Seared Scallops with a Champagne-Vanilla Butter Sauce

Cooking for your Valentine on February 14th and looking for something really different and fun? This recipe from Emeril Lagasse is perfect for a romantic dinner. I really wasn’t sure what to expect with Vanilla and Scallops, but it highlights the sweetness of scallops nicely.  I paired this with a champagne risotto based on a recipe from Giada de Laurentiis. Ingredients: For the risotto: 2 thin slices prosciutto 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 shallot, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 3/4 cup Arborio rice 3/4 cup Champagne 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper For the Scallops: 2 tablespoons minced shallots 1 cup dry brut Champagne 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped 1/2 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup (1 sticks), cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces, plus 1 tablespoon 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground  pepper 10 jumbo sea scallops, cleaned 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Bourbon Truffles

Here is another recipe I made for New Year’s Eve. I have actually made this a few times and have altered it slightly from the original Williams-Sonoma recipe to suit my tastes. I lowered the amount of bourbon so that there is a hint to enhance the flavor of the chocolate without overpowering. (The first round of making these it was like taking a shot with every bite, whew!) I also kept having trouble with the coating (my chocolate kept seizing) so I’ve altered that a bit to make a smoother coating that’s easier to work with. Ingredients: 1/4 cup heavy cream 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 6 oz. milk chocolate chips 6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips 3 tablespoons bourbon whiskey Cocoa powder for dusting Coating: 12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter sprinkles, for garnish, if desired

Stuffed Chicken and Herb Gravy with Creamy Polenta

I am seriously starting to think that Cooking Light has a way to read my thoughts. It’s like they know exactly what ingredient I want to work with next, or a particular product I might be craving. And I don’t mind that one bit. The latest issue has a recipe for Stuffed Chicken and Herb Gravy with Creamy Polenta that upon seeing in the magazine, I immediately put on my boots, coat, hat, scarf, gloves, etc. etc. and headed for the supermarket, despite the slippery and freezing walk I had ahead of me (it’s a whopping 5 blocks away, but I still managed to almost fall a good 3 times). And I have to tell you, it was worth it.   Chicken breasts stuffed with prosciutto and provolone, over creamy polenta, topped with an herb gravy… What’s not to like? The recipe suggested making it with bacon green beans, but we had some Brussels sprouts in the freezer that I wanted to use so I substituted them in instead. Ingredients: CHICKEN AND GRAVY: 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 2 very thin prosciutto slices (about 1/2 ounce), halved 4 (2/3-ounce) slices reduced-fat provolone cheese 1 tablespoon canola oil 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper … Continue reading

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