Posts Tagged ‘garlic’

Searing Scallops using the new All-Clad d5 Technology Sauté Pan

Seared Scallops

Seared Scallops

In late 2009, All-Clad launched a new line of cookware that is available only at Williams-Sonoma (online and in-store). As part of the launch, All-Clad contacted food bloggers and asked them to test and review one pan of their choosing. I chose to test the 3-quart sauté pan.

I’ll be honest. I normally don’t splurge on All-Clad. Before receiving the complimentary sauté pan in the mail, I owned just one All-Clad pan; it is one I would not want to go without, mind you, but still. It is the All-Clad LTD 11-Inch Square Nonstick Grille Pan, available at Amazon.com. It enables me to grill indoors and simplifies the cleanup immeasurably. I love it.

But this is my first time cooking with a stainless steel-interior All-Clad pan. The d5 technology improves upon All-Clad’s previous pans, because they’ve welded together not 3, but 5 layers of metal to create an incredibly stable, evenly-heating pan. Representatives from All-Clad assured me that this pan heats so evenly and holds heat so efficiently that I would not need to turn up my gas burner to high. In fact, they warned against it. I wanted to put this notion to the test by cooking something that requires high, even, sustained heat, so I decided to sear scallops.

All-Clad d5 Sauté Pan

Searing Scallops to Perfection

The trick to getting the perfect seared scallop is to start with a well-heated pan and ensure that your scallops are completely dry. Remember when you learned in grade school that the boiling point of water is 100˚C? Well, that means that water cannot reach a temperature higher than that. Steam can, but water can’t. So if the scallops are full of water, they’re going to be stuck at a measly 100˚C, which is not hot enough to produce a nice, caramelized sear. So pat those babies dry. And, if possible, buy scallops that haven’t been sitting in a brine getting water-logged in the first place. That means you’ll need to ask the man behind the fish counter for “dry scallops.”

For more about why dry scallops are better, you can read this article over at Fine Cooking.

Now that you’ve patted the scallops dry, season them with a bit of sea salt and freshly ground pepper on both sides and heat the pan. I decided to heat the d5 pan over medium-high heat (instead of high heat), because the All-Clad representatives were so convincing that the new technology warranted it. After the pan itself was good and hot, I added grapeseed oil, (because of its neutral flavor and high smoke point) and let it pre-heat as well. Sure enough, the pan performed perfectly. I knew that the temperature was right as soon as I added the scallops and I heard just the right kind of sizzle. The scallops got a nice sear going right away and the pan did not drop its heat when the three were added. Also, all three seared at the same rate.

Brown for about two minutes on first side

There was enough oil in the pan to just coat the bottom entirely and I added only three scallops so that they wouldn’t get too crowded. If you crowd scallops in the pan, they will steam each other which prevents them from getting a good, crispy sear.

After about 2 minutes, I flipped the scallops and saw the sear I was hoping to see. I let them cook for only another minute or two. It’s important not to overcook scallops and they cook very quickly. They should still be ever-so-slightly-translucent in the middle when you take them off of the heat. If you overcook them, they will become rubbery. So after about 90 seconds, I removed them from the heat and transfered them to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Be careful not to overcook scallops

Since I wanted to serve the scallops over pasta with a garlic, white wine sauce, I set to work preparing the sauce in the same pan. (The pasta had already cooked and was draining in the colander). Here’s how I pulled together the sauce in just a few minutes:

Garlic and White Wine Sauce
Serves 1-2

Ingredients

1 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/3 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice + a few scrapes of lemon zest
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Method

1. Reduce heat in the pan. You don’t want to burn the garlic. Add the tablespoon of butter and let it melt. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about one minute. Add the wine and simmer until thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Add salt and pepper, the lemon juice and zest and toss. Add about 2 cups of cooked pasta. Toss to coat. Remove from heat. Toss in most of the parsley then pour onto a plate. Place scallops on top. Garnish with additional parsley. Enjoy immediately.

Scallops seared to perfection

So, in conclusion, I do recommend splurging on a d5 pan. Pick one you know you’ll use again and again for recipes that require a little finesse. If you want your pan to be just the right, even temperature while sautéing meat or vegetables or whipping up fragile creamy sauces, I do think it’s worth spending a little more for a pan that will last a lifetime. I was surprised and delighted to learn that these pans are dishwasher safe. And, the new, larger handles even stay cool while you’re cooking. What’s not to love?

Disclaimer:
While I did not receive money to write this review, All-Clad did provide me with a complementary pan and asked that I participate in an informational web conference, where I had an opportunity to share my feedback and ask questions. I was not required to write this post.

Other d5 technology reviews and recipes by bloggers:
Laura’s Best Recipes – Smoky Red Chili
The Eclectic Cook – Polenta Mascarpone
Hungry Cravings – Chicken Parmigiana
Dad Cooks Dinner – A Bunch of Recipes

Want to know more about how to get the temperature of your pan just right? Watch this instructional video from Rouxbe.com. I was totally mesmerized when I watched it.

