Thursday, August 20, 2009

Scallops provencale with orange heirlom tomatoes

I have found, and tried, several Scallops Provencale recipes. My favorite (and this is no surprise) is from The Gourmet Cookbook . The most recent time I made it I used an orange colored heirloom (called "Dad's Sunset") tomato I already had in my kitchen, and I prepared bay scallops, because they were fresh and beautiful.

My vision of Scallops Provencale really is the green/red/white image, so I wondered how using the lovely melon-colored tomato would alter this meal. The result? As I spooned the lovely orange tomato bits onto the scallops, it looked even more summery, and I half expected it to be citrusy to the taste! But oh, no, these lovely tomatoes actually made the entire dish....light and was my favorite Scallops dish to date. What follows is my adjustment to Ruth Reichl's recipe.

Scallops Provencale

1 lb bay scallops
dash of salt
dash of pepper
olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 large orange colored heirloom tomato - be daring - try with whatever variety you find! Chop the tomato up into about 1/2 inch pieces.
1/4 cup shredded basil

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Pat scallops dry, then sprinkle with salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a skillet over high heat until not, but not yet smoking. Sear the scallops, turning over once, til golden brown and cooked just through. 4 minutes tops. Transfer scallops to a platter and cover with foil, keep warm in oven.

Add a bit more olive oil to pan if needed, and lower the heat a bit, add garlic, and cook until pale (just see through). Add tomatoes, raise heat to high, cook for 2 more minutes. Add salt and pepper.

Tomato mixture goes over the scallops, top with shredded basil. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

back at it

I started this blog because it was so thrilling to me, after a few decades of being an adult who thought she couldn't cook, I found that I could. It was so thrilling and nourishing (literally and figuratively) to be able to select recipes, execute them, and have them be delicious and satisfying, that I needed a way to process this experience. My blog was born.

Several months into my blog, however, a few things happened, all of them mostly good.

1. I didn't need to rely on recipes any more in order to make a great meal. After cooking enough broccoli from recipe, eventually one can pick up some broccoli at the farmer's market and make a tasty dish without having to follow anyone's directions. This was mostly good, in that it shows that my cooking skills have evolved, and it is partly bad, because I became lazy about trying new recipes.

2. Two other cooks entered my life! Well, let's see. St. was already in my life, but when the weather heated up she took an interested in grilling....and she started making steaks on the grill that turned me into an African Tigerfish, losing all sense of decorum when confronted with these delicious slabs of brilliantly marinated meat. St. also taught herself to carmelize onions, and has perfected that art, and my molars just twitch when I smell the onions carmelizing in the pan. Then there was Kiwi, who moved in with St. I swear Kiwi was born and raised in the Bronx but channels the South in her cooking. She only knows how to cook for an entire army - nothing less - and her fried chicken, homemade mac n cheese, potato salad, and barbequed ribs I could live off of for the rest of my life. So, you see, with these two cooking for me, it seemed foolish to intervene.

In the meantime, however, St. has been replacing my older pans with beautiful Calphalon delights, improving my cooking experience tenfold. I've also learned to make seaweed salad (though mine is always mushier than I'd prefer), and I continue to be a budding foodie.

So, I decided to brush off the blog, and start posting again. Time to peruse the cookbooks, and plan a meal...