Tuesday, October 20, 2009

spinach salad with warm cider vinaigrette and seared scallops

  • fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
  • good quality bacon bits
  • fried onion strips
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • fresh sea scallops

In a saucepan over high heat, bring apple cider to boil, reduce heat to medium high and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add vinegar to cider and reduce heat to medium low, continue cooking while preparing scallops. Heat olive oil in pan over high heat. Season scallops with coarse salt and fresh pepper and add to pan when fully heated. Cook for 3 minutes, flip and continue to cook for three minutes or until done throughout. Arrange spinach on plate, build with onions and bacon, pour dressing over it and top with scallops.

The dish: Every now and again I'll have a dream that's so vivid that I'll wake up and not be sure if it really happened or not. While this phenomenon isn't always so pleasant when my dreams have bad twists to them, sometimes it can be quite enjoyable. Awhile back I woke up after having dreamt that I was at some social function where I stood with a drink in one hand and a bacon wrapped scallop in the other. The server was always nearby and by the time I pushed myself out of the REM cycle there was a formidable pile of discarded toothpicks on her tray and my drink had been refilled more than once. It was such a nice memory that I wasn't sure it didn't actually happen until Kim insisted it occurred only in my frontal cortex. From that moment I was on the hunt: I had to have some bacon wrapped scallops. Naturally things like this only happen on weeks when every minute I have is well spoken for in advance. It was about 6 days later when I finally dug into some and they tasted as good as I had been expecting (fortunately I didn't have to wait that long eternity for a cocktail). Bacon really does make most things better, but scallops in particular seem to benefit from their salty goodness. Throw in some spinach and a vinaigrette and you've got some nutritional absolution that tastes like a dream.

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