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Sea Breeze

28 Jun

I’m in love.

View From Susnet Park, Brooklyn

The boy and I had a weekend of utterly ridiculous deliciousness and yet, even in the midst of all this gluttonous glory, I have a favorite.

I got it rolling with a pretzel croissant from City Bakery. If you’ve never had one of these, hie thee to W. 18th Street or book yourself a flight to New York, stat. Imagine, the most perfect, airy, light, fluffy croissant, glazed with butter and topped with sesame seeds and sea salt. They’re so awesome they have their own website.

Flame Flower

But woman cannot live on pastry alone. There’s a bodega for every nationality in Bay Ridge. The Poles have one, as do the Ukranians. The Middle Eastern community has several and I’m sure there’s subtle differences between them that elude me. There’s one for the Koreans, many for the Greeks, plenty for the Italians and even one for the Irish.

The Mexicans have one, too, and on weekends the proprietress has taken to selling agua fresca and antojitos from a table on the sidewalk. This past weekend she just happened to be selling Puffy Tacos filled with delicious beans and cotija cheese. Yum.

No thanks. I'm more of a Coca-Cola girld myself.

Saturday dinner you know about, and if you’re a close reader, you know about Sunday lunch, too. Brooklynguy (what, you’ve never been to his blog? Go! Learn about wine!) was kind enough to alert me to the existence of a heretofore unknown barbecue joint existing within walking distance of chateau Granny Cart. We went, and, oh. my. god. That’s good ‘cue! The ribs are ridiculously good, and the pulled pork and smoked brisket ain’t shabby neither. And the portions? Huge! Prices? Totally reasonable.

We had so much leftover meat in our doggie bag that we walked (very, very necessary after a meal of that quality and quantity) to, yep, you guessed it, Eagle Provisions, to pick up a few cabbage salads to eat with the leftovers later in the week. Good stuff, good stuff.

Green-wood Cemetery Flower

The ‘cue put us both into pretty severe meat comas and kept us stuffed until well into the evening. It was very hard to think about eating again, but I had a dinner percolating at the back of my brain that simply needed to be let out. The first genesis of this dinner occurred to me one evening while I was trying to fall asleep. I get a lot of good ideas at this time (also in the shower, oddly enough), but tend to forget them. This one was so good it forced me to recall it.

Green-wood Cemetery Flower

It’s an embarrassingly simple, easy and very, very quick (under 30 minutes!) dinner to prepare, but there’s a key. All the ingredients must be absolutely fresh and utterly perfect.

The scallops should be pink, coral or milky white, not stark, blinding white. They should smell sweet, not fishy in the least.

The peas must be freshly shelled. Freshly shelled and frozen are okay (that’s what mine were) and very, very sweet.

The arugula must be fiercely snappy.

If your ingredients do not match these descriptions, dinner will still turn out good, this one’s a no brainer, but, perfection is it’s own reward and doing this one the right way will make you feel like you’ve channeled Thomas Keller.

Scallops & Peas in Brown Butter with Pistou de Menthe and Strozzapretti alla Rughetta

It’s my new favorite meal ever. I’ve craved it every day this week. The buttery, perfect sweet scallops. The jewel-like peas. The intense yet cooling, herbaceous, spiky yet creamy mint Pistou. The pleasantly bitter arugula lithely wrapped around the nutty, comforting pasta.

It was so good I actually patted myself on the back and grinned like a teenager who’s just gotten her first kiss from her high school crush. I beamed and beamed and then gave myself a standing ovation at the table.

I love this dish.

And if you try it, I hope you love it too.

Head below the jump for the recipes for Scallops & Peas in Brown Butter with Pistou de Menthe and Strozzapretti alla Rughetta.

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