Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Scallops in white wine sauce

My infatuation with Asian cooking did not seem to last long, I'm back to the Mediterranean! Though, I am still planning on giving Pad See Ewe at try (even though everything I've read says you need a commercial gas oven to make it taste right) and something with peanut sauce.

Anyway I randomly bought some bay scallops (ie the little ones) a while back. In the US it seems we eat a lot more jumbo scallops, normally grilled, but in Italy they would show up in the delicious seafood medley pasta dishes with very light wine or butter sauces. Heaven? Heaven.

I thought, I could do this. I make mussels in a wine sauce, why not some scallops? Earlier that day, I was looking at my garden, specifically the rosemary and it seemed like it might just go nicely in this sauce. Plus the parsley at the grocery store was looking pretty sad that day.

Bay scallops, 8 oz
linguini, 6oz (~1/2 box)
2 cups white wine
5 Tb of butter, separated
3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary (remove leaves from stem)
1 tomato, diced
Garlic, to taste
Salt to taste

Heat 1 Tb of butter in a large sauce pan on med-high to high heat. When the pan is hot and the butter melted add the scallops and sear for 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, add the remaining butter and the wine. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted and add the tomatoes, rosemary leaves, garlic and salt. Simmer on med-high heat and reduce the sauce for about 20-25 minutes or until it reaches desired thickness (should reduce by about half).

When the sauce has been reducing for approximately 10 minutes, begin preparing pasta according to the package directions (ie start boiling water around this time or the sauce won't be reduced enough). When the pasta is al dente, drain it and put in the sauce pan with the wine sauce and add the scallops. Toss the pasta and scallops in the sauce and allow to simmer for 1-3 minutes (this will give the pasta a nice flavor and heat up the scallops a bit). Serve immediately. Makes two adult-sized servings.

In the photo you will notice I had a bunch of scallops, I actually made this with a 16 oz package and the ratio was just too much, so I scaled it back.

Also, you don't want leftovers from this dish - it just won't be that great the second time around, mostly because re-heating will over cook your scallops and make them chewy. They cook very quickly - don't over do it, really a minute or maximum two is plenty.

One final note, this sauce is a basic wine-butter sauce and almost exactly like this one for mussels - try it on both pasta and mussels and expand your repertoire!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Working on Thai food

I'm working on learning more about Asian cooking. About six months ago, I had Pad See Ewe for the first time and I'm a little obsessed. I started this week by making an impromptu rice noodle stir fry, my first time cooking with rice noodles. Be on the lookout for some Asian cooking recipes!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Grandma's Apple Pie

Making a pie from scratch has been a goal of mine for a long time and I've finally done it!

I started out by looking at apple pie recipes online and they looked very complicated...one said I needed to refrigerate the crust dough for 4 hours or ideally overnight! I called my grandma and she set me on the right track. Grandma says that refrigerating the dough is completely unnecessary and her pie crust had 4 ingredients and one of them is water. The one I was looking at online had at least 8 - yeah, Grandma's won.


Pie crust
2 cup flour
4 Tb butter or crisco (grandma says a "good Tb" so you might toss in a little extra)
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp cinnamon *I added this because I'm making apple pie
water, as needed (approx 2 Tb)

6 apples, cored, sliced
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
Additional 2 Tb of sugar

Pie plate, 10"
Aluminum foil
Rolling pin

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix salt, cinnamon and flour together, cut in butter. Add enough water to moisten the crust as you work it into dough. Kneed for 5-10 minutes. Take half of the dough and roll it out (using a little flour) until it's about 1/4 in thick and place it in the bottom of a greased pie plate. The bottom crust should go up the sides of the plate, trim any excess away.

Place sliced apples in a medium sized pot with 2 Tb of sugar and enough water to cover the apples. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Drain any excess liquid and allow to cool. Mix the 1/2 cup of sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg with the apples and place them in the pie plate.

Roll the second half dough out until it's a 1/4 in thick. Place on top of the pie plate and press around the edges to seal with the bottom crust. cover the edges of the pie with foil (or a pie shield if you have one) Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, removing the foil for the last 15 minutes.