Sunday, January 24, 2010

I blame it on Gordon. Ramsay, that is.

Sometimes, you have to remind yourself why some foods are not to your liking...

And so I bought a half pound of very fresh (squeaking fresh) scallops. 

Why did I do this, I wonder.  It's been years since I had scallops - and I do mean years.  I may not have been living in Virginia, as a matter of fact - it was that long ago.  I'm just not a fishy-fishy-fish person. 

I believe it was because I saw one Gordon Ramsay program which showcased him teaching a protege how to make scallops in his restaurant.  I was fascinated.  He held up the plate of scallops and sprinkled some kind of fairy dust on it from arms-length.  So artful!  Let me describe:  he held the plate in one hand, and a handful of magic in the other hand.  Whiff whiff whiff, hand held almost to his shoulder height,  with deft flicks of the wrist he lightly coated the scallops and then set about pan searing them.  He is such a perfectionist he actually threw out a few servings before producing one for the clientele.  Not because they would have tasted bad, but because the presentation was imperfect.  So in the garbage they went and he made his protege start from scratch.

I'm so impressionable.  The image stayed with me and I finally took the plunge and bought some fresh scallops.  Here is what I did:

Half pound of scallops.
2-3 T EVOO.
A heaping T of minced garlic in oil.  You can find small bottles of this in the produce section.

I put several T of pan searing flour into a baggie and shook the scallops in the sealed bag.  OK, OK, Gordon Ramsay I am not.  I have to walk before I can run, people!

The heat should be on medium-high and you want the oil to be nice and hot in the skillet. I ladled on the garlic and spread it around while the oil heated up. 

I artfully arranged the pieces in the skillet and watched over them.  After they started looking a little brown I flipped them and watched again.  When they were done I turned off the heat and put 'em on a plate and squirted a little lemon juice on them.

Sigh.  They looked perfectly scrumptious.  While I certainly wouldn't say they tasted disgusting I just don't care for the taste that much.  They were of a perfect texture and melted in my mouth.  I just am not a fan.

Maybe I should try a different recipe?  File this under "a great idea, too bad about the fish".

(NUMBER THREE in 2010)

Pan seared Cod

Well this was a fiasco!  It tasted great but what a mess of the presentation.

I always bake my cod.  This was so fresh though - literally caught on Friday and flown overnight to Wegmans.  I watched the fishmonger chop it up in front of me and I bought a nice fresh piece home with their instructions on pan searing.

In short:

A few T of EVOO.  Get is nice and hot.  Meanwhile, double coat the fish with the pan searing flour and drop into the oil.  3 minutes on each side and done. 

Welp, mine wouldn't hold its shape and let's just say by the time I got done it resembled scrambled eggs somewhat.  Fishy scrambled eggs.  Sigh.

Tasted great though.

(NUMBER TWO in 2010)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Curry Chicken Casserole

Here is the first meal I made by using the new apps I have on my iPod Touch!

I downloaded a ton of free apps last week.  One of them was the McCormick's recipe finder.  What a stroke of genius this is!  It's a database directly on your Touch  - in other words, you don't need to be hooked into the internet to use it. 

I also downloaded Epicurious to my Touch, but, to use that app you have to be near wifi.  Not a big deal, because once you have the recipe on the screen it's there and then you can go to the grocery store, but, the McCormick's database is a lot handier because if you are walking around the store, utterly stumped, you can look up a recipe (browse OR search) and then you have the handy-dandy shopping list in your pocket!

Here is the recipe (NUMBER ONE in 2010)

1 T vegetable oil (I used olive oil and just poured into the large frying pan what I felt was appropriate)
1 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into 3/4 inch strips
1 medium onion, chopped (mine was kind of big)
1c sliced carrots
1 c chicken broth (I ended up using the whole can)
1/4 c flour
2 t curry powder (MCCORMICK, since this is their recipe)
1/2 t salt (didn't use, as the chicken broth has plenty)
1 medium Golden Delicious apple (I used Granny Smith)
1/2 c frozen peas
1/2 light cream OR coconut milk (I used coconut milk).

1.  Preheat oven to 425.  Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat.  Add chicken, onion and carrots, cook and stir for 5 minutes or so.

2.  Mix flour with curry powder and salt, add in chicken broth and whisk.  Add to skillet, bring to a boil.  Stir in apple.  Reduce heat to medium, cook and stir two minutes until sauce is thick.  This is where I added the rest of the broth, because it cooked down too far for me.  Stir in peas and cream/coconut milk.

3.  The recipe called for either a 9 inch deep-dish pie dish, or, a two quart casserole.  I think I had too many ingredients (I tend to just kind of eyeball things, or throw in more than needed) and I ended up using a 13x9 inch cake pan.  Anyway, pour the mixture into your container!

4.  It said to top with the pie crust.  Well, I had a much bigger container than it called for, so, I draped both pie crusts over the 13x9 inch cake pan and actually they both fit pretty well - one on each end.  By the time it cooked you could not tell there were two of them.  It did call for slitting the top, I forgot.  Oops.

5.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Mine was in a few minutes longer, but it was fine. 

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