Friday, October 9, 2009

The Friday Table

Tonight, Friday, October 9, 2009, I had the privilege of cooking for Preston. I had not seen him in a coon's age (in context, that means not for five days or so) so I was anxious to prepare a very good meal for him.

We traveled to Italy together once so I know he likes food indigenous to the Amalfi Coast -- seafood, Campanian wines, mozzarella. I resolved that tonight was going to hit every one of those buttons!

The starter, pictured above, is a classic Caprese salad, constructed of organic heirloom tomatoes, organic mozzarella, homegrown organic basil, organic olive oil and, yes, organic balsamic vinegar. I dispersed black sea salt atop it.

I served a Falanghina wine.

I'm bored with rice and pasta and polenta...all the usual platforms upon which one builds an Italian entrée. I decided that I was going to use a meaty mushroom as my base. Lobster mushrooms are a perfect match texturally and flavorfully, so they were a natural choice.

Next was a consideration of taste, texture and color. I used spring onions, roasted pumpkin seeds, small pitted black olives and the aforementioned mushrooms, all pan sautéed in butter and paprika. I tossed in two handfuls of baby arugula at the very end and removed it from the heat into a stainless steel IKEA bowl. Perfect.

Using the same skillet without a cleaning (but with a spray of olive oil Pam), I seared the diver scallops for four minutes on one side, three minutes on the other, and 30 seconds again on the initial side to ensure a brown sear mark.

I plated the mushroom mixture and an Essential Bakery dinner roll, then added the three scallops. Paprika was sprinkled around the perimeter and and directly on the scallops.

This course earned a Les Crêtes Vallé d'Aosta cuvée bois Chardonnay, one of Italy's grandest Chardonnays. According to their Web site: The wine has a brilliant, straw yellow color. Intense, full nose with nuances of fruits (plum, exotic fruits), spices (vanilla) and a delicate toasty aroma. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, warm and velvety with mineral undertones and a lively acidity at the finish.

For dessert, we enjoyed a tarte tatin from Hiroki. I served a California muscatto.

My hope is that Preston enjoyed the meal.

Does it sound good to you? Let me know!

1 comment:

  1. The scallops sound amazing. I am a sucker for scallops and a caprese salad; what's not to like. I'm not a massive pudding person, but tarte tatin is one of the few things that gets me going. All in all, it sounds excellent; Preston is a lucky man!