Saturday, March 18, 2006


To be sure, last night was as fine a feast as any St. Paddy's before it, and the meat was not missed. In fact, I have 2 new favorite recipes to share with you.

The first is adapted from Jeff Smith's "Immigrant Ancestors" cookbook. Reading over the recipe I was concerned that his methods cooked the scallops too long, thus turning them into tough street hoodlums with no yum factor left. So I nod in his general direction but this is what I came up with. This is as good a dish as anything without okra in it can be. I'd prove it by giving you some left-overs but there aren't any!

Scallop and Mushroom Pie

1-1/2 lbs. scallops
(I used bay scallops because they are little, cute and not so pricey. If you want to use sea scallops you can but you'll want to cut them at least in half)

1 c. milk

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

2 T. butter

1 heaping T. all-purpose flour

1/4 lb. mushrooms, sliced (I used the cremini...button mushrooms are fine)

1/4 c. amontillado sherry (Never use cooking sherry. You know that right? Rule #1: Never cook with anything you wouldn't drink.)

3 c. cold mashed potatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Put the scallops and milk in a saucepan over very low heat so that the milk warms but never bubbles. (Don't even let it simmer). When the scallops have begun to turn opaque (5 minutes or so), remove from heat. Strain milk into a bowl and put scallops into an overproof casserole or gratin dish.

Meanwhile, melt 1 T. of butter and lightly saute the sliced mushrooms. When they have begun to soften up add the sherry and give another stir or two so the 'shrooms begin to absorb some of the sherry. Remove from heat and stir sherry and 'shrooms in with scallops. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Melt the other T. of butter and add in the flour. Cook for 1 minute to form a paste and add in the scallop milk, stirring to make a roux. When the roux bubbles and thickens, pour it over the scallops and mushrooms, stirring gently to combine everything.

Top the scallop mix with the mashed potatoes in a layer to cover. Top with bits of butter.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes begin to brown and crisp up. Garnish with parsley and serve.

As for dessert, I'm going to send you over to renowned local chef Greg Atkinson to retrieve the recipe for Bittersweet Chocolate-Guiness cake because it's his and I wouldn't change a thing. (And you know that is the thing with recipes, right? I could publish an entire cookbook using recipes from other chefs, so long as I'd made a few changes to each recipe so that it was "my own". I think that's kinda cool, actually, because for me that's one of the things cooking is about, inventing and experimenting and putting your own mark on a dish). So anyway, as I wouldn't change a thing of Mr. Atkinson's recipe I can't in good concience share it here without his permission. Trust me when I say that you must follow where the link leads and you must print the recipe and you must make it because it is the best chocolate cake I've ever made. And I am also not the biggest chocolate fan. My sister-in-law, who is, ate 2 pieces.

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Blogger Diane S. opined...

Just one word. Yum.

March 18, 2006 1:04 PM  
Blogger Amy opined...

oh, in the name of all that is good and proper in the world... that sounds absolutely delicious... smack. smack. smack.

March 18, 2006 2:13 PM  
Blogger Edy opined...

I can't access the chocolate recipe...

March 18, 2006 7:00 PM  
Blogger charlie opined...

This is a dreadful post. I need to lose 130lbs after my two weeks and Texas and this will not help. Shameful!

March 19, 2006 8:52 AM  

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