Saturday, October 31, 2015

SCALLOPS WITH GRITS & CHORIZO SAUSAGE


The best scallops I have ever had, are from Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada. The scallops in this recipe are East Coast Sea Scallops and are also very sweet. Scallops should not have a strong odor but should smell like the ocean. You may have extra grits left over, but you can refrigerate and reheat in the microwave for breakfast the next morning.



Grits
2 cups water
2 cups whole milk 
1 t sea salt
1 cup stone ground white or yellow grits (not instant)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 T unsalted butter

2 t extra-light olive oil or grape seed oil
½ red bell pepper, diced
8 sea scallops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 chorizo sausages, removed from casings and crumbled
½ cup chicken stock
1 T lemon juice
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Hot sauce, for serving
Lemon wedges, for serving

In a medium saucepan, bring water, milk, and salt to a boil.
Gradually whisk in grits, reduce heat to the lowest setting, cover and simmer, about 15 to 18 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat, stir in cheddar cheese and butter. 
Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

While grits are cooking, heat oil in a skillet and sauté the red bell pepper for 2 to 3 minutes. 
Spoon into a small bowl and set aside.
Pat scallops dry, on both sides, with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper.
In the same skillet, raise heat to medium-high. 
Cook the scallops until a golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Do not overcook.
Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a 225 degree F oven.

In the same skillet, brown chorizo for about 7 to 8 minutes, while stirring.
Add garlic and cook another minute. 
Add chicken stock and lemon juice.
Simmer another minute.
Spoon grits into 2 warm bowls and spoon on the chorizo and sauce.
Add 4 scallops per bowl and top with the bell peppers and sliced scallions.
Serve with extra hot sauce and a wedge of lemon.

Serves 2



Friday, October 30, 2015

STEAKHOUSE CHOPPED SALAD

This is the type of salad you would get when you went to a steakhouse years ago. I remember having a salad similar to this in a steakhouse in Oak Park, Illinois. My family always loved this salad. It's not fancy but very delicious. If you add a couple more eggs, it would be a complete meal.


4 slices bacon, diced
3 hard boiled eggs
1 small head iceberg lettuce, core removed and chopped 
½ red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
½ cup chopped green olives
16 cherry tomatoes, cut in half or 2 medium tomatoes, diced
4 scallions, chopped

Dressing
½ cup mayonnaise
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 t granulated sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fry bacon until crisp and set aside.
Chop eggs, and set aside.
Chop lettuce and place in a salad bowl.
Add red onion, olives, tomatoes, and scallions to salad bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic, and sugar.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour over salad and toss.
Add the bacon and chopped eggs and gently toss again.


Serves 4

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

HUEVOS RANCHEROS - RANCHER'S EGGS

This is easy to put together as long as you make the Salsa Fresca first and set aside. You can also buy already prepared salsa to make it even easier on yourself. Chop or shred the cheese, have the beans heated, cook the potatoes and chorizo, if you want to include them in your meal. Chop up the cilantro and slice the avocado after you scramble your eggs.



Salsa Fresca
2 cups finely chopped tomatoes
2 T finely chopped red onion
1 T finely chopped jalapeño pepper
¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 scallion, chopped
½ t red wine vinegar
Zest and juice of ½ lime
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt, to taste

2 flour tortillas
1 can enchilada red sauce
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded or finely chopped
1 can black beans, heated
4 eggs, scrambled
1 avocado, sliced
Cilantro leaves
Chorizo sausage, optional
Country fried potatoes, optional

In a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, toast one side of the tortilla. 

Spread on a ladle of the enchilada sauce. 
Sprinkle on half of the cheese.

On half of the tortilla, add some beans and then top with half of the scrambled eggs.

Fold the tortilla over and using a large spatula, place on a baking sheet and keep warm in a 225 degree F oven while preparing the other tortilla.

Place each tortilla on warm plates.

Tuck in some salsa, avocado slices, and cilantro.
Place a scoop of sour cream on the side and serve with Chorizo and potatoes, if desired.

Serves 2

Monday, October 12, 2015

SHRIMP WITH TEQUILA & LIME

This is one of my husband's favorite meals and he asked me to make the same recipe again with mussels. 
Tequila is made by distilling the fermented juice of the blue agave plant. Use your favorite tequila; silver or gold.
Ancho chile powder is ground dried poblano peppers.
Chipotle chile powder is ground dried and smoked jalapeño peppers.
Chili powder is a blend of ground chiles and other spices, such as garlic and onion powder.
Ancho chile powder is quite expensive but you can make it yourself. Dried ancho chile peppers usually come in a plastic (2 oz) bag.



1 ¼ lbs large shrimp, deveined, shells and tails removed
1 t ancho chile powder
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 T extra light olive oil or grape seed oil
1 jalapeño pepper, stem and seeds removed, and minced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ cup tequila (white or gold)
Zest and juice of 1 lime
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
2 scallions, sliced

Lime wedges, for serving
Crusty bread

Place the shrimp in a large bowl.
Add the chile powder, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet.
Add the shrimp and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the minced jalapeño pepper and garlic and sauté another minute.

Remove pan from heat and add the tequila, lime zest, and lime juice.
Place back on the heat and add the butter. Cook another minute while stirring.
Add the cilantro leaves and scallions.

Divide between 2 warm bowls.
Add a wedge of lime and serve with crusty bread and a salad.


Serves 2

Dried Ancho Chile Powder
2 oz dried ancho chile peppers

Cut the peppers open and remove the stems and seeds.
Coarsely chop the peppers and grind in a spice grinder (old coffee grinder, used for spices only) or grind in a small food processor. Label and store in a small glass jar with a lid.