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Sea Scallops w/Tarragon Butter Sauce June 28, 2008

Posted by pcorcoran in Entree, Recipe, Seafood.
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2 lbs. large sea scallops
1 stick (8 tbsp.) butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh tarragon, finely chopped
1 tsp. Kosher salt

Wash and dry scallops.  Rub scallops with salt.

Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a large skillet over high heat.  Sear scallops, turning once on each side to prevent sticking.  Cook until lightly browned on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes.  Transfer to a plate, cover, and set aside.

Add shallot to skillet and saute at high heat for one minute.  Add vinegar, wine, and any juices drained from the cooling scallops to skillet.  Deglaze, and reduce liquid at a controlled boil for 3-4 minutes.  Reduce skillet to low heat and add 3 tbsp. butter.  When butter is melted, add another 4 tbsp. butter and stir until butter in melted and creamy.  Turn off heat.  Stir in tarragon and salt to taste.

Arrange scallops on serving plate(s) and top with tarragon butter.

Time to Prepare: 20 minutes

Difficulty: 3/10

Serves: 4-6 people


Chive Oil Coulis June 28, 2008

Posted by pcorcoran in Recipe, Sauce, Soup.
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1/3 cup chopped chives
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
pinch of salt

Puree the chives and oil in a small food processor until pureed.  Add salt to taste.  Drizzle over soups, or use for general presentation.

Time to Prepare: 5 minutes

Difficulty: 1/10

Serves: 6-10 people as light garnish

Risotto with Morels and Asparagus June 28, 2008

Posted by pcorcoran in Entree, Mushrooms, Recipe, Risotto, Veggies.
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2 cups dried arborio rice (risotto)
1/2 lb. fresh morel mushrooms
1/2 lb. asparagus
5 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups boiling water
4 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup grated Reggiano

Pour boiling water over morels and stir gently.  Set mushrooms and liquid aside covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove mushrooms from liquid broth with a slotted spoon, reserving liquid.  Pat mushrooms dry, chop into quarters lengthwise, and set aside.  Remove grit and solids from the broth, straining through a cheesecloth if necessary.  Set broth aside.

While mushrooms are soaking, cut asparagus in half lengthwise, then slice into 1/2 inch pieces on the diagonal.  Bring a small pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Blanche asparagus in boiling water for 4 minutes.  Drain.  Run cold water over asparagus until cool to the touch and set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large heavy stock pot over high heat.  When foam subsides, add shallot and thyme.  Saute for several minutes.  Chop finely 1 clove of garlic.  Add morels and chopped garlic, and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Add asparagus and mix well.  Transfer contents of stock pot to a bowl and set aside, covered.

Deglaze stock pot with 1/2 cup white wine.  Add mushroom stock to pot and bring to a boil.  Add vegetable stock and 2 cloves coarsely sliced garlic.  Bring liquid to a boil, reduce to a simmer and keep covered.

Heat olive oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over high heat.  Add arborio rice and stir well.  Add 1/2 cup white wine and stir until absorbed.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add 1 cup stock and stir until absorbed.  Cover.  Add another cup of broth every minute or two, stirring to ensure an even coating, then replace cover.  Repeat until risotto is tender and creamy, about 20 to 25 minutes.  (Some broth may be left over.)

Melt 2 tablespoons in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add mushroom and asparagus mixture and heat it just until it bubbles slightly.  Pour mixture into risotto and mix well.  Stir in Reggiano cheese and serve immediately.

Time to Prepare: 90 minutes

Difficulty: 4/10

Serves: 6 to 8 people

Heirloom Tomato Salad w/ Burrata and Rustic Ciabbata Croutons June 14, 2008

Posted by pcorcoran in Recipe, Salad.
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1 loaf fresh Ciabbata
Approx. 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves
1-1/2 cloves fresh garlic
1-1/2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
3 lbs. heirloom tomatoes
1 tsp. fleur de sel
2 tbsp. julienned opal basil
2 tbsp. julienned green basil
1 lb. burrata cheese
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375° F degrees. Slice the loaf into large 1-inch thick slices.  Remove the crusts.  Tear the bread into chunks of roughly 1-inch in diameter.  Slice thinly one clove of garlic.  Put the garlic in a microwaveable bowl with a 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil and microwave on high setting for one minute.  Set aside, letting oil cool until it is safe to touch.  Remove the slices of garlic from oil and discard.  Toss the bread chunks lightly in the olive oil, moistening them slightly.  (Squeeze bread gently to remove excess olive oil, if necessary.)  Place bread chunks on a baking sheet and toast them for 12 minutes or so.  Serve within 2 hours.

Salad Dressing
Using a mortle and pestle, make a paste from oregano leaves, 1/2 clove of garlic, and 1/2 tsp. of salt.  Transfer to a mixing bowl.  Stir in red wine and balsamic vinegars.  Whisk in 6 tbsp. olive oil and set aside.

Julienne the basil, chop the parsley, slice the shallots, and set aside, separately.  Remove stems from cherry tomatoes and cut each in half.  Cut half the heirloom tomatoes into wedges.  Cut the other half into 1/4-inch think slices.  Season slices with fleur de sel and black pepper.  On each individual salad place, place a few tomato slices, drizzle a tiny amount of vinaigrette over tomatoes, and top with a little basil.

Slice the burrata cheese into wedges.  Put equal amount of burrata on each plate, tucked in with the tomato slices.

Toss the tomato wedges and the cherry tomatoes in a large bowl with the shallots, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, a twist of fresh ground pepper, and 3 tbsp. vinaigrette (or more — adjust to taste).  Gently toss in the croutons.  Divide the tomatoes and croutons among the plates.  Scatter parsley and remaining basil over the salads and serve within 20 minutes.

Time to Prepare: 45 minutes to 1 hour

Difficulty: 2/10

Serves: 6 people

Adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques, by Suzanne Goin.