Monday, April 20, 2009

Scallop with Chorizo and Fennel Greens Salsa Verde

I should be fair to the un-named party who downloaded a nasty virus and note that our poor home computer has hardly been in the rosiest of health for some time now. The poor thing wheezed and heaved away like it had a three-pack-a-day habit. The computer and our car are now both in for more robust investigation of their various problems. I have aged but slowly functioning loaners.

Also in the category of things that move slowly: scallops. Sure, some kinds of scallops can swim away (or so I read), but there appears to be a reason that nature movies don't focus on shellfish when they do pieces on the fastest swimmers in the sea. They're just not fast enough to get away from even kind of slow swimmers. Which would explain why they generally come equipped with a shell.

Cleaned, scallops look a bit like gigantic bits of congealed pus. I have a fair amount of sympathy for squamish eaters when it comes to a number of types of seafood. It's not hard to understand, between the slimy texture and snot-type visuals when they're raw, that it might just be more than some people are willing to deal with. Still, scallops are scrumptious. There is a wee problem with the scallop pictured above.

There's only one.

If it had been dinner, I would not have been happy. Weight loss is all very good, but one scallop? As dinner? Sea scallops are pretty big suckers, but that's not dinner even for Curly, who is not even 60 pounds.

Fortunately, it was an appetizer. And a scrumptious one at that, if I do say so myself. It had the added bonus of allowing me to use up some of the copious amounts of fennel greens that accumulate and accumulate in my vegetable drawer; I used the fennel greens to make an italian style salsa verde. Technically, it's not quite a salsa verde (no capers OR anchovies, but it might benefit from a pinch of either), but if you want me to get involved in technicalities and precision, well, you're probably reading the wrong blog. Still, it could happen. It probably won't, but... it could.

I adapted the scallop recipe from David Tanis's Platter of Figs, which I continue to read and enjoy (his recipe is... quite different than what I did, but it got me thinking about scallops and how I like them). Tanis is really, really funny... it just doesn't seem like he means to be. I've said it before, but it's worth repeating: he's a foodie Sam the Eagle. Still, he puts together ridiculously good menus (although he does have a recipe for aspic. And any cookbook with meat jello gets at least a tiny strike against it, as far as I am concerned). He is so thoroughly humorless that he's hysterical. Mentally, it makes me think of skits with him in the kitchen with the Swedish chef, some turnips and cheez whiz. Maybe it's just me, though.

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