The best part about the recipe that isn’t in that one ^ is the beets get spiralized and they bake in 15 minutes. 15-minute beets. Can you imagine?
Using your favorite mechanism to spiralize (mine is linked in the “verb” back there), get a couple of beets (one gold and one red makes for a prettier dish), and spiralize the crap out of them.
Salt, pepper, and 15 minutes in a 425° oven results in perfectly roasted, toasty, tasty beets.
Meanwhile, make the dressing, which consists of some orange juice (from a real, live orange), white balsamic vinegar (if you have never used this in a dressing, treat yo’ self), and olive oil. Plus Himalayan pink sea salt and ground peppercorns, but since those go in just about everything, it’s mostly without saying.
Toss your favorite greens with the dressing and plate, and grind some more pepper on there for good measure.
Let’s turn our attention to the scallops now. You’ll be happy to know that they take next to no time to cook but need some prep beforehand. So much prep that I didn’t even know about it until researching for this post.
If you buy the frozen scallops (as I do), The Splendid Table recommends soaking them for 30 minutes before drying for 10.
This next part is funny because Gina’s whole premise is “skinny but still tasty”, which it totally is, but her portion sizes are a lot smaller than mine and I don’t measure vinegar, fat, citrus juice, or salt. So, the recipe calls for 1 tsp. butter. ONE TEASPOON of BUTTER. I said, out loud to no one, “Who uses one teaspoon? I mean, I’m not Paula Deen or anything, but come on!” and put roughly half a tablespoon in the pan with some olive oil because Gina knows what she’s doing.
The pan should be super hot because the scallops need to sear, not cook, and they only need 30 to 90 seconds per side.
After the scallops look like that ^, then they are ready to plate.
You don’t have to get each ingredient in every bite, but every bite will be worth it if you do. Enjoy! And go buy all of Gina’s books.
We put this on the weekly dinner list (more on that later) and I was a little apprehensive because, well, fish. Thankfully, this dish hits on all points and the real star here is the curried broth.
I modified the recipe from Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street and feel like I made enough changes to warrant publishing this version as my own. But, buy the book, because it has a lot of yummy dishes.
The first thing to do is bust out the ol’ rice cooker and measure up some jasmine rice.
It’s really important to use the cup that came with the cooker and not use any other device. This cup is “calibrated”, if you will, to the size and type of rice cooker. If you were to dump a cup of rice from this guy into a regular 1-cup, you’d see what I’m talking about.
After the rice is in the bowl, it needs to be rinsed. Admittedly, I haven’t found much of a difference in the end result. Except when I make rice for the dogs and it hasn’t been rinsed, it’s more difficult to get out of the container.
I don’t use a colander. Instead, I rinse it in the bowl and pour the water out. This needs to happen at least three times, if not more. I don’t look for very clear water at this step, just clear-enough water.
When the rice is sufficiently cleansed, the cooker does all the rest. Believe me when I tell you that I cannot make rice without this rice cooker. If I try to make it on the stove, I lift the lid out of impatience or it’s got too much water to rice, or it all sticks to the bottom.
Fill the bowl, with water or broth, to the line that corresponds to the number of cups of rice you’ve measured. I am pretty sure this is where the magic happens and some rice-cooking faeries are watching from inside of the cooker, waiting for the opportunity to heat up each individual grain.
Best of all, it plays “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” when it starts cooking.
Most white rice will take 30-40 minutes and the display will let you know when the 10-minute countdown begins. Jasmine is particularly fragrant (it kinda smells like popcorn when it’s nearly done), so your nose may notice before the countdown starts.
The next part involves a bunch of chopped vegetables and I didn’t get pictures of them because I’m not used to stopping and capturing the process yet.
This is another easy dish that we tend to reserve for (Taco) Tuesdays.
Frozen, unpeeled shrimp is the way to go. Grab a 1 lb. bag the next time you’re at the market; this will be enough for two with some shrimp leftover. Or for seconds.
Thaw the shrimp in a colander and bowl under cold, running water for about 10 to 15 minutes; I have the fella peel the shrimp because this process makes my fingers itchy.
You or a loved one can use the time during the shrimp defrost to shred cheese, chop onions, dice tomatoes, and chop lettuce.
I can’t remember where I learned this onion-dicing trick, but I wish I could thank whoever taught me. I happened to have half an onion (the butt end) hanging around in the crisper drawer for this tutorial. Slice the onion all the way through and set one quarter on its side. Slice that piece in a series of cuts that sort of radiate around the outside, not slicing all the way through the butt (this part is keeping the bulb held in one piece).
Once the onion is sliced longways, you can start chopping shortways (I don’t know how I decided which was which), and this will result in some nicely-sized diced onion! Remember to keep your knuckles sticking out further than your digits; you’re less likely to chop something off this way.
Warm up a pan over medium and add some oil, then sprinkle in your favorite taco seasoning. When the pan is hot, lay all your shrimps on one side, sprinkle with some more seasoning, and cook until you see them get pink and curl a little; about 4 minutes.
Flip each and cook on the second side for about 4 minutes.
Once they’re sufficiently pinkened, I usually cover the pan and turn the heat all the way down while I toast the tortillas using the remaining three burners. Stay close by because they have a tendency to catch (at least for me because I sometimes leave the room or even the house after getting impatient with one side or the other).
This isn’t really a trick, but I don’t know what you don’t know, so I’ll share. Slice the tomato into quarters and use your fingers to scoop out the seeds and goo out so you can just dice the parts worth eating.
Plate your tortillas, top with favorites, and chow down.
I use the n+1 theory with garlic cloves. I eyeball chopped onions and grated cheese, but I weigh pasta.
I have many kitchen gadgets, but the Pampered Chef Deluxe Air Fryer is my favorite. Shoot me a message if you want to know how to get one!
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