Scallops to Celebrate!

At long last the cookbook is done, after many months of hard work and hard cooking, I’ve finally received my first official copy of the cookbook. So…BUY MY COOKBOOK…TODAY!

OK, that’s as far as my “marketing” tactics go.

In celebration of the release of my first cookbook, it’s time to do what I do best, COOK. So tonight, Scallops with Tomato Concasse Bourgeoisie.  Here’s a freebie that you won’t find in my cookbook.  It’s a quick and delicious recipe, that made John sad when he had none left in his bowl.

Put your aprons on, and get your saute pan out.

Sauteed Scallops with Tomato Bourgeoisie, and Fettucine – Serves 2
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lb bay scallops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 roma tomatoes, made into tomato concasse
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 lemon
4 leaves of basil, chiffonade
1/4 lb fettucine

To make the concasse, bring a small saucepan with 3 cups of water to a boil over high heat.  Prepare an ice bath, set aside.  Add the roma tomatoes, with the water boiling, and blanch until skin splits, about 1 minute.  Remove tomatoes and place in ice bath, once cool enough to handle remove tomatoes from water, peel and discard skins, and remove seeds.  Dice tomatoes and set aside concasse.

In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat.  Add scallops, and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until lightly browned.  Toss scallops, and cook for a minute more.  Remove scallops from heat, and place pan back on heat.  Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, and garlic.  Cook until the garlic is fragrant and lightly browned, add wine and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, so liquid is simmering.  Add any liquid given off by scallops.

To prepare the fettucine, bring water, touch of olive oil and salt to a boil.  Add fettucine, and cook al dente according to instructions, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile continue to make the sauce, and once the pasta is done, about the same time as the sauce is done, drain.

Stir and continue to simmer the mixture until thickened, add tomato concasse and any juice from tomatoes, cook until almost evaporated.  Add the stock and bring to a boil, for about 5 minutes.  Add butter, lemon juice and salt and pepper.  Stir often until sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes.

Add scallops to the pan, swirl in pan to coat, add fettucine and basil, toss to coat. Taste and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper according to taste.

Divide pasta among 2 plates and top with scallops. Serve with preferred wine, I recommend Bloom – Pinot Gris.

The photos were taken with my new CoolpixP100, and I love it – I’m actually thinking I might be signed up for a photography class I may not need to take, since the camera does all the work!

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Well ok, I still need to take the class, but doesn’t the camera do a fabulous job?!

Happy Cooking Friends!


Warm Bowl of Risotto

I apoligize for the absence of posts, I was out of town, and from the momment I have returned home I’ve had so much to do in preparation for classes. With time on my hands today, I decided to take advantage and post one of my favorite fall dishes…risotto.

Not just any risotto, creamy rich butternut squash and bacon risotto.
Different rice varieties are used to make risotto, the best type of rice to use is a superfine Italian rice called Carnaroli. There are many Italian rice varieties so be sure to read the box carefully, I do not recommend using Arborio rice – it will get too soft.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Bacon -> 2-3 servings

2 lbs butternut squash, peel, remove ends
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces bacon, chopped
1 large shallot, minced
5 ounces Carnaroli rice (about 3/4 cups)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Prepare sheet pan with parchment or silpat.

Cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Remove seeds, and cut squash into 3/4 inch cubes. You’ll have about 3 to 4 cups. Toss with olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. Spread squash on prepared sheet pan, and roast for 25 minutes or until tender. Toss halfway through baking time. When tender remove from oven and set aside.

Heat chicken stock in a sauce pan, leave on low heat to simmer.

Over medium-low heat, melt butter in a large saute pan (12 inch) and saute butter and shallots for about 10 minutes, or until shallots are softened and bacon is cooked (not crisp). Add rice, and stir to coat in butter, add the wine and cook for about 2 minutes. Add 1 laddle full of stock to rice. Stirring often, until stock is absorbed. Continue to add the stock, 1 laddle at a time, stirring every other minute. Before adding stock each time, cook the rice until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock.

Continue until the rice is cooked through, but is still al dente about 30 minutes. Remove pan from heat, carefully add in roasted butternut squash and Parmigiano-Reggiano, season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well and divide among 2 or 3 dishes.
Serve with chilled white wine and enjoy slowly.

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