallops, they become hard. Add 1 tablespoon of butter before serving. You can also turn off the flame after cooking the scallops and allow the residual heat for the last five minutes of cooking. This way, you do not overcook the scallops. Set aside.

Before serving, pop into the microwave with the bed of spinach and heat for less than a minute. There is nothing like a hot entree over newly steamed cup of brown rice.

Side entree of Spinach
1/2 head of minced garlic
olive oil
3 cups of spinach

Heat the pan. Add the olive oil. Then, add minced garlic. Add spinach. When semi-wilted, after sauteeing, serve on a dish. Use this bed of spinach to top with the scallops.

The verdict - my husband really loved it. In fact, I loved it too and the entire bag of jumbo scallops was mostly devoured, except for a few for tomorrow's lunch. Honestly, it was good! And the dessert, we split a red velvet cake from La Maison du Pain in 5373 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90019.


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