Archive for the ‘Mode’ Category

Rock Shrimp, Tomato, and Leek Risotto with Basil and Meyer Lemon

Monday, December 13th, 2010

rockshrimprisotto

This is a sort of mating of my favorite Shrimp Scampi recipe with a recipe for a Mushroom Risotto that I really like (sans mushrooms though).  It should be almost soupy.

3 leeks, divided
1 cup cream
1 large tomato (or 5-6 roma tomatoes) cut into small 1/4 inch dice
10 large basil leaves cut into chiffonade, divided
1 cup arborio rice
3 tbsp butter, divided
1 cup white wine, divided
2 large cloves garlic
3-4 cups shrimp or chicken stock
1 lb fresh rock shrimp
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 Meyer lemon
Parmigiano Reggiano
salt and pepper

Carefully wash the leeks, then trim the root end and the tops just where they start to turn light green.  Halve them longways, then check for mud and dirt again and rinse if necessary.  Slice into thin half-moons, keeping the slices from one of the leeks separate from the other two.

Put the slices from two of the leeks into a small saucepan, cover with the cream, and season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer gently for about 10 minutes.  Add tomato and continue to simmer.

Meanwhile, start the risotto.  In a heavy-bottomed, medium-sized stock pot, melt 1 tbsp butter.  Add leeks, and sauté over medium heat for a few minutes until softened and beginning to brown slightly.

Add rice and sauté for 2-3 minutes until coated with butter-leek mixture and beginning to toast.  Add 2/3 cup wine and stir until wine is mostly absorbed. Add about 1/2 cup chicken or shrimp stock at a time, stirring frequently, waiting to add more stock until there’s just a little bit of liquid left.  Continue to add stock until the rice is cooked through and just barely firm in the center.  Grate a bit of the Meyer lemon rind (from about 1/4 of the lemon) into the risotto, and season to taste.

Add 1/2 basil and peas to cream mixture and stir.  Check seasoning, then pour into risotto and gently fold to combine with the rice.

Heat a large non-reactive skillet over high heat.  Add 1 tbsp butter and melt, then add shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until cooked through — about 2 minutes.  Add shrimp to risotto, then return skillet to heat, melt the remaining 1 tbsp butter, then add the garlic cloves, pressing them through a garlic press.  Sauté for just a few seconds, then pour in 1/3 cup wine to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.  Pour liquid into risotto, then squeeze 1/2 Meyer lemon on top and fold gently to combine.

Serve in shallow bowls, garnishing with a grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano and some of the basil chiffonade.  Serve with the same wine you used to add to the risotto.

Salmon with Lentils and Mustard Herb Butter for Babies, Moms and Dads

Friday, April 24th, 2009

saumon2fix

I’m on the hunt for recipes that work for both my husband and I and for our almost 9-month-old baby boy. We’re in danger of (or more accurately, firmly entrenched in) an oatmeal and sweet potato rut. Recently he’s gotten very interested in picking up tiny pieces of food and aiming them torward his mouth (he ate a whole pile of steamed zucchini the other day!) Yesterday, another mom at playgroup mentioned that her daughter loves lentils, which sounded like a perfect finger food, so I decided to look for something made with lentils that was simple and not spicy that would also appeal to grownup palates. I found this Gourmet recipe which fits the bill perfectly, with a few minor tweaks. I prepared and served it in two stages: first the lentils and the compound butter, made without salt, with the leeks finely chopped, and with the addition of some carrot for the little man, which he ate up happily, then adding salt, a splash of wine, and preparing the fish for me and dad. Dad is a little iffy on salmon, and he even liked it! I haven’t fed the baby fish yet, but he’ll have a few flakes of the leftover salmon with his lunch today.

Saumon Aux Lentils
Adapted from Shelly Wiseman, Gourmet March 2008

For mustard-herb butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
2 teaspoons grainy mustard
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

For lentils
1 cup French green lentils
4 cups water
2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
2 medium carrots, peeled
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tbsp white wine
1/2 to 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

For salmon
4 (6-ounce) pieces skinless salmon fillet
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Make mustard-herb butter:
Stir together all ingredients. When you’re ready to cook the salmon, add 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.

