Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cooking Class At The North Carolina Aquarium.

  Chef Nate Bean of the Black Pelican
conducted our cooking class last week
I always look forward to this series
which starts every year in late winter
and continues into early spring. 

 I like this picture.
It took a few minutes before somebody 
realized the projector was still projecting.
 We're having scallops today,
so Rosie is a happy camper.

 That's Buster shooting pictures.
He knows not to shoot pictures of Rosie -
Witness Protection Program and all.

 I smell scallops.

 I smell shallots.
The aromas are delightful.

Loved this.
The scallops were sautéed in butter and olive oil,
then set aside.
Excess oil was poured out of the pan,
then Chef Bean added in shallots and cooked for a minute or two.
This smelled delicious.
Next he deglazed the pan with vermouth,
added lemon zest and let it reduce and thicken.
Enrich and emulsify with pats of butter, whisking it in.
Add lemon juice and chives.

The scallops were served with a mixed greens salad.

Mr. Hawthorne and I loved the dressing.
It was a strawberry balsamic vinegar dressing
and I will be making this.
We love strawberries and strawberries
 are in our refrigerator at all times.

Here's a tip I've discovered:
If you have slightly tart, not totally bursting ripe, strawberries,
you can make them really outstanding
by simply slicing them and macerating in balsamic vinegar and sugar.

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing 
1 pint strawberries
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 TB Dijon mustard
1 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in blender and purée.

 One must commit to the flip.
That's the key.

 Next, we're having more scallops and angel hair pasta.
Chef Bean sautéed a tablespoon of chopped garlic
in a tablespoon of butter.
He added in 1/4 cup of parsley,
a tablespoon of lemon juice,
and 1/2 cup white wine.
Let reduce a bit,
then add in beurre manié
(1 TB flour kneaded into 1 TB butter)
Let thicken a bit.
Season with salt and pepper.
The cooked angel hair pasta was tossed in the sauce,
along with chopped grape tomatoes.

The scallops were sautéed in butter and oil.

A trip to the aquarium is not complete
without a visit to the otters.
There are two otters here - a male and a female.
I'm trying to remember 
what one of the aquarium workers
 told me a few years ago,
 and I think the female is responsible for contraception.
There's a stretch.

This one kept coming over
to pose for me.
I hate that delay on my little digital camera.
I miss the best shots because of that focusing delay.



Lori K said...

Do you have a certain brand of balsamic vinegar that you prefer? I have never tried it...(virgin)!!!

Anonymous said...

Re the camera: I have an app called Fast Camera. It's kind of fun and shoots pictures so fast you'll have several before you can stop it. Give it a try (if you have the kind of phone that can support it).

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Lori, Mr. Hawthorne and I have always wanted to go to a balsamic vinegar tasting. I'd recommend buying a few small bottles and taste testing yourself. Balsamic vinegar has a ridiculous range in price, too.

Right now I'm using Priano of Modena.

Thanks for the tip, NMOAC. But I was talking about the delay on my Nikon CoolPix. I'll look into the app.

Lori K said...

I will keep you posted!!! Maybe in November we can have a tasting PARTY!!!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I look forward to a balsamic bash in November, Lori!