Seared Scallops with Braised Cauliflower

9 09 2014

Top braised cauliflower with quick seared mini scallops for a fast and healthy weeknight meal. Loaded with flavor and super easy to make!

Seared Scallops with Braised Cauliflower

The following serves 3 (compliments of Lidia Bastianich and This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • Dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 5 large Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1-2 Tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
  • 12 oz frozen mini scallops, thawed and patted dry
  • Ground black pepper
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

Heat 3 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add 4 cloves of minced garlic, and let it sizzle for a minute or two, stirring. Toss the cauliflower and stir to coat with the oil. Deglaze with a splash of dry white wine.

Add the olives, oregano, salt and red pepper flakes and stir. Next add the tomatoes and their juices, along with the capers. Bring the cauliflower/sauce to a rapid simmer. Cover, and cook 10 minutes. Uncover, and simmer until the cauliflower is tender and the sauce has thickened, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Right before you’re ready to serve, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil in a medium-large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add dry scallops and sear for 4-5 minutes, constantly tossing the scallops in the garlic oil. Remove from heat and season lightly with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve immediately.

Garnish cauliflower with a good handful of chopped parsley. To serve, dish out the cauliflower, top with a little parmesan cheese and finish with scallops and some of the garlic oil they were cooked in.

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Lemon Chicken Piccata Over Spaghetti Squash and Broccoli

2 09 2014

I originally made this lemon chicken piccata over the weekend for a bachelorette party, to go along with the spaghetti aglio e olio with marinated tomatoes I shared yesterday. But tonight, I served some of the leftover chicken and sauce over spaghetti squash and roasted broccoli to make a new meal. Below I show how to make this new meal all at once though.

The piccata recipe originated from Giada De Laurentiis, which my Mama adapted and gave to me. I have since slightly altered my Ma’s version. Thanks ladies! My twist is to kick up the flavor and lemon taste in this chicken by seasoning and adding lemon zest to it the night before I’m going to serve it.

Lemon Chicken Piccata Over Spaghetti Squash and Broccoli

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat with inspiration from This Girl’s Mama and Giada De Laurentiis):

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts thinly sliced – if you can’t find them packaged this way in your local grocery store (which will save you time), use 2 large breasts and sliced them horizontally in half and then pound them thin
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Lemon zest
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Unsalted butter
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium, reduced-fat chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 small spaghetti squash
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
  • Grated parmesan or romano cheese

Season the chicken the night before you want to serve it with salt, pepper and lemon zest to taste on both sides. Store covered in the fridge.

When you’re ready to make dinner, preheat oven to 400. Poke small holes all over the spaghetti squash with a knife or fork. Place on a baking sheet and roast until tender, 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.

While the squash cools, toss the broccoli florets with a little olive oil and just a little salt on a baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1-2 Tbsp of butter and 1-2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Dredge the seasoned chicken in a little bit of flour, shaking off the excess. When the butter and oil are melted and start to sizzle, add the chicken. Cook the chicken for about 3 minutes or so until it begins to brown. Flip it over and cook another 3 minutes until the other side is browned. When nicely browned, remove from the pan to a plate and set aside.

Deglaze the hot skillet with the lemon juice, scrapping up any brown bits that may have formed. Next add the chicken broth and the capers. Bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to a platter. You can either plate the sauce as is, or if you want it a little richer, add another Tbsp or so of cold butter to the pan and whisk to combine. Remove sauce from heat.

Cut the cooled squash in half and discard the seeds. Using a fork, scrape the flesh out of the skin of the squash over a bowl. Discard the leftover skin. Toss the squash with just a little olive oil and a pinch of salt.

To serve, divide the spaghetti squash and broccoli among plates. Nestle chicken in the middle and top with sauce. Garnish with a good helping of chopped parsley and serve with parmesan or romano cheese.





Orange-Salted Cod With Cherry Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

6 04 2014

This deliciously simple Italian fish supper is from one of my fav cookbooks, Piatto Unico, meaning a complete meal. Showcasing one-course Italian meals is what this cookbook is all about. I only changed the recipe slightly, the biggest addition being my orange salt, which brightened the fish. Serve with some crusty bread to mop up the yummy broth!

Orange-Salted Cod With Cherry Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

Orange-Salted Cod With Cherry Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

The following makes 2 servings (adapted from Piatto Unico Cookbook):

  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium-thick skinless white fish filets, I used cod
  • Orange salt (combine a good amount of orange zest, a little kosher salt, dried rosemary and red pepper flakes)
  • 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1-4 to 1/2 cup dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 400.

Place the capers in a small bowl and cover with water; soak for 5 minutes, then drain.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the bottom of a casserole dish and smear it around with your hands.

Season both sides of the fish with a little orange salt (be careful not to over salt). Place seasoned fish in the oiled casserole dish.

Combine the tomatoes, olives, drained capers, garlic, half the parsley and wine in a bowl. Pour over and around the fish. Top everything with a Tbsp of oil.

Cover with foil and bake until fish filets are just done, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness.

Dish out fish, tomatoes, olives and broth into shallow soup bowls or plates, and top with the rest of the parsley.

Serve with crusty bread for mopping up the broth, and roasted asparagus or a salad of mixed greens on the side if desired.