Cook lentils:
Bring lentils, and water to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid, then drain lentils.

While lentils cook, halve leeks, wash thoroughly to remove any sand, then chop fine. Finely dice carrots. Cook leeks and carrots in butter in a heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add lentils with reserved cooking liquid to leeks along with 3 tablespoons mustard-herb butter and cook, stirring, until lentils are heated through and butter is melted. Remove from heat. At this point, baby’s dinner is ready! I served him about 3 tbsp of lentils along with 3 defrosted mashed sweet potato cubes and 1 tbsp of yogurt.

When the baby is asleep, gently reheat the lentils and add lemon juice, wine and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and keep warm, covered.

Sauté salmon:
Pat salmon dry and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (total).

Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté salmon, turning once, until golden and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total.

Serve salmon, topped with remaining mustard-herb butter, over lentils.

Lemon Tarragon Potato Salad

Monday, April 20th, 2009

lemonypotatosalad1Every spring, there comes a moment, usually near or on the first really warm day, when my potato cravings reorient themselves.  During the colder days, almost dessert-like concoctions of roasted and then mashed sweet potatoes flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon, and butter are like cozy turtleneck sweaters you can burrow into.  More elegant preparations of thinly sliced russets layered with cream and Gruyere are the cashmere  cardigans that dress up a simple roast, and creamy purees of Yukon Golds blended with parsnip or celery root are the… hm — silk long underwear? — that make savory braises and stews that much more comforting. 

But just as we’re relieved to put aside our warmer layers and wiggle our toes in the grass, I’m always excited when the thought of waxy, creamy potatoes bathed in a light, tangy, herbal dressing pops suddenly into my head.  

I make many variations of this — it’s good with peeled or unpeeled potatoes, chives, shallot or red onion in place of the scallion, chervil, dill, parsley or basil instead of tarragon, and additions of chopped hard boiled eggs, blanched peas or asparagus or little slices of cornichon.  You can even add mayonnaise or sour cream or a mixture of the two if you want your potato salad to be creamy.  There are two critical things to get right though — one is making sure the potatoes are cooked to precisely the right texture, and the other is adding a  note of acidity to balance out the starch and sweetness of the potatoes.   Here, I’m using mild rice vinegar and lemon juice, along with some grated lemon zest for extra sunshine.

Potatoes can vary widely in size, shape, and texture, and as a result cooking times can be all over the map.  The size and shape variables can be mitigated by either carefully sorting through the bin and choosing potatoes that are as close in size and shape as possible, or by cutting the potatoes in halves, quarters, eighths, etc depending on their size so that all the pieces are approximately the same size, or into slices of the same width.  I don’t like to leave the potatoes whole, however, because I find that the exterior will usually be waterlogged by the time the inside is cooked through, and because the cut surfaces seem to absorb the flavors of the dressing more effectively.   The next step in achieving potato perfection is to carefully babysit your potatoes as they cook, judiciously poking and tasting, and draining them the second the crunch disappears.  At this point, a fork will encounter a small amount of resistance, and the potatoes should hold their shape well. 

This is good with roast chicken, fish, scallop chips, or anything grilled.

2 lbs buttercream, fingerling, or other waxy potatoes cut into either 1/4 inch slices or 3/4 inch-ish chunks
2 scallions, finely chopped
3 tbsp tarragon, finely chopped
2 tbsp rice vinegar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp salt plus salt for cooking water
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Put potates in a medium pot and add cold water to cover plus 1 1/2 inches.   Add a hefty pinch of salt to the water.  Bring to a boil, and continue to boil “rather hard” as Julia says, until one of the largest pieces of potato breaks apart with a fork and loses its crunch when you bite into the center.  Immediately drain and transfer to a bowl.  Sprinkle with rice vinegar and 1/2 tsp kosher salt.  Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.  Add scallions, tarragon, lemon juice and zest and stir to combine.  Drizzle with olive oil and stir again.  Best served slightly warm or at room temperature.

