Treated myself to a manicure today, and am glad I did. Actually haven’t had one since my sister got married over a year ago. Really never have the time, nor the inclination to spend the money on them, but in a concerted effort to “take care of me” and slow down a bit, I’m going to get them regularly (well, hey, at least once a month). A bargain at only $10, I went to a spa that opened up a few years ago. Quite the bang for your buck, the half-hour of “me time” included a back, shoulder and neck massage while my nails dried. First time I’ve ever seen that done before, but I wasn’t complaining.
OK, last night’s dinner … because of our sad nachos at iHop on Thursday, I knew homemade nachos were going to make the menu. I topped them with crumbled sausage and fresh, made-it-myself guacamole. For the main dish, I made Ham and Brie Quesadillas. A nice simple, weeknight meal, both dishes used ingredients I already had on hand, which is always a bonus.
Instead of grilling tomorrow, since we’re going out to celebrate my Mom’s birthday, we ended up grilling tonight. I tried the Chipotle-Rubbed Steaks with Gorgonzola Toasts that are featured on the cover of the Bon Appetit’s July 2005 issue. A very simple dish to make, I made some slight changes in the rub, using chili powder instead of crushed chipotle chile pepper (the kids have to eat this too, so I wanted to tone down the heat a bit) and already ground cumin. The steak was fine, but I didn’t think it packed TOO much of a punch flavor-wise. Could be my substitutions, I suppose, but don’t think I’ll be repeating this one. The Gorgonzola Toasts were yummy, and similar to another recipe of mine.
As a side, I made Southwestern-Style Scallop Seviche with Summer Vegetables. The first time I’ve made Seviche, this one comes from the current issue of Body+Soul (a new magazine put out by Martha Stewart). I didn’t realize that with seviche, you don’t actually “cook” the scallops. It sits in lime juice for 1 hour (minimum) and the acidity of the juice is what “cooks” the scallops. With my iron stomach not being quite so iron anymore, I was a little hesitant to try it that way, but took the plunge. They were SO tender, and the cilantro flavoring really came through on the salad. This is a definite make-again dish for us, and I’m going to start looking for other seviche recipes to experiment with.
OK, all for now. Going to the Farmer’s Market tomorrow morning, and am planning to tackle an ambitious birthday cake for afternoon festivities, so tune in tomorrow for updates. Until then…
Southwestern-Style Scallop Seviche with Summer Vegetables
1 head red-leaf lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried
4 ears cooked fresh corn, kernels cut from cob (I used one can of drained corn)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 ripe avocado, sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges
1-1/2 lbs bay scallops
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves (love the cilantro, so used 3)
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (I skipped this)
1/2 small red onion, minced
ground black pepper
At least one hour before serving, place the scallops, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeno, red onion, salt and pepper as desired in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 12 hours. On large serving platter, place large lettuce leaves overlapping each other in a circle so the frilly edges extend just beyond the rim of the platter. Using a slotted spoon to leave the juices behind, mound the seviche in the center. Place corn, chili powder and 1-1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a bowl; mix together and season to taste with salt. Arrange corn in a ring aruond the seviche so that the corn covers the bottom third of the lettuce leaves. Place tomatoes in an overlapping ring surrounding the corn and covering the middle third of lettuce leaves. Distribute pressed garlic over the tomatoes, drizzle remaining oil on them and season to taste with salt. Place the avocado slices and lime wedges on the top third of the lettuce leaves, around the tomatoes. Serve immediately.