Friday, May 29, 2009

Nana's "Alicc" and Stephen's Scallops

A while ago I had made spaghetti "alicc" (alice is anchovy in Italian) from Maggie's Nana's recipe for David. He loved it and thus when it came to menu planning for our dinner the other weekend, he requested pasta. I was flipping through the Zuni cookbook and found a recipe that is very similar to Nana's "alicc." We used orecchiette mostly as I have a personal fondness for the pasta.

1 small head of cauliflower sliced thin
Chopped garlic
1 can of anchovy fillet
2 tbs freshly grounded fennel seed
2 Tbs chopped Italian parsley
A pinch of chili flakes
Grated romano

I sauteed the cauliflower until golden brown in olive oil and set aside. Then using the same pan, the anchovy was sauteed with the olive oil it came in with garlic, fennel seed, and chili flakes added. Meanwhile a pot of salted water boiled up the pasta to al dente. I added the cauliflower back in along with a scoop of the pasta water and cooked for another 5 minutes for the flavours to meld. The drained pasta goes into the pan with the saucing and cauliflower. The parsley and cheese went in and all was tossed until even.
A little extra romano for garnish and wow... the cauliflower made Nana's "alicc" even better!
At the market we spotted good looking scallops so we decided to make it the entree. I pretty much winged this recipe from my memories of Stephen's awesome seared day boat scallop with fava bean dish years ago at Mecca. We had a minor technical issue in that David forgot to shell the individual beans after removing from the pods. I was wondering why they looked so pale green. But no matter. Blanched beans were given quick saute with a tiny bit of garlic and salt and pepper. Deglazed the pan with white wine and reduced for sauce.
The scallops were pre-treated with some white wine to take away any fishiness and dried thoroughly. I used my hot pot/camping butane stove to sear the scallops as my regular range doesn't get hot enough. This butane baby did the trick - very nice searing and brown color achieved on the outside while the insides remained rare.
And the end result... not exactly it but tasted pretty good nonetheless.

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