Warm Scallop Salad with Prosciutto Chips
from Bon Appetit (May 2004)
Slices of prosciutto are fried until crisp for a delicious garnish.
4 paper-thin slices prosciutto
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 5-ounce package mixed babygreens
1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
12 sea scallops
All purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
Brush each prosciutto slice on 1 side lightly with some of oil. Heat heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 slices prosciutto, oiled side down. Cook until bottom is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Turn prosciutto over and cook until bottom is browned, flattening with spatula, about 1 minute longer. Using tongs, transfer prosciutto to paper towels to crisp. Repeat with remaining 2 slices prosciutto. Reserve skillet.
Place greens and basil in large bowl. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper; dust lightly with flour. Heat remaining oil in reserved skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops and cook until brown and just opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plate. Add lemon juice and lemon peel to drippings in skillet. Bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Pour pan juices over greens and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide salad among 4 plates and top with scallops. Garnish with prosciutto chips and serve.
Makes 4 first-course servings.
Notes: For the purposes of making this for one person and as a main dish, my ingredient list was actually as follows:
2 paper thin slices prosciutto
2 TBSP olive oil
mixed baby greens
12 bay scallops
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
I left out the basil. In any case, this came out very well and I really enjoyed the combination of flavors. I particularly liked the proscuitto chips. They made a lovely contrast with the scallops, both in flavor and texture.
Garlic and Lemon Marinated Chicken Kebabs
from The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
4 large garlic cloves
1/4 tsp coarse salt
2 pinches Middle Eastern spices
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 TBSP mayonnaise
3 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes.
Pound the garlic with the salt until pureed. Add the spices, pepper, mayo, lemon juice, and oil and whisk until smooth. Roll the chicken in the mixture to coat. Cover and refrigerate, and let marinate 3 to 4 hours.
Preheat the broiler or light a hot fire in the barbecue grill. String the chicken on long metal skewers. Broil or grill, brushing with the marinade, turning and basting, until well browned and cooked. 8 to 10 minutes. For safety, stop basting 3 to 4 minutes before the chicken is finally cooked.
Notes: I made a substitution of yogurt for the mayonnaise. And for the spices, I used a mixture of allspice, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, and ginger. Oh and I used bamboo skewers that had been soaked for half an hour first and did this in the broiler. It came out absolutely amazing - very tender and extremely tasty. I would really like to try it out on a charcoal grill.
After reading through several recipes for various tomato sauces, I ended up with the following:
2 cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, cut up w/ juice
4 TBSP butter
1/4 onion, peeled
1 tsp marjoram
2 oz. spaghetti
Put the tomatoes, butter, onion (all in once piece), marjoram and salt in a saucepan and cook uncovered at a slow but steady simmer for 45 minutes. Stir from time to time, mashing the larger pieces of tomato. Taste and correct for salt. Discard the onion before tossing with cooked pasta. Serve with parmesan cheese on the side.
Notes: I've done one other similar style approach in the past. That one came out rather well, but this was not quite as good; the sauce was a little on the oily side. I would've liked this one to be a bit thicker and creamier (so more experimentation is called for). But it tasted very good.
There's a recipe in Marcella's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking that I've tried a few times for Gorgonzola Cream Sauce. On a few occasions, I haven't had cream on hand and have made do without and made a very sparse Alfredo style dressing for the pasta. Last night I added prosciutto to the mix and it came out fairly well.
1 TBSP butter
1 oz prosciutto, diced
2 TBSP milk
4 TBSP gorgonzola
4 oz penne
parmesan (to be served on the side)
While pasta cooks, melt the butter in a saucepan that will be big enough to accomodate both the cooked pasta and the sauce. Saute the proscuitto for about 2 minutes. Add the milk and gorgonzola and cook until the texture of the sauce becomes creamy and smooth. Just before serving add the pasta to the sauce and toss. Serve with parmesan cheese on the side. Serves 2.
