Monday, March 26, 2012

Working Girl Dinner

Let me start off by apologizing for disappearing for a week - I am sorry. However, a very big part of me isn't sorry since my lack of updating is due to my recent employment. Yes, that's right, I am no longer an unemployed post-graduate.  I am officially employed. And I have to say, so far, I'm absolutely loving it.  Not only am I working as a barista - the breakfast bartender, making your life better one drink at a time - but I'm working with some truly amazing people.  They were incredibly welcoming to a newbie who asks far too many questions, and I feel like I've been there for much longer than a week.  I think I've settled in very nicely, though my milk foaming could use a little work.

Only downfall to my recent employment?  A job kind of takes away of a lot of the idle time around the house that I've been using as prep and cooking time.  Not to mention the fact that when I get home all I want to do is crash on the couch and have others serve me.  That being said, I really miss cooking.  That's why, today after work, I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a few quick items to add to things I already had in the house for dinner.  At home we had a of bag baby scallops in the freezer, a quart of cherry tomatoes, a bunch of scallions, fresh basil, and elephant garlic.  You heard me right, elephant garlic.  My two favorite things in the entire world combined by a genius to make one amazing thing.  This garlic dwarfs a normal clove, and cuts like an apple.  It's crisp and fragrant, but makes your eyes water like the worst onion - my whole face was hurting actually.  While the garlic is bigger, the flavor is more mild and less aggressive than regular garlic.  But I digress...

So at the store, I grabbed some ingredients to fill in the blanks and then sort of threw things together.  You know how much I love throw-together dinners, and they turn out to be the perfect meals for working girls with a small budget and even less time.
Elephant vs. Regular Garlic Clove

A Sort-of Scampi
1 quart cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch scallions, chopped
4 tbs fresh basil, chopped
2 cloves elephant garlic
1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
½ yellow onion
 cup white wine (Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc)
1 lemon, zest
1 bag frozen baby scallops
½ lb wild-caught shrimp
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

+ Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a medium bowl, toss tomatoes, scallions, basil, and garlic in a splash of olive oil.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Pour the tomatoes into a deep baking dish (scraping the olive oil and seasoning from the bowl with a spatula).  Bake tomatoes for about an hour, or until shriveled and juicy.
+ In a medium pot, bring quinoa and vegetable broth to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and add broccoli.  Simmer uncovered until the liquid is absorbed and the grains have split.
+ In a large sauce pan, saute onions in olive oil until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook until just beginning to brown.
+ Mix the shrimp and scallops with zest, a little olive oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
+  Add the shrimp and scallops to the pan, then add the wine.  Then cover and cook until shrimp is curled and pink, and the scallops turn white.
+ Serve with a scoop of shrimp and seafood over a bed of quinoa topped with the roasted tomatoes.

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