I'm still basking in the buttery afterglow of my meal, but I'll try to tough out my exhaustion and document for posterity's sake. Plus after all that richness, I may not last until morning.
Pretend my necklace isn't in the frame
- caramelized sea scallops
- buttered farro
- watercress and herb salad, lemon citronette
Note that I went off book a bit and tossed together a quick salad because (a) I wanted a little green for my plate and (b) I thought the peppery watercress and bright lemon would balance the richness of the other two dishes. I think it was a good call.
Watercress is an underrated green
My fun-sized kitchen was a disaster when I got home from the market and I had to clean up quite a bit before I could get started with the cooking. I'm afraid my organization suffered as a result. I eventually did get it together, though, with help from the zen activity of creating a sachet. Making a sachet is like crafting and cooking at the same time. It's wonderful.
When I started reading the farro recipe with an eye to actually preparing it, I thought maybe this was too much work for a grain. Happily, I stuck with it and followed every butter-drenched step. I was skeptical about how perceivable the impact of the sachet would be (it's in cloth, after all), but really the flavors were just lovely: nutty, herby, fragrant, buttery, delicious! I could eat this farro every day. Which is a good thing because I have like 20 pounds left over.
I have a death wish & used all the prescribed butter
While the farro was peacefully simmering, I got things rolling for the scallops. As I tend to like things undersalted, the brine made me nervous; I found the amount of salt required unsettling. I followed the directions to the letter, though, and while I think that the brine added depth to the scallops' flavor, I do think I'll fish them out sooner next time. They were just a tiny bit too salty for me.
Here's an embarrassing fact: All my cookware is non-stick. I came this close to buying a new shiny new pan, but thought better of it. I had to just make do with what I had, even knowing that Mr. Keller would not approve.
My apartment still smells like brown butter
As you can see, I was unable to achieve optimal caramelization. However, in the end I think the sear was still very nice and the scallops were tasty. Overall, it was a delicious meal that I'll definitely make again. As soon as I get a new pan.
Week 1 recipes = a big success!