Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pan Seared Scallops with Leek and Tarragon Crème,

Category: Appetizer
Style: French
Difficulty: Moderate
Portion: Serves 8

24 scallops
vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
leek and tarragon creme:
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
1 leeks, white parts only, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 pack fresh tarragon, leaves chopped
mixed salad:
1 pack packaged mixed salad
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 loaf baguette, thinly sliced
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

To make parmesan crostini: Turn on the broiler and place rack in the upper third of the oven. Brush both sides of each bread slice with olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Broil about 1 minutes or until golden. Turn the slices over and broil for another 1/2 minute. Take out from oven. Sprinkle slices with parmesan cheese. Broil again for 1 more minute.
To sear scallops: Heat a large skillet until very hot. Add vegetable oil, heat until smoking. Pan sear scallops on each side for 3 minutes or until golden. Remove scallop. Season scallops with salt and pepper.
To make crème sauce: to the same skillet, add butter and olive oil. Saute shallots and leeks until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
Add white wine, scraping up any stuck bits. Add crème and cook, reducing liquid to about half. Finish with parmesan and freshly chopped tarragon leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
To make salad: Lightly toss salad greens with olive oil, salt and pepper.
To serve: Place greens in center of plate, top with cooked scallops. Drizzle with tarragon cream and garnish with 2 crostini per person.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Mussels in White Wine, served with Tomato Toast

Category: Appetizer
Style: Western
Difficulty: Easy
Portion: Serves 4

3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium tomatoe, diced
1 pinch red chili flakes
1 lb fresh mussels, bearded, rinsed and cleaned
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 pinch Italian mix dried herbs
salt and pepper to taste
Tomato Toast
1 baguette
1 cup tomato juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

To make tomato toasts: cut baguette on an angle into thick slices. Put tomato juice on a deep dish. Mix in Worcestershire sauce. Dip one face of each bread slice into tomato juice, then flip and put on a cookie sheet. Broil in the oven until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes.
To poach mussels: in a large pot, sauté garlic in olive oil. Add tomatoes, sauté until beginning to release their juice. Add chili flakes and mussels and cook for 30 seconds. Add white wine, butter, herbs and pepper, cover and let steam until all mussels have cooked, about 3-5 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels.