(serves 8 as a starter, 4 as an entree)
- 8 strips thick-cut bacon
- 8 dry sea scallops (about 1½ pound sea scallops)
- 8 fresh rosemary sprigs (each 3 to 4 inches long)
- 3-4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbs prepared pesto
- 1 lemon, halved
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Lay bacon out on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake bacon for about 10 minutes (you do not want it crisp – just pre-cooked). Let drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
To prep: If needed, remove the crescent-shaped muscle from the side of the scallop. Strip the bottom 2” of leaves off the rosemary sprigs.
Wrap a piece of the pre-cooked bacon around the scallop and anchor it with a stripped sprig of rosemary. Prepare the remaining scallops the same way – placing them in a baking dish.
In a small bowl, mix the extra-virgin olive oil with the pesto, juice from one half of the lemon, salt and pepper. Drizzle this over the entire scallop. Let marinate for 15 minutes (not too much longer or you run the risk of “cooking” the scallop with the lemon juice.)
Set up the grill for direct grilling. Brush and oil the grate. Grill the scallops until cooked through – 2 to 3 minutes per side. Squeeze the other half of the lemon over the scallops. Serve at once.
(Serves 8)I like this Fresno-perfect dish at room temperature as a salad or hot as a side to a Greek-inspired chicken, pork or lamb dish. Grape leaves are available at Middle Eastern markets.
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 ½ cups long grain white rice
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth
- ½ cup preserved grape leaves
- 1 tbs brine from grape leaves
- ¼ cup or more fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup raisins (I like golden)
- Freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
In a large soup pot, heat oil and gently brown pine nuts – about 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile rinse grape leaves to remove the brine and shake off excess water. Remove large stems and then rough chop the leaves. Stir in rice, broth, leaves, brine, ¼ cup lemon juice and raisins. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover. Simmer until liquid is absorbed – about 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and fluff rice. Add pepper, onions, parsley, dill and more lemon, if needed.
- 1 lb asparagus, woody ends snapped off and discarded
- 2 tbs EVOO
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced and separated into rings
- 4 very thin orange slices, cut into quarters
- ¼ tsp finely grated orange zest
Position the broiler rack as close to the element as possible. Turn broiler to high. In a bowl, toss asparagus with 1 tbs EVOO and salt and pepper. Arrange shallots in a close, thin layer on baking sheet. Arrange asparagus on top of them. Toss the orange slices with the leftover EVOO and arrange in a single layer alongside the asparagus. Broil until the oranges and asparagus just start to char, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with orange zest. Good served hot or at room temperature.
I am not a huge Mac and Cheese fan – mainly because the flavors are not vibrant enough for my palate. This Mac and Cheese changes up the game – it is comforting but with a fabulous kick.
2 ½ cups macaroni (2/3 lb)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 medium onion, diced
1 large chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeds removed
1 ½ teaspoons adobo sauce from can of chipotles
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 14.5 can diced tomatoes
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 ½ cups grated Jack cheese
1 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups panko bread crumbs
½ tsp kosher salt
Cook macaroni according to package instructions for “al dente” Reserve one cup pasta water. Drain pasta and toss with butter. Set aside in large bowl.
Heat EVOO in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add chipotle, sauce and garlic and sauté another minute. Sprinkle flour over and stir to incorporate. Reduce heat and add cream and tomatoes, Cook until thickened – about 2 minutes. Pour sauce over pasta. Stir. Sprinkle cheese and cilantro over and mix thoroughly. Pour into buttered 9” x 13” casserole dish.
Melt butter in medium skillet and add garlic. Gently sauté and then add panko. Cook until lightly browned (watch carefully). Sprinkle over top of pasta.
Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 25-30 mins.
Easy, easy and quick – my kind of recipe! I serve with a Cilantro Rice to sop the wonderful pan sauce
- ½ cup fig preserves or fig butter
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 1-2 tbs Asian chile paste with garlic
- 1 tbs low-sodium soy sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small pork tenderloin (1 ½ lbs)
- 2-3 tbs low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 tbs cold butter
- Fresh chives or fresh cilantro, chopped, to garnish
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine preserves, vinegar, chile paste and soy sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Heat a 10” oven-proof sauté pan over medium high heat. Saute pork on all sides and slip into oven for 18-20 minutes or until temperature reaches 150 degrees. Remove pork from oven and from pan – lightly cover with foil.
With pan over medium heat, add chicken stock and de-glaze scrapping up any of the “good bits.” Add fig preserve mixture and bring to a boil for two minutes or until slightly thickened. Turn off heat and add cold butter swirling it around the pan until it melts. Taste for seasoning. Cut pork on the diagonal and serve napped with Fig and Chile Pan Sauce. Garnish with herb of your choice.