Scallops with Asparagus and Couscous in 15

Faster than a speeding bullet……
” ” pizza delivery…..
” ” going for burgers
” ” cheese sandwich…well, not faster than a cheese sandwich
First of all, I’m just not about speed in cooking or anything else. If I can’t take my time about whatever it is, I’m generally not interested. And, I adore slow-cooking. I’m never happier than if something is braising away in the oven for hours on end while I…while I.. while I…
  • iron linen napkins
  • look at my husband
  • throw the ball for the golden retriever
  • watch old movies (or MSNBC–I’m a politics junky)
  • walk
  • talk to a friend
  • have lunch with a book
  • make candy
  • listen to “Fresh Air” on NPR
  • play the piano or listen to someone else do it better
  • go shopping (if someone else is home to watch the oven)
  • run down to Coaltrain and see what’s new
  • write a letter (Yes, I write letters. I write something to my daughter
    snailmail every single week. Well, I try.)

But, once in a while I take a lesson, run to the grocery, run home to teach a lesson, do three more loads of wash….(Ok. Where does it come from? There are only two of us. Can’t we wear dirty clothes?)

On those days, I’m desperate for something for dinner. And, yes, I could have wine and cheese (I almost typed “swine.” I have that, too, occasionally.) I could have a grilled cheese and tomato soup. I could order out. Or, I could “throw something together” like grilled scallops and asparagus with couscous cooked with yellow raisins and onions.

If I know I’m going to be desperate, even on a cold and blustery fall day, I search for desperate food at the store on my way home. What looks good, doesn’t cost a fortune, and, here’s the hard part, sounds good to me? In this case, my husband had to eat, too–so I couldn’t just consider my desires. He’s not picky and will eat anything but tuna casserole, and I have to confess that once in a while, I’ll buy a frozen tuna casserole just for me. For lunch. Over a whole can of green beans. Ah, confessions.

Today, I grabbed asparagus, 2 for $3.00. (Like my friend Sue, I’ll pay nearly anything for asparagus anyway.) I checked the meat counter for specials (Lamb chops are quick, but they’re rarely on sale to coin a phrase.) No on-sale tiny steaks. Chicken was on sale (when isn’t it) and I had no desire for it. I’ve given up boneless breasts for humane and political reasons and the rest would take too long. Hmm. Fish? My store doesn’t have the best fish market and, to tell the truth, the dolt serving the counter was texting … who? I don’t know. Luckily, someone else saw me waiting. “Can I help you?” Scallops, fresh, were $11.99 a pound. Not a great price for 4 or 6, but not bad for 1 or 2 in a real hurry.
Home again, home again. Teach, have tea with great student. Husband home. Dinner?

—————Things you need are in green—————

Make couscous. (I like the kind with olive oil and garlic)

Heat 1 1/3 c (1 1/4 at sea level) water to boiling. Meantime, in 2 qt saucepan, saute 1/2 red onion, chopped and 1/3 c golden raisins in 2 T olive oil with kosher salt and pepper. When onion is soft, add couscous and water. Cover for 5-7 minutes. 5 at sea level; 7 at altitude. Fluff with fork when done. Keep warm in pan covered.
Grill asparagus and scallops.

Meantime, heat grill pan, brushed with olive oil, over medium heat to make scallops and asparagus. Add 1# asparagus (washed and trimmed). Co0k about 1 minute and push to perimeter. Add towel-dried 1# scallops. Salt and pepper all. Turn asparagus several times; turn scallops once when medium-brown grill marks on first side–after about 2 minutes. Salt and pepper all on this side. Cook another 2 minutes or so and test scallops for doneness. They should give slightly to the touch; you don’t want them well-done… just cooked through is more like it. You can take a sharp knife and check the inside. It should be just barely opaque and still juicy.

Put it together

Place about 1 cup of couscous on each plate. Top with 3-4 scallops and a few asparagus spears. Squeeze lemon over scallops and asparagus. Eat while hot.
(Serves 2)

15 minutes… total… maybe————————-Why go out?
For gluten free, omit couscous and sub salad and gluten-free bread.

Wine: California Chardonnay

Sigh… You can fix this for friends another night. You know how to do it now.

Oh, and you’d better set the table and pour the water and wine before you begin!

Sing a new song while you love the scallops, even in the cold and snow—

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