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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Jacques Be Nimble, Jacque Be Quick

It's Wednesday.
You've been running like a maniac, dinner still looms, and if you 
make Hamburger Helper one more time, even adding broccoli and mushrooms
for that "gourmet" touch, you are. Going. To. Die.
So leave that box on the shelf.
How about something fresh, from scratch?
How about seafood?
How about a lightened up classic you can have on the table in under 45 minutes?
Oh yes, yes you can. 
Coquille St. Jacques is a classic French dish with scallops in a rich, cheesy sauce
baked in a shell with a buttery bread crumb topping.
We're going to turn this into dinner.
 We're going to start out with bay scallops.
 This one pound bag from Super Walmart is only $5.
 1/2 cup of dry white wine.
NEVER use "cooking wine," it's loaded with salt.
 Dried minced onion adds flavor in a dash and saves time.
You'll need a quarter cup.
 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, plus additional for topping.
 1 tablespoon of steak rub.
 1/4 cup of heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of butter.
 1 1/2 cups of 2% milk.
Go skim to be even more fat conscious.
 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
 1 box of pasta. Rotini holds the sauce nicely.
 And if you haven't tried this stuff, I highly recommend it.
It's tiny packets of concentrated broth that really add a lot of flavor to seafood sauces.
I can keep chicken and beef stock in the house, but seafood was tough.
Problem solved.
And no sauteing shrimp heads!
You will also need bread crumbs and butter flavor cooking spray.
Start the pasta.
Heat a large non-stick saute pan on the stove.
Melt the butter, then add the garlic and onion and saute for five minutes.
Add the scallops, flavor boost and steak rub and saute for 5 more minutes,
 then splash in the wine and deglaze the pan by
scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon.
Pour in the cream and bring it up to a gentle simmer, then add the cheese and stir to dissolve.
 Add the milk and let it simmer for a few minutes while you drain the pasta.
Do not rinse the pasta!
This will keep it hot and help the sauce stick.
 It's not going to be thick, which is perfect.
We aren't going for macaroni and cheese here.
Take a little taste and adjust the seasoning if you'd like.
Stop eating the scallops.
 Pour the pasta into a straight sided baking dish and stir in the scallop mixture.
Top this with the bread crumbs, sprinkle on a little more parmesan, and then spray 
the whole shebang with butter flavored cooking spray.
Everything is already hot, so just put this under the broiler until the top is browned and crispy.
 Serve this with garlic bread and a quick salad.
My plan was for there to be leftovers, as I also made corned beef and cabbage for the carnivores.
Samwow, who is not a seafood fan, even dished out a healthy helping.
Yeah, it was THAT good, and since it was a second entree, it was THAT easy.
Substitute shrimp or crab if scallops aren't your thing.
We have another keeper.


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