I belong to a group of 5 wonderful friends that we affectionately call the Yayas. I know. We stole it from the Rebecca Wells book, "the divine secrets of the yaya sisterhood". It's kind of corny but we all read the book and since we didn't have a name it kind of stuck. It fits. I can say "well the Yayas are going to do this or that" and it's easier than "well the friends that live all over the country and that I see every year are going to do this or that". Besides, our bond is so close that it indeed seems divine. We didn't grow up together like the characters in the book. We all met in Texas, where none of us were from. There is a definite us and them feeling in Texas. Those that were born there and couldn't imagine living anywhere else and those that arrived later in life and wondered "where in the world did I land?". Most of us met at a church in the outskirts of Dallas and kind of glommed onto each other like fellow foreigners tend to do. After a few sun-baked years we began to move away, one by one. It was on a trip to Charlotte where two of my friends had moved to that our groupness, our Yayaness cemented. We knew that our friendships were important and we vowed to continue to meet yearly. This year we met in Charleston, South Carolina. We like to go to places that have beaches, fun shopping and great restaurants. Charleston seemed like a perfect place to visit and it was, except that we were visiting during hurricane season. I suppose we thought, "what are the chances that we will be affected? Hurricanes can hit in many different places". We booked our non-refundable beach front condo. Perfect! Except Hurricane Hanna was heading straight for Charleston. Seeing as we only get together once a year this seemed like a reasonable risk to take and off we went. For most of our time in Charleston the weather was perfectly agreeable. We headed for the beach as soon as we got there and got caught up in each other's lives. We ate in lovely courtyard restaurants and did the obligatory horse drawn carriage tour. But Hanna was coming and the restaurants were boarding up. As the clouds, wind and bands of rain started to roll in we headed for the grocery store and bought our provisions. I usually cook one meal for the group anyway and this was a good time for it. Which brings me to the recipe. Technically, the storm was down-graded to a tropical storm by the time it hit us but tropical storm hanna linguine and scallops doesn't have the same ring to it as:
hurricane hanna linguine and scallops
I adapted this recipe from one I found in a Cooking Light magazine. My version has a little more cream and cilantro and a little less ginger. I also give a slightly larger portion of pasta to soak up the flavorful sauce. The result is a wonderful, unexpected taste compared to a typical pasta dish and is now my favorite recipe. The recipe is for 2 servings so you will have to do some math if you want to serve more. I know, it seems a great sacrifice to use a whole cup of wine, 1/3 of a bottle, but you will not be sorry.
1 cup dry white wine 1/4 cup minced shallots 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger 1/4 cup whipping cream 1 tablespoon butter, cut up into small pieces 1 large tomato, seeded and diced 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1/4 teaspoon salt (I always use kosher or sea salt) 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 4 ounces (dry weight) hot cooked linguine olive oil 8 to 12 ounces large sea scallops, dried well with paper towels salt and pepper chopped cilantro
Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium skillet; bring to a boil. Simmer until liquid is reduced to1/2 cup (about 5 minutes). Drain mixture through a fine sieve into a boil, reserving liquid; discard solids. Return wine mixture to skillet. Add cream; cook over medium heat 1 minute. Add butter, stirring until it melts. Stir in tomato, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Add linguine; toss well and keep warm on very low heat. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add enough olive oil to keep scallops from sticking, about 1 tablespoon. Sprinkle scallops with a little salt and pepper and arrange in hot pan. Cook for 2 minutes on each side or until nicely browned and cooked on the inside. Divide the linguine into 2 shallow wide bowls and top with the seared scallops. Garnish with more cilantro.
*Make sure that you dry the scallops very well and do not over-crowd the skillet. I made that mistake on one occasion and they simply wouldn't brown. Although still tasty, the scallops lacked that lovely brown crust that makes food so tasty.
Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity. ~Voltaire
Have you forgotten how food tastes? I mean real food. Not the packaged, over processed stuff that is so full of un-pronounceable ingredients that you need a dictionary to read the nutrition facts. My aim is to share my family and friends favorite recipes made with real ingredients that showcase how real food tastes. Will it all be healthy? Not necessarily. But you'll never see cream of something soup in my recipes.
I am a wife and mother who loves to prepare home-made meals that are both delicious and (usually) nutritious. To me, home cooking nourishes the body, comforts the soul and brings loved ones together. It takes into account our expanding global tastes as well as our culinary roots.