This time my lunch with an editor from Random House led me to the Thai restaurant on 8th Avenue (between 54th and 55th). It was a marvelous choice. A cozy decor and a wide variety of dishes to choose from. Service was quite prompt and friendly. We started with Steamed Thai Dumplings (stuffed with Ground Chicken, Shallots, Peanuts and Preserved Radish) - they were quite good, sweet and not too soft. I could not resist the duck in ginger and garlic sauce for my main dish and was not disappointed. My companion tried Kow Mok Gai (Roasted Rice Chicken, with Seasoning, Curry Powder, Shallots, and Garlic, Wrapped with Banana Leaf). Neither of us had had roasted rice before and it was a very interesting texture. She then persuaded me to try the thai iced coffee. I was at first dubious because I am not a coffee drinker but it was quite good, rather like drinking a rich coffee icecream.
I surprised my local supplier with a question as to what wine might go well with tacos. We considered a few, looking for something to compliment the spice mix for the meat and the hot sauce generally added to the dish. Settled on the 2004 Hermanos Lurton Blanco. A Rueda from the Castilla y Leon region of Spain, a combination of the Viura and Verdejo varietals. A little sweet with a long, strong finish.
She brought two bottles to share:
1999 Forefathers Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley - From their website: "On the palate the wine is elegant, powerful, rich and seamless. The long rich mouth makes the wine drink beautifully now, and will improve over the next 10 years." (from their own website) As she said, this was perhaps a little futher gone than its ideal state, but it was still quite good.
2004 Vin d'Alsace One - a combination of Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Muscat, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris. From the label: "crisp and dry with good body, intensity and depth." I'm not sure whether I'd get this one again or not. It was a fun wine, but maybe a little too complicated, or trying too hard?
So now I'm wondering if anyone else has tried some of the same recipes that I have posted here while I've been logging all the new things I've cooked (or attempted to cook). Wow, in just a little over four weeks, this blog will be three years old. When I started I didn't really think I'd keep at it that long, but a girl's gotta eat.
A few new culinary books on the horizon, though apparently March was a quiet sort of month.
Rudolph Chelminski's I'll Drink to That, exploring the history of the winemaking process in the Beaujolais region of France, which will be published by Gotham (Penguin Group). Chelminski also has published (in May of last year) a book titled The Perfectionist, Life and Death in Haute Cuisine, the story of Bernard Loiseau, the chef of France's La Cote D'Or, who committed suicide in 2003.
Viking Cooking School Executive Chef Martha Foose's Screen Doors and Linen Tablecloths, a Southern cookbook with classic recipes as well as riffs on deep South staples, to be published by Clarkson Potter (Random House).
Jean Georges Executive Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini and Roy Finamore's Dessert Fourplay, a dessert cookbook, to Clarkson Potter. I had possibly the best meal of my entire life at Jean Georges and if this chef was responsible for the dessert, this may well be a cookbook worth having. Roy Finamore is also one of the writers behind One Potato, Two Potato.
Julie Hasson's Julie Hasson: The Complete Pie Book, more than 250 pie recipes covering everything from apple pie to quiche lorraine, to Robert Rose (Firefly Books).
Hell's Kitchen contestant Elsie Ramos with Arlen Gargagliano's Elsie's Turkey Tacos and Chicken Soup, offering simple, comforting recipes for the whole family, to Wiley Publishers.
1/2 pound large cooked shrimp
1 tsp grated ginger root
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp hot chili powder
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp mustard seeds
seeds from 4 green cardamom pods, crushed
2 TBSP butter
4 TBSP coconut milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pu the ginger, garlic, chili powder, turmeric, mustard seeds and cardamom seeds in a bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat completely. Heat a wok until hot. Add the butter (or ghee) and swirl it around until foaming. Add the marinated shrimp and stir-fry from 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the shrimp are heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at once.
Notes: This came out fairly tasty, though I think I might kick up the chili powder a little in the future. I served it with coconut jasmine rice to which I added some veggies (baby corn cobs, pea pods, and carrots).