Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dude, I made Risotto!

Garden Risotto

Again, I have to say that Hell's kitchen has influenced my thinking on a dish, and that is risotto.  If you've ever seen an episode, you know that Chef Gordon Ramsey will ream his chefs if they mess up the risotto.  I have never even tasted risotto or seen it on a menu, but I decided to try it when I found this recipe.  I bought some asparagus at the farmer's market and happened to have some precooked sausages in the fridge.  It took a lot of effort, in that I couldn't take my eyes off if for more than a few seconds at a time.  The consistency changed after about 20 minutes, two minutes longer than on the recipe.  Sergio gave it two thumbs up and I thought it was like indulging in something decadent and bad for you, but it's only 250 calories per serving.  My only modifications were omitting the frozen vegetables, and adding chopped garlic.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Seared Scallops with Asparagus

A while back Sergio and bought a large package of raw, frozen sea diver scallops.  These things are huge and beautiful and I totally forgot they were in the freezer.  Last weekend we made a quick stop to the grocery store and saw that the asparagus were nice and thin and for sale at a good price (around $2.50/bunch)  Anyways, I started to look up recipe ideas at and found a few that  incorporated scallops.  I've watch enough Hell's Kitchen to know that scallops need to be handled with care to get them perfectly caramelized.   The recipe a for tonight's dinner is very simple and looking back I would only do one extra step, make some white rice to put the whole party on top of.  We usually skip the starch for dinner, but we needed something to sop up the juices with, yummy!!  Okay so here is what I did with what :-)

(serves 2 poeple)

3 tblspns  extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 tspn crushed rep pepper fakes
1 bunch asparagus  - spears only (top third of stalk)
3 vine ripe tomatoes or 1 cup cherry tomatoes cut into quarters or halve respectively
half a red onion sliced
6 large sea scallops
salt and pepper

Add 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat, I wouldn't use a non-stick, and add the garlic and red pepper flakes.  Stir constantly for about 30 second, garlic can burn quickly so act fast.  Add the red onion, asparagus spears, and tomatoes heat for about 3 minutes.  The asparagus will get very bright green and should still have bite to them.  Meanwhile pat your scallops dry and season with salt and pepper.  Move your vegetables to a bowl and keep your pan on medium high, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and your scallops.  If you let your scallops come almost to room temperature they should be ready to flip after about 3-4 minutes.  They should have a golden brown color, that is all caramelized scallop goodness!  Anyways, flip them all and cook for another 2 minutes or so.  Plate your rice (optional) then the veg and finally your seared scallops. Let know how it works out for you, enjoy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chicken "noodle" Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup Link

Wow, this soup was so full of chicken flavor and it was so easy!  The time it takes to let the soup develop all its flavors is worth every minute.  I was cold yesterday morning it inspired me to make this soup.  I didn't have celery, it's something I just don't ever buy since it's not a favorite of me or Sergio.  I also only had limes on hand so I used limes instead of lemons, as the recipe calls for.  I did have shell pasta which is great because the soup gets inside them, and shells have a nostalgia of Mom's cooking for me.  Anyway, I went easy on the nutmeg and cinnamon, but I should have added more salt early on.  Other than that the recipe is a keeper, its very satisfying, and worth giving it try.