Everyday, every Winter, I am just a bundle of buzz, bliss, excitement and creativity. Everything about the day makes me move about and almost lose myself snapping photographs. The sky is magical this time of year with its every changing shades of blues. The silver and gold reflections of the water in the creek down below. I am constantly amazed at the light offering itself for the taking inside the studio. I lose myself in it as soon as the sun rises on the horizon until far after it is reasonable to admit.
Good thing my love for everything that is magical about Winter and the season is being matched with working on a few projects and chomping away at deadlines. I also love the fact that B. is either grading papers or exams in the room next to mine and through our respective silences, I know our minds are bursting with ideas. He’s constantly re-evaluating his way of doing things and presenting notions and I find myself doing the same in a different way. He is definitely the best mental partner I could have wished for.
Last Sunday morning I was writing on the couch in the studio, proof reading out loud a paragraph I was not completely happy with when B. popped his head in and volunteered to give it a look. We started talking photography and playing around with illustrations for a few chapters for a couple of hours. Before we knew it, we both heard our stomach growl. The light that day was so amazing I wanted to keep on working. But dang we were hungry too! Good thing that shooting food allows me to combine the two.
I wouldn’t normally do anything as fancy as scallops for lunch but it was Sunday after all, a quieter day for the both of us. One we like to make special. I also had been given these scallops the day before by one of the vendors at the farmers market who had just done a catering gig and was left with about two dozens huge scallops. I did not want to wait to cook them and risk being passed their peak for freshness.
Scallops cook fast, so it was the perfect quick lunch to fix while B. was grading a couple more papers. I wanted to include a vegetable side other than salad (they are my typical lunch fare throughout the week), something that would cook quickly too and possibly at the same time. By their mini size, the little patty pan squashes and zucchinis I had picked up at the market the day before were perfect. I actually started with these, just sprinkled with salt and pepper at high heat while I was assembling the scallops which took me less than 15 minutes. Once they were ready to go in, I lowered the oven temperature a bit and in 10 more minutes we had lunch. Special little Sunday lunch with my honey…
I brought everything up while pipping hot and started taking pictures. The smell was so hard to resist that within five minutes we were ready to dig it. A few more snapshots later and we were eating on the couch in my office, holding our plates in our hand and laughing at our actual set up. "I love your job!" Bill said enthusiastically. Yep. So do I!
Sometimes I know what is going to end up on the blog, sometimes I don’t. This lunch was completely unplanned but the resulting dish was too good and easy to keep for ourselves. I am glad I did not wait for a special occasion. The precise moment of just being in that day was special occasion enough.
Scallops With Roasted Patty Pan Squash:
Notes: For this dish, I counted we ate about 5 scallops each (we were hungry!) but you may want to adjust depending on their size. We ate the leftovers in a salad the next day.
To make gluten free breadcrumbs (or any kind of bread crumbs really), just process until finely ground a few slices of your favorite gluten free bread.
For this dish, start by roasting the vegetables as they take longer than the scallops to cook.
For the roasted squash:
assorted patty pan squashes or cut squash (count about a cup raw per person)
salt & peppper
about 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the scallops:
1/2 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons finely shredded swiss cheese
salt and pepper
3 tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup white wine
20 to 24 scallops (depending on their size)
Prepare the vegetables:
Preheat the oven to 400F.
In a medium bowl, toss together the vegetables, salt and pepper and olive oil.
Place the vegetables in a baking dish or roasting pan and cook for about 20 minutes. Prepare the scallops in the meantime, you wan to end up with both cooked at the same time.
Prepare the scallops:
In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, thyme, cheese and salt & peppper. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the dish.
In a baking dish, place the tomatoes, white wine and top with the scallops. Spoon about one tablespoons of the breadcrumb mix on top of each breadcrumbs.
Lower the oven temperature to 375F and cook the scallops alongside the vegetables until done, about 10-12 minutes depending on their size. Remove both the scallops and vegetables from the oven and let cool a couple of minutes before digging in.