Sunday, July 22, 2012

Scallops with Zucchini Fritters

This is one of those meals that I created as I cooked, no recipes in my head to start with. I had decided to make scallops. I was going to incorporate tomatoes as my wife is going out of town this week and I will be living the bachelor life. Our garden has been producing tomatoes, so we had a bunch I was going to have to use or I would have to eat them everyday while she was gone.
My wife decided that she was going to bake zucchini bread. Instead of making a large loaf she decided to make little loafs. While she ended up with 2 cups of shredded zucchini left over. So she tells me figure out something to make for dinner that uses shredded zucchini. I was Iron Chef'd, a mystery ingredient was added to my meal. Here is what I made.
Scallops with Zucchini Fritters
2 cups Zucchini, shredded
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
olive oil, enough to cover bottom of pan to fry fritters

2 slices of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
8 scallops
10 roma tomatoes, cubed into thick pieces
2 green onions, finely chopped, reserve a couple of tablespoons for garnish
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs white wine
1/2 lemon, juiced

I have never made fritters before this. You will have to eye this and maybe add more flour or only 1 egg. It will depend on how wet your zucchini is. Eggs act as the liquid and flour and parmesan as the thickener. Mix everything together but the olive oil and one egg. If mixture is dry add the second egg. If it is to wet add more flour. Take some of the mixture and make a pancake if it holds together you are ok. Heat oil in medium pan and cook the fritters. You should get 4 fritters, keep them kind of thin. Cook until golden brown on one side then flip and cook until second side browns.

Heat pan over medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, set aside. If there is enough bacon fat add scallops if not add 1 tsp of olive oil. Remove from pan and add the scallops. Cook until they brown on one side and flip over and remove when second side starts to  take on color. Add oil if needed then add the tomatoes and onions. When tomatoes start to get soft add wine and lemon juice. Cook until wine and lemon juice reduce.

Put fritters on plate, spoon tomato and onion mixture over fritters. Top with the scallops. Sprinkle bacon and reserved green onion over the top.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sausage Ratatouille

One of the tricks of making ratatouille is cutting the vegetables into even sized pieces, so that everything cooks evenly. This is hard to do as vegetables don't seem to grow in nice even sizes. If you notice in the pictures I was able to get zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant the same size but when it came to tomatoes I had to get large ones or small ones. I went with the smaller Roma tomatoes and cut them into thicker slices and separated them into a layer of their own when I layered the vegetable slices.  This worked better than I expected as the tomatoes gave off a lot of juice as they cooked adding additional flavor.
Sausage Ratatouille
2 or 3 Japanese eggplants 4 to 6 inches or 1 standard eggplant 8 to 10 inches, cut into thin coins
1 yellow squash 8 to 10 inches, cut into thin coins
1 zucchini 8 to 10 inches, cut into thin coins
12 Roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
Olive Oil
salt & pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
2 Italian sausages, hot or sweet, cases removed, I used turkey sausage
1/2 small onion, chopped finely
1/4 red pepper, chopped finely
1/4 yellow pepper, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

After cutting the eggplant, zucchini, squash and tomatoes put them in a bowl drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and oregano. Arrange them in a shallow baking dish, I had 2 circles of tomato and 2 of eggplant, zucchini and squash but the sausage covers the smaller circles. Cook until vegetables take on color, about 30 to 40 minutes.

While vegetables are baking add sausage to sauté pan and cook until meat starts to brown. Add the onion, peppers and garlic. cook until meat is browned and onions and peppers are soft.

When baked vegetables are done top with sausage mixture. and serve.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Lemon Sorbet

When the heat goes up my ice cream maker comes out. I hardly ever make ice cream though. I love the taste of fresh fruit so sorbet is my frozen dessert of choice. This Lemon Sorbet has become a family favorite. This sorbet will definitely make you pucker up.

Lemon Sorbet

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbs lemon zest finely chopped
Sprig of mint for each serving

Combine sugar & water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once it starts to boil, reduce to low and simmer until sugar dissolves. Cool completely. I usually put it in the freezer to cool quicker. When completely cool add lemon juice & zest. If you have an electric ice cream maker, turn the machine on, pour lemon mixture into the freezer bowl and mix until thickened. If not, pour into a freezer-safe bowl and freeze until thickened.

To serve put in bowl and garnish with mint sprig and/or lemon slices. Or you could add fresh berries, I love raspberries or blueberries. You can turn this into an adult float by adding the sorbet to a glass of prosecco. This recipe is based on one that came with my Cuisinart Ice Cream maker.