Fall-Seasonal Seared Scallops

Always a favorite of mine as such an amazing dish comes from such a simple process- caramelization of the scallop in a clarified butter. From that point, there are also so many variations for flavor pairings to encompass a whole dish. In this particular instance, I went a little outside of the norm and tailored it to have autumn-like elements as that was the season it was created.

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The initial searing of the scallops is the easy part. Some heated clarified butter toss in the scallops and sear both sides until slight caramelization occurs.

First was coming up with a complimentary side dish. When sweet potatoes come to mind, typically think of hearty and savory- possibly highly seasoned or on the sweetened side. In this instance, I figured most of the stronger flavors would be from the scallops/topping so I used the sweet potato with more of its natural earthy flavor. Using a mandoline slicer, I cut thin slices and then used a circular cutter to make circles (slightly larger than the scallops. I then baked them in the oven on a baking sheet.

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With the savory and earthy aspects covered by the scallops and sweet potato, then next was spicing it up a little and adding a slightly sweet side but not too much as to take away from the scallops. I went with a pear compote (pears have some sweetness but aren’t overbearing) and with a little cayenne pepper and whiskey (add a little spice and smokiness).

Overall, I felt the flavors meshed rather well. The dish had the richness of the scallops balanced nicely with the earthy tone of the potato and a little smoky-sweetness from the pear compote.

Enjoy

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Some Japanese Noodles, some Shrimp, and a creamy sauce- Converging Cuisines

Sometimes you have to break away from the ordinary or the normal traditional way of making a dish to get what you are looking for. In this particular instance, I used Japanese Soba noodles but made a dish with a European flare.

Sometimes I like to make rich hearty sauces, however I don’t always want to bog it down with some form of heavy pasta. In this particular case while rummaging through the cabinets, I came across a package of these Japanese Soba noodles. These turned out to be a good choice for numerous reasons- they were nice, light, and thin, and also they only had to be in boiling water for about 6 minutes and they were done.

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For meal prep, I started by peeling the shrimp and asparagus and then tossed the shrimp in first with some clarified butter, salt, pepper, lemon juice, coriander seeds, and chopped basil leaves. Partway through I then added the asparagus and cooked until tender. This combination I then put on the side until further use.

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The sauce was rather quick, rather simple. A base of heavy cream, I then thinly cut up some Asiago and after making it into small cubes I tossed it in the heavy cream. I also added some lemon juice, cracked peppercorn, capers, and smoked ham (cut into very small pieces)- used the ham almost in the sense as some recipes call for anchovies where its just to add that salty flavoring but here also a little smokiness.

Proceeded to cook on medium heat until it started to thicken up a little bit all while stirring. At this point, I then added into the mix the shrimp and asparagus combination and cooked for a few more minutes until everything was hot. Then Put some noodles on the plate, scooped some of the combination on top and used a spoon to add some extra sauce.

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Enjoy.

No recipes- Just some Sushi

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This post is really just to display some various sushi rolls and types. Mixed variety of tuna, salmon, ans scallop rolls with various vegetables as well as vegetable rolls with some mango as well as some sashimi with salmon caviar.

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Enjoy.

Wolffish with some Crab and Asparagus

Not too long ago on one of my trips through Trader Joe’s, I had stumbled upon a fish that I do not typically see all too often- Norwegian Wolffish. The last place I recall seeing this on the menu was a while back at BoneFish Grill where they have it with creamed spinach, etc.

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For my liking, I had taken the filet and stuffed it with a combination of crab meat, flaked asiago cheese, salt, pepper, and some lemon juice. I then pan seared it in some oil on both sides and baked on low heat.

In a small saucepan, I chopped up some fresh horseradish, added some basil, rosemary, crabmeat, and olive oil and sauteed for a few minutes. I then added in some heavy cream and made into a sauce to top the fish off.

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Next on the menu was the side dish. I went a tad out of the box on this and utilized both asparagus as well as “smoked bacon.” The smoked bacon is not bacon like grocery store style but actual slab piece of pork put into a smoker- really does not need to be cooked at all. I wrapped the asparagus in the smoked bacon (after I had peeled the asparagus) and cooked until tender. I then removed the asparagus, diced the pork into smaller pieces and added some citrusy accents to then pour over the asparagus.

