Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Romantic Meal for Two

I made this for an at home date night. It was great with a glass of white wine, candlelight and superb company. I love one bowl meals where everything is all put together and the tastes all combine in your mouth. 

I love seafood. Mostly crustaceans. Scallops. Shrimp. Crab. Lobster. Mmm... I prefer dry packed diver U-10 scallops, because I'm a food snob. I can admit it. I like to eat good food. What are dry packed U-10 scallops you ask? Well, besides expensive and extremely hard to find, even for someone like me who lives about an hour from the ocean, they are large scallops that divers collect from the sea instead of using nets and dredging from the bottom of the ocean. Those scallops tend to be grittier. The 10 simply means that there're about ten scallops per pound. Dry packed means that there are no chemical additives. Sodium Tripolyphosphate (STP) is commonly added to keep the scallops white and to plump them up. It's also commonly used in detergents. I don't know about you, but I don't want to eat something that's in dish soap. Be sure not to buy scallops with STP. 

I bought 10. Four for me and six for my boyfriend. It was plenty. The great thing about this recipe is that you can change what you have on hand. Add a sweet potato or a regular potato.

I do a lot of improvising when I cook and I never measure anything. So please forgive me if you have too much or not enough of something. I think when I made this the first time I had tons of veggies leftover which was actually perfect since I used them for dinner the next night. They reheated nicely. 

10 U-10 dry packed diver scallops
1 sweet potato or pumpkin
1 turnip
1 small baking potato or winter squash
1/4 sweet onion
1/4 fennel bulb
1/4 cucumber, peeled
1 clove garlic
1/4 c. dry white wine
1/4 -1/2 c. heavy cream
1 tsp thyme leaves
salt and pepper

Rinse and pat dry the scallops and set aside. Peel, de-sead and dice the potatoes and/or squash, turnip and cucumbers. Set the cucumber aside for later. Boil the potatoes, squash and turnip until fork tender. About ten minutes. While those are boiling, dice the onion, fennel and mince the garlic and sauté on low heat until soft in a little olive oil and a pat of butter. Drain the veggies and add to the sauté pan with the thyme and salt and pepper. Turn up the heat and brown the veggies slightly. Add cucumbers last when everything is browned. They are there to add a nice crunch. While those are browning, add the scallops to a saute pan on medium high heat and sear 2-3 minutes per side in a little oil/butter combo. Remove the scallops from the pan and deglaze with the white wine. Add the white wine reducing slightly. Place vegetables in a bowl, add the cream sauce and place scallops on top. Serve with a glass of wine. 

I hope all this makes sense. Please feel free to ask me any questions if it all seems like a garbled mess. 

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