Thursday, August 15, 2013

Rosie Makes Youngest Hawthorne's Birthday Dinner.

Last Wednesday was Youngest Hawthorne's birthday
and every year he requests this meal -
seared scallops with basil pesto and caramelized onions
on a Parmesan crisp
atop a bed of risotto with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach.
And every year, I comply.
It's one of my favorite meals.

First, I'm making the Parmesan crisps.
I grated a heapin' pile of Parmesan.

Press a layer of the grated Parmesan into a round.

I always use parchment paper.
Makes it easier to remove from the pan,
plus no clean-up.

Bake in a 425° oven until lightly browned.
Let cool a few minutes,
then remove from pan.

Set on paper towels.

Next, I prepped for the risotto.

Pour boiling water over the dried tomatoes and ...

...  cover with a plate.
Let soften at least 20 minutes.

I chopped up two handfuls of fresh spinach,
1/2 onion, and the softened sun-dried tomatoes.

While the sun-dried tomatoes were soaking,
 I started on the caramelized onions.
I sliced up the other half of the onion
and poured it into butter over medium heat.

I add about 1/2 tsp sugar
to help caramelize.

Keep cooking, stirring occasionally,
until lightly browned.

Add in a splash of wine.

Let simmer a bit.
This is the color you want.
Set aside and keep warm.

Now, back to the risotto.
I sautéed the chopped onions in butter
for a minute or two,
then added in 1 1/2 cups arborio rice.

I added in a bit more butter.
Cook for a few minutes.

I heated up three cans of chicken broth.
Pour in about 1/4 cup at a time,
stirring, and let the rice absorb the broth,
then add in another 1/4 cup.
Keep adding and cooking,
letting the rice absorb the liquid,
 until the rice is done.
Takes about  30-40 minutes.

When the rice was cooked,
I seasoned with Kosher salt
and added some heavy cream - about 1/3 - 1/2 cup.

Add in the chopped spinach
and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan and ...
... the sun dried tomatoes.
Cook for a minute, stirring.
Set aside, cover, and keep warm.

Now, for the scallops:
I rinsed my scallops off,
then dried on paper towels.
Season with freshly ground pepper.
Scallops need no salt.

I heated up my skillet
and added a tablespoon each butter and oil.
Heat to 350°.
Add in the scallops and cook for about a minute.
Turn on the other side and cook about a minute.

I like to add a splash of chardonnay to deglaze the pan.
Do NOT overcook scallops.

Bed of creamy spinach and sun dried tomato risotto
with a Parmesan crisp,
caramelized onions, 
seared scallops,
and basil pesto.

I always have basil pesto in my freezer
thanks to my annual Hurricane Harvest.

This makes my mouth happy!

Happy Birthday, Youngest Hawthorne!


Tammy said...

Happy Birthday to the youngest Hawthorne! What a stunning meal you served up, Rosie.

Scallops are delicious...but served with risotto, pesto and a parm crisp? Food heaven.

xo my dear,

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Thanks, Tammy! This is one of our favorite meals.