Dry Sea Scallops with Mango & Avocado Puree
Every time I decided to cook scallops, I ended up with a kind of soggy and soapy taste result. I had no idea what I was doing wrong.
One day while taking a culinary class, the teacher explained that we need to buy dry sea scallops, they cook firmer and taste sweeter.
I was like A-HA!!!
So few months ago, I came across these beautiful dry scallops, I decided to make a quick and refreshing appetizer using mango and avocado.
6 dry scallops
1 hass avocado
8 cherry tomatoes
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lime juice
Make sure scallops are room temperature, score them both sides for a perfect sear, season them with salt and pepper.
in a medium fry pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil, don not let it get to hot.
Fry your scallops until golden brown with a nice crispy layer. Reserve.
Sautee the cherry tomatoes in the same pan.
In a food processor, blend your mango with 1 tbsp of olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
Repeat same process with the avocado, but add 1 tbsp of lime juice.
The mango puree can be made before, just make sure to refrigerate, however avocado has the tendency to get dark faster, my suggestion is to make the puree when you are about to plate.
Enjoy it with a nice glass of natural sauvignon blanc!
Refreshing Strong Coffee
Last summer this method of making coffee rocked here in NY.
It's super simple to do. I saved a lot of money, because each small cup of THIS COFFEE costs at least $ 4 at Starbucks !!!
You usually can take it cold, but if you want it hot, just put it in the microwave.
Use the type of coffee you like. My favorite is Vienna Roast from Whole Foods.
I ground my coffee beans, if you have your coffee already grounded, even better.
In a large bowl, place 1 cup of grounded coffee, then add 4 cups of filtered water. Mix well, incorporating coffee and water.
Cover the bowl or use a plate to cover it.
Leave for at least 12 hours, (maximum 15 hours, otherwise it may become too strong and it can get bitter). It can be left at room temperature or in the refrigerator during the process.
Strain the coffee using a cloth strainer, (or improvise with a strainer and gauze). Transfer the coffee to a bottle, put it in the refrigerator.
It lasts a week.
This is absolutely one of my favorites brunch meals, I am a huge fan of grilled cheeses and "mixto-quentes", never thought that this simple sandwich could be upgrade and be even more delicious, until I had my first croque monsieur in Paris, I completely fell in love with it.
A croque monsieur is traditionally made with ham and sliced cheese between slices of bread topped with grated cheese and slightly salted and peppered, it can be baked in an oven or fried in a pan.
As an option, you can dip the bread in beaten egg, and then brown by grilling. You will need to use in a small horizontal grill designed for grilling sandwiches.
Croque monsieur can be baked or fried so that the cheese topping melts and forms a crust. When dipped in egg batter and fried in butter it's called a Monte Cristo sandwich, and when you add an egg on top it's called Croque Madame.
Béchamel sauce, also known as white sauce, made from a white roux (which is melted butter with flour) and milk. It's one of the mother sauces of French cuisine. It is used as the base for other sauces. Some people add nutmeg to the bechamel sauce.
I got inspired by chef Alex Guarnaschelli's recipe, so I added Parmesan to my saucel to zhuzh up the flavor. My version is all LOWCARB, I used my muffin as the bread, and used garbanzo flour instead of regular flour.
PS. Recipe for muffin is above this one and check the video for guidance.
1 oz of butter
2 tablespoons of garbanzo flour
1 cup of whole milk
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 bay leaf
Pinch of nutmeg
(makes 2 portions)
4 slices of lowcarb muffin/bread
6 slices of no nitrites added ham
1 cup of shredded cheddar (or any sharp cheese)
4 tablespoon of butter
Prepare the béchamel sauce:
In a small saucepan, melt 1 ounce butter over medium heat. Add the garbanzo flour whisk and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour and butter are cooking, keep mixing around 2 to 3 minutes. Do not let it brown.
Add the milk and bay leaf and cook, stirring from time to time, until the mixture thickens, for around 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and stir in the Parmesan cheese, then let it cool.
Ensemble your sandwich:
Get two slices of your lowcarb bread, top with 3 slices of ham. Mix 1/2 béchamel sauce with 1/2 cup of cheese and add salt and pepper if needed. Spread some of this mixture on top of the ham, then place the other slice on top.
Melt 2 oz butter in a cast iron or grilling pad, place one sandwich, let it brown for around 1/2 minutes, keep an eye. Then flip the sandwich carefully and repeat the process in the other side. Repeat same process with the other sandwich using the remaining butter.
Place both sandwiches on a baking sheet, spread the rest of the béchamel on top and add the rest of the cheese evenly. Put them under the broiler for 2 minutes, or until the top is golden brown, while you doing that, wipe the crumbs from the cast iron and fry 2 eggs.
I like to have my egg yolk runny, it adds a touch of silkiness in the sandwich.
I wanted to make this dish for a while, finally I got the courage and I am so happy I did!
It is delicious!
Very comforting meal and complex flavor achieved from a long braising process. Totally worth it!
You need to start earlier, doing your mise en place is always very important when you are following a recipe. This dish literally cooks by itself for 2.5/3hours depending on your oven.
I made “Barefoot Contessa” Ina Garten’s recipe, had to cook longer than the time suggested. By the way, I made a third of the recipe. I am posting the original recipe, which serves 6 people.
I served with mashed potatoes and an endive salad. Endives have a bitter taste and it was great to cut some of the richness from the dish.
1 tbsp olive oil
8 oz smoked bacon, diced
2 1/2 lbs chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb carrots cut into 1-inch chunks
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 tsp chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1/2 cup Cognac
1 bottle dry red wine (Pinot Noir/Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 cups beef broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (1/2 tsp dried)
4 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp, divided
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 lb frozen whole onions
1 lb fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.
Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.
Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.
Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Season to taste.