Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Chanterelles with Lemon Butter Scallops

Perhaps once or twice a year I splurge on an often-unattainable ingredient. This time I double splurged with chanterelles and scallops. I've never had chanterelles, so they were on my bucket list. Lately scallops have been cost prohibitive and I've passed them by many a time without a thought. I took a trip to the Jasper Farmers Market, (which is an hours drive from my home) to get the chanterelles and low and behold on the way home wally world had some scallops which were a bit over their usual price point, but not as bad as other grocery stores and yes, they were wild caught. 

Since I didn't know how to treat chanterelles, I looked on youtube and other sites to see what I should do. Most folks recommended gently tearing the mushrooms apart rather than cutting them so that's what I did. I whole heartedly recommend this method. They tear easily and this ensures they are all approximately the same size for cooking.
Other experts recommend dry cooking the torn chanterelles and that's just what I did even though I was skeptical. It worked out just fine. The chanterelles release their excess moisture and do not stick or burn at all over medium low heat in a pan without any oil or some such. Once all the moisture released from the chanterelles, I added some butter and chopped shallots and sauteed them till soft.

Once the chanterelles were softened, I set them aside and melted more butter in the pan and added the scallops. I cooked the scallops, but as usual I struggled to get the proper sear on the scallops. After searing, remove scallops, (sear or not, do not overcook scallops). Next add the zest of one lemon and lemon juice and cook for a bit to reduce. Serve the dish with rice topped with the chanterelles, then the scallops topped with the lemon butter sauce drizzled over the top. Who would think a gourmet meal such as this would ever grace our dinner table. There are many certified mushroom gatherers in the state of Georgia. Be sure to purchase mushrooms only from certified mushroom gatherers to be safe.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Pretty Boy Bonkers

More than several times a day I thank my lucky stars for choosing to adopt my pretty boy Bonkers. I'm taking this photo from my desk chair through the window. He has a strategic position to keep an eye on me and visa versa. Bonkers is an ambidextrous cat; he can keep an eye on me and while watching out for an errant lizard or any other critter. The other day our resident wren was actually teasing him outside the screen porch and he didn't know what to make of a bird approaching without any fear. He actually backed up, lol.

Lately baby lizards recently hatched are running along the outside of the screen room. Bonkers has constant entertainment from the natural world surrounding him in this upper story screened in room. Every evening Gary and I have developed a habit of sitting on the porch in our rocking chairs along with Bonkers (who also had his own chair) and reflecting on the day's events. It feels as if we are perched in a remote and isolated treehouse high above the fray below. We are thankful to have our home in such a private yet convenient location with everyday necessities close by. With all the chaos in the world, I realize it is good for me to review how lucky I am in my current circumstance.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Gochujang Okra

If you like a little spice in your life, it's as easy as one, two, three. Cut up your okra place in barely oiled glass baking dish. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes. Take out of oven, stir in some gochujang sauce and serve immediately; so delicious and no they are not slimy.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Beefalo Meatballs with Horseradish Sauce

Sauté, chopped fine, half a small onion, one stalk of celery and six small mini peppers in olive oil. Place in medium mixing bowl. Add one pound of ground beefalo and one egg and let all return to room temperature. Add salt, pepper, ground oregano, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Add about half a cup of breadcrumbs. I fold/mix the meatball mixture with a tablespoon, but you can use your hands. Just don't over mix the meatball mixture. You want the meatballs light and moist, not dense and hard as rocks. Form meatballs into 1-1/2 inch balls.
Get a cast iron pan good and hot with some oil and cook the meatballs till they are browned on all sides and sizzling. Meatballs this size shouldn't need additional baking time in the oven. Serve with a homemade horseradish sauce. For the sauce use 3/4 cup of sour cream and 2 heaping teaspoons of prepared horseradish sauce, salt, pepper, and a dash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Yummy. You could also use any BBQ sauce or other sauces to your liking.
We got the ground beefalo from Deer Foot Farms at the Blairsville Farmers Market last year, which remained frozen till this week. This made 19 mini meatballs which is a good way to stretch a protein into a meal for more than a few family members or friends. Truth be told I'd use a BBQ sauce rather than the horseradish sauce, sometimes sauces don't complement the protein.