Seared Scallops with Crab Risotto

Valentines Day is very special in my household. Although I use everyday to tell and show my husband how much I appreciate him, it is nice having one day that is dedicated to those we love.

We have stumbled upon a tradition in my house where I use this day to make Troy’s FAVORITE dish. If you ask him what it is he will always say, “Ribeye, medium rare, goat cheese mashed potatoes, and asparagus.”

You might be asking yourself why I would be posting this dish then if it is not his favorite. This year I wanted to give him choices. (This is when the true first grade teacher comes out in me, lol!) When I told him the options he could choose from he said that BOTH sounded great….of course.

Both?? Oh my! If you have been following my page though you should know that just made my heart pitter patter! I LOVE being in my kitchen. Any excuse to make something my husband loves brings a smile to my face.

So I set to work making this recipe for him and I must say, this dish looks like it may be difficult but it is so simple. You will look like you spent hours in the kitchen when in all actuality you only spent 30-35 minutes!

**Tip: Always have your ingredients out and prepped. This includes measuring everything out. This will help keep you organized, on track, and sane!**

Happy Eating!

Ingredients

4 cups low sodium chicken stock

1 tbs fresh marjoram

3 tbs avocado oil, divided

1 shallot, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups aborio rice

1 cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)

1/3 cup marscapone

1/2 cup crab meat, any shell remnants removed

1 cup peas, frozen

salt and pepper to taste

6 scallops

lemon, to finish

Instructions

For risotto:

In a small pot, bring the chicken stock and marjoram to a simmer.

While the chicken stock heats up, place 2 tablespoons of the avocado oil in a wide skillet with sides. When the oil is glistening, saute the shallot and garlic on medium heat until soft and fragrant. Add the aborio rice and toast for 3-4 minutes.

Next, add the wine to the rice and stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. From here, add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, and stir with a wooden spoon. Do not add the next 2 ladles until the previous ones have almost completely absorbed. The stirring will help the rice release its natural starch and add to the creaminess of the risotto.

Once all the stock has been added, fold in the marscapone cheese, crab meat, and peas and heat through. Salt and pepper to taste.

For the scallops:

Place the scallops on a sheet of paper towels and pat both sides dry.

In a heavy bottom skillet (I used a cast iron) on medium high heat, pour in 1 tablespoon of avocado oil. When the oil just starts to smoke, salt and pepper both sides of the scallop and carefully place them into the skillet. Sear for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. The scallops should be golden on each side and translucent in the center.

To plate:

Spoon risotto into the middle of desired dish. Place scallops on top of the risotto. Squeeze fresh lemon over the plate and garnish with fresh marjoram. Enjoy!


Chocolate Cherry Cake with Vanilla and Cherry Frosting

I feel the need to be honest with you…. I am NOT a baker. In fact, I burn everything I try to bake from scratch! But my husband Troy has the biggest sweet tooth which motivates me to continue trying my hand at baking.

I wanted to make something sweet this Valentines Day for Troy. I was brainstorming some traditional Valentine flavors and the idea of chocolate and cherries popped up, mmmmm….But how was I, a total non baker, going to accomplish this???

Well, I needed something that was completely uncomplicated. Something that would allow me to feel successful and deliver a delicious bite this Valentines Day. So I decided to throw the scratch made cake out the window! I used a boxed cake mix (Gasp!) and zhuzhed it up a bit. This delivered the flavor profile I was going for!

**SPOILER ALERT** This recipe is for the non baker like me. This is for the person who burns cookies, makes rocks for brownies, and sets off their fire alarms. Even I was successful! Whew!

Happy Eating!

Ingredients

1 box chocolate cake mix

1 1/2 cups of frozen cherries, thawed–plus more for decoration

1 tbs flour

3/4 cup chocolate chips

2 16 oz containers of vanilla icing

1/2 cup powder sugar

Instructions

In a mixing bowl, combine cake ingredients according to directions. Mix flour with 1 cup of halved cherries. Fold cherries and chocolate chips into the batter. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.

In a food processor, blitz the remaining cherries. In a separate bowl combine the icing with the blitzed cherries. Stir to combine. If too thin, add in powder sugar, 1 tbs at a time, until you achieve a spreadable consistency.

Once the cake comes out of the oven, cool for 15 minutes. After, turn cake out and let cool in freezer on a wire rack for 20 minutes.

To decorate: Line up 2 pieces of parchment paper onto cake stand or plate. The edges should meet in the middle of the stand. Place the cake on top of where the two pieces meet. Start by placing a dollop of icing on top. Using an offset spatula, spread the icing around the top of the cake and then bring it down the sides. Turn the stand and continue spreading the icing, adding more as you need it. Decorate with halved cherries and sifted powder sugar.