Yep. It’s been about two weeks. I haven’t exactly been neglecting blog posts. I HAVE been cooking a few tasty things and snapping pix for later posterity, but the luxury (not to mention time) to be able to sit in front of the computer and compose something for pleasure has not presented itself. The frantic finishing of print orders, and then the boxing and packing of a place of business that could possibly appear on an episode of hoarders has left me disturbingly stressed, exhausted, and on occasion grimy beyond description.
I truly feel like I have equine sleeping sickness. The weird feeling of having no place of current employ has blanketed me with a general malaise, but seriously, this sleeping thing is beyond words. I feel like I am catching up on about 2 months worth of sleep. People have pointedly said, ‘Adriann, it is physiologically impossible to catch up on sleep.’ Well fuck you. If my body is telling me (or more accurately screaming at me) to lay my body down for some shut eye, then who am I to argue with it? It hasn’t seemed to affect my normal sleepiness in the evening, so I figure I am catching up on something. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Appetite is also something that has flagged somewhat. I mean, if you are sleeping so much, how much sustenance does a person need after all? And I HAVE some amazingly awesome product to work with right now! It doesn’t make any sense.
After a recent drive down and back to Pensacola, a ridiculous amount of beautiful seafood came back in an ice laden cooler from Joe Patti’s. Shrimp, crawfish, scallops and grouper galore! They will all have their turn here, but with my somewhat retarded appetite we will start with an extremely light plate. If you have a normal appetite, this will constitute an appetizer, or if you are feeling less than enthusiastic about meal time, then it will suite you just fine as a simple supper with a glass of crisp white.
It also doesn’t hurt that this preparation (I can’t really call it a recipe) is perfect for the Africa like temperatures we have been experiencing. Cool, crisp flavors. No cooking. No heat in the kitchen. No blazing fire out of doors. Raw simple ingredients aloud to sing all on their very own.
Did I mention that roadside peaches and tomatoes came home as well?
Crudo is to me a cousin of ceviche - quicker, kissed with citrus instead of marinated in it.
For this dish I used big fresh scallops that smelled sweet and ocean-y. You could also use fish - grouper, snapper, mahi, skate. Something mild and sweet.
The salad preparation takes longer than anything (10 minutes maybe?) - you want the fruits and tomatoes to macerate a little bit so that everything marries well. Make as much or as little as you like. It’s more about ratio than anything else. Equal parts of cut up ripe peaches, tomatoes and kiwis. Thinly sliced shallots to taste. A bit of finely minced lemon zest. Salt, pepper, a little squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss everything together and let it hang out for about 10 minutes. (It’s also really good as a topping for fish tacos.)
For the scallops, place them on paper towels on a plate in the refrigerator to let them dry out a little bit while you make the salad and prep the other accompaniments.
I wanted to use a puree of peach and kiwi underneath the scallops, so I just pressed a peach and a kiwi through a sieve. Nothing difficult. I suppose you don’t NEED to do this, but the flavor of the fruit with the scallops is a lovely thing.
Next, grind some pink peppercorns and a few pods of green cardamom (removing the husks while pulverizing).
That’s it. Now you are ready to assemble your dish.
Carefully slice 1-2 large scallops per person into approximately 1/16 inch thick pieces. Be careful and don’t cut yourself during this process. You want thin pieces of scallop - not bits of human palm for your crudo. NO Hannibal NO!
Spoon a stripe of the peach puree and a stripe of the kiwi puree onto a plate. Fan scallop pieces over the top. Spritz with a bit of lemon juice and a drizzle of spicy green olive oil. Sprinkle with some flake salt and a bit of your pink peppercorn and cardamom mixture. Spoon salad alongside and content yourself with a bright and heat free start to a summer meal. Or just eat that and take a nap.
P.S. I will also be adjusting to trying to write with my two curious blue eyed beasties. Now they have mom at home all day and are fascinated with everything on my computer desk. NO CORD CHEWING!!! NO!! They haven’t been upset my excessive sleeping at all.