Scallop “Chips”

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

scallopchips

This addictive recipe comes from the Stonewall Kitchen Favorites cookbook.   The authors suggest them as an appetizer but they are great as a main course with lemony potato salad, cold blanched green beans, or as shown with a light salad of pea shoots, goat cheese, and pine nuts and a glass of chilled Torrontes. This is one of those things that you will be compelled to make again and again by peer pressure.

The inspiration for these crisp, savory “chips” came from an episode of the wildly entertaining show Iron Chef America on the TV Food Network. The “secret” ingredient was scallops, and Iron Chef Morimoto thinly sliced them and served them with a dipping sauce. That idea led us to remember how much we love an old New England favorite — deep fried scallops. These scallop chips are a combination of East meets West — very thinly sliced sea scallops are coated in panko breadcrumbs and fried so that they are crisp on the outside and tender inside –and they cook in about 2 minutes! We like making them in a wok because the oil sits at the bottom and none of it splatters.

Serve the scallops as an appetizer with Cocktail Sauce, Garlic Aioli, Asian Dipping Sauce, or lemon and lime wedges.

1 pound sea scallops, tabs removed
About 2 cups safflower or vegetable oil
One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
About 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs, or fresh breadcrumbs
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Place the scallops in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes to make them much easier to slice.

In a wok or a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over high heat about 20 seconds. Add the ginger to the oil and let it heat up for about 2 minutes. The oil is hot enough when you drop a tiny bit of panko into it and it sizzles immediately.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the scallops horizontally. You should get 3 to 4 slices from each large scallop. Place the panko in a bowl and lightly coat each slice of scallop with panko on all sides. Place on a plate.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

Remove the ginger from the oil with a slotted spoon. Cook the scallops in batches in the hot oil. Add enough scallops to fit in a single layer in the pan. Cook for 30 seconds; gently flip them over and cook for another 30 seconds. Drain on paper towels. (If you’re making a double batch and need to keep the scallops warm, place them on an ovenproof plate and place in the oven while you fry the remaining batches; otherwise. Serve immediately.

Serves 6 to 8 [very polite people or 2 lucky bastards. -Ed.]

Diet Philosophy and Kickass Oatmeal

Monday, February 9th, 2009

oatmealI’ve been trying to migrate my family’s diet from an embarassment of delicious-but-naughty riches to one that’s healthier, but still delicious. The best way I have found to do this is to focus on getting more healthy stuff into our food, rather than removing things that may not be so healthy. I feel satisfied that we are getting a broad spectrum of nutrients, the good things come to replace the bad, and I don’t have to think about one of my least favorite words ever: “diet.” I don’t stress about a little bacon or butter, but I do belong to our local CSA, which ensures that we regularly need to eat through a wide range of organic vegetables, eggs, grains, and yogurt, and I do go out of the way to make sure our diet includes anti-oxidant and vitamin-rich vegetables, healthy oils and nuts, eggs and fish with Omega-3 fatty acids, and plenty of whole grains and fresh and dried fruits for fiber.

I started eating oatmeal for breakfast a few months ago, and it has developed into a minor obsession, and an important incentive for getting out of bed. I started out with a rolled variety, which cooks in just a minute or two, but I recently discovered McCann’s Quick and Easy Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal, which contains regular steel cut oats just like the original McCann’s, but they cook in about 5 minutes, instead of 30 for the original Steel Cut kind. I think they’re parboiled? Not sure, but they are infinitely better than the rolled kind — more nutty, with a less gloppy texture — and you won’t die of starvation waiting for them to cook. You can put anything you like on or in your oatmeal. Some of my favorites are:

  • Frozen berries — especially raspberries — the oatmeal thaws them out slowly as you eat it
  • Sliced Apples
  • Sliced Bananas
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Raisins
  • Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
  • Toasted Walnuts
  • Cinnamon
  • Demerara Sugar
  • Jaggery
  • Maple Syrup
  • Agave Syrup
  • Honey
  • A little butter or cream
  • Maldon’s Sea Salt — sounds wierd, I know, but try it with unsalted butter and demerara sugar and maybe some raisins and you’ll see what I mean
  • What to Do With Leftover Roast Chicken, Part 1

