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Archive for Appetizers-Hors d’Oeuvre

RECIPE: Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

May 10th is National Shrimp Day.

We could easily be happy with plate of boiled jumbo shrimp, a lemon wedge and a bit of seafood sauce.

But this recipe for bacon-wrapped shrimp, sent to us by Zatarain’s, wins the nostalgia vote.

It took us back decades to our parent’ cocktail parties, when bacon-wrapped shrimp and bacon-wrapped dates, or a rumkai—were de rigeur.

Those with more basic tastes drank bourbon or scotch on the rocks. Few people were home mixologists Drinks of whiskey mixed with club soda or ginger ale were served on the rocks in highball (tall) or lowball (short, a.k.a. rocks) glasses.

There was no American craft beer in those days, or even wine (except for gourmets who drank it as apéritifs and with meals at European restaurants). No one had even had a tequila drink, unless they’d been to Mexico.

And there was no National Shrimp Day.

But we have it all now. So, we’re turning on the broiler and making a pile of bacon-wrapped shrimp. Who’s in?

RECIPE: ZESTY BACON WRAPPED SHRIMP

In New Orleans, cooks add a Creole spin to this retro shrimp appetizer. You can prepare it in the morning and pop it in the oven later in the day. Find more shrimp at McCormick.com/Zatarains.

You can have it as an appetizer, or make a dinner of it. Prep time is 10 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.

Ingredients For 8 Two-Piece Appetizer Servings
—Or—
2-3 Dinner Servings

  • 16 jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined, tails left on
  • 16 slices bacon
  • Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning
  •    

    Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

    Zatarain's Creole Seasoning

    [1] Bacon-wrapped shrimp from Zatarain’s. [2] Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning; photo courtesy Flour On My Face, who uses it in a Crockpot Jambalaya recipe.

     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 450°F. Line baking pan with foil and place flat baking rack in the pan.

    2. WRAP each shrimp with 1 slice of bacon, lightly sprinkle with Creole seasoning and place the shrimp on the rack, seasoning side down. Sprinkle all the tops with the seasoning as well. Let stand 15 minutes

    3. BAKE 15 to 20 minutes or until the bacon is crisp around the edges and the shrimp turn pink. Serve warm.

     

    Angels On Horseback

    Devils On Horseback

    Rumaki

    The predecessors of bacon-wrapped shrimp: [3] Angels On Horseback, bacon-wrapped oysters. Here’s a recipe from the Wealden Times. [4] Devils On Horseback. Here’s a recipe from Martha Stewart Living. [5] Rumaki, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts. Here’s a recipe from Goldilocks Kitchen.

     

    RECIPE: CREOLE SEASONING

    If you don’t have Creole seasoning, it’s easy to make your own. This recipe makes much more than you need for the chicken salad, but you can cut it down or use the extra in other recipes, from eggs to burgers.
     
    Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup paprika
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 4 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 4 teaspoons granulated garlic
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE all the spices in a bowl, and stir to combine.

    2. STORE in an airtight container away from light and heat, but use as quickly as possible.
     
     
    WHAT ELSE TO MAKE WITH CREOLE SEASONING

  • Use it as a general seasoning for dips, fish, ketchup, mayonnaise, popcorn, poultry, rice, soup, vinaigrette—even spicy yogurt!
  • Andouille Sausage Pizza
  • Cajun Chicken Salad
  • Gumbalaya (a mash-up of gumbo and jambalaya)
  • Gumbo
  • Jambalaya
  • Hazelnut-Crusted Sea Bass
  • Steamed Mussels
  •  
     
    THE HISTORY OF BACON-WRAPPED SHRIMP

    Nineteenth-century Britain saw the rise in popularity of an appetizer called Angels On Horseback: skewered broiled oysters wrapped in bacon and “riding on slivers of toast.” It was also called Oysters And Bacon and yes, Pigs in Blankets, a recipe now known as mini sausages wrapped in pastry.

    “It’s an excellent lesson in how words, like recipes, change meaning over time,” says etymologist John Ayto in An A to Z of Food and Drink [source].

    The recipe is first documented in the 1888 edition of Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management.

    Devils On Horseback, a later recipe, substituted stuffed prunes for the oysters.

