Monday, April 18, 2011

It begins...

I've gone carrot-crazy. The farmer's market has these beautiful dark red/purple carrots that I've never seen before, and I keep stocking up.  

First up, I cooked Monkfish and Double Carrots (pg 294). I couldn't get my hands on monkfish, so I swapped it out for sea scallops, which Dorie suggests as a replacement in a sidebar. (I don't think she'd mind if I call her Dorie. Her cookbook is so friendly, I feel like I know her. That, itself, is probably weird. Ah, well, Dorie she shall remain.) This recipe caught my eye because it could either be really good or totally disgusting. If nothing else, it's healthy.

Basically, you cook sliced carrots in carrot juice with some herbs and butter. Then you cook the scallops, place them on top of the carrots, pour the juice over, and top with crumbled bacon. Carrot juice poured on seafood? Sounds gross.

What a pleasant surprise. The sweet, rosemary-infused sauce contrasted beautifully with the salty bacon. If I make this again, I'd keep the bacon in bigger pieces, and would salt the scallops more. I think that would balance the flavor better. Scallops are one of my favorite foods, but I've always been afraid to cook them myself, because they seem like they'd easily turn into rubbery little pucks. These cooked perfectly, though, remaining moist and meaty, using Dorie's directions of searing for two minutes per side.
I love my purple-ringed carrots
My husband made spaetzl to go with it. Yum. He paid the dish a nice compliment when he said that it tasted very country, meaning simple, but good. The problem is that we were both starving again an hour after we ate. The scallops were not very big, so that could have been the problem.

Conclusion: Liked it. Quick, easy, healthy, and tasty. I can see myself making this often, though with a more filling starch component.

Last night, I used up the carrots I had on hand for Cafe-style Grated Carrot Salad (pg 107). I can't decide what my thoughts are on this side dish. My mouth liked the texture of the carrots, raisins, and walnuts together, but I wasn't crazy about the dressing, which was a mustard-based vinaigrette. I'm not a huge mustard fan. I used half of the dressing on the salad, and it was more than enough. I think I would have hated this if I'd used all the dressing. That said, I ate a whole lot of it while I was trying to decide if I liked it, so it couldn't be that bad. My husband and mother were both lukewarm about it.

Conclusion: Indifferent. Probably wouldn't make it again, unless for a bbq, because I wouldn't have to worry about mayo turning if it was sitting out.

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