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asparagus Mimosa
Asparagus Mimosa

scallops tomato cream
Sautéed Scallops with
Tomato Cream

rice with red pepper
Basmati Red Pepper Pilaf

Crisp Sautéed Sunchokes

Menu Plan for the week of April 5, 2013: Friday's Recipes

Asparagus Mimosa
Sautéed Scallops in Tomato Cream
Basmati Red Pepper Pilaf
Crisp Sautéed Sunchokes

Cooking time:  35 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

   I have no idea where the name for this asparagus dish comes from, but it's been a classic for years, sometimes with a vinaigrette; sometimes with mayonnaise, as here. The scallops can be sautéed ahead and kept warm in the sauce; the rice and sunchokes cook while you enjoy the asparagus.

Asparagus Mimosa                                              Preparation and cooking time:  25 minutes
      This old 'brunch' classic makes a perfect spring first course. Get as creative or fancy with the design as you like.  For the photo I used a 'piping' bag for the mayonnaise ;-))

7oz (210gr) asparagus
2 eggs
2 tbs snipped fresh chives
2 tbs mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp white Balsamic vinegar or white wine tarragon

Hard boil eggs
Snap off ends of asparagus.  If white use vegetable peeler and peel bottom half of stalk, laying it flat on the counter so as not to break it.   Put asparagus in a skillet with a 1/2" (1.25cm) of water.  Put over medium-high heat and simmer until just barely tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 5 - 10 minutes depending on thickness.  Remove and rinse lightly in cold water to stop cooking / set color. Drain on paper towels
Peel eggs and separate yolk from white.  Finely chop white and yolk separately.  Then mash yolk with a fork to get very fine.  
In a small bowl mix mayonnaise, mustard and vinegar.  Snip chives.  Lay asparagus out nicely on two small plates.  Make a row of egg yolk just behind the tips of the asparagus, dividing evenly.  Make a row of the egg whites just behind the yolk.  Spoon the mayonnaise behind the egg whites.  Sprinkle the chives over all and serve.

Sautéed Scallops with Tomato Cream            Preparation and cooking time: 10 minutes
     The scallops are finished with a light, tomato cream, which nicely balances their richness. Scallops release a lot of liquid when cooked, so be careful not to crowd. 

10oz (360gr) scallops
2 shallots
1 clove garlic
1 tsp paprika
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) tomato sauce
1/4 (2oz, 60ml) white wine
1/2 tsp basil
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup (2oz, 60gr) Greek yogurt

Rinse scallops and pat dry.  Roughly chop shallots, mince garlic.  Heat 2 tsp oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add 1/2 tsp paprika, shallots, garlic and sauté until shallots are tender.  Remove and put into a blender along with tomato sauce, wine and basil.  Purée until smooth. 
Heat remaining 1 tsp oil and 1/2 tsp paprika in the same skillet over medium high heat.   Add scallops and quickly sauté, turning once, until opaque. Remove scallops and keep warm.  Drain any liquid from skillet.  
Add tomato sauce to skillet and heat through.  Stir in yogurt and spoon onto a small platter.  Top with scallops and serve.

Basmati Rice Red Pepper Pilaf                        Preparation and cooking time:   20 minutes
    Fragrant Basmati rice, finished with sautéed red pepper, onion and garlic, makes a pretty side dish.

1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup Basmati rice
2 tsp butter
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock

Roughly chop pepper, onion and garlic.   Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add rice and sauté, stirring for 1 - 2 minutes.  Add stock, cover and cook rice for length of time on package. 
While rice cooks: Heat oil in a small skillet.  Add onion, pepper, garlic and sauté until onion is tender. Remove from heat and keep warm until rice is done. 
When rice is done fluff with a fork, add onion, pepper, stir well to combine and serve.

Crisp Sautéed Sunchokes                                        Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
   Another easy way to fix this versatile vegetable. 

3 - 4 (7oz, 200gr) Jerusalem artichokes aka sunchokes 
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
sea salt, optional

Peel sunchokes using a vegetable peeler or knife if they are really gnarly.  Slice 1/4" (.5cm) thick.  Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot add sunchokes slices and quickly sauté until golden brown and crisp-tender, 7 - 9 minutes (taste!).  Sprinkle with herbs and sea salt if using and serve.

Note: Sunchokes tend to discolor - if not cooking immediately, put in a bowl and coat with the olive oil.

Cooking Schedule: 35 minutes for menu
Assemble all ingredients and utensils
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
2 small saucepans with lids, medium skillet (used 2X)
with lid, blender, 2 large skillets, one lid, medium bowl

Hard cook eggs
Trim asparagus, peel if necessary
Put asparagus in skillet, add water, cook
Roughly chop red pepper, onion
Mince all garlic, divide
Roughly chop shallots
Sauté paprika, shallots, garlic for tomato cream
Remove asparagus, refresh in cold water, drain
Put shallots, garlic, tomato sauce, wine, basil in blender
Purée sauce, set aside
Mix mayo, mustard, vinegar
Snip chives
Peel sunchokes, slice
Put sunchokes in bowl with oil, stir to coat
When egg are done, cool under cold water, peel

Separate yolk from white
Finely chop white, yolk, keeping separate
Assemble Asparagus Mimosa
Sauté rice in butter
Sauté pepper, onion, garlic in oil
Sauté scallops
Add stock to rice, cover, simmer
Turn scallops
Remove scallops
Drain skillet, add tomato cream, heat
Lay scallops on sauce, cover, turn heat very low or off
Sauté sunchokes
Turn heat off under peppers / onions
Serve Asparagus (turn sunchokes once / check rice)
Done?   Turn sunchokes, add herbs
Fluff rice, add peppers, finish
Remove scallops
Remove tomato sauce from heat, stir in yogurt
Spoon sauce on platter, top with scallops
Serve all

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