My sweetie, Andrew, usually takes the role as dishwasher rather than cook in our kitchen. He rarely cooks, but when he does, its always awesome. I’ve been super busy the last few months and with the increased workload I haven’t been cooking as much as I usually do. In my culinary absence, he’s definitely stepped up his cooking game.
This past Sunday, while I was busy with a project, I asked Andrew to run to the store and grab something for dinner. Fully expecting him to return with pasta, I was super excited when came home with sea scallops, asparagus, fresh herbs, meyer lemons, and wine… I have such a great boyfriend.
More about the scallops in a minute, I just want to share with you the aforementioned project I’ve been slogging away at this year. I’m doing an Illustrated Bites art show!! I’m super excited to bring Illustrated Bites out of the internet and into the real world. The show is going to be at The Curiosity Shoppe starting April 13. I’m putting my sign painting skills to work to make hand painted recipes and food illustrations. There will also be a little screen printed work and an Illustrated Bites Zine.
If you’re in the Bay Area, I would love if you could make it to the opening on Friday, April 13th 6-9PM. If you can’t make it to the opening, the show will be open for 6 weeks.
Here is a little sneak peek of some of the works in progress:
More about the show later, back to those sweet sea critters:
When you’re buying scallops, buy either the larger sea scallops or the smaller bay scallops. Avoid the tiny calico scallops, which are most often too rubbery. Also, try to buy scallops that are “dry,” meaning that they haven’t been soaked in phosphates.
This scallop dish is delicious and easy. It pairs nicely with roast asparagus, tied together by the lemon but standing apart in texture and flavor. Both dishes are done in 15 minutes or less. This is a gourmet meal, literally in minutes. So, if you’ve got a hot date you’re trying to impress, but not a ton of time… this would definitely be a good meal to go with.
From Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything
- 2 TBS Olive Oil
- 1TSP Minced garlic
- 1-1.5 pound scallops (sea or bay)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 TBS minced fresh chives
- Heat your skillet over medium-high for 3 minutes, then add the oil & garlic. After 30 seconds, add the scallops and cook on each side for 2 minutes. (Shorter for those under an inch across, slightly longer for those over one inch.)
- Season them with salt and pepper as they cook and remove them to a bowl as they finish.
- Add the lemon juice to the pan, and reduce the liquid to a glaze. (1-2 minutes)
- Return the scallops to the pan, add the chives, and stir to coat the scallop with the sauce.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately
- 1.5-2 pounds of asparagus, with ends trimmed off.
- 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
- lemon wedges
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Place the asparagus in a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.
- Bake until the thick part of the stalk can be pierced with a knife. About 10 minutes.
- Serve with lemon wedges.
FUN FACT: Did you know that scallops swim? I didn’t either!! I always imagined scallops just sitting on the sea floor, inactive and passive. Not so! Those little suckers can go. They look like a Mario Brothers character, or a little Pac Man. It’s fun to watch, I can’t get enough of these underwater videos.
My lovely sister and her boyfriend recently came to visit the Bay Area and I had the privilege of hosting them for a week. My favorite thing about having guests is the excuse to join in on their vacation. Drink every night? Go out to eat again? Dessert? Of course, it’s vacation! We enjoyed long, leisurely dinners almost every night they were here. We took turns making different dishes and sipped wine between courses. It’s so nice not to rush through a meal and really enjoy the food and the company of family and friends. If I had my way, dinner would be like that every night.
Tripp and Tina are good cooks and they introduced me to a few new dishes over the course of their stay. My favorite was roasted asparagus with feta cheese. It is a simple dish that’s really satisfying. The flavors of the cheese and asparagus meld nicely and the cheese adds a subtle richness to this vegetable dish. It’s a perfect appetizer and goes really well with a glass of white wine.
Roast Asparagus with Feta Cheese:
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 – 1 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Wash and dry asparagus, and cut off the woody ends. If the asparagus is thick, it helps to peel the stalk.
- Spread the asparagus in a single layer in a baking dish. Drizzle the olive oil over the asparagus and roll the stalks to coat.
- Sprinkle the feta cheese evenly over the dish.
- Sprinkle the salt over the asparagus. I generally add a lot of salt, this is really to taste.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
On a side note, I’ve been experimenting with my illustrations over the last two posts. They’re more hand-drawn than my usual illustrations. What do you guys think? I would love some feedback, just leave me a comment. You can see my experiments with the illustration from this post here. Thanks everyone!