2012, according to Instagram
1. Drinks with Greg of Sippity Sup after the Herbavoiracious Book Release Party
2. Sharing a beer sampler with Jessica of How Sweet It Is during a break from BlogHer Food Conference in Seattle
3. Road trip to Big Bear with my gorgeous friend Linda, of Salty Seattle
5. Chillin’ on the field of Dodger Stadium with Andre Ethier. No biggie.
6. A much needed vacation to Santa Barbara with my amazing little family.
7. My first cooking segment! On CBS news in Los Angeles
8. Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner! I won the Foster Farms regional cook-off in San Diego.
9. Trip to San Francisco and Napa valley for the Foster Farms National Cook off Finals. I didn’t win, but I did get an amazing weekend trip to San Francisco and Napa Valley, the opportunity to cook at the CIA, and some cash out of the deal. Not bad.
10. I signed my first book deal! with Adams Media.
11. How amazing is my husband? Seriously.
13. Joy and I had a couple of drinks. And then picked up sharp knives. She made a salad, and I mostly just giggled.
14. Christmas Eve at The Dresden a long running tradition. Although most people just know it as “That Place They Filmed The Movie Swingers” It’s a Los Angeles landmark.
15. I rearrange my entire living room to take pictures. Of food. During my lunch break.
16. I gave my daughter a trampoline for Christmas and she doesn’t want to get out of it. Ever
I had such an incredible year, truly a year that was blessed by the blogging community and those who have supported me, the online friendships that turned to lasting ones and the connections we feel through food.
One of the my favorite events this year was The Feast of the Seven Fishes, a small dinner party and Fancy Schmancy Pot Luck thrown by Greg and Alaska SeaFood (see numbers 12 &13 above). A truly incredible night, hoisted up by the stellar seafood, an epic example of how essential it is to buy the good stuff when cooking a meal from the sea. Alaska Seafood is focused on providing the world with incredible, sustainable, wild seafood and were they gracious enough to provide each of the seven cooks who participated with the best Alaska has to offer.
(Photo: Andy Windak)
The results were outstanding. Some of the most incredible food I’d had all year.
Here is the progression of the Feast of The Seven Fishes dinner:
Hors d’oeuvre: Kritisn, Grilled Blue Star Oysters
Amuse Bouche: Nathan, Rye Crisp with Maple Cream, Rye Beer-Marinated Salmon Roe, Green Chile Sugar and Fennel Top
Frist Course: Me! Seared Sea Scallops with Smoked Sweet Corn Puree & Stout Balsamic Glaze (recipe below)
Soup Course: Brian, Seared Ponzu Halibut with Forbidden Rice
Third Course: Andy, Uni Capellini with Scallop, Bonito and Nori Crumble, Rye Toast with Pine Nut Porcini Butter
Dessert: Greg Caffè e Frittelle Dolci
There are two ways to buy scallops, “wet” and “dry.” A wet scallop with be soaked in a phosphate solution to preserve it. This makes it taste soapy and gives it a bit of a rubbery texture, but the vast majority of scallops sold in US markets are wet. Dry scallops are more expensive, harder to come by and infinitely tastier.
If you can’t find dry scallops, the best way to treat a wet scallops is a quick brine.
Here is my quick brine recipe that works wonders to get those phosphates out of your tasty seafood.
If you can find some dry Alaskan scallops, I highly recommend that you grab them.
Also, I used this smoker. It’s less than $50 and stores in your cabinet, perfect for me and my occasional smoking needs.
- 5 ears of corn, shucked
- 1 stick butter, divided in half
- 1 leek, chopped, white and very light green parts only
- 1/2 cup cream
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/3 cup stout beer
- 2/3 cup balsamic
- 1 tbs honey
- 2oz pancetta
- 12 scallops
- Maldon salt & fresh cracked black pepper
- Brine scallops if necessary.
- Smoke one ear of corn for 8 minutes over alder-wood chips according to smokers manufactures specifications. (in lieu of this add 1/4 tsp smoked paprika or replace the salt with smoked salt).
- Cut the kernels off all ears of corn, including the smoked ear of corn. Set aside.
- In a large pot, melt 1/2 stick butter. Sautee leeks until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the cream and corn kernels, cook until softened, about 8 minutes. In a food processor or blender, puree until very smooth, abut 5-8 minutes.
- Pass through a chinois or strainer.
- In a medium sauce pan, add the stout, balsamic and honey. Boil until reduced to a thick syrupy consistency, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
- Dry the scallops well by placing between two stacks to paper towels.
- In a pan over medium high heat, melt the remaining 1/2 stick butter.
- Season the scallops on top and bottom with salt and pepper.
- Sear on both sides until cooked thorough, about 3 minutes per side.
- Cook the pancetta until crsipy.
- Plate the corn puree, top with two scallops per plate, drizzle with balsamic glaze, then top with crispy pancetta.
I remade this recipe on my other blog, The Beeroness with an explanation of the brining process, check it out here.