Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Ridiculously Easy Dinner
Well, I am slowly recuperating from the intensity of the last few weeks. Last week was a double whammy at work, as I had to go out of town to teach 1/2 semester's worth of material in 2 days, at the same time as the deadline for grants I've been helping several libraries write was mere days away. I am happy to say I survived! The grant deadline was yesterday, and everybody got their proposals in on time.
However, having worked through the weekend, after having been out of town for 4 days, my kitchen was in very sad shape. The cupboard's been bare; we've had no vittles in the house for days now and have been subsisting on restaurant meals and leftovers of same. The absolute nadir was Sunday night, when we were forced by time constraints to eat at the Teeter plaza near our house, gnawing on dried-out and practically flavorless chicken wings (one of the tastier offerings at that particular establishment). Afterward, DS & I went next door for "ice cream," where I ordered something called a key lime "gelati," and was handed a paper cup filled with a puddle of electric green slushy, a dollop of vanilla softserve, and topped with another puddle of green slushy. I adore gelato, but this was not it. Even when I eventually succeeded in amalgamating the separate components of my "gelati," it tasted like a green Life-Saver.
Today, DS and I were able, at last, to get to the WF for some vittles. We were even out of eggs and milk.... Craving a delicious homemade meal, I asked DS what he was hungry for. Scallops!!
I remembered a delicious recipe featuring scallops that I used to make out of a great little cookbook by Anna Pump, called Loaves and Fishes. I acquired it for free about 20 years ago at the Indian bookstore in Seattle (another story, another time!) and remembered the recipe as being somewhat exotic.
Glancing at it before heading out to the store, I realized the only reason it had seemed exotic was the difficulty of getting scallops back in the days when I was marooned in a small town in the Ozarks. The recipe itself is ridiculously easy, and would lend itself to all sorts of delicious variations, so of course I have to share it with you!
It could hardly be simpler, or quicker to make.
I served this with a salad of mixed baby lettuces, a warm, crusty rosemary demi-baguette, and some orzo tossed with butter, garlic, and parsley. DC cleaned his plate, and DS even had seconds!
Here are the ingredients:
4 T unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced (natch, I used 7, what's the point of such a piddly amount of garlic?)
2 c. heavy cream (I used 1 1/2 c.)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. fresh ground pepper
4 fresh plum tomatoes, chopped or 1 c. canned tomatoes
(I used a whole can of THESE:)
2 1/2 lb. bay scallops (I used 2 lbs)
1/2 c. unbleached flour
1 t. salt
black pepper to taste
1/4 c. clarified butter
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the minced garlic and cook over low-heat for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the cream, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and simmer 5-6 minutes, or until somewhat thickened.
Meanwhile, toss together the flour, salt and pepper. (I used a ziptop bag). Add the scallops and toss to coat thoroughly with the flour mixture.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the clarified butter. When hot, add the scallops and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir, and cook another minute or so, until just cooked through.
Add the scallops to the sauce, adjust the seasoning as needed, and serve immediately.
There's quite a bit of sauce, so the orzo came in handy! This is an excellent quick, tasty dinner. We have leftovers which I am sure everyone will enjoy for lunch tomorrow (DS is out of school, and DC has been brown-bagging it).
For dessert, I splurged on a delicious-looking peach pie at WF, which DS only grudgingly agreed to, (he's not a fruit pie fan) and some Stonyfield Farm organic vanilla ice cream, which I can't wait to taste. (It was on sale!) DC, OTOH, was totally psyched about the pie. Since he's not a huge scallops fan, and DS had requested them, I figured the pie evened things out. I'll let you know if the pie is any good!
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