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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spicy Scallops with Chile Mayonnaise


I'll bet about this time, you thought that I would NEVER post another recipe...
Does this "poetry world" have her bound,tied,and mesmerized to the point
where she has forgotten about food/recipes/cooking/dining?
NEVER!!!!!

To prove it, I will post a most delectable recipe that makes me drool just
to think about it..
This is a recipe from one of my favorite restaurants, as some of you know,
"Fog City Diner" in San Francisco.
One of Cindy Pawlcyn's visiting chefs, Pat Coll, developed this delicious
recipe.

I DO love scallops, don't you? The picture I posted is of deep fried scallops
with tartar sauce, which is very tasty...though somewhat "common"...

Seems like where I live, I end up eating them mostly in a pasta dish.

This recipe is hardly "common" and gives one an even BETTER way to enjoy
them...

Serves 8 for "small plate" or appetizer portions
Obviously less for a main dish course

Large sea scallops are recommended for this dish, as they have better flavor,
and you can get them crispy on the outside without drying them out.

Scallops are coated with a spicy breading, deep-fried, and served on a bed of lightly dressed cabbage...

Since the cooking time is short, have the salad ready before you start frying.

If you prefer, you can sear the scallops in a lightly oiled nonstick pan instead
of deep frying them.

SCALLOPS:
1 1/4 pounds sea scallops, large

BREADING:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoons cayenne powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons pure chile powder

SALAD:
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
Kosher or sea salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 head red cabbage, thinly shredded
1/2 bunch scallions, cut on the bias
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves only

CHILE MAYONNAISE:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 1/2 tablespoons Chile Paste (recipe follows)
Juice of one lemon
About 2 tablespoons cold water


Peanut oil for deep-frying
2 lemons, cut into wedges

Remove the connecting muscles from the sides of the scallops and check the scallops for shell fragments.
Combine the breading ingredients in a bowl, mix well, and pass it through a
sieve.
Dust the scallops with a light even coating, and shake off any excess.

Combine the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to make a vinaigrette.
Toss the cabbage, scallion, and cilantro together in a bowl and dress lightly
with the vinaigrette.

To make the chili mayonnaise, combine the mayonnaise, Chili Paste, and lemon
juice and mix well.
Add water using only as much as necessary to get a sauce that is relatively
thick, yet thin enough to be drizzled.

Deep-fry the scallops for approximately one minute, or pan-fry them to medium-rare in a lightly oiled non-stick skillet.
To serve, place the dressed cabbage on small plates, and top with the scallions.
Drizzle with Chile Mayonnaise, and garnish with a wedge of lemon.


CHILE PASTE:
Yields 1/2 cup
You can vary the chiles in this recipe depending on preference and what you can
find in your area.
ANYTHING can be ordered online these days as well (including chiles of all kinds)
This is the combination used at Fog City Diner...

2 dried ancho or cascabel chiles
2 dried pasilla negro chiles
2 dried guajillo chiles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stem and seed the chiles. (WEAR GLOVES)
Place them on a cookie sheet or roasting pan, and toast 5-8 minutes, until the
aroma of the chiles develops.
Put the chiles in a medium-sized bowl, add hot water to cover, and soak until
soft.
Drain off all but 1/2 cup of water.
Blend the chile and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the reserved water in a blender until
smooth, then rub through a sieve.
Store in the refrigerator.

Two Days After


she's hovering under
a full gray moon
now that he has gone
and wakes up from her weary flight
in hopes to hear his song

the sleep must clear both eyes a bit
for her to realize
that love has passed her up again
though tempted her with lies

she asks herself
"how could you let this love tear up your heart?
you knew full well its limitations
from the very start"

there is no answer to suffice
no reasoning that's clear
love happens whether right or wrong
it's light so strong, so dear

and now she's left alone again
with thoughts of what is past
though hope still clings
to feathered wings
that love finds her
at last

Nicole

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Poem for a Muse


they were together
without a care
just floating downstream
in the midst of nowhere

time was illusional
nowhere to be
locked in embrace
bodies floating at sea


not a word was spoken
and the sounds of the night
seranaded the lovers
under rays of moonlight


stroking her hair
and whispering her name
he kissed her sweet lips
she returned just the same

and all through the night
swaying gently at sea
the lovers were right
where they wanted to be

is this but a dream?
she heard him say
for he dreaded that she
might leave him someday

though she wanted to give him
all of her heart
he knew that she couldn't
right from the start

memories are comforting
when it all goes away
but the feelings still linger
from the place where they lay

Nicole

Monday, April 6, 2009

HOW TO SURVIVE NIGHTSHIFT AND THE ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD RECIPE FOR POTATO GOAT CHEESE CASSEROLE BY STEPHEN PYLES




Well of course, I am no EXPERT, but I must say that after my first weekend of
three 12 hour night shifts in a row, I can join right in there with the best of
em...
There was a distinct difference between most of the night shift employees and myself...
I actually SLEPT at least 6-8 hours before I came to work, and the
majority of people did not...

