Saturday, June 22, 2013

Pan Seared Sea Scallops

Pan Seared Scallops on a bed of Fresh Corn Risotto

Some people prize lobster as the best seafood, but for me it's the scallop.  A sweet and meaty mollusk with a taste of the sea.  Sea scallops are a occasional treat, as they are expensive. When I do cook them the method I use is to just quickly sear in a smoking-hot pan with a dash of a mild olive oil and a hint of butter to finish. Perfectly Caramelized brown on the outside with a just cooked through medium-rare interior.
When buying scallops there are many on the market and you will have to choose carefully to buy only the best.  For me, I always start with what are called "dry packed", not the ones soaked in a liquid that sometimes contains chemicals to plump them up. The later are low-grade scallops and will become a watery mess when cooked and boil in the pan with out the nice brown caramelization that you will want; not good. Another name to look for when buying is "day boat" which means that the boat went out and returned with the newly harvested scallops the same day and they are really fresh!  Another thing to look for is the number or grade of the scallop. For example, U10 means about 10 per pound which is on the bigger side; as the number goes up the size of the scallop goes down. This is also the same size grade for other shellfish like prawns. Go out and buy the best- it will cost more, but you will be treated to some of the best shellfish available.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Garden Fresh Romano Beans

Sauteed Romano Beans
Ready to Pick Bean on the Vine

One of the joys of Summer is eating all the great produce, and when it's picked from your own garden it's even better.  This week it was Romano beans, a variety of bean that is long and flat and is eaten whole. I find the best way to cook these are to quickly blanch them in boiling salted water for about a minute then shock in ice water to stop the cooking process; at this point they can be kept until ready to cook.

Saute Green Beans
Green Beans, Blanched
Garlic Clove, chopped
Cherry Tomatoes, Sliced
Red Onions, Sliced
Fresh Oregano, Chopped
Kosher Salt/Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Saute the onions, garlic and tomato in the olive oil for about a minute.
2. Add the blanched green beans with a pinch of salt and pepper.
3. Arrange on plate and sprinkle with oregano.

Note: any kind of string bean can be used.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Thank You Readers, Fellow Foodies & Cooks

A big thank you to all the people around the world for viewing and following Greg's World on a Plate. It's been eight years, and well over 600 posts since I started this blog. I get a lot of enjoyment cooking and seeking out new foods which to share with you on my blog. To see that someone maybe on the other side of the world viewed what I cooked today, really makes it all worth it for me. If you have stumbled upon this blog and would like to see more as I post,  please subscribe with my loyal followers on the side bar under 'people following Greg's world on a plate.'  Thank you!

New years eve with one of my cooking mentors, Chef Hubert Keller of Fluer de Lys

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Thai Grilled Chicken Wings

Grilling on charcoal

Spicy Chicken Wings
Thai Style Chicken Wings
12 Chicken wings
1 small knob Ginger, Peeled
3 clove Garlic, Peeled
1/2 bunch Cilantro
3 Kaffir Lime Leaf *
3 T Lime Juice
1 T Thai Curry Paste *
1 T Fish Sauce *
1 T Soy Sauce
1-3 Thai chili peppers *
2 T Mirin rice wine *

1. Blend all the ingredients till they form a smooth paste; use the paste to marinate the chicken wings for a few hours or overnight.
2. Prepare a charcoal fire and grill the wings when the coals are glowing hot.
3. Turn the wings often to prevent from burning.
4. When the wings are done serve with fresh cut lime and maybe steamed Jasmine rice and a cucumber salad.
Yield= 1-2 servings

Note: *Some of the more uncommon ingredients can be found at Asian markets.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Potato Cakes

Russet and Sweet Potato Cakes

One of my favorite ways of serving potatoes, is to make individual cakes with coarse mashed potatoes with different fillings and seasonings, cooked crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. To start, just peel and cut russet potatoes in large dice, boil in salted water till just cooked, drain and cool. Next make the garnish. For these I made a fine dice of sweet potato and onions and sautéd till cooked. Next I crushed the potatoes and added the filling, seasoned with salt and pepper.  The next step is to form using a ring mold to make the cakes. At this point they can sit until ready to cook. This batch was cooked in a cast iron pan with olive oil over an open fire, till crispy and hot.  Filling ideas can include fresh chopped herbs, diced bacon, caramelized onions, wilted kale, etc.

Note: Try with a dollop of sour cream or maybe even caviar?

Ready for Summer with Grilled Pork Chops

Grilled Marinated Pork Chop with Potato Cake, Kale and Apricot Compote

Chops with Garlic, White Wine and Fresh Thyme

Grilling over Charcoal

I had a craving for something on the grill tonight and I chose a pair of big thick-cut pork chops to cook.
The pork was simply marinated in white wine, garlic and fresh thyme from the garden. While these chops soaked in the flavors, I started a hardwood charcoal fire. This gave me time to make the sides of fresh apricot chutney, potato cakes and cleaning kale which I will later cook on the grill.
With a glowing hot fire the chops go on and cook on both sides till just done, about 15 minutes total time. The kale I served with it was cooked in a sauté pan over the same coals.  I served a chilled rose wine with it and it was great-craving satisfied!