    Thursday, February 5th, 2009

    007
    Since my son was born, I’ve become an even bigger fan of things I can cook in the oven with minimal interventions before or after, so roast chicken is in even heavier rotation than before.  I used to be at a loss for what to do with the leftover bits, but I’ve come up with a strategy and a few options.  We eat the dark meat the night I roast the chicken, since the white meat is more flexible as an ingredient.  Then I save the chicken in a gallon freezer bag with as much juice and good stuff as I can scrape off the bottom of the roasting pan.  The next day I separate the white meat and the oysters (the little bits of meat from underneath the chicken) from the carcass and put them aside.  The carcass and any other bits, globs, or pieces go into a pot to boil with a few quarts of water, salt, peppercorns, some onion or shallot and whatever other aromatic vegetables I have, like celery, fennel, carrots, and/or parsley.   After it boils, I let it simmer for about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, and then I strain out the solids, leaving me with a few quarts of really delicous stock.

    I can now make one of the following two meals for two with minimal effort:

    Chicken, Avocado and Walnut Salad with Spicy Pumpkin Soup
    Hearty Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup

    Voila, dinner that no one will complain about.

    Chicken, Avocado and Walnut Salad

    1 clove garlic, smashed
    2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
    pinch of salt
    4 tbsp walnut oil
    4 cups salad greens, washed, carefully dried, and torn into bite sized-pieces
    1/2 cup toasted walnuts
    1 avocado, thinly sliced
    2 leftover chicken breasts, diced

    Put the garlic, vinegar, and salt in the bottom of a large bowl. Gradually whisk in the walnut oil. Add the salad greens and toss (I use my hands for this.) Top with avocado, walnuts, and chicken.

    Spicy Pumpkin Soup

    1/2 tbsp butter
    2 cloves garlic
    1 1/4 tsp hot smoked paprika
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    1 sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
    2-3 quarts chicken stock
    1 can pumpkin puree
    salt and pepper to taste
    cream for garnish

    In a medium, heavy bottomed sauce pan, saute the garlic, paprika and cumin for a minute or two until the raw smell comes off the garlic. Add the stock and the sweet potato, bring to a boil, and simmer until the potato is cooked through. Add pumpkin puree and blend soup together with an immersion blender (or in small batches in a regular blender or food processor, but seriously, just do yourself a favor and get an immersion blender.) Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a small drizzle of heavy cream in each bowl.

    Spicy Sausage, Kale, and White Bean Soup

    2 fresh Andouille sausages
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 medium yellow onion, diced
    1 clove garlic, pressed
    1 tbsp tomato paste (I buy it in a tube, so I don’t waste it when I just need small amounts.)
    1 can white beans, strained and rinsed
    2-3 quarts chicken stock
    leftover chicken, diced
    1 bunch kale
    red pepper flakes to taste

    Gently heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Squeeze the sausages out of their casing into the pan, raise the heat to medium high, and saute until cooked through, breaking up with a wooden spoon as you go. Add garlic and tomato paste and saute for one more minute. Add white beans and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, add kale and red pepper flakes, and simmer until kale stems are cooked through, about five minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve. Slices of baguette or other bread grilled in the broiler and rubbed with garlic are a nice accompaniment.

    Tomato Sauce with Sausage and Kale

    Sunday, February 10th, 2008


    This is a home-y sauce which cooks quickly. Very easy, healthy and delicious for a weeknight dinner. The olive oil added as a garnish at the end gives it a sweet and fresh taste.