    Fast forward to the other side of the pond. Other foods began to be wrapped in bacon: scallops, shrimp, even stuffed olives and pineapple chunks.

    Another variation, bacon-wrapped chicken liver—rumaki—appeared. The first known reference of rumaki is on the 1941 menu of the Don the Beachcomber restaurant in Palm Springs, California.

     
    Rumaki were skewered water chestnuts and chicken livers, wrapped in bacon and marinated in soy sauce and ginger or brown sugar prior to broiling.

    The restaurant was founded in 1934, and was the beginning of the tiki craze in the U.S.

    Tiki restaurants—an American “interpretation” of Polynesian food and decor—featured a selection of different bites as faux-Hawaiian pupu (hors d’oeuvre).

    A flaming pupu platter of mixed “Polynesian” hors d’oeuvres was a sensation that trickled down to home preparations.

    So where’s the bacon-wrapped shrimp? So far, there’s a missing link.

    We did find a reference to shrimp skewered with a chestnut and a piece of green onion. It isn’t a stretch to think that someone added a bacon wrap…and that the recipe devolved to just the shrimp and bacon.

     
    CAJUN VS. CREOLE: THE DIFFERENCE

    Cajun and Creole are not the same, although people removed from Louisiana often use them without distinction.

  • Creole referred to people who were born to settlers in French Colonial Louisiana, specifically in New Orleans. In the 18th century, Creoles were the descendants of the French and Spanish upper class that ruled the city.
  • Cajuns, on the other hand, emigrated from the Acadia region of Canada, which consisted of present-day New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. They settled in the swampy region of Louisiana that is today known as Acadiana. Their name in French, les Acadians, became shortened in the vernacular to Cajun.
  • Some people think of Creole cuisine as “city food” and Cajun cuisine as “country food.” But to eyeball a dish and tell its provenance, here’s a simple trick: Creole cuisine uses tomatoes and Cajun food typically does not. That’s how to quickly distinguish a Cajun gumbo or jambalaya from a Creole gumbo or jambalaya.

      

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    PRODUCT: Schuman Cheese Wizardry

    Fontina Aging Room Yellow Door Creamery

    Hand Rubbed Fontina Yellow Door Creamery

    [1] Cheeses aging in the Alpine Room. [2] Fontina in a variety of flavorful rubs, $6.99/wedge (photos courtesy Schuman Cheese).

     

    As food swami Anthony Bourdain has said, “you have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.”

    Where do you go looking for real romantics these days? In Wisconsin. Turtle Lake Wisconsin.

    Turtle Lake is home to the Schuman family’s largest cheese making facility, which has quietly been importing and manufacturing award-winning cheeses for the past ten years.

    Never heard of them? It’s because they’ve primarily focused on supplying wholesale distributors with their superb products for a roster of demanding chefs, food service contractors, private-label markets, hotels, and restaurants around the world.

    Now though, they have a new name and some new cheeses that will richly cater to your own discerning taste. Newly named Schuman Cheese (formerly Arthur Schuman, Inc.) has begun to send two of their most intensely researched, developed and tested cheeses to markets where they’re awaiting your shopping cart.

    WHAT’S UP AT SCHUMAN CHEESE

    Focusing on cheeses people love to cook with and snack on every day, Schuman has created two brand families: Yellow Door Creamery, and Cello for Italian varieties. These unique cheeses are made by hand to European specifications.

    Separately, Schuman has formed an exclusive five-year relationship with France’s École nationale d’industrie laitière (ENIL), a series of five regional colleges that operate under the French Ministry of Agriculture and which defines the standards for cheesemaking artisans.

    The partnership is devoted to immersing Schuman’s cheesemakers in the same European techniques that make us crave French and Italian cheeses.

    Heading up this highly creative, passionate, and scientific effort is Christophe Megevand, who began his career in the French Alps. Having won numerous gold medals in cheese competitions for years, he oversees all of Schuman’s cheese production.

     

    His passion for cheesemaking is with him 24/7, and every six months his hand-picked colleague Julien Rouillaud, who has taught at the ENIL for ten years, have led the Schuman company to an evolving educational partnership with a single mission: enhancing the everyday quality of cheese.

    YELLOW DOOR CREAMERY

    Yellow Door Creamery’s award-winning Fontina, semi-firm and velvety, has been taken in hand and given a new flavor profile.

