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October 2008
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December 2008

November 2008

Quick Fix

Bay-scallops I may be able to cook and type again, but that doesn't mean my head is entirely back in the game. Case in point: Santa Maria has been doing the marketing from our ongoing shopping list, but I haven't been doing the planning. She's bought things we've run out of, not things we need. So yesterday, I was faced with the task of making dinner without any fresh protein.

Luckily, I had some frozen bay scallops on hand, and I knew they could be the centerpiece of a meal. The scallops were from Henry & Lisa's, and they're not bad. They're nothing like fresh bay scallops, of course, but fresh bay scallops are hardly available anymore. These scallops came from Argentina, according to the stamp on the bag. In the eighties, as a student, I worked in a retail fish market for years, and back then you could eat them raw out of the case like they were penny candy. That's how sweet they were. Henry and Lisa's work just fine, although I throw out the Japanese glaze that comes with the package.

I first thought of pairing the scallops with frozen peas and some rice, but that was way too boring. I had a bag of spinach on hand and figured I could combine that with some garlic and pasta and have a, more or less, one-pot meal.

18 0z frozen scallops
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 shake of crushed red peppers (or to taste)
olive oil
linguine, or other long pasta

Boil the water for the pasta. Salt the water. Cook the pasta.
Heat a large frying pan until it is smoking, add olive oil
toss in scallops so they are in one layer. do not move.
allow scallops to cook almost all the way through on one side to assure a carmelized edge
toss scallops with a spatula to complete their cooking
Remove to a bowl.
saute  garlic in the same frying pan
add pepper
add spinach
cook until it wilts (add some pasta water if need be)

by this time the pasta should be finished. Drain and toss with spinach and the cooked scallops.



Clawing My Way Back

After breaking a bone in my hand last month (a long story better told at another time), I've healed enough to start cooking again. And, more importantly, typing again. 

What a relief. The past few weeks have been very hard on my devoted spouse Santa Maria, though they've been good for the coffers of Fresh Direct, one of the greatest innovations of the past half century. Also, I could not have made it through without the very considerate and thoughtful assistance of my brother Tom, who came over on a number of occasions to chop vegetables and otherwise fill in for me in the kitchen.

When Tom wasn't around, Santa Maria bravely stepped into the breach and handled much of the cooking. It wasn't a task she reveled, to say the least. The roast chicken we (she) made the other night really freaked her out. Roast-chicken-claw