Daily Archives: April 24, 2007

Piles

Piles

What is it about piles? I have one for bills and one for clippings people send me, one for books to read, one for recipes to try, one for cookbooks to leaf through, one for New Yorkers, and this one, for mostly cooking or Seattle-related magazines I haven’t gotten to yet. Then there’s the pile of various notebooks, for recipe testing, calendering, writing, planning, and actual note-taking, which are themselves really just huge piles, simmered and reduced into a smaller, more legible format. You might call the piles on the inside of my notebooks lists.

So why does list connote organization while pile implies impending disaster? I’d argue that the latter is just an expanded, more physically impressive version of the former. A grocery list does represent organization, and the pile of groceries that sits on the counter for 20 minutes while I check my email is simply the list’s physical manifestation.

My piles are probably a good representation of what’s going on in my brain, and even though I’m always trying to figure out how to get rid of them, I think deep down I might even love them.

This must be the Way of the Universe: everything is piles, all the atoms and particles and whatevers that make up our physical world. I guess I’ll have to bring that up the next time my physicist husband starts bugging me about the state of our office.

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to point you to a few of the things I’ve written recently, just to add to your piles: check out Seattle Weekly’s dining guide for a slew of informative and often funny capsules on Seattle dining. (It’s organized according to the “22 most statisticially significant human-restaurant interactions,” which makes it quite entertaining.) I also have pieces in the April and May issues of Seattle Homes and Lifestyles. And in a cruel twist of fate, I’ll be part of a feature on KCTS‘s “About the Money” show tonight at 7:30 and I don’t actually have a television to watch it on.

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A Civilized Lunch

Yesterday my neighbor came over for lunch, and we had a most civilized and delicious meal.

Wilted Arugula Salad with Scallops and Hot Bacon Vinaigrette 2

Recipe for Wilted Arugula Salad with Scallops and Hot Bacon Vinaigrette
Recipe 114 of 365

Scallops are expensive by the pound, but it only takes two or three per person to make a meal. Here’s a simple but fancy-looking salad that uses relatively few ingredients. In smaller portions, it would make a great prelude to a more formal meal. Serve with good sourdough bread for mopping up any extra vinaigrette.

TIME: 15 minutes
MAKES: 2 servings

4 handfuls baby arugula
1/2 pound large scallops (4 to 6 scallops), white tabs removed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 slices bacon, diced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

First, divide the arugula between two large plates. Pat the scallops dry and season them with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. When the bacon is done, skooch it to the outer edges of the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the scallops. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side (try to avoid moving them around in the pan too much), or until golden brown on both sides but still a little squishy to the touch – you want them to remain soft in the center.

Top the arugula with the hot scallops and return the pan (with the bacon) to the heat. Add the vinegar, being careful not to breathe it in as it cooks off, and simmer for about 30 seconds, until the liquid has reduced almost completely. Whisk in the mustard, and then carefully add the oil in a slow, steady stream as you whisk. Season with salt and pepper (think twice before tasting the hot oil!). Spoon the vinaigrette and the bacon pieces over the salad. Serve immediately.

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Filed under Lunch, recipe, shellfish