    Each perfect wheel gets a surface massage of distinctive, aromatic herbs directly from the hands of Schuman’s specially trained staff. They’re then cryovac-ed and aged for up to 50 days so that flavors ripen and fully develop.

    These are the three you should look for to make your cheeseboards (and your guests) smile:

  • Harissa: just-right heat and the excitement of Moroccan cuisine.
  • Habanero-Lime: an unusual combination that works like a dream, with the tiny pepper’s hot zap…and
  • Tuscan: bursts of the Italian herbals we love, like thyme, oregano, and basil.
  •  
    Soon on the way to join its family is a melodious Bergamot & Hibiscus-rubbed Fontina. It is maturing in the aging room, waiting to reach the same degree of perfection as its relatives.

    All are perfect cheeses to accompany cocktails or wine, and are welcome in the refrigerator for snacks. The cheeses are delicious in popular recipes, from stuffed mushrooms and onion soup gratin to frittata and fondue.

    New Alpine-Style Cheeses

    Starting in May, Yellow Door Creamery’s three new Alpine-style cheeses, long in the making and perfecting, will be introduced to consumers. Christophe, who grew up in the French Alps, is particularly fond of these, even though they are the most difficult ones to make.

    The cheeses are “naked cured” (not brined or aged in plastic), so that they are completely moisture-free, and are cultured and aged completely differently from softer cheeses. They are consistently tested and fine-tuned to produce different flavor notes.

    The three coming to market indicate the specific mountainous regions from which they originate:

  • Valis (valley) typifies the lower Alps, with gentler grassy flavor and a more pliable texture similar to Raclette.
  • Monteau (mountain) is more like a Vermont cheese–a bit stronger and firmer, similar to Appenzeller, with more complex flavor…and
  • Alta (high mountain), with its intensely sweet, nutty flavor, similar to Gruyère.
  •  
    The Alpine selections are great cooking cheeses (think raclette and fondue), and are heaven for grilled cheese lovers. They can also easily be grated over cooked dishes just before serving. Dried fruits and nuts are able-bodied partners.

    Yellow Door Creamery’s Hand-Rubbed Fontina is available at Costco, Sprouts stores, Sam’s Club, and Kroger supermarkets. The Alpine cheeses will launch in stores this summer.

    –Rowann Gilman

     

    RECIPE #1: FIG JAM & HARISSA FONTINA CROSITNI

    Prep time is 5 minutes, cook time is 10 minutes.

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 1 baguette, sliced diagonally into ½-inch slices
  • ½ cup fig jam
  • 6 ounces Yellow Door Creamery Harissa Rubbed Fontina, cubed
  • ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  •  
    Preparation
    1. PREHEAT the broiler to high. Brush the baguette slices with olive oil on both sides and arrange on a large baking sheet. Broil for 2-3 minutes, just until the baguette is golden-brown and toasty.

    2. REMOVE from the oven and immediately top with the cubed cheese. Set aside for a few minutes to allow the cheese to melt slightly.

    3. PLACE a dollop the jam over the cheese and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

    RECIPE #2: FONTINA-STUFFED MUSHROOMS WITH PICO DE GALLO

    Prep time is 10 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 1 pound crimini mushrooms, thoroughly cleaned
  • 6-8 ounces Yellow Door Creamery Habanero and Lime Rubbed Fontina, shredded
  • 1 poblano, thinly sliced
  • Garnish: micro cilantro
  •  
    For The Pico de Gallo

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1 green onion, thinly diced
  • 1 tablespoon micro cilantro
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the pico de gallo: Toss the ingredients together and set aside.

    2. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Remove the stems from the mushrooms; reserve the stems for another use. Lay the mushroom caps top side down on a baking sheet.

     

    Fig Jam Harissa Fontina Crostini

    Fontina Stuffed Mushrooms

    [3] Crostini with Harissa Rubbed Fontina and fig jam. [4] Mushrooms stuffed with poblano chile and Habanero And Lime Rubbed Fontina (photos and recipes courtesy Schuman Cheese).

     
    3. COMBINE the poblano and fontina and generously fill each mushroom with the mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are nicely browned and juicy and the fontina is all melted. Let cool slightly.

