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.


11 Responses to “What’s Wrong With This Picture?”

  1. akaiyubi January 4, 2007 at 11:13 am #

    -____-“” i figured it out i figured it out!! do i get a prize?? lolz.. great writing and photos u have ^^ makes me hungry =X

  2. K January 4, 2007 at 11:16 am #

    You are making me hungry by looking at the picture. I love seafood risotto “in blank ink”. Just stumbled your site from the dashboard.

  3. velvetfont January 4, 2007 at 11:35 am #

    The same thing happens to me all the time, but i blame my horomones! Those scallops and risotto look fabooo…..yum

  4. sher January 4, 2007 at 11:43 am #

    Well, I started salivating as soon as I saw the picture–so nothing looks wrong! Frankly–you can never do anything wrong when you fix risotto the right way (which you did). But, now you have an excuse to make the risotto again! With the Ajvar!

  5. s'kat January 4, 2007 at 1:54 pm #

    I agree with Sher… just an excuse to make it again! Those look wonderful!

  6. Grant January 4, 2007 at 9:59 pm #

    God those scallops look amazing. I always love scallops with risotto. And now thanks to you, I’ve learned a new word today – Ajvar. I love how that sounds.

  7. akaiyubi January 4, 2007 at 10:48 pm #

    how you pronounce Ajvar??

  8. lee January 5, 2007 at 12:42 am #

    Too weird! I was going to make shrimp with ajvar tonight. I made a huge batch of ajvar at the end of the summer and since it is super hot I froze it in little containers. I made cevapcici once (thanks to you!) but need to come up with other options. I have some defrosted in the fridge and was musing on the way home from the store that shrimp and ajvar might be tasty. Then I veered in another drection because the planned side dish already had eggplant in it. Maybe we should do a joint ajvar post? More people really should know about this divine condiment!

  9. ann January 5, 2007 at 8:19 am #

    akaiyubi — no prize (just yet!) maybe next time! the pronunciation is AZH-vaar.

    K — I love that too. Squid ink is magical stuff!

    velvetfont — that’s a good excuse, I will definitely have to remember that!

    Sher — Yeah… I’m going to defrost the rest of those scallops this weekend and possibly give it another go! someone’s got to use that stuff up :-)

    s’kat — they were ridiculously good!

    Grant — High praise… Thanks much! If you love the sound of it, you should really get your mits on some. Look in ethnic groceries, esp. Polish and Greek delis. there’s a Marco Polo brand and a Zer GUT! brand

    lee — ha, we could start an event, like Ajvar-High Tuesday or something. lol!

  10. Glenna January 5, 2007 at 10:36 am #

    LOL! Love it! That is SO something I would do! Looks delicious.

  11. ulterior epicure January 6, 2007 at 6:10 pm #

    Shooting rice out of your nose is not fun!! Great posting!

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