The cold weather finally arrived this weekend. Everyone was talking about it on the street, at school, at the market… All waiting anxiously for Saturday morning when temperatures were supposed to drop into the 50′s.
We woke up earlier than usual that morning and ran downstairs to open all the windows. J’s face spoke a thousand words. “Does this mean it is going to snow?”.
It was a beautiful weekend indeed. Some of my favorite kinds of days. Sunshine, bright blue skies with a chilly breeze. Jacket required. We spent the weekend thinking of ways to be outside. The park, the beach, walks around the neighborhood… and ways to cook comfort food.
I phoned my mom to ask her what she had made for lunch that day. “Sardines”, she said. “They looked beautiful at the market”. I suddenly wanted to run to the fishmonger and grab my hands on handful of glittering, fresh sardines. The smell of grilled sardines is just engraved in my brain.
Unfortunately, fresh sardines are a rare commodity around here. The few times I have seen them, they have looked rather sad and have traveled just too far to be any good. But I did spot some good looking scallops and thought they would be perfect simply prepared with a crust of breadcrumbs, herbs and bacon.
I found the first lady apples of the season, which reminded me how time flies. It seems like it was yesterday when my mom was holding a bowl of lady apples for me to photograph. It was right after M. was born. Our little M… she will turn a year in a few days. Hard to believe.
Lady apples are so delicious as they are. Crunchy when raw. The perfect compliment for the creamy coconut rice pudding I made. You know how much I love arroz con leche in all its variations, like this and this. This time however, I went for a quick and easy version that didn’t require standing next to the pot for over an hour. Quickly cooked the rice and mixed it with coconut milk, whole milk, vanilla bean and lemon zest. Warm and fresh.
I’m off to New York City tomorrow where more cold weather awaits me. I love the city. I will be hard at work, but will definitely make time to eat and some play. Yes, please.
Roasted Scallops with Breadcrumbs and Bacon
makes 4 servings
1/4 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
3 Tbs olive oil
4 slices of bacon, finely chopped
pinch of freshly ground pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
2 Tbs white wine
In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, bacon and olive oil. Salt and pepper the scallops. Drizzle some olive oil on a baking dish and place the scallops on it. Top with the breadcrumbs mixture and drizzle some more olive oil on top. Pour the white wine in the baking dish.
Bake at 425F. Time will vary depending on the size.
Coconut Rice Pudding with Lady Apples
makes 4 servings
1/2 cup (100 grams) arborio rice
1 cup (225 ml) water
1 cup (225 ml) coconut milk
1 cup (225 ml) whole milk
1/4 cup (50 grams) natural cane sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
Zest of half a lemon
pinch of salt
lady apples, thinly sliced
brown sugar for topping
In a small saucepan, combine the rice and water and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes until water is absorbed by the rice. Add the coconut milk, whole milk, sugar, vanilla bean, lemon zest and salt. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes until it thickens.
Serve the rice pudding lukewarm with the apples, pistachios and brown sugar.