Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Seared Shrimp and Scallops with Truffled Mashed Cauliflower

Y'all.  You know what's not fair?  I'll tell you what's not fair.  The general fact that: Delicious Food + Lack of Daily, Grueling Exercise = Fatness.

And I'll tell you why.  Well....actually no....Science and Mother Nature will tell you why that happens, but I'll tell you why its NOT FAIR.  Ugh - Because the best tasting stuff is the most fattening!!  And I don't care who you are or what you say, that's always true.  Sure, in real life we may make different food choices, like grilled vs. fried, veggies over mashed potatoes, sparking water vs. wine (ugh, just no), etc. to avoid weighing 700 pounds.  But I just can't wrap my head around the fact that anyone would make those choices day in and day out if the whole calories in vs. calories out phenomenon didn't exist.  And also if heartburn didn't exist.

Truth be told, I've always struggled with food and weight issues.  And I've always struggled with the "why" behind it.  Is it because I just love food that much?  I mean, the mere act of having a food blog indicates that I love thinking about it, reading about it, planning it, obsessing about it, writing about it...Hell, I even TAKE PICTURES of food almost daily.  So its clear that I love food, not only for how it tastes but also how it fits into my social life.  So is my love just about the love...OR.... is it because I have an emotional attachment to food that I never even realized?  Do I turn to food when I'm sad or stressed or even happy?  Sure, but I think that to some extent everyone does.  Right?  Who celebrates, say, a promotion at work with steamed broccoli and a lemon water?  Hmmmm....Disturbed health nuts (broccoli instead of filet mignon) or pregnant people (lemon water instead of Cabernet) do that, that's who.

I guess there has to be a balance, though.  Like I said, I've always struggled with my own feelings about my weight.  I spent a lot of my childhood years a little chubby and then spent a lot of my teenage and early 20's years in a constant yo-yo situation, often erring on the side of too thin.  Adulthood has been tough.  Wild fluctuations in weight aren't as easy any more....clothes at Anthropologie and Banana Republic are a lot more expensive than Forever 21 and DEB (OMG does anyone remember that store called DEB?  Do those even exist any more!?!?).  I think, like many people, I put too much emphasis on a number on the scale or a size of the pants I'm wearing on a particular day. 

So, I'm a foodie who loves food.  Guess there's only 2 things that can be done... 1) find a way to implement negative calorie days so a supermodel's body can be achieved while eating whatever I want, in whatever quantity I want, or B) find a little more acceptance of myself the way I am...that would be great.  Thanks Mother Nature, but #1 would generally be the preference.  You know, if I had to pick.

Tonight, I had a hankering for something with truffle oil (only a splash!  geez!).  I decided on seared scallops over pureed cauliflower (sounds like baby food but is so much better than that!) and arugula salad.  Seriously folks, so good.  I think I already lost 15 pounds. 


Seared Scallops and Shrimp
Source: Adapted from Alton Brown

1 to 1 1/4 pounds dry sea scallops and shrimp, approximately 16 pieces total
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
garlic powder

Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry.  Peel and devein shrimp.

Add the butter and oil to a 12 to 14-inch saute pan on high heat. Salt, pepper and garlic the scallops and shrimp. Once the fat begins to smoke, gently add the scallops and shrimp, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the seafood for 1 1/2 minutes on each side (a little longer for the shrimp). The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center.

Serve immediately over pureed cauliflower.

Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"
Source: Adapted from: Ask Your Neighbor

1 medium head cauliflower
1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened (I used low fat)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (I used about 3 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (I used a lot more, everyone loves garlic!!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used 1 tablespoon and it was fine!)
DRIZZLES OF WHITE TRUFFLE OIL (this make the dish.  For real.)

Set a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.

Clean and cut the cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan and cook the garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Drain the cauliflower well; do not let cool and pat it very dry between several layers of paper towels.

In the bowl of a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, butter, garlic, salt, and pepper until almost smooth.

Garnish truffle oil.  Not optional.  Do it.

Arugula Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
Source: Adapted from Frontier Soups

About 12 ounces of Arugula
4 ounces Crumbled Goat Cheese
4 ounces Carmelized Walnuts

8 stalks roasted aspargus, cooled and chopped into 1-inch pieces

Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 Cup vinegar
2 tsp. grated orange rind

1/2 Cup Orange Juice
Juice of 1 Lemon
1/4 Cup sugar (I used Splenda)
1/2 tsp. each: dry mustard, salt
1 Cup Oil, either Vegetable or Canola
pepper and garlic powder to taste

Combine all ingredients in a 1 pint glass jar, make sure lid securely attached, and shake. Use as needed to lightly coat salad greens.

1 comment:

  1. This all sounds SO good. I'm with you on the food battle. Obviously, we both love food otherwise we wouldn't have food blogs, which means we think about food daily and obsess about it. I love food and wish all the "bad" stuff didn't mean weight gain. I try to work out regularly too, all in the name of food. And health. Can't forget about that!