Thursday, October 28, 2010

Scallops & chorizo

If yesterday had a theme, it'd be F-R-E-S-H!  I took a mid-week hiatus from work so Matt and I could head to a local farm and orchard for some good ol' fashioned apple and pumpkin pickin'.  After Tuesday's monsoons, I was a little worried we'd be mucking around in a swampy muddy mess.  Well... surprise, surprise, there was no reason to worry.  The skies were beautiful and the air was crisp and fresh!

We were totally overwhelmed by the size of the farm and market setup.  Last year's farm trip was to a much smaller operation, so we took a few minutes to just wander around with our mouths hanging open.  We sampled some fresh wines from a local vineyard.  They were out of the apple spice wine that we really wanted to try, but the strawberry one was phenom!  One bottle of that to go, please!  Carrying said wine, we tried to blend in with a group of kindergarten kids and catch an educational talk by the resident apiarist (aka beekeeper).  Yep, the case at which the beekeeper is pointing is full of live bees!  Talk about fresh honey, honey :)

The night before our little adventure, I spent an hour picking out apple recipes so I could justify toting home a bundle of apples, fresh from the orchard.  Check out the 10 pound bag (a mix of Jonagold and Roma) I toted home... all for $8!!  That's $0.80/lb, compared to $2.00/lb at the grocery store.

And yes, of course, there were obligatory pictures after the great pumpkin selection.  Even though Matt is accustomed to watching me "interview" my fruit at the grocery store, I don't think anything could've prepared him for how picky I am when it comes to my pumpkins.  Come on, this only happens once a year!  It's perfectly acceptable for someone to pine for hours over the right Christmas tree (pun intended), so why shouldn't pumpkins receive the same respect and treatment?  I found a small pumpkin and then the tiniest little one you've ever seen.  It was the centerpiece during last night's dinner.

It was such a nice day that I just walked around some more, enjoying the sun and breeze.  We had lunch at Trax (chicken salad and an apple fritter for me, yum!) and headed to the outlets for a quick little trip.  Sweater for her and new winter jacket for him.  We didn't spend too long there, since I can tell when a guy has reached his limit when it comes to shopping.  Thankfully, a demonstration in the Bose store distracted him enough for me to try on a few things.  Ha!  Do you have a strategy for shopping with a guy, if you must?

Speaking of fresh, dinner last night was off the hook.  So easy, perfect for a walk-in-the-door-I'm-starving-so-let's-start-cookin'-now meal.  Scallops were on sale at the store this week, so I scored a pound of those and some fresh Mexican chorizo sausage.  Literally threw them together with some lemon juice (the most fresh!) and paired with a quick side salad for a meal bursting with flavor.  No one would ever guess this took less than 10 minutes to make.  And, if someone did, I doubt he/she'd care because it's just so darn delicious.  The tender scallops with the spicy sausage.  Should've.bought.more!

Scallops and Chorizo
-makes 4 servings

A few notes: What kind of scallop you use is up to you.  The smaller bay scallops were on sale, so I picked those, but the larger sea scallops would work equally as well.

1 pound scallops
6 ounces Mexican chorizo sausage, sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
Juice of half a lemon
4 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, or 2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes (optional)

In a heavy-bottomed skillet (a cast-iron skillet is great, if you have one) over preheated over medium-high, dry fry (add no oil) the sausage, about 2 minutes on each side, until crisped.

Remove the chorizo to a bowl and fry the scallops in the chorizo oil remaining in the pan for about 1 minute on each side.  Return the chorizo to the pan, add the lemon juice, and let bubble for a few seconds before transferring to a serving plate and sprinkling with parsley.

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