Saturday, June 21, 2008

Seared sea scallops in chardonnay mustard with wild bulgar rice and roasted honeyed carrots

The other day while picking up groceries I headed over to the seafood counter to see what looked good. Mike told me they had just gotten in some fresh scallops and being the scallop fiend that I am I knew I had to buy them. Keeping in my minamalist and healthy cooking style I decided to pair them with some wild bulgar from texas and honey roasted carrots.

Seared sea scallops in chardonnay mustard (Serves 3):

-1 lb Sea Scallops
-1/2 cup dry chardonnay
-1 tbsp mustard
-1 tsp honey
-2 cloves garlic minced
-Basil leaves (torn) for garnish

-1 lb carrots
-1 tbsp honey for drizzling

1) Cook rice according to package directions. Clean carrots and slice on the bias. Toss in a bowl with 1 tbsp Evoo, the honey and salt & pepper. Lay out on sheet pan and cook for 20-25 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, pat scallops dry and season with pepper. Teat up 1 tbsp olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium high heat and cook 2 minutes on each side until brown crust forms and scallops are mostly (but not all the way) opaque.

3) Remove scallops and add in garlic and 1 tbsp evoo, let cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add wine to deglaze pan. Stir with wooden spoon to remove brown bits and add in honey and mustard. Allow to reduce by half. Season with salt and pepper.

4) Place scallops back in sauce for 20 seconds on each side to coat with sauce. Serve over a bed of rice with the carrots around. Drizzle sauce over scallops and sprinkle with torn basil.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Caleb’s birthday is coming up—only a little under two months now—and because he knows how busy I am (and how early I like to plan things), he’s already made his birthday sweet treat request: tiramisu. Now, I’ve been intimidated by tiramisu ever since I had my first bite and found myself wondering just how in the world a person accomplishes such a feat. In many ways, it’s an amateur baker’s worst nightmare: difficult to make and super difficult to plate. Nonetheless, I’m not one to let me fears conquer me, and I had heard great things about my mom’s tiramisu recipe, one she came up with just a few months ago. So, on Saturday night, after dinner had been made, we rolled up our sleeves together and got to making some serious tiramisu.

For those who aren’t familiar with the dish (though I don’t see how you could be, it’s so delicious), tiramisu is a layered custard dish made with lady finger cookies dipped in espresso and dark rum. The dish normally sits overnight in a fridge so that it’s cool and refreshing, yet decadent and rich. It’s best in small doses, though I always seem to overdo it.

We made the layered dish on Saturday evening and let it sit overnight and all throughout the next day. The next evening, just after dinner, we layered shaved dark chocolate all over and plated it.

It wasn’t the best looking tiramisu—in fact, I admit that it was one of the worst—but one thing I will say is that it tasted phenomenal.

The only problem my mom and I encountered, however, was the amount of rum and espresso. In the recipe, you’re supposed to dip forty lady finger cookies in only ¼ cup of espresso and ¼ cup of dark rum, but because we used a shallow dish to dunk, the first package of cookies sopped up the liquid within minutes. We didn’t think twice about it, and simply continued to pour more espresso and rum into the dipping bowl, but the result was overly runny, soppy cookies that had too strong a flavor of rum. Next time, we’ll definitely use a long, large contraption to dip the cookies in—perhaps a cookie sheet, even. Something so that the liquid isn’t too deep and the ½ cup covers all of the cookies. I’d also probably swap the confectioner’s sugar for cocoa powder, but only because I’m a sucker for the combined flavor of espresso/chocolate. Either way, enjoy!

6 egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
½ cup dark rum (divided)
1 ½ cups espresso (divided)
16-17 oz. Mascapone
30 lady finger cookies
Bittersweet chocolate (shaved)
Confectioner’s sugar (or cocoa powder)

Whisk egg yolks and sugar in mixer on high for five minutes, until thick and light yellow.

Lower speed to medium and add ¼ cup of dark rum, ¼ cup of espresso and Mascapone. Whisk until smooth.

Combine remaining rum and espresso in a shallow pan. Dip one side of each ladyfinger into the mixture quickly, so the cookies do not sop up all the liquid. Add to the bottom of a large dish. Pour half of the cream mixture over top.

Dip remaining lady fingers in the combination and place overtop of cream mixture. Again, pour remaining batch of cream mixture overtop of the ladyfingers.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Before serving, sprinkle powdered sugar or cocoa over cooled custard. Dust with shaved chocolate.



Tuesday, June 3, 2008

WW Rotini with Chevre, Cherry Tomatoes, & Portobello Mushrooms

Looking for a quick dinner dish I made this one up and found it to be really easy. A little whole wheat rotini, some chopped cherry tomatoes, fresh chevre, portobello mushrooms, and white wine make this easy dish that can be made in about 20 minutes. First chop up garlic, the portobello mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.

Whole Wheat Rotini with Chevre, Cherry Tomatoes, and Portobello Mushrooms (For 4)

-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tbsp Evoo
-2 portobello mushroom caps, sliced
-Cherry tomatoes, halved
-3 ounces fresh chevre
-3/4 cup dry white wine
-1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
-1 lb whole wheat rotini

- Cook rotini until al dente
-in a large skilled over medium high heat brown the garlic in olive oil
-add the mushrooms and cook until tender, about 5 minutes
-add in the cherry tomatoes and cook for another minute
-add in the wine and reduce for 5 minutes
-add in the chevre and pasta and stir until incorporated
-add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with the basil


Simple Thai Red Vegetable Curry

The other night I was home alone and wanted to make a simple meal that would use what we had lying around. As you probably know, stir-frys are a great way to use random vegetables and are also very quick. I've always loved Thai food and although we have a great Thai restaurant in town here, after being in Gettysburg all semester (30 minutes for the closest Thai place) I was really craving some coconut curry. This recipe is really simple, basically you chop up your onions and garlic and soften them in a pan with a scoop of red curry paste, add the coconut milk and vegetables and let simmer.

For mine it was a simple mix of red pepper, zucchini, chile pepper, and onion. Recipe follows:

Thai Red Curry (For 1)

-1 small red pepper,
-1 small zucchini
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 a small onion
-1 small chili pepper
-1/2 can coconut milk
-1 tbsp brown sugar
-1 tbsp fish sauce (Essential for authentic Thai Flavor)
-1 tbsp red curry paste
-1 tbsp chopped sweet basil

1) Chop vegetables and mince garlic and chili pepper
2) Over medium heat add a tbsp of oil and cook onion, garlic, and chili pepper until onion is soft
3) Add 1 tablespoon of curry paste and stir until incorporated, cook 3 minutes
4) Add in half a can of coconut milk, the fish sauce, and brown sugar, stir, and cook for 5 minutes until simmering
5) Add in vegetables and cook for about 10 minutes until cooked through
6) Garnish with chopped basil and serve with brown rice