Saturday, October 10, 2015

Cardamom Fennel Scallops

You know you're behind on updating, when you log in and see a post that's 6 months old, still in draft form, and that begins "Gosh, it's been a long time." Umm, yeah, it has. I suppose I'll keep that post intact below and add further updates in the next few.

Gosh it's been a long time. I may've nearly forgotten how to cook in between foot surgery and work travels. Ok, maybe not entirely. I did somehow manage to buy new cookbooks while in bed recovering from surgery. As anyone who has spent any amount of time talking to me about cooking knows, I'm a little obsessed with Raghavan Iyer's cookbook 660 Curries. The only problem with that tome is that it's a little intimidating with a LOT of (delicious!) recipes but few pictures. Also, nearly everything calls for its own curry blend. Great for me, but not so great for recommending to others. When he came out with an "easy" cookbook with 10 ingredients or less in 2013, I was intrigued but decided I probably didn't need another Indian cookbook. While recovering from surgery though, it popped up on my Kindle list for $2.50 and of course I caved. If I couldn't cook, at least I could read about cooking?

A few weeks later, I managed to convince August (who was stuck on cooking duties) that he needed to make some Indian food. The result was a complete success. Quick and easy, but full of flavour. The original recipe calls for scallops, but Iyer also recommends cod which we used to great success. Three months later, I'm still thinking about this delicious dinner. Since then, we've managed to make a few recipes from this book (turmeric hash browns, kale and salmon).

One year ago: Pizza Bianca with Roasted Mushrooms and Fontina Well, one year ago when I first started this post. One year ago, now: Spiced Maple Pecan Pie with Star Anise
Two years ago: Saffron Scented Lamb with an Almond Sauce
Three years ago: Buffalo, Mushrooms, and Feta Meatballs
Four years ago: Indian Cooking Building Blocks
Five years ago: Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Six years ago: Blueberry Boy Bait

Cardamom Fennel Scallops (from Indian Cooking Unfolded)

1 tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp black or yellow mustard seeds
¼ tsp cardamom seeds
1 lb large sea scallops (12 to 15)
4 medium-size cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 dried red cayenne chiles (like chile de árbol), stems discarded, coarsely chopped
1 tsp coarse kosher or sea salt
2 tbsp canola oil
½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

1. Grind fennel, mustard, and cardamom seeds to consistency of finely ground black pepper. Transfer to medium bowl.
2. Add scallops, garlic, chiles, and salt to spice blend and stir to coat. Refrigerate covered until ready to cook.
3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops and sear 2 to 3 minutes per side.
4. Pour coconut milk into skillet and reduce to medium. Scrape to deglaze.
5. Cover skillet and simmer 2 to 3 minutes until scallops are cooked through. Transfer scallops to a serving platter.
6. Let sauce simmer uncovered until thickened, 2 minutes. Pour over scallops.
7. Sprinkle scallops with cilantro and serve.

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