Friday, April 21, 2017

Homage To Spring.

This is Rosie's Homage to Spring.

 Welcome, Spring.

 I embrace you in all your greenness.

 Here's what's for lunch.
Seared scallops.
Green bamboo rice with asparagus I picked from the garden this morning, some green peas which I picked from the freezer, a sprinkling of lime zest, mint, and parsley
Toasted pistachios.
Reduction of juice of assorted oranges and some soy sauce, a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon.

 Let's start with the reduction.
That's where the time factor comes in.
The rice can be pulled together in 30-40 minutes.
The scallops are a quick flash in the pan.

For the reduction:
I had several types of oranges in the fruit bowl, so I picked out an assortment.  Squeeze out a cup or so of fresh juice.  Pour in about 1/4 cup of Tamari (soy sauce).  Splash in some Cabernet Sauvignon. Reduce by half or more slooooooowllllllly.

Here's how to reduce:
I poured the liquid into my small Revereware sauce pan.  
I placed the sauce pan in my little cast iron pan and set the flame on LOW.
The cast iron pan serves to diffuse the heat.
Trust me.  A reduction can go from syrupy golden goodness to a burned mess in a heartbeat.
The key is to dissipate the heat and let it barely simmer until reduced by at least half. 
Taste it as you go along.  The flavors will continue to concentrate.

 Next, I got my rice ready.
And mind you.  I have very special rice.
The Hawthornes always like to check out new restaurants and new businesses and we had the pleasure of venturing North to Duck a week or so ago to a new enterprise - The Spice and Tea Exchange in Scarborough Lane Shoppes.  Proprietors are Terry Bell and Megan Scott.

The Hawthornes visited and came back with a bag of assorted spice blends which I will be employing soon.  We were encouraged by our engaging salesperson, Sharon, to open the jars, get a good whiff of the contents, and then we decided on our purchases.
We came back with packets of a Spicy Tuna Rub Spice Blend, a Korean BBQ Rub Spice Blend, a Tuscany Spice Blend, Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt, Szechuan Pepper Berry, and something called Grains of Paradise.
Terry Bell & Megan Scott
Terry Bell & Megan Scott

And then I looked around the shop and I saw this:

 I'd never seen green rice before.
This is Bamboo Green Rice.
It's a short grain rice infused with bamboo juice.
And it's green.
So I had to have it.
 For the Green Rice:
I cooked the rice according to package directions.
One part rice to two parts water.  Add a pinch or so of kosher salt.
Bring it to a boil, lower to nothing, cover, and barely simmer for about 15 minutes.
Throw in some chopped asparagus you picked a few minutes ago in your garden.  Pour in some green peas you found languishing on the back of the third shelf in your freezer.  Give it a zesting of lime.  Cover.  Over bare heat for maybe five minutes.  Turn off and let it sit for about five minutes.  Add a plug of unsalted butter.

When you plate the rice, be sure to drift some fresh parsley and mint around.

 Did I mention the toasted pistachios?

For the pistachios:
I did more than toast.  I sautéed them in some unsalted butter over medium high heat, tossing until fragrant and even nuttier.  Blot on paper towels.  Cool.  Crush a bit for sprinkling, later.
 For the scallops:
I used 1/2 pound of scallops.

Prepare the scallops by removing that tough, rubbery little foot on the side.
Rinse, drain, and dry with paper towels.
I season with nothing but freshly ground pepper.
Heat a tablespoon each of peanut oil and unsalted butter over medium high heat until butter is fizzly-sizzly. 
Add in scallops, one at a time, not touching.
These were mostly large scallops, so I gave them about 75-90 seconds each side.  Remove and blot dry. 
Take the scallops and sorta squish 'em in the crushed toasted pistachios.
Then serve in a green nest of bamboo rice.

And there you have it!

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