Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Homemade II

Dinner last night was in-house. Scallops, broccoli and salad.

I seared the scallops in the skillet with just a bit of olive oil and butter. About 5 or 6 minutes. It is really easy to overcook them. I actually like them cooked less but Ned likes his seafood done. He is definitely not a sushi man. After I removed the scallops I threw in a couple of tablespoons of chopped shallots and a bit of garlic, sauteed that for about a minute and added some white wine and deglazed the pan. Then I reduced the liquid until it was syrupy and put about a tablespoon on each scallop.

I've been changing the proportions of my salads. More veggies than greens. One of the reasons that I've done that is I'm buying a Italian baby green mix of lettuces and there are enough peppery leaves in it that it becomes a different element in the salad. Also have been buying a cherry tomato called a cherub that is just so sweet and delicious that I set them on the bar and pop one in my mouth when I walk by during the day. Last night the salad was orange bell pepper, cherub tomatoes, cucumber, greens and....blueberries. I had some blueberries left over and wanted to use them up. They looked beautiful in the salad and tasted good too.

As you can tell from my last couple of menus, I using ingredients that are hard to come by in San Miguel. Scallops? I can't remember seeing them in the seafood markets or if I have seen them they were not memorable. The cornish hen from a night or two ago? Sometimes I do find them in San Miguel but not on a regular basis. Sweet corn? We do have some in San Miguel but it is a short growing season and I don't ever seem to get enough fresh corn even in Houston. Great salad mixes? You can get some but they don't have the variety that I'm getting here. Costco in Mexico does have a pretty good Italian salad mix from time to time but the package is so big I can only buy it when we are giving a dinner party and there is some chance that I will be able to use it up before it goes bad.

All this cooking talk brings me back to my Homemade post from Sunday. Michael Pollan's article stirred up a comment in the Houston Press, No One Cooks In Houston Anymore...Or Do They?


Chrissy y Keith said...

yummy, you do your scallops like me. I also add a touch of lemon, artichoke hearts and a few capers. throw in some angel hair pasta.

jennifer rose said...

Cherub tomatoes are what we're harvesting right now in Morelia. Only I didn't know that was what they're called. Billie, you should save some of the seed (you can find the method by searching online or write me directly), because those would grow very easily in your macetas in SMA.

2 weeks ago Mega in SMA had Mr. Lucky sweet corn.

Billie said...

Chrissy, I like your way of doing them. I've done them with a caper sauce before. I usually buy the bay scallops for a pasta dish. My chef son was telling me that the bay scallops make a great cevechi.

Jennifer, I'm going to look for the way to process the seed. I'd love to grow some of these in SMA. Might even get in a tomato season when we get back.

Nancy said...

Billie, I had read the NYTimes article the other day and followed the link to your Houston article. I have Michael's book waiting on my iPod for when I finish my current book.

I think the links between cooking at home and obesity is a pretty telling statistic. I really lament the generations that only know instant oatmeal or jarred spaghetti sauce.

But the thing I thought was interesting was saying that Houston is so hot no one wants to shop, haul in groceries, and then heat the house up cooking in the summertime. The article even said people stop exercising in the summer!

I think the bottom line is that people are spoiled. They can't be bothered to change their schedule to exercise early or late, they can't handle a bit of heat in the kitchen or prep things in bulk on the weekend. It's just so much easier to eat out! (I guess until the VISA bill comes.) For me, living in a place that is hot and humid has changed how I cook and exercise but I still love to do it, and I like eating out to be special because it isn't an everyday thing.

Wow, I didn't know I was about to rant and rave. Sorry.

Steve Cotton said...

One thing I miss is a stove that will allow me to properly sautee and stir fry. These smal line propane stoves just do not generate enough heat. I tried frying some potatoes the other day. It took 30 minutes, and I ended up with a gelatinous mess.

Billie said...

Nancy, it is hot now but I don't agree with that part of the article about it being too hot to cook. First of all we go from AC cars to AC stores to AC houses. You might want to make lighter meals but to not cook because of the heat doesn't make sense to me. The exercise issue is valid in my opinion. I admire your spirit in getting in your exercise regardless of the heat. I've been doing a 3 mile walk and even though I've shifted my walking time to early in the day, it is still hot and steamy. I'm having to kick my self into the car and out to Rice U where I'm walking. Then I feel very good about myself for having done it.

Steve, I can't imagine not having a stove with some real HEAT. That has to be high on your list when you move.

Jan said...

Your scallops sound yummy and I have started putting a small amount of fruit in our green salads. I think Bruce would love the blueberries. I have to say that when I didn't have a/c in the downstairs when we lived in Nayarit in the summer caused me not to want to cook. I got so overheated that I felt ill sometimes after cooking. Later on when we realized we had to cool the kitchen it was so much better. It depends on how hot your kitchen gets. Mine was sweating hot!

Islagringo said...

I always try to throw a bit of fruit into my salads as a "surprise" element. People only expect veggies. Alas, down here I am limited mostly to apples, grapes and mango. Pineapple, I discovered, is far too wet. Oh! Maybe some pitaya would be nice!