Thursday, June 13, 2013

Simple Summer Supper

Confession, this dinner was born because of the hungry monster.  I had a yummy salad for lunch, but after a busy day of cleaning and tutoring, I was starving.  It had become a hot and humid evening and I had no desire to cook....  But, I had bought some perfect sea scallops and since I am thinking about going to the beach tomorrow, I knew I had to eat them up!  So, I started doing a mental scan of my kitchen, quickly counting out the spaghetti squash I had originally planned to eat with them because it was too much of a time commitment, and remembered I had frozen quinoa with veggies that I had never tried. I also had some yummy asparagus and a lemon, and then a meal was born.

This meal consisted of pan cooked sea scallops, garlic-lemon pan sauce, quinoa with veggies, and quick sauteed asparagus.  You will need:

4-5 scallops per person
olive oil
juice from 1 lemon
1 garlic clove minced
salt and pepper
quinoa (I used Trader Joes Frozen with veggies, but you could totally cook your own)
asparagus (5ish stalks per person)

Ok, so start by mincing garlic and heating 2 tbsp each of the butter and oil over med-high heat in a pan, then add the garlic.  Let that cook for like, 30 seconds and try not to let your garlic burn (mine got a little browner than I wanted, but it still tasted good!)  Season your scallops with S and P, then add them to the pan.  Turn them ever minute or so until they are cooked through and brown on both sides.  They cook quickly, so watch them!  They only need between 2-4 minutes depending on their size. 

While that was cooking, I heated a few tablespoons of water in a pot and heated the quinoa through.  Then I removed it from the pot, put it on the plate as a bed for the scallops, and heated a little oil and butter for the asparagus. I snapped the bottom of the stalks off the asparagus because they are really tough, and then chopped them into thirds on the bias (cause it's pretty).  Then I added them to the hot butter and oil, and tossed them around with some salt and pepper.  Looking back, I may add some red pepper flakes for a little heat next time.  They just need a few minutes until they are tender, but still snap when you bite into them.  

Remove your scallops from the pan, and add the juice of a lemon to the pan and scrape the yummy bits that are stuck to the pan.  Be careful, it will spit when you add the juice!  Once you take the asparagus off and are ready to eat, spoon some of your sauce over the scallops, and then enjoy!  
This was such a tasty, flavorful, healthy, FAST meal.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!  Or invite yourself over and I'll cook it for you!

Gardens Make for Great Eating

Over the past few years, I have really taken to gardening, particularly growing my own vegetables.  There really is nothing like harvesting things from your own yard that you grew from seeds, planted and cared for with your own hands, and then eating them!  Each year I try to grow something new.  This year I'm trying eggplant and broccoli, so we'll see how that goes!  I even had to build a new raised bed this year because I was a little over-zealous during my seed ordering!  In this one are all of my vines (squash, zuchinni, cucumbers, spaghetti squash, and eggplant).  Here's hoping I didn't plant too late!
This bed is my older one and this year it is home to radishes, romaine, spinach, arugula (which didn't do too well), shelling peas, green beans, broccoli, cayanne peppers, and bell peppers.  I have some roma tomatoes, blueberries, and my herbs in planters elsewhere in my yard.  

So, what I love about this time of year is thinking to myself, "what's for lunch?" and being about to walk outside and pick what looks good.  This particular day, I made a yummy salad with the lettuce, spinach, radishes, and peas.  Just add some fresh mozzarella, salami, vinaigrette, and some crunchy Chinese noodles, and you have a lovely lunch!  I usually make a lemon vinaigrette, which I will share with you (it's super simple!) but here I just used a balsamic vinaigrette.  

Lemon Vinaigrette

1/4 c. good olive oil
1/4 c. champagne vinegar
juice from half a lemon
ground ginger-a pinch
a pinch of lemon pepper spice mix

Whisk together and pour over your salad!

What do you love to grow and eat?