Recipes From The Heart XXX

It’s beginning to feel more like autumn and these recipes provide a bridge into the excitement of this gentle season from the heat of late summer. These are coastal dishes and you’ll enjoy the exciting inclusion of Carolina Gold Rice from Anson Mills.

Steinhatchee Seared Scallops

Seared Scallops are perfect for al fresco dining.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 lb sea scallops side muscle removed
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Sea salt & pepper

Preparation:

Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and sprinkle with a pinch of salt right before cooking.

Add olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter to a large saute pan over medium high heat. Get the fat good and hot and almost to smoking point. Add scallops and sear for 1 1/2 -2 minutes on each side. They should have a golden crust on each side. Do not overcrowd the pan so if necessary cook in batches. As cooked remove to plate.

Wipe out skillet. Add 2 tablespoons butter to same skillet over low heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant; about 1 minute. Add lemon juice and return scallops to pan. Warm scallops for 1-2 minutes; turning several times to get them in the lemon butter. Sprinkle with parsley, salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

CHARLESTON CRISP-CRUSTED CRAB PILAU     

Carolina Gold Rice is a magic ingredient.

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh lump crap meat
2 tablespoons juice from 1 juicy lemon
1¾ cups Aromatic Fish Stock
1½ cups Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice
4 tablespoons unsalted European-style butter
2 Turkish bay leaves
1½ teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon Pernod
Fine sea salt
½ cup minced shallots (about 4 medium)
¾ cup minced celery (about 4 ribs)
1Italian sweet red pepper, seeded minced (3 ounces or ? cup packed)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon curry powder2¼ cup Madeira
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh chervil or parsley sprigs to garnish

Preparation:

Turn the crabmeat into a medium bowl; if there is excess liquid, pour it off and discard. Sprinkle the crabmeat with the lemon juice, toss to combine, and break any large pieces in half using two forks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. 

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position; place a 1½-quart enameled cast-iron braiser on the rack and set the lid next to it. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the stock into a small saucepan, cover, and warm over low heat. In a large fine-mesh strainer, rinse the rice under cool water until the water runs clear. Shake the strainer to remove excess water and let the grains dry for a few minutes.

In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, warm 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of the butter over medium heat. Add the rice and stir the grains until well coated with fat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is opaque, about 5 minutes. Add the hot stock, bay leaves, lemon zest, Pernod, and ½ teaspoon of salt; stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, and then decrease the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook for 8 minutes, until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Do not open the lid during this time! Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 1 minute. 

While the rice is cooking, in a large skillet, warm 0.5 ounce (1 tablespoon) of the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots, celery, and ¼ teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes; do not allow them to color. Add the sweet pepper, red pepper flakes, and curry powder and sauté until the pepper is tender, about 2 minutes. Add the Madeira and simmer until it is reduced to a glaze, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the crabmeat into the aromatics and carefully fold with a heatproof rubber spatula until the crabmeat is warmed through. Now turn the hot rice into the skillet and fold until well combined. Taste for seasoning, adding additional salt if needed and seasoning to taste with black pepper.

Quickly pull the hot braiser out of the oven and set it on a burner at medium heat. Drop the remaining 0.5 ounce (1 tablespoon) of butter into the pan and swirl to coat the sides and bottom; the butter will sputter and brown slightly. Spoon the rice mixture into the pan without delay, mounding it slightly in the middle, and then press down and smooth the surface with a small offset spatula. Slide the braiser into the oven and cover with the hot lid. Bake for 10 minutes, until the rice is tender and the bottom of the pilau is browned and crisp. 

Remove the braiser from the oven, uncover, and allow to stand for a couple of minutes. Invert a rimless platter over the pan; holding the two together with oven-mitted hands, invert the pilau onto the platter, and then carefully lift off the pan. Garnish with chervil or parsley sprigs.

