French Fridays with Dorie – Warm Scallop Salad with Basil, Corn, & Nectarines

I love scallops! LOVE them! This however was the first time I had ever made them because I live in WI and there is kind of a dearth of fresh seafood here. Obviously I could buy frozen but since Tristan doesn’t eat shellfish I just don’t. I just order them at restaurants or eagerly await going home to MN where my dad will make me shrimp and scallops and fish galore! But since I have this awesome friend Susan who does buy fresh seafood from the seafood market in Madison, I asked her if she would pick some up for me too and here we are. Thanks Susan!

I decided to make this as a fancy lunch for me and my coworkers on Tuesday and I felt like a personal chef or something as I packed up all my shizz at home and brought it to the store to put together this nice little lunch. Coincidentally I had made the galettes for BWJ that day too so we had a right little feast! I used my cast-iron grill pan and I was surprised that it didn’t give more of a sear. Kind of a disappointed to not have that nice crunch on the outside but I didn’t want to overcook the scallops. Verdict: I thought this was super yummy but I probably won’t make it again just because it was sort of putzy with a lot of ingredients and my husband won’t eat it. I’m glad that I made it though because Bek, Kathy, and I got to pretend we were fancy ladies who lunch instead of doing what we normally do which is stuff our faces super quick in the office or behind the desk. Yay for little luxuries!

French Fridays with Dorie – Tomato Cheese Tartlets

Tomorrow is the day – I’m leaving for MN to run that Dirty Girl Mud Run thing with my mom and my friend Pogs and I am pretty surprised by how excited I am. I mean of course I am excited to spend time with family and friends but I actually am looking forward to the event itself. Who knew? I made these little tartlets on Tuesday night and I LOVED them! I went a little rogue as you can see, but they turned out great!

So lets talk puff pastry. I didn’t make the puff pastry from scratch because hello! I’m not going to make myself do that until I have to for Baking with Julia so I used the frozen Pepperidge Farm kind that I happened to have in my freezer. I don’t know what annoys me more, that recipes always only call for one sheet of this stuff or that the sheets aren’t individually packed and there’s no good way to save the unused sheet in its own box and wrapping without it getting all dried out and ice-crystally. Ugh. When I was rolling it out I thought “Why would I cut this into rounds and waste some of it? I’ll just cut it in 4 rectangles – that’s way smarter.” After I did that and baked it, I realized that the directions say to place the tomatoes and mozzarella in concentric circles and the reason emerges – concentric circles don’t look nearly as nice on a rectangle. Hmmmm. So I opted to go rustic with halved grape tomatoes and little mozzy balls. I actually did use the 5 ripe cherry tomatoes that I grew my very own self on my back deck in this dish too but you can’t really tell which ones they are.

Look at those beauties! 🙂 A few weeks ago I made this amazing Nectarine Pizza with Basil & Balsamic

and I had some reduced balsamic left from that that I was really excited to use on these. Earlier in the day I had stopped in at work to steal some of Bek’s frozen pesto from the fridge and I was excited to use it but after it had thawed and I opened it up, I saw that it was all black and weird looking. Maybe the container wasn’t properly sealed in the freezer?? So the pesto thing was out the window. I decided to spread two of the pastry sheets with mascarpone (still trying to use it up) and the other two I drizzled with the super syrupy-thick reduced balsamic – yum! I distributed the tomatoes and mozza balls evenly and then I added some gorgonzola crumbles to two of them as well. Tristan had already said he wasn’t into eating these for dinner so I knew I could make them just for me, thus the addition of some stinky cheese.

I put these under the broiler at first but the cheese wasn’t melting and the tomatoes weren’t doing the bursty thing I wanted them to do (plus I got sick of laying on my stomach on the floor and watching them like a hawk) so I ended up putting them in a 400 degree oven for like 5 minutes to finish. Then I drizzled more of the reduced balsamic over all of them with some olive oil and salt and pepper and the prettiness of some basil chiffonade and miniature basil leaves – ugh, so pretty.

I really loved these and yes, I ate all four of them. Well three of them for dinner and one for lunch the next day. I was surprised that the puff pastry didn’t get soggy or anything and that it made such a nice little meal. These will definitely be made in my kitchen again!

French Fridays with Dorie – Salmon with Basil/Mint/Mango Chatini

A little late on this one girlies, but I’m here! So I’ve mentioned before that I take total advantage of Netflix while cooking and doing housework but I also have another ace up my sleeve – HBO GO! It’s the best app ever because my Daddio has HBO through Dish and by using his account I can watch any show that’s ever been on HBO plus any movie that’s currently playing on any of the HBO channels. This sounds like an ad for HBO but it’s not, it’s just my enthusiasm. I’m currently watching Sister Act while I blog this and I’m loving it.

This movie is so amazingly fun. I used to watch it with the Daddio when I was little and it makes me so happy. Whoopi, Kathy Najimy, Maggie Smith – it doesn’t get better than that! Anyway HBO GO is also how I keep up to date with awesome things like True Blood & Girls so if you don’t have the app – definitely get it. I don’t know when HBO will get wise to the fact that all of us young poors are piggybacking on our wealthier relations but until they do it’s on baby!

Back to this salmon though – I took another Food Saver pack of salmon out of the freezer for this recipe plus a bag of salmon bitlets that my mom bought last time she was visiting and never used. I opted out of the olive tapenade because olives are not really my bag and decided to make that mango chatini instead. Chatini? That’s a weird word -reminds me of chutney which of course reminds me of Schmidt from New Girl. Love him!

Honestly I could do a whole post about how much I love Schmidt but I’ll restrain myself to this one pic of this magnificent bastard. When he added an extra syllable to chutney it really cemented my love – chut-en-ey!!!

Mangoes are tough sometimes aren’t they? I’ve destroyed a few trying to get the nut (seed?) out so this time I just peeled it and cut all around where I thought the nut would be. Seemed to work just fine. I gave my huge mint and basil plants a trim and got this chatini and basil/mint sauce all mixed up in here. Tristan is a meat & potatoes kind of guy so I roasted some baby reds to go with this yummy fish and dinner was ready to go. Yum!

The last few times I’ve made fish for FFWD I always say I should cook fish more. I’m so glad I’m in this group because for some reason it’s not something I gravitate towards naturally, but I’m always glad when I do. Thanks Doristas!