Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dubious Chef Episode Seven: Scallops!

Dubious Inclinations is the name of the pen-and-paper role playing game group I belong to, and a couple of months back we decided to try something a little different and have been playing our own home version of a cooking challenge show that we blog about under the name of The Dubious Chef:
In an odd turn of random chance I (Sam) won the die roll for this week's Dubious Chef with Greg providing the secret ingredient. Apparently Greg and I have decided that we need to monopolize all the attention since we didn't get a turn until after everyone else....

My featured ingredients were:
  • Cheese, Cottage cheese, or Cream cheese
  • Eggs
  • Mollusks (Clam, Oyster, or Scallop)

I started the week with a very strong idea of what I would like to focus on because the night before I won the die roll I had noticed that my local Walmart had scallops available for just under $5/bag. The Epicurious app on my iPad quickly pointed me towards an excellent Seared Scallops with Creamy Noodles and Peas recipe that I felt could be easily adapted to use cream cheese, would look attractive garnished with boiled eggs, and that I felt had a good chance of allowing for the incorporation of whatever random ingredient was presented. As luck would have it Greg happened to choose lemon juice as the secret ingredient this week and it quite handily complemented the dish.

Seared Scallops with Lemon Cream Sauce Noodles and Peas
  • 8 ounces medium egg noodles
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 pound bag small bay scallops
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to boiling and cook noodles until almost ready then stir in peas and cook about 3 minutes more. Drain in a colander, then coat bottom of pan with olive oil and toss noodles and peas to coat until ready to plate.

In a second small pot hard boil two eggs, then set aside in sink under cold water.

While water is boiling, rinse and pat scallops dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, then add scallops. Increase heat to high and sear scallops until golden brown and just cooked through. Add wine to skillet and deglaze by boiling, stirring and scraping. Stir in cream cheese, chopped chives and lemon juice and boil until slightly reduced and then pour sauce over plated noodles. Garnish with slices of hard boiled eggs and chives.

Final Score:
  • Creativity–9
  • Presentation–10
  • Taste–9

Items Purchased:
  • Bag of Bay Scallops - $4.97
  • Cream cheese - $1.98
  • Half dozen eggs - $0.59
  • Egg noodles - $1.75

Total: $9.30

Did not use:
  • Half the cream cheese
  • Two thirds of the eggs
  • Half the egg noodles

Brought from Home:
  • White wine
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh chives
  • Frozen peas
  • Half stick of butter
  • Salt & pepper

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