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Scallops galore

This post is actually ridiculously overdue, as I thought I had posted it a long time ago but…didn’t.

Over the summer, my buddy Viv and I discovered our mutual affinity for seared scallops, and figured we would give it a shot. We traversed a ways to Catalina Offshore Products to get some fresh, good quality seafood. We were super confused when we drove to what seemed like a random warehouse, and walked in to find a place that looked like a office space. We literally walked in, looked around, and walked back out thinking that we made a mistake. Went back in, and the workers at the front desk asked,

“Are you here to buy seafood?”.

“Um..yes”

“Do you have close-toed shoes?”

*looks down at flipflops* “nope…”

“Hm…then you’ll just have to stand on the side then”

After a little while of strange questions, waiting around for who-knows-what, and putting on some hairnets, we got our scallops! We trekked on home with a bag of some of the fattest and freshest scallops I’ve ever seen.

We had to look up some info on how to cook scallops as well as gather some inspiration, and off we went with our experimental cooking adventure!

Before you cook scallops, you need to tear off the little white chewy section it has that doesn’t taste very good.

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To sear scallops, we read that the best way was to melt some butter along with olive oil. This would create the nice browned color on the ends and also give it that buttery flavor that goes great with seafood.

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Yes that looks like a lot of butter..and indeed it was…but you honestly can’t skimp on the unhealthy stuff if you really want some things to taste good…haha. Lightly salt and pepper each side, and when the butter/oil starts to slightly smoke, place the scallops on the pan, flat side down. They should sear for about 2 minutes per side.

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We made a kind of sweet corn, avocado & tomato salsa to go with the scallops.

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Add some fancy martini glasses, a squeeze of lime, and some chopped up hazelnuts on top, and TA-DA!

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Not bad right? It was actually super refreshing with the salsa, and the hazelnuts added a great texture to the dish.

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At the end of the day, we felt quite accomplished and satisfied in our bellies. Will definitely be down to embark on other uncharted territory in the seafood realm. Maybe next time it will be ahi tuna? Sea urchin? Only the future will tell…

That concludes our scallop adventure. And now, I’m craving seafood. Farewell.

– CP

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A baby shower fit for a princess

As I mentioned a couple posts back, my sister is pregnant with a baby girl! We had the baby shower this past Thanksgiving weekend, and man, even though I was supposed to “host” it, my sister did an amazing job. This post makes me feel like I’m posting on Pinterest or Dwelling Gawker rather than on a food blog, but I figured ya’ll would appreciate it anyhow.

Honestly, all I did in this case was make those finger sandwiches on the ends (egg salad on left and cucumber on right. Super simple recipe for cucumber sandwiches below!) Everything else was brought to you by my sister…

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Red Velvet cupcakes from a Trader Joe’s mix, but she subbed in vanilla yogurt and a bit of oil for half the eggs. For future reference, each egg produces about 3 oz of liquid, so you can sub in about 2-4 oz of yogurt + 1 tsp of oil for every egg! The cupcakes actually came out super light and fluffy. We topped them with some home-made whipped cream-cream cheese frosting, which is basically cream cheese frosting (cream cheese, butter, and sugar) with whipped cream folded in. We usually like to use this as a frosting rather than just cream cheese frosting because it’s much lighter. redvelvet cupcakes

Are these cute or what…baby donuts from Krispy Kreme in cupcake papers.babydonuts

Paper straws! She literally had enough drinks for like a bottle a person…haha. drinksandstraws

Okay this isn’t food, but isn’t it cute? My niece is going to have one bomb nursery…nursery frame

Alright, as promised, this is still a foodblog, so here is a super simple but amazing recipe for cucumber sandwiches. It’s perfect for a tea party or as finger food for any quaint gathering. 🙂

Cucumber Sandwiches Recipe

1 Loaf of sliced white bread (I guess you could use other bread if you want to be healthier, but…let’s be real…white bread just tastes so good)

1 large cucumber sliced into very thin rounds

Cream Cheese

A bunch of mint leaves

1. Lay out a couple slices of bread and spread a thin layer of cream cheese over each one.

2. Lay out the thinly sliced cucumbers onto half of the bread slices, overlapping slightly.

3. Lay out a layer of the mint leaves across the cucumbers, and put the other half of the cream-cheesed bread slices on top.

4. Stack the sandwiches on top of one another, and using a bread knife, carefully slice off the crusts. Slice them into quarters, either triangles or rectangles/squares.

This is by far my favorite type of cucumber sandwiches. I’ve made them before with garlic butter as well, which taste good too, but these taste much more refreshing. Enjoy!

– CP

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Thanksgiving Gluttony 2012

I can’t believe it’s already been a year since I posted on my last Thanksgiving meal. This year was pretty much just as intense…

With my sister being very very pregnant (I’m having a niece!!), you would expect her to take a backseat in the Thanksgiving prep this year, but with her being the crazy fancy lady she is, that was not the case. Okay, we did do it semi-homemade-style with instant mashed potatoes, stuffing, biscuits from the can, and Grand Perisian salad mix from Costco, but she went all out with the table setting as usual…

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She hand-made all the name cards and used her wedding napkin rings. 

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Here’s our feast in a nutshell. First we had our Peking duck, (from the store but de-boned); the legit way to do it is to wrap the duck meat in those steamed buns along with some thinly sliced green onions (brought to you by yours truly…took  a lifetime) and some hoison sauce. The top middle is baked yams with fresh-baked biscuits from Trader Joe’s (SO GOOD). The top right is the grand parisian salad fancified with some fresh anjou pear. In the middle row we have our home-made BBQ pork ribs, sliced rib-eye steak, and roasted butternut squash. And finally in the last row we have roasted asparagus, cornbread stuffing, and mashed potatoes.

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My plate…Although the mashed potatoes were out of the box, we roasted some garlic with olive oil, mashed it up, and mixed it in with it giving the whole thing an amazingly garlicky flavor. 

And of course, there was dessert: pumpkin pie and lemon meringue pie. I didn’t get shots of those, but I did get a shot of my other dessert…

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Home-made Irish Coffee! My brother-in-law has been obsessed with this since they went to the Buena Vista in SF with amazing Irish Coffee. He loved it so much, they bought these fancy glass mugs just to make it. It’s super simple but delicious. Here’s the recipe they used:

Irish Coffee Recipe

1 small packet of sugar in the raw

Hot coffee

About half a shot of whiskey or to personal preference (They used Johnny Walker Double Black, which is pretty smokey. If you don’t like that flavor, then regular Johnny Walker Black or some other type of scotch would be great too.)

Cold whipped cream on top

I think Buena Vista adds 2 white sugar cubes instead of the sugar in the raw, but my sister thought it would be “healthier” with the substitute. We also found that the whipped cream is best if you don’t whip it until it’s super stiff, but a little creamy. That way it is kind of easier to drink with the coffee as it remains on top. 

Well, that was my Thanksgiving. I hope you all enjoyed your time with family & friends and eating your hearts out 🙂

– CP

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My iron chef-battle potato-creation. Twice baked potato with fresh basil, cayenne pepper, and lemon zest topped with prosciutto and fresh Parmesan cheese. Got the most points overall and 3rd place in # of votes 🙂

– CP

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