Monday, June 21, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies from 'Ad Hoc at Home'

Much to my dismay, my work schedule has kept me from cooking and from blogging as of late.  Luckily, I did find some time to bake a treat to get me through the monotony of the sauteed chicken breasts and roasted vegetables I have been eating nearly every night.  I have been clearing my mind--and clogging my arteries--with these chocolate chip cookies from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home.  Keller's rendition is just as easy to make as the treat that is my benchmark for chocolate chip cookies,  the Toll House cookie, but so much more wonderfully gluttonous. With two types of chocolate chunks, semisweet and bittersweet, Keller's cookies guarantee that your hands will be covered in chocolate by the time you've finished those first few bites of heaven.  And you can't stop at just one, right?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Seared Scallops with Fava Bean Puree

If you've ever been to Manhattan when the temperature rises above 80 degrees, you understand just how hot living in a New York apartment can be.  For studio-dwelling cooks like myself, the overheated Manhattan apartment is especially unforgiving; turn on that oven and you will have an uncomfortably warm apartment for hours, no matter the output of you air conditioner.  For this reason, come Memorial Day, I pretty much give up on all braising and roasting and relegate my cooking repertoire to searing and stir frying until cooler weather arrives.  This recipe for scallops with a fava bean puree is one of the typical types of recipes I turn to during the warm months.  Boil the fava beans, gently warm the puree, and quickly sear the scallops and you have dinner on the table in about 20 minutes.  More importantly, you won't break a sweat before or after you eat. 

Seared Scallops with Fava Bean Puree

  • 2 lb. fava beans, shelled
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. scallops 
  • 1 tbsp butter
  1. Blanch the fava beans in a pot of boiling water until they are soft, about 8 minutes.  
  2. Drain the fava beans and cool them in ice water. 
  3. Peel the skins off of the fava beans and add the beans to the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse the beans until they are pureed. 
  4. Pour in the cream and broth and run the food processor until all ingredients are well combined.  Season the puree with salt and pepper.  
  5. Spoon the puree into a small pot and warm it over low heat.
  6. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels.  Season them on the both sides with salt and pepper. 
  7. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Once the butter has stopped foaming, add the scallops.  Cook them undisturbed until they are well browned on each side, about 1 minute per side.  
  8. Spoon the fava bean puree onto plates.  Top the puree with the scallops and serve them immediately.


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