Friday, August 26, 2011

Scallops Fit for a Queen (or King)

Sunday night and I am making scallops with vegetables for myself (above) and bangers and mash for the boys (below). Not familiar with it? That's because it is a British dish, David's mother was Welsh, and now Cooper is a British Citizen, you gotta eat like your people!

Mash are mashed potatoes; bangers are pork sausage with bread in them, very mild, but highly loved by the British. They are pan fried, and served with gravy and peas.

I did not eat this!

I fed it to the boys and they were pleased as pie! I made them a nectarine crostada for dessert too.

Below is another view of mine, half eaten so you can see the broth and the colors and the great dish I made.

I had slices of Italian squash that had been sauteed, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, sauteed leeks and 2 ounces of Maria's "sweet pots". Those are sweet potatoes that have been chunked up, and tossed with small amount of olive oil, cinnamon, splenda and pepper and then roasted until tender. 

I put all the vegetables, which had been previously cooked, onto a plate, then warmed it in the microwave (I use mine a lot).

I then heated a cast iron pan and placed a small amount of coconut oil in it, and seared the scallops (I had salted and peppered) for 2 minutes a side. I placed the scallops on top of the warmed vegetables then added some water to the very hot pan, to deglaze the juices. 
Now the last touch: Taste #5 Umami Paste! What is Umami?
For a long time, scientists debated whether umami was indeed a basic taste; but in 1985 at the first Umami International Symposium in Hawaii, the term Umami was officially recognized as the scientific term to describe the taste of glutamates and nucleotides. 

Now it is widely accepted as the fifth basic taste. Umami represents the taste of the amino acid L-glutamate and 5’-ribonucleotides such as guanosine monophosphate (GMP) and inosine monophosphate (IMP).

Although it can be described as a pleasant "brothy" or "meaty" taste with a long lasting, mouthwatering and coating sensation over the tongue, umami has no translation.

Umami has a mild but lasting after-taste difficult to describe. It induces salivation and a furriness sensation on the tongue, stimulating the throat, the roof and the back of the mouth 

YUM! I added a small squeeze of Umami paste and whisked it around, then poured the broth over my dish. One of the biggest problems with diet food is the dryness, lack of sauces and condiments, but a nice tasty broth can change everything.

I bought the paste in Santa Cruz, and have seen it in several gourmet shops since then. I bet Whole Foods even carries it now! Try some!
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