Friday, May 20, 2011

Pan Seared Shrimp and Scallop with Lime Hollandaise and Jalapeno Bacon RECIPE plus one more

As promised:

Pan Seared Shrimp and Scallop with Lime Hollandaise and Jalapeno Bacon (serves 4)

4 pieces bacon, diced
1 small jalapeno pepper, split in half, seeds removed
4 collosal shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 jumbo sea scallops

Fry bacon pieces in a large saute pan with the jalapeno pepper until bacon is crisp. Remove from pan and drain. Discard jalapeno pepper. Pour grease out of pan but do not wipe out pan.

Take scallops and shrimp out of refrigerator 30 minutes prior to preparing. Dry on paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.

Prepare the Hollandaise sauce (recipe follows)

Heat pan over medium heat and when hot add shrimp and scallops. Sear about 2 minutes per side, turn and continue to cook for another 2 minutes until firm and cooked through. Do not overcook!

Lime Hollandaise:

4 egg yolks
4 tablespoons very hot water
4 tablespoons melted butter
Zest and juice of 1/2 a lime.
1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) salt

Place egg yolks in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water. Whisk to combine eggs. Add hot water to the yolks one tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition. Slowly add melted butter to eggs and water, whisking constantly. Eggs will thicken in about 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in lime zest and juice until well combined. Taste and correct seasonings with salt. Turn heat off and cover. Prepare the scallops and shrimp.

To serve:

I make tri-colored couscous but rice or regular couscous is just as good. Spoon the starch in a shallow bowl or small plate. Top with one shrimp and two scallops, sprinkle with bacon pieces. Drizzle Lime Hollandaise over seafood and serve immediately.

Not thrilled with bacon, jalapenos and lime? Try making this dish omitting these ingredients and substituting orange juice and orange zest. Melt a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in the pan you will cook your seafood in. Pour off the excess fat but do not wipe out pan.

Bon Appetite everyone.

Bacon and Jalapeno cooking



Monday, May 16, 2011

Pan Seared Shrimp and Scallop with Lime Hollandaise and Jalapeno Bacon

Thank you all for the beautiful and inspiring comments on my last post. Some of you sent me private messages of encouragement, others offered up a prayer. I will never be able to express how much that means to me. I DO feel stronger and I am lifting my face to the sun more often. Thank you.

When the wave of grief threatens to drown me I try to immerse myself in creativity. Here is my latest creation:

Pan Seared Shrimp and Scallop with Lime Hollandaise and Jalapeno Bacon

Recipe to follow tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Nine Months and No Recipe


If I was having a baby the nine month mark would be the grand finale. Instead, it is a tick on the calendar. No new life. Nothing to celebrate. 
In two hours, nine months ago, you died. Nine months ago I heard your sweet voice for the last time; as usual I said I love you, and you said I love you back. And then there was sleep. The official date of your death is August 11th. but we know you died about 9:30 on the 10th; but you were officially pronounced dead in the AM hours of the 11th. 
How am I doing since you left? Well, spring finds me overwhelmed. The yard, the gardens, the cleanup after a long, hard winter has me working and working and working. I miss your presence with me in the gardens, in the yard. I'm doing the best I can. 
I had the pond opened. All the koi and goldfish survived the cold winter but no baby fishes this year. Perhaps it was just too cold. The pond looks beautiful. I set the two chairs out near the pond's edge but it hurts too much to look at them, let alone sit there. I remember the warm nights we would carry a cocktail out and sit in the midst of the soothing sound of water, the soft glow of the lights under the ripples of the waterfall and enjoy each other. 
I planted tomatoes and basil and eggplants and green beans. Not as many plants as before, it's only me now. The asparagus survived the winter and I will soon be cutting fresh green stalks. 
I've been working on the flower gardens, cleaning up, pulling weeds, raking out the last vestiges of leaves. We will have sunflowers and daisies and cosmos and gladiolas and dahlias and butterfly flowers and zinnias and bachelor buttons and petunias and geraniums; just like always. But it won't be just like always will it? 
I miss you. I struggle everyday, in every way, to move forward. I am grieving as fast as I can but I wonder where I am going. Where does it all lead? Does it lead to you? 
I miss you. I miss your gentle humor, your great puns, your helping hands. I miss your smile, your strong arms when I needed a hug, a hole dug, a weed pulled. What part of me were you not a part of? None. You, my love, you were my everything. 
I miss you Jim. I miss you with every bone in my body. You've been gone from me for 9 months now, how is that possible? How is that sane? How could the universe not know that this would be impossible? 
I love you sweetheart. I think of you everyday. EVERYDAY. I am trying, really trying to make a life without you, but truth be told it's not much of a life. Breath in, breath out. Wake up. Go to sleep. Not much to write home about. I hope where ever you are it is a happy place. Better than here. 
I miss you. What else is there to say?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Little Kittens and Saffron Scented Cornish Hens

When our daughter Julia was a little girl, around 8 or 9 years old, she arrived home from school one day and as was her habit, asked what we were having for dinner.

I replied, "Cornish Hens". Confused, she asked me what Cornish Hens were. I replied, "Oh, they're little chickens", to which she started to cry and told me she would never eat that.

I reminded her that she liked chicken.

Through tears she agreed, yes, she liked chicken but there was no way she was eating dinner tonight.

She thought I had said, "They're little kittens" instead of "little chickens".

I was reminded of the Little Kittens story as I was preparing last night's dinner.

From that day forward we always called Cornish Hens, "Little Kittens"

Little Kittens (or more commonly known as Saffron Scented Cornish Hens) serves two to four, depending on appetite size.

Two Rock Cornish Hens
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
freshly ground pepper
Two tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Wash and pat dry the hens. Sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine the saffron threads, ginger and salt.

Rub the skin and under the skin on the breast meat the saffron / salt / ginger mixture. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Or prepare the rotisserie. (I prefer the rotisserie, especially at this time of year).

If you are using the oven, place a rack over a rimmed cookie sheet. Place the hens breast side down, brush with butter and roast 20 minutes per pound, turning breast side up half way through and brushing breasts with butter.

If you are using a rotisserie, arrange the hens on the skewer, place on rotisserie and brush all over with butter, basting every ten minutes until cooked through.

I served the hens with steamed asparagus (the first of the season), tri-colored couscous and lots of memories.

If you are serving four people, simply split the hens in half and serve breast side up.
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