    3 tbsp quality extra-virgin olive oil
    1 sweet Italian sausage
    1 spicy Italian sausage
    1 onion, diced
    1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
    1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes (I like Muir Glen, and I don’t really like anything else…)
    1 small pinch dried thyme
    1 small bunch of lacinato kale, cut into chiffonade
    salt and pepper to taste
    freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
    1 lb pasta of your choice (fusilli or a similar shape would be good here but you can also use ravioli)
    Start your pasta water to boil with plenty of salt. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed, lidded sauté pan over medium-high heat (without the lid for now). Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan and swirl the pan to coat. When the oil has heated, squeeze the sausages from their casings into the pan. Sauté for four or five minutes while breaking up the sausages with a wooden spoon. Monitor the heat carefully so that the sausage doesn’t form too much of a fond on the bottom of the pan. When the sausage is just beginning to brown in places, add the onions and cook, stirring, for about 5 more minutes. When the onion is wilted, add the garlic and cook for just about 30 seconds, until the pungent garlic smell mellows just slightly. Pour in the liquid from the whole peeled tomatoes, then squeeze each whole tomato in your hand to crush it before you drop it into the pan. (This squirt-prone operation can be mitigated somewhat by poking a hole with your thumb and one finger to de-pressurize the tomato before you really put the squeeze down. I rarely escape this operation without an errant squirt, so an apron would be a strong recommendation here. This might seem like a complicated process — why not just use diced or puréed tomatoes? Well, somehow they just don’t have the same delicate, slightly brothy-y texture and flavor.)
    Now add the thyme and the kale and stir the sauce to combine the ingredients. Salt carefully to taste. Cover the sauce and simmer for about 7 minutes, until the kale is wilted and the sauce is bubbling. As soon as you cover your sauce, check the time you need to cook your pasta, and time it to be done just about the same time as the sauce.
    Drain the pasta when it’s cooked to your liking, and spoon it into 4 wide shallow bowls. Divide the sauce on top of the pasta between the 4 bowls. Drizzle 1/2 tbsp of olive oil over each bowl, and grate the Parmigiano on top.
    Serves 4.

    Chimichurri

    Friday, July 13th, 2007

    My sister, aka the Socially Responsible One, has a summer internship in Buenos Aires working as an HIV researcher, and she recently graffiti’d me a recipe for the regional sauce called “chimichurri.”

    The internet tells me that the ingredients and preparation are open to some interpretation, but knowing my sister for a fabulous palate and a great cook, I decided to make only the barest irresistable adjustment of adding the zest and juice of a lemon.

    This recipe makes more than a cup — good for a few days’ use on pretty much anything, but especially grilled steak rubbed with spices, and scrambled eggs. It has a zesty bright flavor that tastes great with some hot July weather.

    Chimichurri

    All quantities are up to personal taste and can and should be eyeballed:

    1 cup parsley leaves, washed and dried
    1 cup cilantro leaves, washed and dried
    zest and juice of 1 lemon
    1 tbsp chili flakes
    4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled
    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    Salt

    Add cilantro, parsley, lemon juice and zest, chili and garlic to blender. Pulse on (my blender only does on/off) a few times to start chopping, then gradually add olive oil and salt and continue to pulse until mostly puréed.

    Chicken, Bok Choy, and Shiitake Mushroom Stirfry with Brown Rice

    Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

    Growing up in Woodstock NY in the ’70s, I ate my fair share of tempeh, homemade yogurt, and stirfries heavily seasoned with any old spices or condiments that happened to be hanging around, particularly large doses of tamari (Japanese wheat-free soy sauce). In general, I’m not a huge fan of the whole Moosewood school of cooking, but every so often, I get a craving for something inauthentically Asian, by way of the health food store. My version here contains chicken (so there, vegetarians!) as well as bok choy, shitake mushrooms, and toasted almonds. You can be very creative with stirfries, but there are some key principles to follow:

    • Remember that each of the ingredients has its own optimal cooking time. After you’ve finished your prep, come up with a game plan for adding (and in some cases, temporarily removing) ingredients so that nothing is over- or under-cooked.
    • Just because it’s in your fridge doesn’t mean it belongs in your dish. Try to use ingredients that complement one another in flavor, sweetness, color, and texture.
    • Watch how much soy sauce/tamari etc. you use! Rather than indiscriminately dumping in more of any condiment when you need to add moisture to the pan, I like to mix up a batch of sauce that tastes balanced to me, which I usually make somewhat diluted with either water or broth. Then I add that instead of a squirt of soy sauce. That way you don’t wind up with any one flavor dominating.

    I like it with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast on top, proving that you can be nostalgic for anything.

    For the rice:

    Start the rice first, since it takes a while to cook.

