Insights, tips, and restaurant reports from CHOW editors and Chowhound.
This week's mission: a sweet incarnation of an old American cracker favorite. READ MORE
Searing scallops is a simple matter that requires only a few techniques; after they're done perfectly, you can get creative with sauces.
Before you sear scallops, make sure they are very dry by patting off any moisture with paper towels. "Obviously, dry-packed scallops are the best," says LindaWhit, but if using injected or thawed scallops, "I've found that using lots of paper towels and letting the scallops sit to allow the moisture to leach out as well as it can also works."
Season the scallops with salt and pepper, or dredge lightly in seasoned flour. Heat a pan well, and sear in oil or clarified butter over medium-high heat until they're nicely browned, then turn. It's important not to overcook them or they will become rubbery; they only need a few minutes on each side and should be just opaque in the middle.
bushwickgirl offers a formula for a rich and tasty pan sauce that can "be altered to suit your taste; spicy, tangy, tart, whatever you like. Scallops are very flavor-friendly and go with many things." Here's how: After searing, remove scallops from pan, add wine or liquor of choice (she likes Pernod), a splash of heavy cream, herbs, a little spritz of citrus juice, and cold butter; reduce for a few minutes; serve. For a variation, CHOW's Seared Scallops with Lemon and Vodka ditches the Pernod in favor of vodka.
normalheightsfoodie reduces a combination of one cup each orange juice and pomegranate juice, a bit of sugar, and a bit of balsamic vinegar to a syrup. She places seared scallops atop wilted spinach and drizzles it on.
Discuss: Suggestions for Pan Searing Scallops?
Melted butter is the classic dip for artichoke leaves, and some like straight mayonnaise or mayo mixed with Dijon mustard. But spend just a minute or two more, and you can add lots of new flavors. Try adding lemon juice or garlic to either melted butter or mayo, suggest hounds.
"My favorite is a gribiche sauce," says Boswell, "like a mayonnaise made with the yolks of hard-boiled eggs pushed through a sieve, then mixed with the diced egg whites, capers, and dill." sparkareno mixes mayo with roasted garlic, orange zest, orange juice, and some chipotle in adobo sauce. "People flip out—it is so good," she says.
More ideas: Lemon vinaigrette; Greek yogurt with minced garlic or shallot and salt and pepper; a dressing of blue cheese, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil; remoulade; or tartar sauce.
For the cooking part, use CHOW's tutorial on steaming artichokes.
Discuss: What do you eat with artichokes?
That one o makes a big difference. READ MORE
Eating sushi has made the Japanese more capable of... digesting sushi. The journal Nature has just published a study that found Japanese people carry a gene that allows them to digest carbohydrates specific to nori. All other non-acclimated guts just ignore the extra potential energy while focusing on ingesting all that mercury. READ MORE
At 28, Amy Rice-Jones has built Bounty Farm in Petaluma, California, from the ground up, transforming an empty lot with dilapidated sheds full of garbage on it into a productive urban farm. The farm is part of Petaluma Bounty, a non-profit with a mission to provide everyone with access to healthy food. As the farm manager, she plans the entire year's production of food, trains and coordinates volunteers, and teaches classes on the farm. Here's what she has to say. READ MORE
If you're throwing a barbecue and you're anything like me, you've got some random wine bottles open, getting warm in the sun, or stuff stashed in some broken, ghetto plastic cooler full of half-open bags of party ice. Shouldn't we all strive for a better life? Imagine if you could chill your Lillet and Pinot Gris right there on the patio, in a classy hammered aluminum drink bucket by Roost? (Note to self: Remember to serve Lillet at next barbecue.)
The Pasha Wine and Party Buckets, $77-$143