Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Scallops with Balsamic Cherries

I usually get on a cherry kick during the summer. I’d tried cherries with scallops last year, which quickly became one of my favorite ways to prepare scallops. As much as I enjoyed it, I’ve always wondered about ways to improve it.

I’ve talked about how much I enjoy Devo’s Olive Oil Co,’s products before, especially the balsamics. Given my love of cherries, I’d been waiting for a chance to try their black cherry balsamic. The cherry scallops seemed like a great recipe to test it on.

When I was figuring out my recipe, I remembered that Devo’s also has a blood orange olive oil. My mom had used it on our Thanksgiving turkey last year, so I knew how good it was.

The blood orange olive oil and black cherry balsamic turned out to be a fantastic pairing. The balsamic really made the cherry flavors pop, while the olive oil added a slight citrus flavor to the scallops.

Scallops with Balsamic Cherries

7-8 large scallops
Devo’s blood orange olive oil
1 ½ cups cherries, halved and pitted
1 shallot chopped
1 tbsp white wine
2 tbsp Devo’s black cherry balsamic

Pour enough blood orange olive oil in a skillet to barely coat the bottom. Once oil is hot, add scallops. Cook for 3-4 minutes before flipping over. Cook on the remaining side for another 3-4 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, add ½ to 1 tbsp blood orange olive oil. Once heated, add shallot and sauté for a couple minutes. Add cherries and sauté for a couple more minutes.

Add white wine and let cook off. Add black cherry balsamic and allow it to cook for a few minutes until the mixture thickens. Plate scallops. Once cherries have softened and the balsamic has gotten to a thicker, syrupy consistency, spoon cherry mixture over scallops.

Disclaimer: I received free sample bottles of blood orange olive oil and black cherry balsamic from Devo’s Olive Oil Co. in exchange for providing a recipe and/or giving a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation over than the use of the sample product. The opinions I’ve expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bistro Burgers

If we must suffer through summer, we might as well grill. During the miserable heat of last summer, I contemplated duct taping a couple yard sticks to my grill spatula. My goal was to be able to grill in my backyard without actually leaving the house.

It’s also important to get a really good burger out of this suffering. Fortunately, I managed to find one in the last issue of Food Network Magazine. I added a few of my own touches to their Bistro Burger and came up with something really delicious and, dare I say, worth the agony of spending time outdoors. These burgers are loaded with rosemary asiago cheese, crispy bacon, fried egg, Dijon mustard, and mixed greens tossed in a Dijon (or balsamic) vinaigrette.

Bistro Burgers:
(four servings)
• 4 slices bacon
• 1 ½ lb ground beef
• Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
• 4 hamburger buns
• 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 4 large eggs
• 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, plus more for spreading
• 1 shallot, thinly sliced
• mixed greens
• rosemary & olive oil asiago cheese

Form four (6 oz) burgers. Grill to desired doneness. If desired, spread small amount of butter on buns and toast on grill. While burgers are on grill, cook bacon in skillet, reserving some of the bacon grease. Fry eggs.

Whisk Dijon mustard with EVOO, shallots, and 1-2 tbsp bacon drippings. Add salt & pepper to taste. Toss with mixed greens.

Spread bun with Dijon mustard. Add the burger, asiago cheese, bacon, egg and mixed greens.

We’ve since tried a version of these burgers with the mixed greens tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. It adds a nice flavor without overdoing the Dijon taste.

We had purchased a french fry cutter awhile ago that we’ve used quite a bit. We bake our fries using different flavored olive oils and spices. The most common way we make them is tossed with a little EVOO, cracked pepper & sea salt, some minced garlic, and some type of Italian herb mix.

For the record, not everyone in my house dislikes summer. Some of us really appreciate the sun. It's just not the human members.