Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Not Caker Cooking-Scallops From Away

After experimenting in Caker Land, it is time to get back to meals that require a little more effort and that produce much tastier results.  I think more nutritious, also.  Ah, the complicated recipe.  Yes, there was a head of broccoli in that casserole, but it just felt wrong to be prepping for, making and eating it.  The empty jar of Cheez Whiz was carefully placed into the recycling bin this week leaving space in the fridge for fresh cheese.  Perhaps we'll crack open the Caker book on the post's anniversary.  I do enjoy the CakerCooking blog, though. I like the tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek style.

I was in the grocery store beginning of the month and someone reminded their partner to go and get the Cheez Whiz.  "Don't do it!" the brain screamed.  "Go to the cheese counter and see what you can do with that!"  Great line from Mother with Albert Brooks.  Mom has a hunk of fossilized cheese she's keeping in the freezer.  "I can tell from the gross weight I'm not going to like it," John says to her as she slices off a piece with the electric knife.

Try this for a month.  Break out of the cheese rut and buy a different cheese each week. Just a few ounces, that's all I ask.  A blue, a brie, a goat, a cheddar.  Go Canadian.  I'm trying to do the 100 mile thing but it is challenging.  Obviously I'm buying bananas that have travelled great distances.  Short of staging a raid on the Gage Park tropical greenhouse, I have to let the guilt go on the banana front.  Likewise with the avocado.  I was mortified to find last week's blackberries came from Mexico.  I didn't realize.  Remember years ago when we debated about South African oranges and Chilean wine?  Politics went deep. See what democracy has done?  Now it's just a matter of how far it's travelled to your doorstep. (Side note on wine-if you think it's Canadian, check again.  Is it 100% local grape or a mix bag of imported grape that is merely cellered locally? Yes, by all means buy the Italian, French or Australian but make sure the local stuff is local.)

This is Frederick.  As you can see, Frederick likes his food. He also likes a drop of wine. Frederick is never without his tasting spoon, but he broke it recently in a fit of kitchen pique. Someone put chicken nuggets in his oven and he wasn't best pleased.  Frederick is a coq au vin kind of guy.  He likes his game bird-pheasant, partridge and quail. 

Frederick has connections.  The scallops in this recipe came hand delivered from Nova Scotia waters.  When I was presented with them, I had about four cents on hand.  I have not forgotten about the IOU. 

A complicated recipe this is not.  This is very simple but very satisfying dish and if you don't have Frederick's connections, some chicken or shrimp will work very well.

1 TBSP butter
2 leeks, sliced
sprinkle of nutmeg
1/3 C chicken stock
1/4 C 35% cream
sea salt
12 scallops or to taste depending on size
curry powder~either the "yellow" stuff, Tandoori, your own blend or try Patak's paste; the choice is yours

Saute leeks in butter; add stock; sweat for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Add cream.
Simmer 'til thickened.

Pat scallops dry.
Sprinkle with a little sea salt.
Give the scallops a massage with the powder or paste.
Pan fry in butter, 5 minutes a side.

Serve on leeks with a side of rice.
Serves 2; just.  Increase portions accordingly.
Great smell in the kitchen and very tasty. Putting it into steady rotation.