THAI GRILLED BEEF SALAD

Thai Beef Salad combines grilling and blending skills.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons Anson Mills Laurel-Aged Charleston Gold Rice
6 dried Thai or árbol chiles
2 stalks lemongrass
1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons fish sauce, plus additional to taste
1 tablespoon neutral oil, plus additional for the grill grate
1½ pounds beef skirt steak or sirloin flap
2 teaspoons sugar
? cup plus 2 tablespoons juice from 5 or 6 juicy limes
4 ounces small, very fresh shallots (4 or 5), peeled
1 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, torn

Preparation: 

In a small skillet, toast the rice over medium heat, shaking the pan frequently, until the rice is deep golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes; the rice may smoke lightly as it toasts, so turn on the hood or open a window. Transfer to a small bowl. Put the chiles in the now-empty but still-hot skillet and toast them over low heat, turning them frequently with tongs and pressing them against the pan, until fragrant and dark spots appear, about 1 minute. Remove the chiles from the skillet and let both the rice and chiles cool completely. 

In an electric coffee grinder dedicated to spice-grinding, pulse the toasted rice to a coarse powder, 3 or 4 pulses. Return the rice to the bowl. Break the stem off the toasted chiles and shake out the seeds; break the pods into small bits and add them to the grinder. Process the chiles, vigorously shaking the grinder, until you have a slightly coarse powder. Tip the chile powder into a second small bowl. 

Trim off the bottom of the lemongrass stalk and peel off and discard a couple of the outer layers. Using the back (blunt) side of the knife blade, give the bulb end of the lemongrass a few good whacks to flatten and bruise it. Minced the pale green portion of the stalk, sprinkle on the black pepper, and continue to mince until the lemongrass is as fine as you can get it. Transfer the mixture to a ramekin, add 2 teaspoons of the fish sauce and the oil, and mix to form a paste. Rub this paste into both sides the steak, evenly coating it, set it on a plate, and refrigerate while you prepare the dressing and heat the grill. 

In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, the remaining fish sauce, the sugar, and ½ to 1 teaspoon of the chile powder, depending on your heat preference. Stir until the sugar dissolves and set the dressing aside. 

Build a very hot fire for direct-heat cooking in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill with all burners on high. Let the grill grate heat, covered, for about 10 minutes, scrub it clean with a wire brush, and oil it lightly. Grill the steak, moving it as little as possible and flipping it once , about 3 minutes on the first side and about 2 minutes on the second. Transfer the steak to a clean plate and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Slice the shallots into ?-inch-thick rings for about 1 cup. Set the shallots aside. When the steak is rested, cut it with the grain into sections about 2½ inches wide, and then slice each section against the grain and on the bias into very thin slices. Toss the steak slices into a medium bowl and pour in any meat juices from the cutting board as well as from the resting plate. Add the shallot rings, 1 tablespoon of the rice powder, most of the mint and cilantro, and all of the dressing. Toss to combine, taste and add more fish sauce, if you like, and then transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle the remaining mint and cilantro on top and sprinkle with the remaining rice powder. Serve with the rice. 

A wonderful red win for autumn.

Wine Suggestions: Dry Creek Fumé Blanc, an outstanding white, plus the delicious red, Rodney Strong Malbec.

Treat your guests to copious pours of Fumé Blanc.

Stay Safe. Eat and Drink Well. Love One Another.

Old school journalism describes the style and stories produced by Doc Lawrence. “In everything I do,” he says, “there is a beginning, middle and an end.” One of the top travel writers in the country, Doc is steeped in the heritage of the deep south. Traveling the back roads from Texas to Virginia and on down to Key West inspires stories about local food and wine preferences, community theater, folk art and music often leading to clues for a good story. Heroes include Faulkner, Hemingway, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ralph Ellison, Dorothy Parker and Willie Morris. An Atlanta native, Doc keeps a well-stocked wine cellar and bar and two outdoor grills. He enjoys entertaining and believes that the greatest challenge for a writer is to keep searching for a higher life. www.thegourmethighway.com | doclawrence@mindspring.com

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