Saturday, August 28, 2010

Unwrapped Bacon Scallops

When we jumped off the vegetarian wagon, we really jumped off. This past week, in addition to a chicken, we bought scallops, shrimp, and ... bacon! Just two slices of the thick cut bacon from the butcher counter at Whole Foods, but it still counts.

Lately, I've been coming up empty handed with my Simple and Delicious magazine. More than lately. It had been three or four issues since anything even vaguely caught my eye. But this last issue, I found three things to try and they all were successes to varying degrees. We'll start with the biggest success: Unwrapped Bacon Scallops.

I had never made scallops before. I had only ever had a couple of bites of scallops off of Brett's plate (the grilled scallops at Legal Seafood are great). Brett is a big fan of scallops. As an elementary student he proudly proclaimed scallops his favorite food when all of his peers were saying pizza and burgers. So he was excited to try making our own, and a little nervous about it too.

I chopped up the bacon, sauteed it, and then set it aside to drain and crisp up a bit. I reserved a little bit of the bacon grease and cooked some onion, zucchini, and garlic in that. I didn't like that the onion cooked much faster than the zucchini. Next time I will put the zucchini in first and then add the onions and garlic. When that was almost done I scooted it to the outer edges of the pan, added the scallops, and sprinkled them with salt, paprika, and fresh thyme. The recipe called for seafood seasoning, but I didn't want to invest in a big can.

We let the scallops cook for almost three minutes on one side and then flipped them and let them cook for another two minutes.

How's this for a pretty plate? You all know I'm terrible at presentation ... so naturally, this is Brett's handiwork. I love the bacon sprinkled around the edge :)

It tasted great! We will definitely make this again.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Off the Wagon

Our vegetarianism morphed into what we called "at-home vegetarianism." This means that when we were on vacation, at a restaurant, or eating at someone else's house, we ate whatever we wanted, which many times, included meat. Our home however, had been consistently meat free since March...until recently. I decided that we needed to occasionally eat meat, so we went to Whole Foods and bought a chicken. The packaging said that it was raised by the Amish, and I have a hard time imagining the Amish mistreating their animals, so I deemed it acceptable meat to consume.

I stuffed the chicken with thyme, garlic, and lemons, rubbed it with butter, and sprinkled it with salt and pepper. It smelled wonderful and tasted fabulous. I was feeling ok with our decision to occasionally have meat in our house...until we turned on the T.V. I found it very ironic that the show we found ourselves watching, The Fabulous Beekman Boys on Planet Green, featured city guys turned farmers who just happened to be slaughtering their pigs in the episode we caught. They did it humanely, and those pigs lived very good "piggy" lives, but it was still sad. The guys in the show were crying, I was crying, and the chicken that I was stuffing into my mouth started to taste a little less delicious. It is hard for me not to think about the animal that died so that I could have a meal.

I don't know if this was a sign that we should stick with vegetarianism a little longer, or if it was just a reminder to be grateful for the animals we eat and respect their lives as much as possible. I just couldn't believe the timing! (The show is great, by the way. You should watch it if you get the chance!)

We intend to limit our meat to one chicken a month. I can come to grips with that. Afterall, the leftovers did feed us for an entire week! The chicken most certainly was not wasted.