Archive for November, 2011


Lately, as is probably clear, cooking creativity just has not been flowing.  I’ve tried a few new things (including pumpkin pie and anise biscotti and pumpkin pie truffles) but none really came out…right.  Since I strive for excellence (*snicker*), I haven’t been posting any of these attempts.  However, I started this as a way to keep my successes and failures in order to see how far I’ve come with cooking and what worked.  So I’m baack.

The menu for this post is in part from something I’ve made previously (Shrimp and Spinach Quinoa Risotto) and some things I have not.  Enjoy!

Seared Shrimp and Scallops

10 shrimp, de-shelled and de-veined
6 scallops
2 tbsp white cooking wine
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp Herbes de Provence
1/2 tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking and/or butter spray

In a bowl, marinate shrimp and scallops with wine, oil, garlic, lemon juice, and spices for at least 20 minutes.  In a pan spray cooking spray or butter spray.  When the pan is very hot, add shrimp and scallops to sear.  Spoon excess liquid over shrimp and scallops.  Cook for approximately 3-4 minutes on each side (depending on how hot your pan is). Once shrimp and scallops are seared, set aside.  Use some cooking wine to deglaze the pan.  Spoon sauce over shrimp and scallops.

Quinoa Risotto

1/4 tsp garlic, minced
1 3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp  shredded parmesan cheese
2 1/2 tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese (I used reduced fat version)
Cooking and butter spray, as needed

Rinse quinoa in a fine metal strainer until the water turns clear. Spray a skillet with cooking spray.  Add butter spray (or butter/olive oil if you prefer) over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté until tender.  Add garlic and cook for one minute (make sure garlic doesn’t burn). Add quinoa into the pan. Add broth and water to cover quinoa.  Simmer uncovered over medium low heat.  Add broth as the liquid absorbs and stir frequently.  Cooking quinoa will take about 15-20 minutes.  Remove quinoa mixture from heat and add salt (to taste), pepper (to taste), mozzarella, and  parmesan cheese.  Stir well.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts (Adapted from this recipe)

4 cups Brussels sprouts (approx.), cleaned and halved
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Clean Brussels sprouts by rinsing well, cutting off the stem end, removing tough outer leaves. Once cleaned, slice in half vertically (through the stem end).  In a large roasting pan, toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle sprouts salt to taste. Roast for about 20 minutes, until sprouts have begun to caramelize on the edges.

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