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Posts Tagged ‘great scallop recipes’

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It’s official……my brain has given notice. Like so many political figures these days, my gray matter is longer in line with official policy and has decided to move on. This morning I found the leftover watermelon salad from last night’s dinner on the front seat of the car and the GPS in the fridge. Surprisingly I wasn’t shocked. This year hasn’t stopped for a stress break since the calendar turned the page on January 1, 2017. Never have I needed a vacation more and found myself less likely in a position to take one.

Next week is the planned move for my mother, the second since the beginning of the year. Although we downsized her cache considerably with the first move, still there are china cabinets packed with family treasures and endless boxes of shoes, miscellaneous household goods, and general household items needing to be wrapped and boxed. Last week was scheduled as the first of several packing days. I drove down in our SUV to get things rolling and bring her up here afterward for a few days. On the way down the car began to pull awkwardly. At first I thought it was the well rutted road but by the time I reached her place I knew definitely it was the vehicle behaving badly. The temperature was moving up. After several hours of filling boxes I decided to wrap things up (no pun intended) and get on the road early in case we encountered trouble.  Normally I might have taken this in stride. Certainly this is not the first car I’ve had that developed a problem. However, our second car, a Ford Fusion, had begun making a noise the day before and was scheduled to go into the shop the following day to be repaired. Should this vehicle need the same that would leave us without wheels.

Murphy’s Law, in my case at least, would be that things malfunction at the time you most need them to work. Murphy was alive and well, seated on my right shoulder getting a real charge out of himself. About thirty-five minutes into the drive with another twenty minutes to go, I began to wonder if we were going to make it. My mother chattered on happily in the passenger seat blissfully unaware of the fact there was a strong possibility we were going to be stranded on the side of the road at any moment thumbs pointed toward the sky.

Murphy or not, we finally reached the safety of our driveway. Once unloaded and inside, Rick and I formulated a plan to get both vehicles to the shop as well as return my mother to her home. Hmmm. Plan A was to get a rental car the following morning. Next to take the car under warranty, the Fusion, in first and get that one running. Then we would use the rental to get around and get my mother home. As an aside on my last trip down to gather my mother a rock hit the window on the Fusion. First a tiny hole, now had spread to a long line stretching across the windshield. Included in Plan A was calling our insurance company to get the windshield replaced. For those familiar with Munch’s oil, The Scream, you get some idea of how I was feeling.

Plan B, should Plan A fall by the wayside, was I would marry a wealthy sultan with a fleet of cars and keep Rick on the side as my driver and confidante. This, might I add, was beginning to work for me.

I scheduled a pick up from the rental car company. The driver arrived early the next day and I signed a contract for three days. Originally I’d ordered an economy car which was all I needed. A sudden surge of renters left the dealer out of economy cars so they offered me an upgrade to a Ford Explorer at no extra cost.  Yea for me. The Explorer is a much larger SUV than ours. Equipped with every bell and whistle from cooled seats to in dash GPS and video capabilities it was quite a technologically sophisticated ride. I used up half the first day trying to figure out how to adjust the side rear view mirrors and use the radio. When you back up there is an excellent in-dash camera system equipped with an alarm when you get too close to an object. John Glenn had less equipment to train on before departing for the moon. Ach.

Yesterday we returned the rental car. It was a sad farewell fraught with shed tears and wrenching of keys from unyielding fingers. Sigh. Despite clever negotiation tactics on our side the Enterprise representatives were in the end unwilling to make an even exchange of our failing SUV for their shiny new Explorer. Such is life.