By the time the shift was about 3/4 into it, they were literal "zombies", hence giving me even more to worry about while driving on the road in the morning...

Look out for these folks...Their stories of "waking up" in the middle of driving their cars on the other side of the road, or in a ditch, did NOT comfort me...

The picture that I displayed with the girl holding the entire coffee pot to her mouth is extreme, yes, but not too terribly far from the truth...
Add to that several "Fuse" low carb drinks, and a low carb "Monster Energy Drink", at least one or two cups of coffee, a brought from home simple lunch, and having slept a decent amount of time before your shift, and you have the "secret" of survivingthe night shifts...

This is a good thing to know, because I found the night shift to be a lot more pleasant to work, more fun, and it pays a great deal more...All good things...
I will continue this as long as they will have me...Every weekend, 3- 12 hours
in a row...
(Hey if that doesn't spice up my social life, I simply don't know WHAT WILL!)

There is really only one of my closest friends that I will have a hard time
seeing, but he and I will work something out...we will have to...as I cannot
do without him for long..he is my ROCK* and my biggest fan...

*David, you are a wonderful friend and I love you...

Michael, you are also a wonderful friend and I love you, but it's hard to see
you with DC a bit far away

The other David...Well of course I love you too, and we must have lunch soon,
before we forget what each other looks like!!!

Mr Mystery Chef...You know where you stand...

I digress...
Most of the others that I see I can see during the week...My son works weekends,
so it is perfect as far as seeing him...

I will say that the true downside, is that here it is Monday night, after I have slept a few hours, and I am totally worthless and unable to "snap to"....

I feel sure that I will brighten up tomorrow...

Do forgive me if any of this post is illogical or careless in any way, as I
almost feel as though I am writing it in a perpetual fog and I cannot seem to
turn on my "fog lights"...(and that's different from usual why?)

I just got through thinking that this is where I really wanted to work, when
I got home today and received a phone call from a large hospital with an offer
for a full time position..Will call tomorrow to find out what it is...
When it rains it pours...

Onto a scrumptious recipe by one of my favorite Southwestern Chefs...
I have three favorite SW Chefs...
Stephen Pyles, Bobby Flay, and my 3rd favorite that will go nameless, but he
reads this blog and he knows who he is....
(such a woman of mystery at times..Sorry, I NEVER tell ALL! See, there are
PRIVATE things in my life that I don't share...Surprised ya, didn't I?)

One of them is Stephen Pyles, a pioneer in southwestern cuisine and owner of
fabulous restaurants over the years...This recipe comes from his very expensive
one in the 80s'-90s'..

It was in a beautifully quaint Victorian looking home...It was called "Routh Street"...

Across the street was another of his restaurants.. Sleek, modern to the max
(the retro white and chrome look), and a bit more affordable, though not inexpensive, called "Baby Rouths"...

I have previously posted a wonderful recipe from "Baby Routh's"on Foodbuzz
for "Honey Cornflake Chicken with Cilantro Cream"...It is wonderful...

I have fond memories of "Baby Routh's"

I had TWO surprise Birthday parties there for my 40th birthday...
One was put on by my workplace, and the other by the man that I was married
to at the time...
They are both, for the most part, wonderful memories...
The "work" one was great..

I remember that my office that day was filled to every inch with Black
balloons,and all over the hospital here and there, were MORE black balloons
as well as BANNERS! with my name and AGE on them..
Big and important Medical Center..they'd never let em get away with that
today...
These balloons and banners were all over the parking lot across the street
as well!
Craziness....

They then blindfolded me and took me to Baby Rouths for lunch, because it
was my favorite...All the other 8 managers were there, including my beloved
Boss, who is still a friend of mine to this day...
SO SPECIAL!!!He NEVER went to lunch!
(Gary...you're the best..Having you show up was a very big deal..)


