Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Food is Fuel

Doctors appointment at the crack of dawn tomorrow but today was all about the fennel broth.

Met with the nutritionist today. It's energizing to be told I'm doing the right things. She seems to find me amusing, she laughs a lot. "Oh Nicole!" she gasps, and writes things down. She asks about my recent cooking forays and I try to give her an idea of the sorts of things I've been successful with. I tell her about Super Natural Cooking, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, and A New Way to Cook. I tell her about soba noodles, tofu and vegetables... about homemade fennel broth, curry noodles, braised cabbage and smoked ham. "I've written a cookbook but nothing like this," she says, jotting, jotting. We laugh and joke for half the appointment. This talk invigorates me. I'm doing the right things, approved by a professional. She is looking forward to my restaurant recommendations from Vegas after GTS.

This afternoon Christine needed a ride home after an appointment at the PolyClinic. I caught a distinct vibe that she might also need some fennel broth so I whipped some up and brought it with me, then ran off to get Pramas and groceries and returned with provisions enough to make Coriander-Crusted Scallops in Fennel Broth. I improvised a bit with the recipe (the original calls for saffron noodles but I substituted a bed of sauteed spinach and roasted root vegetables) and bought but forgot to add the creme fraiche and chopped herbs but it was delicious anyway and we ate like royalty.

The recipe, as it appears in A New Way to Cook:

Coriander-Crusted Scallops in Fennel Broth

4 ounces saffron noodles (or tagliatelle or linguine)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups fennel broth
1/3 cup coriander seeds
1 1/4 lb. sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp creme fraiche
1/4 cup coarsely chopped mixed fresh herbs

If using noodles, boil in salted water until al dente, drain and run under cool water. Toss lightly with 1/2 tsp. oil to keep them from sticking together (this is where I wilted some spinach and roasted cubed parsnips, fresh fennel, carrots, sweet potatoes and a couple of mushrooms for good measure).

In a small saucepan bring the fennel broth to a boil and reduce to about a cup and a half to concentrate the flavor. Cover and keep warm over low heat.

In a small skillet, toast the coriander seeds over low heat until fragrant. Grind into a medium-fine powder with a grinder, blender, or mortar and pestle.

Sprinkle the scallops lightly on all sides with mixture of salt, cayenne, and sugar. Thoroughly coat the scallops in the coriander. Shake off excess.

Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add 2 tsp of the oil to coat pan and heat for 30 seconds. Add scallops in a single layer without crowding in the pan (cook in two batches if necessary). Cook for about 2 minutes per side.

Stir the creme fraiche into the broth.

At this point I layered the veggies into shallow bowls, arranged the scallops on top, and topped the whole thing with the hot broth. I should have garnished with herbs, but I forgot both the herbs and the creme. It was just dandy anyway.

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