On our final trip I dropped Rick off at the auto shop and continued home by myself. Pulling into the garage I opened the car door and stepped out. A flash of movement caught my eye. Heart pounding I turned to find a pit bull inside the car. Rick often says you just can’t make up stories such as those that happen to me and I believe there is some merit to this. The large brown and white animal sat panting and drooling in the seat I’d just vacated. Hello? Stepping back I suggested to the animal (politely as I have respect for the breed) he vacate the vehicle. Amazingly he did. Following me to the front door he appeared hot and thin. Pouring him a cold drink of water I went in the house to decide how to proceed. Rick came home shortly after followed by a neighbor curious about the dog. With Boo the Queen of Cats peeking out the window holding a sign “No Canine’s Allowed” after some deliberation our neighbor took him home to post a notice on the Internet looking for his owner. Bless the woman. I could have kissed her direct on the lips. What a day!

Finally having a minute or two to relax, I dropped a couple of slices of bread in the toaster with the intention of using some tomatoes freshly picked from my garden along with some crisp bacon to make us a couple of BLT’s. Our toaster, barely three months old, popped the yet untoasted bread right back up when I depressed the lever and refused to do anything else. Really? Never mind. I’d have a turkey sandwich instead. Opening the refrigerator I found the package of turkey afloat in a sticky pool of pickle juice. On further inspection pickle juice had also leaked into the vegetable bin out of a baggie of pickles I’d placed in there after burgers cooked over the weekend.

At that point I went into the closet, shut off the light and stuck my thumb in my mouth. I’m considering having my mail forwarded there.

This is an easy weeknight throw together meal that shows up on the plate looking like a star. The light lemony sauce makes it especially refreshing during the summer months.

Pan Seared Scallops with Fettuccine with Lemon Sauce

10 large sea scallops
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper

Remove “foot” from each scallop and pat dry. Heat butter and oil over high heat. Place scallops in pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook around 4 mins. per side until golden and crunchy on bottoms.

Fettuccine with Lemon Sauce

8 oz. cooked Fettuccine
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic
Zest of one lemon
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp. chopped chives
1/2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.

For the sauce

Heat 3 Tbsp, butter in medium saute pan over medium heat until foamy. Add garlic and continue cooking 2-3 mins. or until garlic is fragrant (be careful not to burn. Add lemon zest and juice and continue cooking for one minute. Remove from heat and mix in chives and parsley. Toss with pasta and top with scallops and Parmesan cheese.

Serves 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo by Susie Nelson

Photo by Susie Nelson

Last week I opened a bag of baby spinach, and while washing it found a four-leaf clover nestled amongst the leaves.  Soon afterward my palm began to itch profusely. While getting dressed for the day, to my surprise I discovered a well washed $20 bill in the pocket of my shorts. Seeming to continue my vein of good luck, my daily horoscope predicted a fruitful day fraught with unexpected financial rewards. Truthfully any financial reward would be unexpected and positively overflowing with fraught.  Sure enough, a rebate check for $87.00 appeared in the afternoon mail.  Signs pointing undeniably toward good fortune, I was spurred on to purchase $10 worth of lottery tickets. Amazingly, not one number on my quick picks matched those drawn Saturday night. My precognitive powers are a very well disguised gift. Sigh.  Despite feeling very lucky for the bounty of gifts life has provided me thus far, in the literal Irish sense of the word I am not a naturally “lucky” person.

Four years ago or thereabouts I added my name to other hopeful contestants vying for their turn on the Wheel of Fortune.  The way Murphy toys with my affections, my name most likely will be chosen two days after they’ve published my eulogy and blown out the candles.  Things happen that way for me.  If there were thirty prizes in a drawing and only one other person’s name tossed in the hat to win them besides my own, the closest I would get to those prizes would be helping the winner load all thirty in their trunk.  Just the way it is.  Really annoying to me are those individuals who, despite staggering odds, repeatedly win the lottery, or take home huge payoffs at the casinos more than once in a lifetime.  I will always be that person who got up from the winning slot machine five minutes before it hit to use the facilities.

