Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pan-Seared Scallops with Fennel Puree

This recipe came from Martha Stewart. If you have the time, the fennel really makes this scallop dish sing.

  • 6 large sea scallops
  • coarse salt
  • sunflower or other neutral oil
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed & chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 coups whole milk (or, enough to just cover the fennel)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ground black pepper

For the scallops: follow the recipe for "Perfectly Seared Scallops" in my seafood section.

For the puree:

  1. In a small pot, combine chopped fennel & milk & bring to just under a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce to a simmer.
  2. Cover & cook until fennel is completely tender (it should not offer any resistance when pierced waith the tip of a knife) but not falling apart, 20-25 minutes.
  3. Drain in a sieve, reserving liquid.
  4. Cimbine fennel and 1/4 cup reserved liquid ina blender & blend on high speed until smooth, about 4 minutes. Add more liquid a teaspoon at a time as necessary to keep the blending running smoothly.
  5. Transfer to a fine sieve set over a large bowl or measuring cup and press with a rubber spatula to extract as much puree as possible. Make sure you do this step well or you will have runny puree and it doesn't work as well.
  6. Discard remaining solids & rinse sieve thoroughly. Return puree to the sieve and set ovaer a bowl to drain for 1.5 hours longer. Yes, 1.5 hours longer. Again, I skipped this step and paid for it.
  7. Transfer to a saucepan and cook over medium heat until warmed through. Stir in butter.
  8. Spoon 1 tbsp puree onto each plate and top with a scallop slice. Garnish with fennel fronds and serve.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Garlic Pot Roast

This really is just a standard pot roast recipe. I stole the basics of it from Martha and made some changes to make it my own. I suggest you do the same. You could add mushrooms, replace the potatoes with celery, use water instead of broth, add more wine....
  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (about 3lbs)
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 2 tsp coarse salt 1/2
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1.5 c chopped carrots
  • 1.5 c baby carrots
  • 1.5 c chopped red potatoes (skins on)
  • 1 can of beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves

1. Using the top of a sharp paring knife, make 20 small evenly space slits about 1.5 inches deep all over the roast. Insert garlic pieces into the slits as far as it will go.

2. In a dutch oven, heat oil over high heat. Carefully add meat & sear on both sides until well browned (4-6 minutes per side).

3. Add salt, pepper, onion, carrots, potatoes and bay leaves as well as 2/3 cup (or more) of the beef broth.

4. Cover and reduce heat to med-low & cook for 3 - 3.5 hours, turning 2-3 times until very tender. Add more broth or a little red wine as needed so that there is always a little liquid in the bottom.

5. Transfer meat to a cutting board & let stand 10 min before serving with vegetables and drippings.