Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Scallop Bowl for One

I recently read a nice little article from Kinfolk about eating alone.
It's a philosophy I totally agree with.
Why just resign yourself to sit down to a can of soup or a bowl of cereal?
(Unless, of course, that's what you really want- and at times it's completely understandable, though it's not really resignation in that case).

And not to say that eating alone is a sad thing either.

Think about it more like this:
Extraordinary foods can be much more expensive and/or often pickier to deal with time and technique-wise than those we think of as everyday foods.
In cooking a special meal for a group, you may have created quite the chore for yourself.
Add the expense and time-guaging headache to perhaps a lack of cooking surface area (if there are too many people) and your pan won't fit all the individual portions of meat at once.
...well, you may run into having everyone's meals finished at different times.
How do you plan to sear filet mignon for 20?
Not to mention that it all must be done last minute for perfection in serving temperature and level of doneness.

Then again, what if all the guests have different ideas of perfection in meat?

Maybe that's a little over the top, but it's an idea... operating with the very firm idea that most persons do not have a restaurant kitchen in their home.
But all this and you're supposed to play host or hostess, too?
In that case, I wouldn't recommend dinner parties for 20.

Well, if you're alone you only have to worry about getting it right for you, and if not quite right you're probably a little more forgiving than you would be if you didn't get it right for someone else.
But, however much you imagine someone else's disappointment, it's more than likely not really there because people really appreciate and invitation and someone taking the time to cook for them.

Back to dining with yourself:
How often do you happen to have toast, crème fraîche and caviar days? Not too often, I suspect.
But think: it's much more economical with just your little lonesome. And that, of course, makes it a bit more tempting...

Might as well get out a nice dish (or several), to use. A delicate cup or glass, perhaps a sweet little handmade bowl. Make things look nice.

And really, let's face it: doing dishes for one isn't so bad.

Scallop Bowl for One
(Eat with a small bowl of nice hot basmati or sticky rice if you like.)

1/3 c (80 ml) chicken or veg broth
l clove garlic, minced
a tiny pinch of ground cumin
a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper
3 packed c (3 large handfuls or 116 g) mixed greens or spinach
6 spears asparagus (10 if pencil-thin), cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
4 oz/12 bay scallops
1/4 red bell pepper, sliced
Freshly ground black pepper

Pour the broth into a medium pot and add the minced garlic. Warm the pot over medium low heat for a couple minutes, so t the garlic and spices begin to infuse into the broth. Add the greens, cover the pot, and let the greens steam 3 minutes.
When the time is up, uncover the pot and stir the greens until completely wilted.  Add the chopped asparagus and the scallops along with a nice pinch of salt, and again cover the pot and let the ingredients steam/poach another 3 minutes.
Uncover the pot, give a stir, and add the red pepper. Cover one last time and let steam 2 minutes.
Ladle the contents of the pot into a bowl, add a few good grinds of fresh black pepper, and serve with a wedge of lemon on the side. 

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