    4. TOP with micro cilantro and serve with pico de gallo.

      

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    FOOD FUN: Chicken Salad Without The Sandwich

    Like chicken salad, but trying to cut back on bread?

    If you want to avoid the bread, croissants and wraps, there’s always a scoop of chicken salad on greens, in lettuce cups, or stuffed into a bell pepper, tomato, or avocado half.

    But we thought these ideas from Willow Tree Farm add allure to a long-time favorite.

    Whether a filling for celery or fennel stalks, or a base for mini “cucumber sandwiches,” these make fun appetizers or snacks.

    Use your own chicken salad, or one from Willow Tree Farm.

    cucumber sandwiches. Serve #Sriracha Chicken Salad between two cucumbers for a crunchy, cool and spicy bite.

     
    RECIPE: CHICKEN SALAD STACKS

    For snacks, with beer, or as an amuse bouche before dinner. For something sweeter, you can use apple slices.

    Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 container of Willow Tree Farm Sriracha Chicken Salad (or your recipe)
  • Garnish: cilantro or other herb
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SLICE the cucumber into 1/2″ slices

    2. PLACE the chicken salad on half of the cucumber slices. Top with a cucumber slice.

    3. ROUND the edges with a spatula. Garnish with cilantro and secure with a toothpick.

    THE HISTORY OF CHICKEN SALAD

    It may come as a surprise—because modern mayonnaise was invented around 1800——but the Chinese were the first to serve variations of “chicken salad” (see below).

    The ingredients were not the same as what we call Chinese chicken salad*, but included pieces of chicken mixed with a variety of spices and oils and another binder, such as rice.

    The American form of chicken salad was first served in 1863 by Town Meats, a meat market in Wakefield, Rhode Island. The owner, Liam Gray, mixed leftover chicken with mayonnaise, tarragon, and grapes. It became such a popular item that the meat market was converted to a delicatessen.

    Modern Chicken Salad

    In the U.S., chicken salad is a cold salad with chicken as the main ingredient, and typically bound with mayonnaise with optional mustard. Other ingredients can include bell pepper, celery, hard-boiled egg, onion, pickles or pickle relish, plus herbs, such as dill, rosemary or tarragon.

    It can also include diced apples, grapes or dried fruit, such as cherries, cranberries or raisins. Diced mango is another popular addition as are nuts, such as almonds, pecans and walnuts.

    In some areas of the U.S., especially the South, chicken salad may be a garden salad topped with fried, grilled, or roasted chicken, sliced.

    While today chicken salad is mostly served in a sandwich or wrap, it has a history as a ladies’ luncheon staple, served on a bed of greens with sliced tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, bell pepper rings, and olives or other garnish, served with crackers.

    Variations were inevitable, using ingredients specific to regional and international cuisines.

  • Chinese chicken salad is made with celery, sliced almonds, fruit (diced apples, mandarin orange segments or pineapple chunks) and mayonnaise, and topped with fried Chinese noodles.
  • Southwestern chicken salad includes avocado, black beans, cilantro, corn kernels, diced tomatoes, onion, shredded cheddar cheese and a garnish of crushed tortilla chips (recipe).
  •  
    Modern recipes expand the concept of chicken salad to pasta salad or Caesar salad with chunks of chicken; add wing sauce and blue cheese for buffalo chicken salad.

    Binders can include anything you like: blue cheese dressing, hummus, pesto, remoulade sauce, Russian dressing, Thai peanut sauce, and on and on.

    In other countries, chicken salad can be made with any number of dressings, along with couscous, pasta, rice and vegetables.

    So don’t be wary: Experiment!

    Fancy presentations serve it in a lettuce-lined coupe; molded into a ring; or scooped into a toast cup, avocado half or pineapple half.

    As with any recipe, add whatever you like; from bacon to capers to pickled jalapeño.

    ABOUT WILLOW TREE FARMS

    Willow Tree Farms makes pot pies and chicken salad from premium white meat.

    In addition to original chicken salad, there’s a flavorful selection of:

  • Avocado Chicken Salad
  • Buffalo Chicken Salad
  • Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad
  • Sriracha Chicken Salad
  •  
    The products are sold at major retailers, including BJ’s, Stop & Shop and Whole Foods in New England and the East Coast. Here’s a store locator.

