Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Our Love Affair with Scallops

We welcome our readers from the Somerville Journal! This week we are eating scallops. Every winter we rediscover how amazing they are, especially from our favorite fish market, New Deal, in Cambridge. The scallops were so lovely and fresh, we only needed to sear them, though we were playing with a grapefruit theme and made a lovely citrus sauce to go on top. And, confession time - we snuck one raw when everyone else was out of the kitchen. Yum!

Scallops with Citrus Sauce
serves 4

1/2 cup grapefruit juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup white wine
dash salt

In a small saucepan, bring to a boil then simmer until reduced by about half (this should take 15-20 minutes).

While the citrus sauce is reducing, sear the scallops. 

2 lbs large scallops
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Melt butter with olive oil in a large skillet. Lay scallops across the skillet. They can be quite close to one another but must all be touching the bottom of the pan. If they don't all fit in a single layer, cook in two or more batches, adding more butter and olive oil as needed. Sprinkle salt and pepper over top. Over a medium-high flame, cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until starting to brown and split open. Serve immediately, drizzled with citrus sauce. 

Spanish Rice
serves 4

1 1/2 cups rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup tomato puree (easy to make in the summer and can or freeze)
1 large onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced (grows fantastically in Somerville)
1/2 tsp. saffron soaked in 1/4 cup warm water
1 T olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika

Preheat overn to 350. Heat olive oil in a pan that can be covered and put in the oven. Saute the onion until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper and saute until soft, another 5 minutes or so.  Add rice and stir to coat. Add broth, tomato puree, salt, pepper, paprika, and saffron and the water it soaked in. Stir well and then cover. Bring to a boil, then move to the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Stir and fluff before serving.

Grapefruit Cranberry Salad with Grapefruit Maple Dressing

1 bag or 1 head lettuce, cleaned and ripped into bite-sized pieces (local cold frame lettuce mixes can be found at the winter farmers' market, Saturdays at the Armory)
2 carrots, sliced
1 grapefruit (halved and sectioned so only soft flesh remains)
1/2 cup cranberries
1/3 cup maple syrup

In a small pan, simmer the cranberries in the maple syrup until they pop, about 15 minutes. Saving the maple syrup for the dressing, toss the cranberries with the rest of the ingredients in a big salad bowl.

2 T grapefruit juice
1 tsp lemon juice
maple syrup from berries
2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
dash cayenne

Mix all dressing ingredients in a jar. Shake well. Pour over salad and toss. 

Cheesecake with Cranberry Compote

Make your favorite cheesecake. Ours is the Three Cities of Spain Cheesecake from Ruth Reichl's Gourmet Cookbook. In a medium saucepan, simmer 2 cups cranberries, 1/2 cup white wine, and 2/3 cup maple syrup until it begins to turn mushy. Remove from heat (it will thicken as it cools). Cool to room temperature. Serve cheesecake with one dollop of compote on each piece or spread on top of entire cake.