Monday, August 17, 2009

a week of fresh seafood

Our week of vacation on Folly Beach has ended and we have returned to reality - bills, work, pet care, schedules.

It was a wonderful week, and it's always sad when vacation ends. Although there are some things about being home that I am not thrilled about - you can probably guess what they are - it is SO good to be back in my kitchen. I do not, by any means, have a fancy kitchen, but I do have a few choice implements that I just can't live without. I also have a few things that I wouldn't consider to be luxuries in any way but which were missing from our cute, cozy, yet somewhat unequipped cottage. It's nice to be home where I have things like measuring spoons, a skillet larger than 6 inches, baking dishes, knives that haven't been used for whittling, and mixing bowls of various sizes.

In spite of the ill-equipped kitchen, we did enjoy some great fresh seafood dinners at home. We found a fresh seafood market - an absolute requirement at the beach - and visited it every day, except the one day we went out to dinner. Our vacation menu included:
  • flounder fillets poached in a white wine, butter, and garlic sauce, with sauteed zucchini and squash and corn on the cob
  • seared scallops over fresh corn pudding with tomato avocado salsa and roasted tomatillo sauce
  • shrimp with garlic, lemon, and parsley
  • crab cakes with garlic lemon green beans and balsamic roasted eggplant
  • mussels with fresh tomato, onion, and parsley
I was unable to photograph many of these meals - in some cases because I just forgot, or Dora was being extra-needy, or the lighting was just too bad to do it. But, I did manage to get a shot of the best meal I made - not one of my originals, but adapted from a recipe I heard on one of my favorite shows, KCRW's Good Food.

seared scallops over fresh corn pudding with tomato avocado salsa and roasted tomatillo sauce Note: This recipe came from KCRW's Good Food. The original recipe came from chef DJ Olsen, which he adapted from a recipe by Robert Del Grande. I made a few changes to use what I had on-hand, and to serve 2 and a half people.

roasted tomatillo sauce
3 - 4 tomatillos, peeled, rinsed, and stemmed
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
several cloves garlic
fresh lime juice

Toss ingredients on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in 450 degree oven until charred. Puree in blender, adding fresh lime juice and sugar to taste.

tomato avocado salsa
1 large tomato, diced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
1 vidalia onion, finely chopped
fresh lime juice

Combine tomato, avocado, and onion. Season to taste with lime juice, salt, and pepper and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before using.

fresh corn pudding
2 cups milk
1/2 cup corn meal
3 ears fresh corn, grated on a box grater
salt to taste

Bring the milk almost to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Whisk in corn meal and cook until thickened, 3 - 4 minutes. Stir in corn and any juices accumulated when grating. Cook an additional 2 - 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

ed scallops
8 - 10 fresh sea scallops
olive oil

Season scallops with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil over high heat in medium skillet. Add scallops and sear on one side for 3 - 4 minutes. Turn over, turn off heat, and let sear on second side for an additional 3 minutes or until cooked through.

To serve, place a large dollop of corn pudding on each plate, top with a few spoonfuls of the salsa, and surround with several scallops drizzled with tomatillo sauce. Add a crisp white wine, and follow with a walk on the beach.

The next morning, you will feel so wonderful you'll be able to get up in time to see the sun rise over the ocean.

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