Scallops are a good choice for quick summer meals, as a starter course or light main course. The larger, marshmallow-sized ones are sea scallops (as opposed to bay scallops), and the key to cooking them is to give them a nice sear. If your scallops often turn out watery when you cook them, here are some cooking tips:
First of all, watery scallops may not be your fault. Make sure the scallops you get are dry packed and have not been plumped up with water. Look your fish person in the eye and ask him to level with you. Once you get your scallops home rinse them well. And now comes the really important part: dry every single scallop well, with a clean paper or dish towel.
Get your skillet really hot, if you have a cast iron pan use it, drizzle with a high smoke point oil like grape seed oil or clarified butter. When the oil is hot, gently lay down the scallops. Do not crowd them (you might have to cook them in several batches).
Do not move the scallops until you are sure they have developed the golden crust you are looking for, then flip them and cook until they are done. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
In the piece “Cook or Be Cooked,” Laurie explains why we all need to reclaim mealtime:
“Americans eat 31 percent more packaged food than fresh food. Half of all meals are eaten outside the home, often in chain restaurants or fast food joints where concepts like farm-to-table or local, fresh, and organic do not exist. What we do know is that these processed foods are making us sick in record numbers, thanks to all their chemicals, dyes, and hidden sugars. Of the 600,000 items found in any given supermarket, 80 percent are laced with added sugar.”
Zucchini and tomatoes shine when seasoned with fresh basil, parsley and Parmesan cheese in this one-dish wonder. Kids will have fun layering the sliced zucchini, tomatoes and fresh herbs to build a beautiful casserole of their own design. This recipe comes to us from Andrea Myers of Andrea’s Recipes.
Here are some ideas for fruity yumminess for the weekends of summer.
Watermelon: Slice up that watermelon and watch it sparkle with a light sprinkling of lime juice and fresh mint. Or cut the watermelon into wedges and freeze it for a perfect treat on a hot afternoon.
Apples: Try Nanna’s frozen Apple Snow. Cut apples in half and freeze. Quickly, while they are still frozen, roughly grate the apples and toss with cold yogurt. Add vanilla and honey to sweeten and serve right away.
Grapes: Freeze grapes and they will turn into little balls of sorbet all by themselves!
Fruit salad: Cut fresh seasonal fruit into slices, dices or wedges. Serve in chilled martini glasses topped with toasted nuts, shaved chocolate or sprigs of mint. Fruit salad is also pretty when served kabob-style!