     

    Chicken Salad Celery Sticks

    Chicken Salad Cucumber Stacks

    Chicken Salad In Wonton Cups

    Mango Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocado

    Southwestern Chicken Salad

    Avocado Chicken Salad

    [1] Filled celery sticks and [2] cucumber stacks from Willow Tree Farm. [3] Chicken salad in wonton wrappers (here’s the recipe from Shared). [4] Mango chicken salad in an avocado (here’s the recipe from The Real Food Dieticians). [5] Southwestern chicken salad recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. [6] Avocado chicken salad (here’s the recipe from Whole And Heavenly Oven).

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: The Easiest Seafood Appetizer

    Raw Scallop Appetizer

    Scallop Crudo

    Scallop Crudo With Gold Leaf

    Seared Scallops With Figs

    Asian Scallop Crudo

    [1] A “flower” presentation from C Chicago (now Ocean Cut Chicago). [2] Scallop crudo with pistachio oil, pomegranate arils and fresh herbs, from La Pecora Bianca | NYC. [3] Arugula pesto and pink peppercorns plus gold leaf, at Sushi Roku | Katana. [4] Briefly seared with fresh figs at Sushi Roku | Scottsdale. [5] Asian-style with cucumber, red bell pepper sauce, cilantro and fresh lychee from Nobu | Los Angeles.

     

    We love sashimi, we love scallops, we love scallop ceviche, and we love how easy it is to make a beautiful raw scallop appetizer (or lightly seared, if you insist).

    If your family or guests don’t like the idea of “sashimi,” use the Italian word, for raw fish: crudo.

    Our very favorite is to slice sea scallops in half and plate them a bit of EVOO, a splash of yuzu, a garnish of salmon caviar or tobiko, and if we have them, a sprinkle of microgreens or minced chives.

    For a dinner party, with all the other demands of the kitchen, we like to start the meal with a flavorful appetizer that takes very little time to prepare.

    It’s a great dish for warm or cold weather.

    You can serve the scallops family-style on a platter, or individually plated. Either way, check out the garnishes below.

    For wine: Sauvignon blanc is a favorite of ours; but also look at gewürtztraminer, grüner veltliner, pinot blanc or riesling. Big, oaky chardonnays need not apply.

    SERVING SUGGESTIONS FOR RAW SCALLOPS

    First, add some color. Pale scallops on a pale plate need some visual excitement. Think red and green accents. When trolling the produce aisles, look for bright colors.

  • Caviar: salmon, sturgeon, tobiko or flavored whitefish caviar (the different types of caviar).
  • Heat: chile-infused olive oil, thin-sliced jalapeño, Thai or other red chile
  • Japanese accents: edamame, grated ginger, julienne of nori (seaweed sheets), nori komi furikake (seasoned seaweed flakes), seaweed salad, toasted sesame seeds, togarashi (spice mix).
  • Microgreens, sprouts, leafy herbs (basil, cilantro, mint, parsley) or minced chives.
  • Peppery vegetables: arugula, radish, watercress.
  • Red: diced red bell pepper, pink peppercorns, pomegranate arils, red chile flakes or finely minced red jalapeño.
  • Salad course: dress mesclun and red onion salad with olive oil and lemon; top with raw scallops and optional kalamata olives. Or, make a beet, cucumber or red cabbage salad, carefully flavoring with herbs and citrus zest. Place it in the center of the plate and surround it with the scallops.
  • Seasonal: ramps, red grapefruit, spring peas and pea shoots, raw corn kernels, rhubarb, etc.
  • Surf and turf: with cooked bacon, Chinese sausage (but nothing too spicy that will overwhelm the delicate scallop flavor).
  • Sweet: with mango, strawberries and an orange juice-sherry vinegar-olive oil dressing.
  • Three ways: sliced raw scallop, scallop tartare, ceviche or a grilled scallop.
  • More: black olives, capers, diced or sliced fruit, flavored sea salt, snow peas, sugar snap peas, wildcard (anything you like!).
  •  
    Next, pick your dressing:

    We like to put the dressing on the plate, and lay the scallops on top of it.

