It's funny, in spite of my many food quirks, seafood has always been one of my favorites. As long as I don't think about how they exist or anything, I am okay...
As a kid, sometimes a birthday treat would involve a meal out at a restaurant. If I was really lucky, we would take the hour drive to The City (because EVERYTHING was an hour away - and on a "Friday night" nonetheless) and have dinner at The Red Lobster. If I was REALLY lucky, that dinner would be followed by a trip to "THE MALL" (at the risk of slightly dating myself, I must add that this was before the advent of "THE MALL", so a trip to that singular shopping place was truly a wondrous thing).
But back to the food... I am sure my slightly older, discriminating taste buds would feel differently than my ten or eleven-year old self did about a night out at The Red Lobster. But I will never forget the joy that each taste of scampi brought as it rolled over my tongue. The tender bite of meat inside each pocket of batter crusted deep-fried shrimp. The pleasure of fishing out that sweet morsel from inside the claw of the lobster. The little medallions of scallop sitting on the side of the plate.
I can also remember my disbelief when friends would scrunch up their face at the mention of seafood. (And my thinking "what is wrong with you, people?" - a thought that I still often have, but for different reasons...)
Which brings us to the present. A day in which I am now the mother of two teenage daughters whose views on food are as different as night and day. What one adores, the other despises. And vice versa. There are few things as polarizing as food, it seems. One child's special treat involves anything out of the water. The other one looks at it as torture.
Enter caramel-orange scallops... A dish sure to please one and turn off the other (don't worry, mom had a back up piece of chicken going - no one was going to starve). Scallops seared to golden and topped with an orange sauce (we never quite made it all the way to the caramel stage...but we won't talk about that, will we???). Served alongside fresh orange-ginger pasta (rolled out by The Runner Girl herself - because athletes in training need their carbs, don't you know?).
Overall, a lovely dish. Maybe next time, I will get around to making sure my caramel reaches the caramel stage?
Orange Ginger Pasta
Adapted from The Pasta Machine Cookbook
1 cup durum semolina or unbleached all-purpose flour (plus additional flour for sprinkling)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse flour and spices. Add egg, pulse briefly. Slowly add orange juice until dough begins to come together. You may not need all of the orange juice.
Remove dough from processor. Press into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap. At this point, you can let the dough rest on the counter for ~1/2 hour if you are going to be using right away. For better results, refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before rolling (bring to room temperature before shaping).
Divide dough into ~6 pieces. Dust with enough flour to keep dough from sticking. Flatten with a rolling pin - enough so that the dough can pass through the rollers of the pasta machine. Start with the widest setting and roll until the dough rolls smoothly (fold in half after each roll - you may need to do this several times & if you find your dough is sticking, dust with flour). Once sheets reach desired consistency (dough should be slightly pliable and smooth), reduce thickness on the machine and run sheets of pasta through. Repeat until desired thiness has been reached. (On the KitchenAid, I usually run my fettucine to a thickness of 3 - it's all a matter of personal preference. Use flour (sparingly) as needed if the dough feels sticky at any time.
At this point, if you have a cutter attachment you can run the sheets through the cutter. Or you can hand cut with a knife or a pizza cutter.
Cook in boiling, salted water for ~3-5 minutes - or until desired doneness. Don't overcook... Drain well. I like to toss with butter right after it's drained. Good with a dusting of nutmeg & a sprinkle of orange zest.
This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. Come check out what everyone else has been up to this week!