Simple Seared Scallops w German Coleslaw

The fresher the scallop, the more I prefer the simple sear cooking. I picked up some very nice large sea scallops and, as Best Yet market was running a sale on red cabbage, I figured that I would keep things simple, and use up the bacon I had left over in the fridge. Now, I know, most people would reflexively wrap the scallops in the bacon and grill them up, but I would rather add the bacon to flavor the coleslaw and leave the freshness of the scallop alone.

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the scallops –

  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds dry sea scallops, approximately 16
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

To prepare the scallop, remove the small side muscle, rinse with cold water, and pat dry thouroughly.

In a nice 12 inch non-stick sauté pan add the butter and oil. Turn the burner on high heat. Salt and pepper the scallops. Once the butter/oil begins to smoke, gently add the scallops. This ensures that the oil is indeed hot and the scallops will sear on the oil and not stick to the pan (if you’re not using a non-stick pan). Make sure they are not touching each other, or they will stick to each other. Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center.

For the coleslaw –

  • 1 red cabbage
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 rashers thick cut bacon, diced
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2/3 cup beef stock
  • 1/3 cup duck walk red wine
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • salt and black pepper

Remove outer leaves from cabbage. Cut into quarters, cut out white trunk. Slice cabbage into very thin shreds.

Set large heavy pan over medium-high heat. Melt butter and add the bacon and caraway seeds. Cook until the bacon starts to brown. Add sugar and onion, cook until softened and translucent. Add cabbage, stir to coat well with the fat then add the salt.

Next, add the beef stock and red wine. Cover and bring liquid to a boil, cook for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat and add the vinegar, stir well, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the scallops and serve with a refreshing beverage…

As an option for you picnickers out there… You can let this refrigerate this slaw for a couple of hours and serve this cold, or room temperature.

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Guinness Stewed Lamb

This warm, rich, meaty stew is great for serving with boiled potatoes and roasted root vegetables. I’ll post that roasted veggie recipe soon. This stewed lamb is a traditional Irish dish for St Patrick’s Day, and makes a good alternative to the common corned beef and cabbage.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 lbs lamb cubed
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 medium onions chopped
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 pint of Guinness
  • 2 table spoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt a little butter into a heavy cast pot. Shake the lamb cubes in a plastic bag with the flour and get a good coating on them. Brown these cubes, working in batches. Deglaze the pot with a little stock.

Put the browned lamb, garlic, onions,  add the rest of the stock and bring this to a boil. Whisk the flour and brown sugar into the boiling pot.

Once this thickens, turn of the heat, add the Guinness and vinegar ant put this in the oven. Keep this cooking in the oven for about two hours. The lamb should be nice and fork-tender. As mentioned before, serve this with potatoes and veggies and a nice loaf of bread.

Venison Bacon Bushmills

The ‘peaty’ notes in Bushmill’s Irish Whiskey is just the the right note to compliment this classic venison dish – medallions of venison wrapped in bacon. Don’t we all need a little bit of bacon in our day?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/12 pounds venison loin
  • 6 juniper berries
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 cup Bushmill’s Irish Whiskey plus a little extra for drizzling
  • 12 rashers of bacon
  • 1 cup beef stock

Run the spices through a spice mill until its mixed. It doesn’t need to be ‘powdered’ but finely ground. Slice the loin in 12 evenly thick medallions. Place the medallions in a dish and wrap each with a slice of bacon securing it with a toothpick. Sprinkle the spice mix over the medallions and drizzle them with about 2 tablespoons of whiskey.

Saute the medallions in a pans over high heat for about five minutes or so for a rare steak, a little longer for medium. Add the remaining whiskey and carefully flame it. As I have a gas stove I use the ‘pan-tilt’ way of flaming the whiskey.

Remove the medallions to a platter and keep them warm while making the sauce. Add the beef stock to the pan and deglaze. At this point you can add some cream and mushrooms to make o creamy sauce, or add onions and mushrooms before deglazing to make a lighter sauce.

You can serve the medallions with the sauce on top or on the side, but either way… serve the whiskey too.

Jameson Whiskey Sauce

Steak and whiskey sauce is a good way of getting a little more whiskey in your diet, and how many of us could use a little more whiskey in our diet. As we continue our March cooking madness with a focus on Irish recipes, and at least a perfunctory nod toward to our local ingredients. So, since the whiskey merchant is just down the street, Jamesons is local to me. That being said, I still feel that fresh local mushrooms and onions add a little local flavor to this steak dish, and we can always serve this with mashed local long island potatoes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  •  2 8oz rib eye steaks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 1-1/2 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • 1 ounce Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 1/3 cup beef stock
  • 1/3 cup heavy (double) cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and cook until they’re done to your preference. Transfer them from the pan to a heated platter, and cover them loosely with foil to keep warm.

Now toss in the skillet the garlic, onion, and mushrooms, and sauté over medium heat until soft. Add the honey and wholegrain mustard to the pan and stir it in. Add the whiskey, gently and turn down the heat. Stir in the beef stock, deglazing the pan.

Boil gently until the amount of sauce in the pan is reduced by half. Stir in the cream, and continuing stirring until the sauce thickens. Taste the sauce often, and add salt and pepper as needed.

To serve, slice the filets, put them on plates, and pour the sauce over the top.