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

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.

Bone-in Strip…Take #2

This is sort of a remake (some variations) from what I had done on Saturday…however when you are grilling for six people (including two hungry ten-year olds), it is quite hard to barbecue steak, potatoes, corn, make everything look nice and plated, and be able to take pictures. For this reason I envy commercial food photographers…don’t have to cook, get whatever supplies you need given to do a shoot, stress free (though I do like the satisfaction of saying “hey I made that”).

Some of these seasonings/sauces are my takes on some of those in the Strip Steak and potatoes with garlic aoli and mojo rojo from Bobby Flay’s new book. All rather simple and quite easy to do.

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In the case of using a grill (like I did over the weekend) or here where I used my stovetop (for the potatoes and asparagus) and oven where I broiled the steak, it is quite simple. The steak was initially brushed with some oil and sprinkled on salt and pepper. Basically just grill or broil to your own liking (I’m more of medium-medium rare). For broiling I had set the oven on about 300, takes a little longer than higher heats but cooks much more evenly and stays nice and juicy. My take on the mojo rojo, I used some oil, hungarian paprika, crushed up some garlic to a paste, some salt, some pepper, a little bit of vinegar (I used apple cider over the weekend and some rice today) and some lime juice. Mix it all together. After removing the steak just spoon a little of this on top.

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For the potatoes on the grill I just took some of the baby reds, lightly brushed with oil, seasoned with salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary (can do so many variations to your own liking). Garlic aoli is basically some mayo, some lemon juice, pureed garlic and salt/pepper to taste. Mix all together, refrigerate until use.

For over the weekend on the grill I had gotten some corn on the cob. I grilled inside the husks. From Bobby Flay’s book, I had made a smaller proportion of his mango-habanero butter. When the corn is done grilling, instead of using the traditional plain butter, the mango-habanero has a little sweet-citrusy accent and a little kick at the end. However today I did not have any corn, so instead since I had done other asparagus dishes in the past with other citrus type flavors (whether they be juices or peels), I figured why not give it a shot- I pan seared the asparagus in the flavored butter.

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Enjoy.