Cornmeal Crusted Scallop Salad

It’s a salad so it is healthy by default

This is a perfect light dinner or first course. Make sure to use fresh scallops that are all roughly the same size. Four to five are good per person as a main or two as a starter course. This recipe will make enough for 20 medium scallops

Cornmeal Crusted Scallop Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

  • 1 cup shredded kale
  • 1 cup shredded spinach
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp Old Bay
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1-1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2-3 garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

In a bowl mix yogurt, lime juice, garlic and finely chopped cilantro. Add enough buttermilk to bring to a dressing consistency and season with salt and pepper. Place dressing in refrigerator for 1 hour before serving. Mic shredded kale, spinach and roughly chopped cilantro together and divide equally among however many plates are being served. Mix cornmeal, paprika, black pepper and Old Bay. Toss scallops in breading until well coated. Heat 2 tbsp butter in a large frying pan over medium hear and cook until butter just starts to brown. Add scallops and fry for 5-7 minutes per side flipping once. Remove scallops to plates and drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.

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Seafood Stew

So many fishy combinations

This soup can use an assortment of whatever seafood is available, just make sure to have some shellfish and some fillets.

Seafood Stew

  • 1 lb scallops
  • 1/2 lb cleaned crab meat
  • 1 lb red snapper fillets
  • 3 ribs celery diced fine
  • 2 leeks diced fine
  • 2 carrots diced fine
  • 4-6 potatoes diced medium small
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 28 oz can whole tomatoes crushed by hand
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste mixed with 1 cup water
  • 8 cups shellfish stock
  • 3 lavender pods
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • Old bay
  • 2 tbsp bacon fat

In a large stock pot melt bacon fat over medium heat and saute leeks, celery and carrots until softened. Add garlic and saute until fragrant then turn heat to high and add tomato paste. Fry until most of liquid is evaporated, add potatoes and turn heat to low. Cover and sweat for 5 minutes then add tomatoes, spices and stock. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes. Add raw fish and cook for 10-15 minutes then add remaining fish and cook for 5 minutes more. Serve with toasted bread.

 

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Layered Irish Cheesecake

Look at the layers

This is a fun cheesecake for Saint Patrick’s day. Make sure to use homemade Irish cream. You may need to use food coloring for the espresso layer if it does not get dark enough.

Layered Irish Cheescake

For crust

  • 9 oz chocolate graham crackers
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp melted butter

For espresso layer

  • 16 oz cream cheese warm
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 cup fresh espresso
  • 1 tsp espresso grounds
  • 2 eggs

For Irish cream layer

  • 16 oz cream cheese warm
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup Irish cream

Grease a 9″ springform pan with butter, flip the bottom upside down and cover with parchment paper. Crush cookies and mix with butter. Pour butter over and pack into base of pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes then remove from oven and let cool. Meanwhile mix the espresso cheese layer. Start by whipping the sugar and cheese together until smooth, then add 1 egg at a time and mix well, then the vanilla and grounds and finally the espresso. If it does not get dark enough add food coloring to desired tone. Pour into pan and let set for 15 minutes. Make the Irish cream layer and pour carefully on top so that it sits on the layer below without mixing. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour, then turn off stove and let sit another hour without opening the oven. Then let it cool completely before refrigerating at least 4 hours or up to 24.

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Raw Spinach Stuffed Cornish Hens

it cooks in the cavity

This is a different way to stuff cornish hens.

Cornish Hens Stuffed with Raw Spinach

  • 2 cornish hens
  • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 6-8 cremini mushrooms sliced in half and then sliced very thin
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • Pesto
  • Salt/pepper

Clean cornish hens and pat dry. Saute mushrooms in butter until browned then add garlic and saute until fragrant. Let cool then mix with spinach leaves. Rub some pesto inside each hen cavity then stuff with spinach mixture. Tie legs together and place in a roasting pan. Rub pesto into and under skin and surround hens with chunks of carrot. Roast at 375 degrees for 15 minutes then turn heat down to 350 and cook until done, about 1 hour. Split and serve halves.

 

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Juice and Stormy

bring a touch of spring early

It has been awhile since there was a new cocktail.

Juice and Stormy

  • 1 1/2 oz black strap rum
  • 1/2 oz fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • Ginger beer

In a juice glass filled with ice add rum and juices. Top with ginger beer and garnish with fruit slices.

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Swedish Ginger Snaps

This is a funny shape according to Raising Arizona

The proper way to finish these cookies is decorated with sweet icing but I like them as is for serving with coffee or tea. They can be cut into any shape desired.

I used a round ravioli cutter.

Swedish Ginger Snaps

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp molasses
  • 3 tbsp boiling water
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground clove
  • 1 tsp ground cardamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix molasses and water and add to butter with lemon zest. Sift flour, baking soda and spices and add to butter until rough dough forms. Knead by hand quickly until the consistency of pie dough adding more flour if necessary. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out on a floured counter to thickness of thin pie dough. Cut out shapes and place on greased baking sheets. Bake for 10-15 minutes until edges begin to brown. Let cool until hardened. Decorate with icing if desired or serve plain. Makes about 5 dozen 2″ rounds.

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Duck Stuffed with Farro

Turkey skin has nothing on this

This is a great use of an inexpensive light red you may have foolishly bought again around the start of November.

More so it is a fantastic way to present whole duck.

It does require de-boning the whole bird intact. To do this is very easy, but will require a sharp knife and 30 minutes. Flip duck over to backside and cut a slit to the bone from the neck to tail. Working from one side of cut, slice against bone leaving the skin and fat attached to the meat. Continue to work away meat to the thigh joint, pop from the socket and pull back. Do the same with the wing joint. Continue carefully to the breast then repeat on other side. Finally separate thin connection between fat and top of breast bone careful not to cut all the way through. Then work knife around leg and wing bones leaving outer skin intact around meat. Make fantastic meat stock with carcass bones.

Whole Duck Stuffed with Farro, Figs and Sausage

  • 1 5-7lb whole duck
  • 12-16 whole black figs
  • 1 1/2 cups gamay based wine
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 6 whole allspice
  • 1 lb mild pork sausage
  • 1 cup farro
  • 3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned*, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped sage

A day before serving rinse and soak farro in cold water. Bring wine, sugar, and whole spices to a boil, then simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add figs and cover. Let both stand overnight.

Day of bring 4 cups salted water to a boil and cook farro until al dente, strain and let cool to room temperature. Slice soaked figs into quarters. Add raw sausage, sage, hazelnuts and figs to farro and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Take duck carcass and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Arrange meat skin down and spoon stuffing into a 3″ thick cylinder down center of meat. Pull together into a log and secure with kitchen twine every 2″. Place slit side down in a pan with roasting rack with 1 cup wine in base. Roast, basting every 15 minutes at 375 degrees until thermometer in stuffing center is 160 degrees about 1 1/2-2 hours. Turn heat down to 325 degrees after first hour. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Serve hot with pan gravy made from 1/2 cup drippings and 3 cups fresh carcass stock.

 

 

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