A brief statement of purpose

There are already about a billion food blogs, so what might be a justification of yet another one, and who am I to do it?

What I aim to do in this blog is more than simply provide recipes. While recipes of my own will, in fact, be posted, some of the blog will consist of a variety of comments about restaurants and their practices, food preparation tips, personal annoyances (such as loud restaurants and the epidemic of misspellings on menus), and whatever else pops into my head relating to what we put in our mouths (and swallow, I hasten to add). The whole thing is meant to be somewhat provocative. I hope, if nothing else, it won't be boring. I, of course, solicit reader participation.

As for who I am and why I think I might have something to contribute to public discussions on this essential and pleasurable activity - eating - you'll have to click here.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Scallops on potato "risotto"

This is a variation of a long-lost recipe wherein the potatoes were referred to as “potato risotto”. I made it and other variations for the first time probably twenty years ago because the faux risotto is really quite good, and it takes to seafood like a duck to water or Chianti to pizza or some similar analogy. When I made it recently with the scallops I used some blood orange juice I’d had frozen since last winter, blood oranges being available in the winter months here. As I type this, we in the Twin Cities are bracing for a run of 90+ degree temperatures, so summer is definitely making its presence known. Ordinary oranges are likely to be the only type of oranges available. If, however, you use ordinary paprika instead of smoked paprika, much of the appeal of the dish will be lost.
Russet potatoes, 2, peeled and diced
Clam, shrimp, or other seafood broth, or chicken broth, 2 cup
Dry vermouth or white wine, 1/4 cup
Garlic cloves, 2, minced
Pimientos, 1 small jar minced
White pepper
Butter, 2-3 Tbs
Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago cheese, 1/2 cup, grated
Sea scallops, 8 (for 2 servings)
Smoked paprika, 2 Tbs
White pepper
Butter, 2 Tbs
Olive or canola oil, 2 Tbs
Blood orange juice or regular orange juice, 1/2 cup
Lemon or tangerine vodka, 1/2 cup
Heavy cream, 1/4-1/2 cup
Salt if necessary
Place the diced potatoes, the broth, vermouth, and garlic in a large skillet and boil under  the liquid is almost gone and the potatoes are soft but not disintegrating. Add the remaining five ingredients and set aside.
Make sure the scallops are dry. Mix the smoked paprika and white pepper, spread on a plate, and dip the tops and bottoms of the scallops in the mixture, pressing a bit to make sure it adheres. Heat the butter and oil in a skillet over medium high heat, and saute the scallops, about a minute or so on each side, taking great care not to overcook them.
Place the re-heated potato mixture on serving plates, with the scallops on top. 
In the same skillet in which the scallops were cooked, toss in the orange juice and the vodka and boil on high for a minute. Remove from the heat and add the cream and salt. Pour the sauce over the scallops and potatoes. Scatter some chives or scallions.

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