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Overall, a nice combination of flavors having the strong flavors of the horseradish and asiago with the fish and crab and some citrusy and salty combinations paired with the asparagus.

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Enjoy.

Soon to come—crab cakes with the extra crabmeat 🙂

Branzino…A Summertime Fish

A big part of my summertime eating experiences is broadly characterized under the category of seafood. However there are a few specifics which to me are part of what is defined as genuine summertime meals and tonight’s dish is one of those.

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Most of the time I would be fine with either a fish filet or fish portion. In this particular instance, I must have the whole Branzino aka European Sea-bass aka Bronzini. My take on it tonight was rather simple. Butterfly cut the whole body, I sprinkled in some ancho chili powder, some pink salt, layered inside some organic pea shoots and thin slices of fresh lime and then closed it up. On top I made some thin lemon slices and topped with halved heirloom tomatoes. This was then broiled in the oven with a coastal white wine/ olive oil blend.

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My first side dish was broccoli rabe with shiitake mushrooms and coriander seeds. Initially the rabe and mushrooms went into a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes. It was then drained and placed into ice water. In a pan I added in some butter, coriander seeds, pink salt, sliced garlic, and sauteed the garlic. Upon slightly browning of the garlic I added in the rabe and mushrooms and sauteed them in the pan for a few more minutes.

My second side dish was golden mashed potatoes. A rather simple dish with a few added flavors of truffle infused olive oil and some fresh asiago cheese. This was then topped with some organic pea shoots.

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Enjoy.

Steamer Clams

As I am a hug fan of all types of seafood ranging from the lighter fish such as perch and tilapia to bolder fish like salmon and to various sorts of shellfish and crustaceans I realized it has been to long since I have incorporated seafood into my own dishes. So for tonight, I started off with some steamer clams.

I still have a few bottles of Elysian Brewery’s Idiot Sauvin IPA (done with New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops- quite citrusy) so i took one bottle and poured it into my pot. I then chopped up some garlic, some fresh parsley and tossed them in as well. I brought this brew to a boil and then lowered the temp down to a simmer. After about 5 minutes (to let the flavors mix) I added in the the steamer clams, put on a lid and let simmer for 5 minutes.

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On a pot on the side, I boiled up some of the mushroom infused pasta I had made a while back. Then in a saucepan I made a creamy- basil sauce with cracked peppercorn.

After the pasta was done, I drained them and placed on the plate. I then put the sauce on top of that and finally topped the dish off with the steamers. Add in a nice glass of traminer-riesling and you have a nice meal.Image

What What…Halibut?

This will be the abbreviated version since I am headed down towards the jersey Shore for the next few days to help with some of the “final steps” of putting people’s houses back together from the fall hurricane disaster (Yes it has been months. I had spent time in both the fall and winter down there doing some demo type stuff and then starting to put in the sheetrock and such- now its on to the final steps of painting, flooring, etc).

Today I made some Halibut- one of my favorites when it comes to white fish. In this particular instance I had initially made a chicken based stock (chicken, some vegs, white wine). I then took some of that and reduced it down, and then added some Brandy (nice sweet flavor). The Halibut I seasoned with salt and white pepper (more of a like how it looks versus black pepper, can do either). It was quick sauteed in butter and then put in the oven at 500 for 5 minutes.

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Upon completion it was plated and I added the sauce on top. Now on to the sides.

I chopped up some savoy cabbage, made a mixture of water, sugar, and ground mustard and mixed together (then refrigerated). For the dressing it was a honey-coriander based dressing (used a rice vinegar for it as well). For it I used coriander seeds that I then crushed (makes for a nice crunchiness versus using ground coriander. Before serving, the savoy was taken out of the refrigerator and brought to room temperature.

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For the other “side” if you go back one recipe I had made a Ginger Ale which essentially is a concentrated syrup. Using modern techniques, I turned some if it into a jelly so to speak and cut into small pieces and stood up. Besides looking cool, the ginger spiciness blended well with that of the Halibut and it’s sauce.

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Enjoy.

Hope everyone has a great week. I will not be cooking much (if at all) until next week- only day possibly being Thursday. Next weekend I am visiting my parents to celebrate my mom’s and my own birthday. All the best.