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Skip the Restaurant, Cook and Home: Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise

Published February 6, 2014 by jenmatteson

My girlfriend was coming over for dinner last Friday night.  She had originally suggested going out for seafood, but seeing as though I’m not working, I countered with cooking in.  I know, not quite as exciting (though, it can be with enough wine and Just Dance).  But I did splurge a little and get us some scallops, which was perfect, as I had this recipe waiting for use.  Unfortunately, she had some car trouble so she wasn’t able to make it.  Fortunately for Nate, that meant he got leftovers 😛  The scallops with the fennel was absolutely outstanding.  I amped it up slightly by serving them over a parsnip puree, and drizzled with truffle oil.  It wasn’t necessary by any means, but why not add a little luxury into our simple lives? Sorry the pictures are so gross – not very good lighting late and night, but this was too good not to share with you!

Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise

Oh, and what the heck is a “grenobloise”?  It’s just a fancy French term for “sauce of brown butter, capers, parsley, and lemon”.  It makes for a much shorter recipe name: Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise vs. Scallops with Fennel, Brown Butter, Capers, Parsley and Lemon.  Yeah, I’ll take the first one.  But how do you pronounce it so you don’t sound like a dope?  You really can’t, but if you must try, here’s a little help: “grewn-o-blwahz”.  Seriously.

Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise

This is the second time I’ve made scallops at home, and they are so easy to make.  Don’t be scared to try!  A few key tips: 1) Make sure the scallops are very dry before placing in a hot pan.  I laid mine between paper towels in the fridge a few hours before I planned to make them.  2) Get your pan nice and hot.  3) Be patient and don’t move once you get them in the pan.  This will get that nice crisp sear on the outside while keeping the middle warm and opaque.  4) Don’t overcrowd your pan.  Placing the scallops too close together will steam them instead of searing them.  YOU DO NOT WANT THIS.  I promise, follow these tips, and you can’t screw them up.  The simple taste of the scallops paired great with the rich taste of the fennel.  Open a nice bottle of wine and make this for your honey this Valentine’s Day instead of braving the crowds and overpriced menus.

Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise

Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb sea scallops
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 tbsp. capers, drained
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
2 tbsp. flat leaf parsley

Directions:

1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over moderately high heat.  Season both sides of scallops with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes on each side (DO NOT move in the pan – this will allow them to sear properly).  Transfer to platter and keep warm.

2. Melt butter in same skillet.  Add fennel and capers and cook over high heat, stirring until the fennel is crisp-tender and lightly golden, about 2 minutes.  Stir in lemon juice and parsley, and season with salt and pepper.  Spoon fennel around the scallops and garnish with chopped fennel fronds, serve with lemon wedges.

French Bread

Published October 7, 2013 by jenmatteson

My reason for making this bread was twofold.  First, I just made this delicious tomato soup, and I needed something to sop it up with.  Plus, I don’t think Nate would eat soup with a spoon, only with bread.  Secondly, I was having a ladies wine tasting party, and I wanted to make something fresh for us to munch on between wines, and my girlfriend got me these awesome oils and vinegars that I wanted to use for dipping.

French Bread

I made this recipe earlier in the week to be sure it turned out.  It did, however, I thought it was extremely bland and needed a little more salt, as did two of my taste testers.  The rest was wonderful – the outside was crusty and the inside was soft and warm.  I made another loaf the day of my party and added a little more salt, and this time I nailed it.  This is super simple to whip up and only has one rising period.  I thought the hardest part was getting the loaf an even thickness throughout!

French Bread

French Bread

Source: Adapted from Simply Scratch
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

1 cup warm water (about 110-115 degrees)
2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast (this is the same as one of those small packets)
1/2 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
olive oil for coating

Directions:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, sprinkle yeast over warm water and add sugar.  Let the yeast bloom for about 5 minutes.  You’ll know when it’s ready when it’s all foamy and puffy on top.

2. Add flour and salt and turn mixer on low.  Once ingredients have come together, turn up the mixer to medium-low speed and knead until dough is smooth and tacky, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, coat a large mixing bowl with olive oil.

3.  Remove dough from stand mixer and form into a ball.  Place in pre-oiled bowl and turn to coat the dough completely.  Cover with a damp tea towel and set in a warm place to rise.  After about an hour, the dough should have about doubled in size.

4. Roll dough into a long loaf shape, and place on a baking sheet.  Score diagonally along the top.  Place loaf into an unheated oven.  Set oven to 350 degrees, and bake for 30-35 minutes, until top is crisp and bread is baked through.  Drizzle with olive oil or spread with butter right away to add a little extra flavor.  Let bread cool slightly, then slice and serve.

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