  • Dabs of puréed vegetable or pesto (think seasonal, e.g. pea or rhubarb purée in spring)
  • Basil or rosemary infused olive oil
  • Lemon vinaigrette or rice wine vinaigrette
  • Salsa cruda/pico de gallo or other favorite
  • EVOO, the more flavorful, the better
  • Infused olive oil (basil, garlic, rosemary, etc.)
  • Nut oil (hazelnut, pistachio, etc.)
  •  
    Depending on what you use, consider an optional lemon or lime wedge.

    Onto our featured recipe. Because it’s winter as we write this, we’re going seasonal with beautiful citrus.

    Any citrus works, but we especially like red grapefruit, blood orange and cara cara orange. How about a medley of all three?

     
    RECIPE: RAW SCALLOPS WITH CITRUS

    Ingredients

  • Sea scallops, the largest you can find
  • Citrus of choice
  • Sea salt
  • Seasoning of choice: chili flakes or fresh-ground pepper, fresh dill, other favorite
  • Optional condiment: extra virgin olive oil
  • Optional garnish: dill sprig or citrus zest
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PEEL the citrus and remove the pith. Slice the fruit into widths that will match the scallops (to the extent possible).

    2. RINSE the scallops and slice horizontally. Your can choose how thick or thin to slice them, but aim for four slices per scallop.

    3. PLATE the fruit and scallops. Depending on their comparative sizes, you can plate them as shown in the photo, or place the scallops atop the sliced fruit.

    4. DRIZZLE a small amount of the optional olive oil over the food, or in a circle or droplets around it. Sprinkle with sea salt and optional chili flakes. Garnish as desired (you can grate citrus zest over the dish, or sprinkle it around the rim of the plate) and serve.

     

    KNOW YOUR SCALLOPS

    Parts Of The Scallop

    Scallops are bivalves, a class under the family Mollusca. Bivalvia is a group of sea or fresh water creatures that also includes clams, cockles, mussels and oysters. They have no head, but consist of two shells attached by a hinge.

    There are three edible parts inside: the creamy-white muscle meat, the orange coral/roe, and the frilly membrane that encloses the muscle.

    Unless you buy live fresh scallops, you won’t see the coral or the membrane.

    If you do see live scallops (typically at the coast), buy them to experience the other two parts that, sadly, get thrown away when the meat is removed (because they can’t be sold for more money than it costs in labor).

    HOW TO BUY SCALLOPS

    It’s always best to buy seafood the day you plan to use it. When you buy fresh scallops, they should have a clean scent, no “fishy” aroma.

    The scallop meat also should be beige, not white.
     
    Watch Out For STP

    White scallops indicate treatment with sodium tripolyphosphate (STP). STP is a safe food additive that is used to prevent the scallops from drying out. A little STP is okay.

    But if the scallops look artificially white and/or are oozing a milky liquid, they’ve been over-treated with STP. This is deliberate, because it increases the weight of the scallops by causing them to absorb excess water.

    You want to pay for scallop meat, not water. Plus, if you cook them, over-treated scallops won’t brown when seared; and the delightful fresh flavor will be impacted. Another scallop-buying tip:

    Watch Out For “Jumbo” Scallops

    Avoid jumbo “scallops,” which are not scallops but less expensive skate wings. When scallops are in short supply (or for other unscrupulous reasons), fishmongers can punch round “scallops” from skate.

    In addition to their large size, another giveaway is that the scallops look like they’re falling apart.

    We like skate, but when you’re paying for scallops, be sure that’s what you get.

    Scallop Nutrition

    Scallops are low in calories: 31 calories per ounce, or just 93 calories for a three-ounce starter portion, which delivers 6 grams of protein.

    Scallops are a very good source of phosphorus and selenium, and a good source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B12 and zinc.

     

    Live Sea Scallops

    Removing The Scallop From The Shell

    Scallop Coral

    [1] Fresh from the ocean: live sea scallops. Note that different environments produce different shells: smooth or ridged, and a variety of colors. [2] Removing the scallop from the shell (the membrane and coral have already been removed; photo courtesy AP | Robert F. Bukaty). [3] Scallop with its coral (but with the membrane removed; photo courtesy Fish On Friday.

     
    Seafood does have a bit of cholesterol (15 mg/ounce), but no saturated fat. Enjoy!