Speaking of Wheel of Fortune, I would like Vanna’s job when she’s through with it. For identifying the illuminated letters in the puzzle and being an excellent clothes mannequin, she brings in about $1,000,000 annually.  Chump change by standards set by such as Charlie Sheen who brought that and more home per episode on Two and a Half Men, but my bank account would welcome all those extra zeroes with unbridled enthusiasm. I’m confident I could handle her position. My pointing finger remains fully functional, and I believe I can still manage to walk across a stage in heels while smiling at the same time.  Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not diminishing Vanna’s part in the success of the show.  She is an icon in her world and pairs beautifully with Pat Sajak.  I can appreciate the effort it takes to breathe life into inane dialogue on a minor level, and have great admiration for actors who do voice overs or those oh-so-perky product pitchers who make the dull seem magical.  At one time I dated an amateur documentary and commercial film maker.  While creating a vacation spot promoting tourism on the Florida coast for a travel consultant,  he needed a female voice to say, “Come to Florida, any way you can”.  (Go ahead, try it.)  The scene I was speaking to was a man dressed as Superman circling high above the Florida Keys.  After 400 takes, we finally got a usable line of soundtrack with my voice. Somewhere, someday you may find yourself viewing a commercial of the man of steel soaring over Key Largo with a cheery girl instructing you to get there any way you can, and say to yourself, “why, I bet that’s Susie”.  My fifteen minutes of fame.  In particular, I like the travel perks provided in her line of work. Travel is the only thing missing for me in my world at the moment and likely what I would do with any substantial found money. Standing before a sparkling pool at Sandal’s Resort with my palm up saying “This could be you, if you win the prize puzzle”, is totally doable for me.

I have a friend who truly was born under a lucky star.  Like Midas, everything she touches turns to gold.  Once we went to an ATM in Southern California so she could withdraw money for a day of shopping.  Inserting her ATM card she pushed the button indicating $60 cash withdrawal. Dollar bills began feeding through the slot like she’d tapped into the mother lode.  Amassing nearly $300 we alerted the tellers inside who rectified the situation by taking it all back and reporting the machine malfunction. Had that been my card, my card either would have gotten stuck in the machine slot or the computerized system would have deducted more money than I’d requested from my account and neglected to feed any bills through the slot.  I’m just sayin.

Alternately, I have a male friend who if it wasn’t for bad luck would have no luck at all, particularly when it comes to vehicles and women. Whether he purchased a new car on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday for him it always ended up being a Monday or Friday car.  Once he parked his brand new car across the street from a lake to buy a bottle of water at a gas station. Returning with his purchase he watched as his last view of the rear bumper disappeared beneath the murky water.

Perhaps its Karma, or as simple as a little black cloud like in L’il Abner seeming to follow some people. Women, also proved disastrous. He stepped up to the altar only once, many, many years ago.  Since then, as he puts it, “I’ve decided not to purchase but to rent”. His girl of choice was absolutely lovely to look at but had a disposition which would have made Leona Helmsley appear to be a walk in the park.  A high maintenance kind of gal, she insisted on an elaborate wedding. Tens of thousands of dollars were allotted for rings, flowers, venue, dresses, etc., with the finale being a magnificent honeymoon encompassing both Australia and New Zealand. Four days after they returned tanned and refreshed, she left him driving off in the Porsche he’d given her for a wedding present.

So, I am keeping the four-leaf clover in the flower pot on the sink, but will continue making my own luck until I find myself buying vowels with Pat and Vanna.  Garage sale this weekend so busy day ahead for me getting ready.  These scallops were good. I liked the mix of flavors between the salt of the prosciutto and the sweet of the orange sauce.

Prosciutto Wrapped Grilled Scallops with Orange Sauce

16 scallops, feet removed
8 slices prosciutto, halved lengthwise
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 tsp. hot paprika

4Orange Sauce

1/2 cup orange marmalade
3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt to taste

Mix sauce ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.

Wrap each scallop with prosciutto and secure with toothpick, baste with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika.3

Grill 4 mins. per side or until opaque over med-high heat.

Top with orange sauce.

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