HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gratin of Nantucket Bay Scallops and Prosciutto


        

         The other day I saw the sign pictured on the left announcing the annual arrival of Nantucket Bay Scallops.  Like local asparagus, there are only a few weeks a year when these little sweet morsels make their way into our market.  It’s an invitation I cannot refuse.  They’re tender and tiny, a true delicacy.  So I immediately bought enough for two and trundled home to hit the books, or more properly, the internet.   I quickly found a recipe that, while it sounded vaguely familiar, really appealed to me. The sweetness of the scallops was paired with salty bits of prosciutto, a little licorice-flavored liqueur and crisp panko breadcrumbs. There was some chopped garlic thrown in and some shallot as well. I turned to the comments section.  The recipe had very high marks from some reviewers. But others were not so taken with it.   I’ve written about how put off I am when a home cook drastically alters an original recipe and then rails that it wasn’t any good.  But in this case, there seemed to be numbers of people who’d followed the recipe to a Tee and still found it wanting.  And I started to make mental notes about how easy it would be to fix their problems.  It was at that moment that I realized I had indeed made this recipe last Nantucket Bay Scallop season. When you post over 450 recipes, eventually you’re bound to repeat yourself.  But I still wanted  to make it.  So I set about to make it even better than the last time.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mason's Kid-Friendly Favorite: Pop Pop's Sticky Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing on the Side

Photo by Alex Mathews      
Mason William Mathews

      Just in case you somehow missed it, I  spent 5 of the happiest days of my calendar year visiting my son and his family in California.  Surprise, surprise, I cooked.  I have a lot of theories about cooking for children and my grandson, Mason, aged 5, bore several of these out.  Now Mason has always been an adventurous eater.  Ever since I saw him tackle a bowl of Guacamole at age 2, I’ve been impressed by his palate.  But he did lay down the law when, at 3, he was confronted with a Chicken Curry I made.  “I don’t like spicy”, he declared.  So this trip I was determined to make amends.  And what better way to do so than by serving him Chicken Wings.  One of my theories is that small children are overwhelmed by big food.  Unlike a full-sized piece of chicken, the Chicken Wing is just the right size for a 5-year-old hand to handle. Now, how to make them memorable, kid-friendly and something even grown-ups would find irresistible.