Wednesday, January 5, 2011

a new year's built for two

seeing as i'm so behind on these holiday posts, we'll just work our way back from most recent back to, well, thanksgiving. that puts us at new year's. welcome to go go zo. no rules.

so this comprises my meal with friend number 2 during our lovely new year's eve in. it's the best excuse to spend an outrageous amount on groceries and not have an ounce of guilt about it. not to mention the 6 bottles of bubbly we purchased in preparation...
for the record, we did not drink them all. and even if we did, i'm not condoning binge drinking. HOWEVER, like i said, perfect excuse.

the menu!:

i think friend 2 dubbed this: scallop surprise. she's usually better with words...
aka scallops with blood orange and fennel salad

adapted from a different scallop project, this version uses blood oranges. there's nothing not to like and it's incredibly easy to make.
  • olive oil
  • 2-4 sea scallops (depending how hungry you are)
  • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 blood orange, zested, then segmented
  • juice of 2 blood oranges
  • 2 tablespoons champagne (in the spirit of the evening), you could also use white wine and/or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon or 2 of chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • slice the fennel and toss with a little bit of parsley and orange juice
  • sear the scallops: first make sure they are dry by patting with a paper towel then season with salt and pepper. heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a pan over medium high heat and when the oil is hot (don't jump ahead here!) add the scallops to the pan. brown on each side; this only takes a few minutes. remove from the pan and set aside
  • add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, then the shallots. cook the shallots until soft
  • deglaze the pan: add champagne, citrus juice and zest to the pan, and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom to release the scallop bits. allow this mixture to come to a boil and then reduce for a few minutes
  • add the parsley to the pan, stir, and add the scallops for a minute to warm
  • serve scallops on a bed of fennel and blood orange slices
  • serves 2

sauteed shitake mushrooms

in the spirit of julia, DON'T CROWD THE MUSHROOMS! the key here is lots of butter, lots of salt and giving the shrooms room to do their thing.
  • shitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • butter
  • salt
  • champagne (or you could use sherry)
  • heat a couple of tablespoons of butter in a large pan.
  • add mushrooms (you might have to do in batches, with more butter for each batch). they should not overlap. important! once you place them into the pan, DO NOT TOUCH! let them hang out (brown) and then AND ONLY THEN, flip them and brown on other side.
  • remove from heat, add a splash of your alcohol of choice and let the alcohol cook off.
  • enjoy plain, or use as a garnish (soup, salad, you name it.)

lobster pasta

in the spirit of the night, we had to go lobster. you could also do this with crab, or even shrimp for a less expensive option. this pasta is delicious and cheesy.
  • 1/2 lb linguine
  • 1 lobster tail with shell (about 1/4 lb)
  • a few shitake mushroom stems
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2-3 cloves chopped garlic garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • cheese! we went with a goat gouda. let's say about a cup.
  • parmesean cheese
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • sautee or boil lobster tail until almost cooked through.
  • remove meat from shell and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • place lobster shell, shitake stems and some salt in small pot of water and simmer to reduce.
  • in the meantime, cook pasta.
  • heat some olive oil and butter in a large pan. add garlic and cook until softened. add cheese and stir. when stock reduces add some of it to the pan. add lobster meat and finish cooking. add parsley and lemon juice. stir again to combine.
  • add pasta to sauce, add some parmesean cheese and stir.
  • serves 2


  1. That scallop looks damn good, and as you know I'm not even a fan of scallops! Also, the orange looked like bacon...which is a really good idea. Your blog lacks bacon.