, , , , ,

Catching up from the weekend… someday we’ll have internet access at home.  This is dinner from Friday night.

I love seafood. At least shrimp and scallops. Lucky me, Central Market had them on special so I picked up a few with absolutely no idea how I was going to prepare them. Yay for making it up!

One of the easiest (and my favorite) ways to prepare seafood is simple: sear them in olive oil, preferably with a green vegetable (we had asparagus in the fridge) and serve with a sauce (shallots & white wine) over whatever you’ve got (we ended up going with pasta).

Started out the night with my new favorite pre-dinner snack: carrot chips!  Slice ’em up like so and toss them in a pan of hot olive oil.

Sliced carrots, ready for the pan

Don’t flip them too much (I think I do, so I’m getting more anal about flipping with chop sticks. And yes, I know I have issues).  After they get golden and delicious, flop them (carefully) onto a paper towel lined plate and season. I’m still using sea salt, but one of these days I’ll get crafty with something spicy.

Delicious flavor nuggets

Now for the main event.  I have to preface this by saying we didn’t decide on pasta until the last minute.  I’ve been at war with grains for a while (and somewhat with potatoes too), but it’s all we had and after a long day, I didn’t feel like standing over the stove stirring risotto. Chalkboard: Pasta: 1, Blythe 0.
I love shallots. I’d like to share a short story with you: A few years ago, we were at Safeway buying produce (why? never again). I couldn’t find shallots, so I asked the “produce guy.” He told me he went to “culinary school” but didn’t know what a shallot was. That’s my story.
Anyhoo… chop up some shallots (and garlic for good measure), and toss them into a pan with butter.  For this, put the butter in the pan before you heat it up- that way it warms up slowly and doesn’t burn and turn bitter.  Add shallots and garlic when the butter starts to sizzle just a bit, and season with salt and pepper.  Once it starts to smell *that* good, add a little white wine.  We have Chariot in the house, so that’s what I used.  Add just a little at a time so the flavor can concentrate (at least that’s what I think I’m doing here…).  Simmer the sauce and more wine as it reduces.  This is what it looked like before we plated:

Garlic & shallots in a white wine reduction

In the background: boil your pasta water.  Add pasta, season with salt.
Now for the good stuff. I must confess I’m not a pro with seafood, and I still suck at getting a good sear on scallops so I’ve taken a break from expecting perfection.
Season your seafood with salt & pepper (pat it dry with a paper towel). On medium-high heat, throw on the scallops. I am always under the impression these take longer. After you’ve turned the scallops, toss in the shrimp and whatever vegetable. I like my asparagus a little crispy so this worked in my favor.  I finished it off with a little white wine to add some more flavor.
Plating. Husband gets *so* annoyed with me sometimes… but things just have to look pretty, ya know?

Put your pasta on the bottom, the add seafood and veg, and top with the pan sauce.  Thinking about this makes me happy.