    1 cup brown rice
    2 1/4 cups water
    pinch of salt

    Combine in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid (don’t cover just yet though.) Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer gently for 45 minutes.

    For the stirfry:

    2 boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/8 inch slices
    1 lb baby bok choy, washed, ends removed, and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
    20 large shitake mushrooms, sliced
    1 bunch scallions, washed and sliced into wedgy-julienne (long diagonal slices, turning the scallion after each cut so that the layers of each slice will separate )
    1 small red jalapeno, cut into fine dice
    1 tsp vegetable oil

    1/2 cup toasted almond slivers

    For sauce:

    2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 tbsp rice vinegar
    1 tbsp agave syrup
    1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
    1/3 cup chicken broth

    Combine all sauce ingredients except chicken broth, and taste. Should taste balanced, a little sweet, a little sour, a little salty. Add half the sauce to a bowl with the sliced raw chicken to marinate, and then add the chicken broth to the remaining sauce to use during cooking.

    Heat a large saute pan or a wok over high heat. Add vegetable oil, then the chicken, and brown lightly on all sides until chicken is cooked through. Remove from the pan and reserve. Add mushrooms and bok choy and saute for several minutes, until bok choy leaves wilt and their stems turn bright green and soften. Add sauce as needed to prevent sticking or the bottom of the pan getting brown & crusty. Add jalapeno and scallions, and saute for two more minutes, until the scallions soften. Add toasted almonds and serve with brown rice.

    Serves 4.

    If you have leftovers, combine the stirfry and rice, and saute in a little extra vegetable oil with an egg for some tasty fried rice.

    June Farmer’s Market Supper

    Monday, June 25th, 2007

    Carmelized Scallops, Sugar Snap Peas with Mint, and Roasted Beet Salad

    The McCarren Park Farmer’s Market is starting to get exciting! The fish guys have been here for a few weeks (although sadly, no weakfish), but now my favorite weird vegetable guy is back, along with stalwarts RonnyBrook Farm, RedJacket Orchard and Dines Farms, among others. To celebrate, I made a super-plain, super-fresh dinner of fresh vegetables, herbs, and scallops.

    If you want to make everything, the beets take about 1 1/2 hours, so start them first, then do the prep and cook the scallops and peas once the beets are finished roasting.

    For Beets

    1 bunch small- to medium-sized beets, greens and tips trimmed off
    3 tbsp chopped chives
    1 tbsp rice vinegar
    1 1/2 tbsp walnut or olive oil
    salt to taste

    Preheat oven to 350. Wrap beets individually in aluminium foil. Roast 1+ hours. When beets are done, a knife should pierce them easily. Remove beets from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Remove skins, and cut into regular cubes. Dress in remaining ingredients.

    For Scallops

    10 large sea scallops, muscle removed (the little tough bit stuck to the side)
    1/2 tbsp butter
    kosher salt
    pepper
    1/3 cup white wine
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1/2 lemon

    Heat a heavy-bottomed medium-large size saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add half the butter to the pan, and swirl to coat the surface. Place scallops in the pan on one flat end, in order from largest to smallest (so that the larger scallops cook for slightly longer.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Do not shake the pan or move the scallops in any way for 2 minutes, then carefully turn them over (tongs are the best scallop turner,) sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook for another two minutes. Remove scallops to a warm plate, add the remaining butter, and cook the garlic in the butter for 30 seconds until just barely beginning to turn golden. Add wine and swirl over the bottom of the pan to deglaze, then use a rubber spatula to bring up any bits of scallop or friedness. Reduce to about two tbsp, and spoon over scallops before serving. Serve with lemon wedge.

    For Peas

    1/2 lb fresh sugar snap peas
    1 tsp butter
    1 bunch purple scallions, cut into julienne
    a good handful of mint leaves, pulled from their stems and cut into chiffonade
    salt

    Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add peas and saute for several minutes, until the peas turn bright green and lose any trace of “uncooked” taste. Just as they’re finishing, add scallions and mint and saute for about 30 more seconds until scallions lose their sharpness. Remove from heat and add salt to taste.

    Serves 2.