For more of the highest quality instructional videos are around, visit Rouxbe.com. Rouxbe offers over 200 step-by-step video recipes and about 250 cooking tip videos with their free basic membership. There are also a few free sample cooking school lessons to try out the cooking school content but the rest of the cooking school requires a Premium Membership. Try it free for 14 days.

Cranberry Beans with Garlic and Leeks

Cranberry Beans

Cranberry Beans

When I saw these gorgeous beans (still in the shell) at the market, I just had to buy them. I had no idea what they were or what I was going to do with them, but they were too beautiful to pass by. Turns out, their flavor is just as pleasing: nutty, rich, creamy. They’re like eating a bowl of health.

“What are they?” you ask? At the store, they were labeled “Raspberry Beans,” but my subsequent research has shown that they are more commonly called “Cranberry Beans.” They are related to the Italian ‘borlotti’ bean. The best explanation of the origin and history of the Cranberry Bean can be found over at The Culinary Addict. He explains how the Cranberry Bean was first cultivated by the Aztecs and the Incas thousands of years ago. It’s believed to have been crossed with the white bean to create today’s larger, kidney-shaped Cranberry Bean. It was brought to Italy in the 1500′s and has thrived there ever since. Check out The Culinary Addict’s photos of the beans still in their shell.

Cranberry Beans Just Shelled

Cranberry Beans Just Shelled

Unfortunately, the beautiful marbled color does fade with cooking, but the flavor more than makes up for the lost colors. I decided to cook mine in a garlicky, low-fat broth. This would be great served with lamb shanks or osso bucco, but I’ll be honest. I ate mine without any accompaniment.

Cranberry Beans with Garlic and Leeks
Serves 2

Ingredients

2 cups shelled, fresh Cranberry Beans
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large leek, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups, 99% fat-free chicken broth
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp chives, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, minced
pepper to taste

Method

1. Bring 6 cups of salted water to boil. Add beans and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

2. Heat olive oil in heavy-bottom medium sauce pan. Add leeks and sautée gently until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and sautée for 1 minute. Add cooked beans and stir to coat. Add broth, butter and salt and bring to a gentle simmer. Add bay leaf and let cook uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring as needed. Add additional chicken stock to keep beans moist, if necessary.

3. While beans are cooking, mix grated lemon zest, chives and minced garlic in a small bowl. Add this mixture to the beans near the very end of the cooking time. Remove bay leaf, add fresh ground pepper to taste and enjoy.

Cranberry Beans in Garlic Sauce

Cranberry Beans with Garlic and Leeks

Garlic Ginger Basil Salmon

Garlic Ginger Basil Salmon from Foodwishes

Garlic Ginger Basil Salmon from Foodwishes

I’ve been happily eating lighter dishes of late and last night, I even bought fish at the grocery store: wild caught Coho salmon for $14.99/lb. I searched StreamingGourmet for a salmon recipe and decided to use Chef John’s Garlic, Ginger, Basil Salmon video recipe. Chef John has the most comprehensive collection of video recipes on the web. Catch them on StreamingGourmet, but for complete recipes and the entire collection, please visit Foodwishes.blogspot.com. Chef John’s complete Garlic Ginger Basil Salmon blog post is here.

Wild Coho Salmon

Wild Coho Salmon

The recipe is super easy. In short, you brown the salmon in some olive oil for about 4 minutes (depending on the thickness). Then after you flip it, pour in a prepared sauce that has minced garlic, minced ginger, brown sugar, vinegar, chili sauce and water. It bubbles up and starts to evaporate. Sprinkle on the basil, and then as the sauce cooks down, it thickens just as the fish is ready. I enjoyed sautéed Brussels sprouts with mine. I spooned some of the sauce over the Brussels sprouts while they were cooking too.

Sauce cooking down

Sauce cooking down

Garlic Shrimp

Garlic Shrimp

Garlic Shrimp

The other day, large shrimp were on sale at Whole Foods for only $8.99/lb. I was cooking for one that night, so I bought six and it only cost $4.50. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them, but when I got home, I had a craving for garlic shrimp, one of my favorite tapas dishes. Call me lazy or call me a busy Mom, but I’m often in search of shortcuts in the kitchen. For this dish, I scooped out minced garlic from a jar that I had on hand, but you can feel free to peel and mince your own fresh garlic.

Garlic Shrimp
Serves 1

Ingredients

6 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic

Method

1. Heat the olive oil in small frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. (You don’t want to scorch or burn the garlic). Add the garlic and sautée for 30 seconds so that it is nice and fragrant. Add the shrimp and sautée until the bottom halves start to turn pink. Flip them over and sautée until opaque. Total sautée time for the shrimp will be about 3 minutes. Don’t overcook them or them will be rubbery or tough.

Serve immediately. I served mine with fresh corn salad this time, but they are great with other tapas dishes like Spanish tortilla, patatas bravas, or calamares fritos.

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