Thursday, January 22, 2015

Scallops with Farro and Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts remain one of my final frontiers for family enjoyment. They are one of my favorite vegetables, yet it's always a challenge to convince family members of their deliciousness. This recipe may have finally helped me to cross that frontier. The secret? Cut the sprouts v-e-r-y thin. I used a mandoline, then cooked until just crisp tender, and mixed them with an unusual grain. Family palates were so busy trying to decipher the grain, they simply didn't remember they don't like Brussels sprouts. Their conclusion is the taste is new, and genuinely good. Just don't tell them that the green things in the grain are Brussels sprouts. However, I'm sure that topping anything with deliciously cooked scallops might influence them, too!


For the farro and sprouts:

2/3 cup quick cooking farro
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbs diced shallot
4 finely shredded Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 tsp sea salt, if needed

For the scallops:

1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
8-10 scallops
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine
a few grinds of black pepper
a pinch of sea salt

Directions: Combine the farro and stock in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for about  8 to10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit for a couple of minutes before you add it to the sprouts. While the farro cooks, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, shallot, and Brussels sprouts. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the sprouts begin to turn color. Add the white wine and continue to cook for another minute or so, until the wine cooks off and and sprouts begin to simmer. When the farro is done, add it to the sprouts, mixing until combined. Taste the mixture, adding salt if needed.

When the farro and Brussels sprouts are almost done, you can start the scallops. Set a second nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, olive oil, and garlic and heat for about 1 minute, until the butter begins to brown. Pat the scallops dry, then add to the skillet. Add the lemon juice and white wine, and cook the scallops for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until the scallops are just translucent in the center. Add the pepper and a pinch of sea salt.

Serve by spooning half of the farro mixture onto a plate and topping with half of the scallops.

Serves 2, easily doubled

Stealthy Cooking Tip: I have found quick cooking farro that cooks in 10 minutes. Yeah! The time when you had to wait hours for this hard grain to cook is over. It's not a well known grain because until recently it was difficult to find a quick cooking variety, and most of us (well, at least me) don't want to wait a really long time for just one part of a dish to cook. I've found farro at Trader Joe's, but I'm sure you can find it at many supermarkets. You'll enjoy the slightly nutty taste!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Southwest Turkey Chowder

I tasted an amazing chowder at one of our local restaurants, and had to come up with something similar. I especially like that it's made with turkey, as there are still some leftover turkey bits in my freezer from the holidays. This soup will warm you up on a cold, cold night.


1 tsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. chipotle seasoning
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 quart vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 cup peeled, chopped carrot
1 cup peeled, chopped potato
2 cups peeled, chopped orange flesh sweet potato
3 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup chopped Anaheim chili
4 cups shredded, cooked turkey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs. Adobo chili (optional)
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Directions: Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed stock pot. Add the onion and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add the garlic, the chipotle, paprika, and tomato paste. Stir continuously for about 1 minute, until the spiced begin to brown. Deglaze the pan with the vegetable broth and water. Add the carrot, potatoes, corn, chili and turkey. Cook for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through. Add the brown sugar, Adobo chili, and season to taste with the salt and pepper.

Serves 8

Stealthy Cooking Tip: This can also be made in a crock pot. Omit the olive oil, add the remaining ingredients through the Adobo chili, cook until the vegetables are done, then taste. Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve. Easy and healthy!