Archive | 9:30 am

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

4 Jan

Scallop Risotto

Let’s see:

  • Perfectly seared scallops? Check
  • Perfectly creamy risotto? Check
  • A plethora of scallops pulled from the waters off Long Island the day before populating this perfectly creamy risotto? Check

So, what could possibly be wrong with this dish?

It’s not orange.


It’s not orange!

The whole point of this dish was that it was to be orange. Why? Allow me to explain.

Earlier in the week the boy and I had cleaned out our teeny tiny refrigerator, tossing some of the accumulated condiments that were slowly moldering at the back of the fridge, blocking all light from the feeble little bulb at the top from ever reaching the lower levels of the fridge. One jar that survived the cull was a half-eaten vat of hot Ajvar.

“What should we do with it?” he says.

“You know, I saw a recipe once for Shrimp and Ajvar,” I say.

“But you hate shrimp,” says the boy.

“Yeah, yeah, you’re right, I hate shrimp. Maybe we can make something with scallops? Maybe a risotto! A bright orange risotto, with scallops in it! It’ll be so pretty!” I gush.

“Sounds good to me,” he nods.

Scallop Risotto

So on Friday while we were out toddling about we sauntered through the Greenmarket at Union Sq. The fish people were there (not sure which ones) with the most perfectly perfect scallops. We jumped and bought a pound, half of them are now slumbering in the deep freeze, and hurried home. The next night, it was risotto time.

I put a big pan on a burner. Olive oil goes in, onions go in, garlic goes in, sautée, add rice, cook, add white wine, stir, stir stir, add water, stir, water, stir, water, stir, water, stir, stir, stir. Sear a few choice scallops for the heck of it (make sure they’re perfectly dry and your pan is searingly hot). Chop the rest of your scallops into bite size pieces. Turn off the flame under the risotto. Add the chopped scallops, stir. Get two bowls out, spoon risotto into bowls, top with seared scallops, sit down, dig in.

Have you figured out where I went wrong yet?

Risotto Spoon

Hum with happiness over how ridiculously creamy the scallops are. Marvel at how delicate the rice is. And then slap yourself in the forehead while saying out loud with no irony, “DOH! I forgot the Ajvar!” Laugh out loud while trying not to shoot rice out your nose. Promise to be more mindful next time while shoving another spoonful of delicious scallopy rice into your mouth.