Best freebie dip in town? Zingerman’s samples of bread with truffle-infused olive oil tops my list. This year, however, I’m wary of samples, quite sure I contracted last year’s hideous virus from a different, yet similar, dunk. Fearful of flu-infested double-dippers contaminating the culinary landscape, I chunked down the change to purchase the truffle-infused salt, a bargain compared to to the cost of truffles, uninterrupted.
Plump beautiful scallops and wild-mushroom risotto would surely appreciate a dab of world-acclaimed fungi perfuming their star-status appeal. Valentine’s Day falls on Friday, and seems a fine a day as any to indulge in all of this magnificence.
If you have truffle oil, by all means, substitute it for the salt-infused oil – it may be preferable if you have a top-drawer bottle, especially if sodium is a concern. Feel free to substitute a filet mignon, shrimp, or an eggplant “fillet” for the scallops, if desired. Here are some other recipes from Valentine’s Days gone by:
I could have made the following recipe increasingly delicious by stirring in an extra tablespoon of butter to the finished risotto and brushing a bit atop the scallops, after they were seared. I encourage you to do so if the added fat is of no concern.
This recipe insists you have all of your ingredients pre-measured and at the ready (your mise-en-place) before diving into the recipe. Advice on searing the perfect scallop is redundant from previous posts, but it bears repeating to protect your investment.
- Begin with the fattest, freshest sea scallops you can find, making sure they’re not injected with that sodium solution, and your heaviest skillet. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat for a minute before adding a thin layer of canola or grape seed oil.
- When the oil starts to shimmer, add scallops to the pan. Don’t touch the scallops for a full minute. If you think you are burning them, remove from the heat a few seconds, adjust the heat, but leave the scallops alone!
3. After they are golden, turn down the heat to medium and cook an additional minute. Then raise the heat, turn them over with tongs and repeat the process. The scallops will be cooked, but a bit translucent in the center. Divine!
I created the recipe as a romantic meal for two, but it can divided in half to serve the one and only YOU! Be good to yourself. Happy Valentines Day!
BTW: I’m celebrating Valentine’s Day in New Zealand with Richard. We’ve been reading about Oceania for years – friends telling us the beauty is incomparable (a truffle glittering down under) – and it’s our turn to check out this piece of paradise. I’ll be doing most of the cooking as we skirt the coast, the South Island NZ motels and farm stays I’ve booked are equipped with small kitchens. Cooking with local foods is an enjoyable cultural immersion; I look forward to sharing my experience with fellow food and travel lovers.