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Archive for September, 2010

Permit me to make a football analogy. If life was like Sunday Night Football, I would be living in the culinary Red Zone.

Geographically speaking, I live in the sweet spot for grocery stores. I have a Trader Joe’s, a Whole Foods and a Wegmans; all located within four miles of my house. If I have a yen for something or need an esoteric ingredient, I can usually get my hands on it within 20 minutes. Yes, I am spoiled.

Many of you may have shopped at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, as they are national chains. Then there is Wegmans, a regional chain based in Rochester, N.Y. I feel sorry for anyone who has never been to Wegmans. You need andouille sausage? They got it. You need duck pate? Yep, they got that too. You want chanterelle mushrooms? They got em, and six other varieties to boot. Lapsang Souchong tea? Uh, huh… Can you tell this post is turning into an “Ode to Wegmans?”

I naturally belong to their Shoppers’ Club. As a perk, they send you their Menu magazine, which I think comes out quarterly. It is a beautifully produced publication which contains great information and some super recipes. The winter 2010 issue is now out and it has an Italian theme. I made the Orange Fennel Salad on page 70 (see original recipe) with a few twists. It is quite light and a refreshing change to the cloying sweetness of most salads. We paired this salad with last week’s Bacon-wrapped scallops. Enjoy!

Orange Fennel Salad
(adapted from Wegmans)

2 navel oranges
1 small bulb fennel
1/4 red onion
1 tsp. lemon-flavored olive oil (I find mine at Wegmans)
2 big handfuls baby spinach
1 handful baby arugula
3 tablespoons pignoli nuts, toasted and cooled

Using a zester, remove the zest from one orange into a two-quart bowl. Cut both oranges in quarters and use a grapefruit knife to segment the fruit. Be sure you work over the bowl to catch the juice that is produced from the oranges. Squeeze the rinds over the bowl to remove any remaining juice.

Using a very sharp knife, or better yet, a mandoline, thinly slice the fennel and onion. Place in the bowl, along with oranges, juice, lemon olive oil and salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Just before serving, place your greens in a large bowl. Drain the juice (dressing) from the fennel mixture into the large bowl. Toss the greens to coat.

Plate the tossed greens on a chilled serving platter. Top with the drained orange/fennel/onion mixture. Sprinkle with toasted pignoli nuts and serve.

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Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Summer is winding down. We’ve scheduled the pool closing and now we look at our grill with renewed interest. During the next few weeks, it will be the only thing between us and winter.

My husband was jonesing for bacon-wrapped scallops last night. It has been a long while since we’ve indulged ourselves in these tasty little morsels. These are great for a main dish, or you can serve them up as an appetizer.  We served them up with a nice salad and called it a meal.

The nights are getting cooler. Get your grill on while you can!

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops

Marinade:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup minced scallion
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
dash Worcestershire sauce
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all in a bowl, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add 15 large sea scallops. Marinate one hour.

You will need one pound of thin-sliced bacon. Wrap each scallop with one slice bacon. Thread on to l8-inch metal skewer. Grill the threaded scallops over medium coals for 15 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Slide off metal skewers onto heated platter and serve.

Note: I ran out of regular Dijon and had to use whole grain Dijon with great results.

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Cookbook News!

September is here and I have news!  The cookbook is headed to the printer. Advance copies of Tea Time at Peachfield may now be ordered by visiting the Colonial Dames website. Delivery will be in early November. Your purchase helps support the Dames’ museum properties and educational programs.

In other news, I am embarking on a new adventure. I have accepted an offer to teach public relations at a local university as an adjunct faculty. I am looking forward to working with my students. I won’t be a stranger. Keep visiting!

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