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Omelet Roll

    Omelet Roll

    Baked Omelet Roll

    Ham & Cheese Omelet Roll

    Omelet Roll With Salad

    Pesto Omelet Roll

    Chinese Omelet Roll With Chicken

    [1] The inspiration for this article, from The Wholesome Fork. [2] With a bright garnish from Fabulessly Frugal. [3] Ham and cheese roll from Mangia Bene Pasta. [4] Omelet roll with a side salad, from All Recipes. [5] A chunky pesto roll from A Little Bit Of Spice. [6] A Japanese-style steamed chicken omelet roll, from Yi Reservation.

     

    Recently, we were reminded of one of our mother’s breakfast specialties: omelet rolls. She had two favorites: cream cheese and jelly, and cream cheese and smoked salmon.

    We loved them, but the one food we can’t seem to make well is an omelet (sorry, can’t explain it). Personally, we’ve never seen rolled omelets at restaurants, except for sushi restaurants, which slice the plain pan-cooked egg “loaf,” tamago (literally, grilled egg; but often called egg custard) into pieces for sushi or sashimi.

    When we landed on Esther Schultz’s website and saw the top photo, a re-visitation was required.

    Esther’s inspiration was to make a wrap sandwich using eggs in place of bread. Her turkey arugula omelet roll, is below.

    Esther prefers healthy recipes, so we’ll share her enthusiasm that “Just one of these turkey arugula omelet rolls contains a whopping 19 grams of protein. That is about the same amount of protein as you would find in 2 ounces of roast beef.

    “The calorie count is just 173 calories, making it an excellent protein-rich snack, or a delicious lunch when paired with a salad.

    “It is also a wonderfully child-friendly choice. You can let your children choose their own fillings and roll them themselves making them a fun, customizable lunch.

    “And the best thing about them? They only take 10 minutes to prepare.”

    They taste great at room temperature; and if you don’t like your omelet flipping skills, you can bake the omelet in a pan.

    However you make them, if you slice them you can call them pinwheels.

    IDEAS FOR FILLINGS

    We like the idea of omelet rolls for brunch, or instead of (or in addition to) tea sandwiches, even as cocktail nibbles. The choice of fillings are endless. Consider pairing your favorite:

  • Breakfast meat (bacon, ham, sausage) with lettuce and tomato (for example, a BLT roll)
  • Cheese, e.g. cheddar, pepperjack, swiss/gruyère
  • Cheese and vegetable(s), e.g. goat cheese and spinach
  • Deli meat, bacon or sausage with cheese, e.g. ham and swiss, bacon and cheddar
  • Dessert roll*, such as mascarpone or cream cheese with preserves
  • Cream cheese and jelly* (Mom used grape jelly)
  • Cream cheese or Boursin-type cheese (with garlic and herbs), smoked salmon and onion
  • Fruit roll*, such as mascarpone and berries or ricotta and shaved chocolate/chocolate chips
  • Leftovers roll, such as cranberry sauce and stuffing
  • Pesto roll, blending the pesto with ricotta or other soft cheese for body
  • Soft cheese roll, savory with herbs or sweet with preserves or dried berries, such as goat cheese, basil and dried cranberries
  • Sweet roll*, such as cream cheese and jelly
  •  
    Next, consider:

  • Garnishes: cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, toasted nuts
  • Savory toppings: barbecue sauce, pesto, salsa
  • Sweet toppings: fruit sauce, syrup
  •  
    For a light lunch, serve with:

  • Green salad
  • Raw or cooked vegetables (e.g., crudités with dip)
  • Soup
  •  
    RECIPE: TURKEY ARUGULA OMELET ROLL

    Prep time is 5 minutes, cook time is 5 minutes.

    Ingredients Per Roll

  • 2 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt, freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • Cooking oil
  • 1 slice deli meat (Esther uses reduced sodium turkey)
  • ½ cup arugula
  •  
    Preparation

    1. WHISK the eggs with the salt and pepper.

    2. HEAT a skillet over a medium heat with a splash of oil. Add the eggs and cook slowly without stirring. When the eggs are mostly set, gently flip the omelet and cook for another 30 seconds.

    3. PLACE the omelet on a plate, topped with the turkey and arugula. Carefully roll the omelet, cut in half and serve.

    ________________

    *Add a pinch of sugar instead of salt and pepper

     

     
      

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