Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Million Dollar Scallops

I have fallen victim to a scam.  That's right.  Yours truly was not on her game one morning, while lying in bed, reading my emails, and I didn't read the fine print or do my research when I came across a Living Social deal for fresh seafood.  I jumped quickly at the deal, which claimed you pay $20 for $40 worth of seafood from the Maryland Blue Crab Express.  I adore blue crab.  And it's about this time every year when I crave a box full of freshly steamed blue crab, covered in Old Bay Seasoning, and an ice cold Corona with a lime.  So I bought the deal and went on to the website to see what I might be able to get.  Turns out, it's not cheap to buy blue crab online.  And it's a whole lot more expensive to have someone else pack and ship your blue crab.  So I decided, ok, in order to not spend an extra $180 bucks for some blue crab, I would just get some shrimp and scallops.  Wrong again.  In addition to the $11.00 extra I would be paying for these items (that included my $40 of free fish), the shipping/packing alone was going to be an additional $80.

So I did what any old cheapskate would do.  I found the cheapest thing I could get, which ended up being scallops, a 10-20 count for $22.99.  Now, take my $40 coupon, and I have 17.01 remaining.  However, add in shipping and packaging and I now owe an additional $30.  SCREWED.  HARD.  So I have now just paid $50 for 10-20 scallops.  I thought to myself, "so help me, there best be 20 god damned scallops in my package when they arrive.")

So here I am now, with my sea scallops.  There are about 15 of them.  They don't look any more special than any sea scallop I could have bought for $20.00 at the grocery store. In fact, they are all a different size.  Some small, some medium sized.  So now the cook time on them is going to vary.  I wanted to make some elaborate dish out of my $50 scallops, but instead I put them in a hot pan with some coconut oil, salt and pepper and sauteed them.  I forgot to get a picture because I was so pissed off at my scallops and at myself that I just ate the mediocre little mollusks. 

So heads up.  Read the fine print.  Don't fall for scams.  And don't overpay for mediocre seafood.  Do your research.  LESSON LEARNED.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Beet It

I go to the grocery store for inspiration.  I had been eyeballing beets and wanting to try my hand at roasting them myself, because though I like canned beets, it was high time that I make my own for comparison.  So I bought myself some beets.  Looked up a recipe.  Seemed easy enough.  So I tried it.  Made a bad ass salad and am now in love with beets and beet salads.

It's super easy.

Here's What You Do:
Preheat oven to 400.  Get a bunch of beets.  Mine usually come in 3's at my grocery store.  Chop off their little rat tail looking ends and the greens (you can use the beet greens in your salad if you like.  I noticed that when I buy the box of spring mix lettuce, there are beet greens in it...they're yummy).  Wash them off real good.  They come from out of the dirt, so they're dirty little suckers.  Don't skip this step.  You may even have to scrub them a little.  But take care of them.  They're about to take care of you.  Get a big sheet of foil and place the beets on the foil.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper them.  Wrap them up super tight in the foil and bake for 40-45 minutes.  When a knife easily goes through them, they're done.  Let the beets cool with the foil open hfor about 15 minutes.  Then take a paper towel and wipe the skin of the beets away.  It's much easier than trying to peel your beets before hand.  Trust me!  And don't wear white when working with beets.  EVER.   

You now have many options.  I sliced my beets and added them to a salad of mixed greens, toasted pecans, shallot and goat cheese with a light vinaigrette dressing.  Can't beet it with a stick.

Simple Vinaigrette Dressing:
1 shallot, diced
1 tablespoon of Dijon
1/8 cup of champagne vinegar
1/4 cup of olive oil (you can use any oil you like here)
salt & pepper

Throw everything into a jar and shake.

Pretty little beets awaiting their 400 degree oven

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Panana Cake

I came across a recipe for pancakes that you make with a banana and some egg and I HAD to try it to see if it really worked.  My thoughts were that the finished product would be a scramcake (A scrambled egg/pancake).  And yet, again...I have been proven wrong.  This recipe is super easy, very healthy and absolutely delicious.  Top with anything you like, I used almond butter and honey.  It takes 10 minutes tops to make.  So try it.  This may be my new go-to breakfast.  Well, at least until I get tired of it.

Here's What You Do:
Take 1 large banana and mash it into a bowl.  Crack one whole egg and 1 egg white into the bowl with the mashed banana and whip it like you would to make scrambled eggs.  Add a pinch of salt.  You could also add in cinnamon.

 The banana/egg mixture

Get a skillet nice and hot and melt some coconut oil in the pan.  If you act too soon and add your mixture in too early, you will come out with some really pale, almost scrambled egg looking pancakes.  Like these (still delicious, mind you):

But if you wait for the skillet to get hot enough, you will get this lovely, delicious pananacake.  It's so good.  I would have never in a million years thought you could make a pancake out of just a banana and an egg, but here's the proof!  It works.  And it's good.  So you should try it. 

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

No Rules...Just Right

I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but Outback Steakhouse has really stepped up their game.  I'm not big on chain restaurants because most of them open up bags and serve you food that has just been reheated.  Trust me on this one.  I can't tell you how many times I've pulled a piece of plastic out of my food in chain restaurants.  I won't name names, but if you work for a chain restaurant, or any restaurant that practices this type of behavior, for the love of God, make sure that the entire plastic bag is accounted for after you empty pre-made food out of it.  There are too many people out there looking for a lawsuit.

Back on track...so I just moved to a place that's in walking distance to an Outback Steakhouse.  And they have this to die for tuna appetizer.  It's cooked perfectly and comes with two delicious sauces for dipping.  One of the sauces is more of a vinaigrette, but the other is like a mayo based spicy sauce.  This is the one I love.

So I recreated this menu item, because who wants to go to the Outback every day?  Unless the Outback you are referring to is in Australia....then sign me up, Mate!

Here's What You Do:
Get a piece of sushi grade tuna.  I got mine at Whole Foods.  Season both sides with Paul Prudhomme's Redfish Magic (This stuff is good on everything.  Chicken, Steak, Fish...it should be called Paul Prudhomme's Magical Spice).  Then get a skillet SMOKING hot.  Add a little olive oil and throw that hunk o' tuna into the pan.  Cook for 2 minutes on both sides and take off the heat.  Let it sit for about 2 minutes, and then slice into that beautiful pink-fleshed fish and serve with your favorite dipping sauce. 

For the sauce:
a heaping spoon of mayo
a good squirt of sriracha
a few drops of sesame oil

Mix together and serve.

  I do not have man hands...this is my male tuna model!