Tag Archives: lentils

Sweet Scallops

28 Oct

IMG_0913Tonight’s dinner was suppose to be potato leek soup, but plans changed. Have you ever been walking through the grocery store and had a list? You know exactly what you are getting. You know what is on the menu for dinner. But, just when you least expect it, you see something out of the corner of your eye.

This is not diamonds or gold but sweet, succulent seafood. The little gems that tempted me today were scallops. Typically you have your choice of large diver scallops or tiny bay scallops. Each is wonderful in it’s own right, but my favorite are the divers. These sweet little bivalves provide a blank palette for a multitude of flavoring. You can wrap them in bacon, grill them glazed with hoisin sauce, or my favorite, seared perfectly with just a little salt and pepper.

Scallops can be served accompanied by lots of things. The sides should compliment the sweetness of the scallops, so avoid anything too spicy or too acidic. When I was working at the restaurant, we served our seared scallops over wild mushroom risotto. They are also great over rice, polenta, or a salad. Tonight, I decided a warm lentil salad sounded like the best bet. Here’s the recipe:

Seared Scallops Over Warm Lentil Salad

5 medium or 3 large scallops
1/2 cup lentils, cooked
1/8 cup corn
1/4 cup tomatoes, small dice
2 tablespoons basil, chiffonade
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except for the scallops. Season and set aside. Heat a sauté pan and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Pat the scallops dry and season. When oil is hot, add the scallops to the pan and DO NOT move. If you move the scallops around while they are cooking, they will not get the beautiful brown sear on the outside. Cook the scallops for about 1 minute on each side. You can tell they are ready to flip when you see that the edges are turning light brown and the sides are starting to look opaque. While the scallops are cooking, heat the salad in the microwave for 1 minute. It’s only going to be warm when you serve it, but yo can heat it all the way through if you want to. Just make sure to leave the basil out until the end if you choose to do this.

Always thinking of the next meal


Dinner, Provençal style

20 Aug

Tonight’s dinner was a turkey cutlet grilled with summer vegetables and herbed lentils. My friend Megan came over for dinner and I wanted to wow her. Megan and I used to live together in college. Our former idea of gourmet was ramen noodles and, sadly, macaroni and cheese from the box.

Now that we are a little older (just a little older) and a bit more worldly, our palettes crave more sophisticated things. I started by marinating the turkey in red wine vinegar, honey, olive oil, and herbs de Provence. I let the turkey marinate for 4 hours. The food from Provence is simple, and emphasizes the quality of the food. The region is in the Southern part of the country and is highly influenced by the Mediterranean lifestyle. There is a lot of use of lemons, olives, and fish.

The dish I made for dinner tonight highlights the treasures of Provence. The turkey came out juicy and flavorful. The vegetables were soft, but still had texture. But the key was the lentils. The only time I’ve made lentils in the past was in soup. But I’ve been missing out.

Recipe for Lentils

1 cup lentils to 4 cups water, 1 cup red vinegar, 1/2 cup minced onions, 2 tablespoons garlic, and 1 tablespoon herbs de provence. bring to a simmer and stir occasionally. You’ll know when they are done when they are just al dente.

IMG_0756The greenery that you seen in the picture is watercress. The peppery bite that you get from the watercress helps to balance the sweetness of the grilled vegetables. I tossed it in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Give this recipe a try. Something new to wake up your taste buds 🙂

Always thinking of the next meal