Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Out with the old...

So I finally got a new range! The one that came with our house was a 24" apartment-sized model with coils and a tiny one-rack oven that frequently set off the smoke detectors. I'm not cooking with gas yet but the new model is just fine. Well, more than fine! It's a normal size, stainless steel, smooth top, heats up quickly and, best of all, it's nice and clean. So as a send-off to my faithful, yet small and old, stove, I made one last meal on it. I tried to think of a few small dishes that didn't take too much time, heat or effort from the ailing and aged appliance (plus I think I'd already given up on ever using the oven again). The answer came in the form of some of our easy favorites and required all the small burners so I could say a proper farewell to the appliance.

First up there was brussel sprouts in bacon and garlic. This is an adapted Nigella recipe but has worked well for me forever and takes little time or effort. Basically you cut up some bacon and fry it until crispy. Peel some brussel sprouts or finely chop them into slivers and add them to the bacon in the pan along with a clove of finely minced garlic. Let the sprouts wilt and get covered in bacon fat. Take the whole lot out and keep warm in a pan to the side. Don't wipe out or wash the pan because the risidual bacon fat will be put to good use soon. Admittedly this isn't as healthy as eating just brussel sprouts but then again its not as unhealthy as just eating bacon - and we were celebrating after all.

The second dish was even simpler. Take some mushrooms (I used cremini) and slice them up. Heat some butter, onion slivers and a sprig of rosemary in a pan. Fry the mushrooms in the butter mixture until tender and slightly shrunken.

The third dish is the main attraction and the easiest of all: scallops. Heat up the pan in which you fried the bacon and sprouts. Then gently salt and pepper the scallops and sear them on one side for one or two minutes. Turn them over and sear on the other side. Scallops are quick to cook and taste great with very little seasoning. Then plate all three dishes up and you've got a great meal. Easy peasy and worthy of a last meal for a dying stove.

Stay tuned for the new adventures from my newest toy!

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