The food was amazing, a beautiful "40th" Birthday cake was brought out after the meal...
The other surprise party, I will never forget, started with my then Husband
and I going to dinner there for my birthday, just the two of us, supposedly...

When we arrived, there was a dozen yellow roses on the table, my favorites at the time, (now they're Tulips in case anyone wants to send me flowers...don't all of
you call 1-800-FLOWERS at once, it'll tie up the line..)

Attached to the roses was a sweet and romantic card,(yeah he did some things right...), and turning around to look at the bar, I saw some of my friends there, all laden with presents...(which IS THE WAY that they always look best!!!)..
It was a wonderful surprise...We took up the 2nd floor of the restaurant..that
got a little wild towards the end...(yeah he did some things wrong as well...)

About now you must be thinking...ONLY SHE COULD TALK ABOUT HER NEW FOUND NIGHT
SHIFT JOB AND A COUPLE OF RESTAURANTS, AND TURN IT INTO A BLOG THAT YOU HAVE TO
TAKE A DAY OFF WORK TO BE ABLE TO FINISH...WHAT'S WITH THIS WOMAN?..

(Hint..that is why it is MY blog..)
I can rattle on however much I want to and you then have the choice to read
it or not..
It is a complete democracy in that way!!!
Yes I have a lot of stories to tell...
When YOU live this long, so will you!!!
I sound decrepid at times..So very exaggerate of me..

HEY WHAT'S GOING ON? WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL THE FOLLOWERS IN THE BOX...HELLO?

Rico, who IS a follower, is always commenting that he feels like he just read
an entire newspaper before it's all through...
(Rico...only teasing...keep the comments coming...you KNOW I like them...You have the best comments of all!)

Here's something that you SHOULD be thinking..
"It's a wonder that she can REMEMBER her 40th Birthday after ALL OF THIS TIME!!!"

(Don't make me have to mention my amazing memory again...embarrassing...by the
way...What did you say your name is? I KNOW YOU HAVE TOLD ME 4 TIMES...Seriously,
do not ask me to repeat your name...Anything else, and I'm a whiz, but no names please)

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT.....

RECIPES FROM ROUTH STREET BY STEPHEN PYLES..

"POTATO GOAT CHEESE CASSEROLE" FOLLOWED BY...

"ROUTH STREET VINAIGRETTE" (USED IN THE RECIPE, AND GOOD ON EVERYTHING, EXCEPT PERHAPS CHOCOLATE...)

Potato Goat Cheese Casserole
Serves 6
2 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 slices bacon
Salt to taste
Routh Street Vinaigrette (1/4 cup)
3 tablespoons chopped chives
1 1/4 pound of Fresh Goat Cheese (at room temp)
Note...Great if you can get fresh, if not just the best quality you can find..
2 tablespoon heavy cream
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In saucepan, boil potatoes about 3-5 minutes until just tender when pierced with
a knife.
In a skillet saute' bacon over low heat until crisp, and drain well..
Discard the rendered fat.
Dice bacon and lightly oil a 9x9 inch ovenproof casserole.
Layer bottom of casserole with potatoes, arranging so that they slightly overlap
and sprinkle with bacon and 1 tablespoons of chive.
In food processor, combine cheese, cream, and eggs, turning machine off and on quickly.
Mix until JUST combined (don't over mix!)
Spread mixture over the potatoes.
Bake 15 minutes or until light brown and firm in center.
Sprinkle remaining chives on top.
Serve and listen for the "ooos and ahhhhs"

Routh St. Vinaigrette
(all purpose for salads or recipes calling for flavorful vinaigrettes)

2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (someday we will talk about balsamic...in
the meantime, there is no reason to spend a fortune on it in this recipe)
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup olive oil
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon EACH...
minced cilantro, thyme, and basil
1/2 teaspoon EACH...
minced sage, ground cumin, and salt
2 teaspoons honey mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon pureed roasted garlic**
Fresh ground pepper to taste
**Yes you should have roasted garlic hangin around!
It is SO easy to always have this around..
Just roast some garlic heads when you are at home doing something else..
Squeeze the roasted garlic out, put it in a covered container and it will
keep for at least a few days and it's a great addition to a lot of things..
And again, garlic will BOOST your social life amazingly!!!
No one will stand near you, but hey...they understand your need for "space"

METHOD...
In mixing bowl, combine vinegars and drizzle in oils while whisking .
Whisk in remaining ingredients
Alternatively, the procedure may be followed using a food processor or blender..
Fresh ground pepper to taste