Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Spring Is Busting Out All Over

It started with a lime sorbet I made a few weeks ago, and then continued with Fork's and my consumption of fresh rhubarb and strawberries from the market. Then I went on an asparagus bender, and following that, made more ice cream--orange, this time. And then I brewed some peach iced tea. I have hit my spring stride, people, and let me tell you, it's maaahvelous.

So this Memorial Day weekend, I was all pumped to fire up a grill and cook something over an open flame. Figuring I have the next three months to pig out on burgers and dogs, I thought, why not kick off the season with some grilled bivalves? My mom was in the mood for scallops, so we pulled out Micol Negrin's excellent book The Italian Grill, and ran with a recipe for Grilled Scallops with Tri-Color Pepper Medley. First we sliced red, orange and yellow peppers, and sauteed them with garlic and lime zest, sprinkling them with chopped basil once they were tender. Then we dipped bay scallops in olive oil, coated them in salt and pepper, and grilled them--on the Vebbah, of course--for about five minutes. And then we laid them over the peppers on a plate, and topped the whole thing with lime juice and chopped mint. On the side: white bean-tomato salad, arugula salad and potato salad. What a splendid alfresco meal.

Tonight I scored with a springtime veggie from the Greenmarket: Japanese turnips. I wanted to make something from a new cookbook I'm already loving, The Flexitarian Table, and the Butter-Braised Radishes with Their Greens seemed seasonally appropriate. The farmer told me I could substitute turnips for the radishes, and I think I should go back to the market on Friday to thank her. These turnips were great: surprisingly sweet and mild. They were a delicious accompaniment to Crispy Pressed Chicken with Garlic and Mint, which is similar to a dish my mom makes called Chicken Under a Brick. Both entail pressing the chicken with something heavy to speed up the cooking time and force out the fat, which results in crispy skin.

Wonder how hot dogs under a brick would be...--S


Laura said...

So...know what I just realized? Scallops are bivalves! And I don't DO bivalves! I guess I'll have to make an exception. On the vebbah...muahahaha!!!!

I love chicken under a brick, by the way. I think I might have to try making it on a grillpan. Think it'll work??

S & F said...

You can indeed make chicken under a brick in a grill pan--I did last week! And if you don't have a brick handy, use a pot (clean the bottom first, duh!), fill a tea kettle with water, and place the kettle inside the pot to weigh it down. Worked for me.

Yeah, bivalves are funny that way. They sneak up on you when you least expect it.