I have a rule on Friday nights. If the day/week has been particularly trying, I will make a decision not to cook anything, and everyone has to "fend for themselves". (My children are old enough that I will not be arrested from Child Welfare if I do not feed them.) The meal will consist of cheese and crackers, toasted bagels, or just chips and salsa. Today, feeling quite buoyant after leaving work, I stopped at my local Sobey's to find something to cook. Standing at the ready made pizza counter, I phone my 16 year old son to inquire on the pizza of choice for his repast. Then, going to the meat/fish counter, I spend quite some time deliberating on what I should buy. I tell the pleasant department manager, who I have seen on many Fridays, of my dilemma. I would like some beef tenderloin. Ahh... there is none today. I see a lamb rack behind the counter, and ask what it has been seasoned with, and if she has any in the back without seasonings. I do not like garlic powder on food and suspect this "seasoned" lamb rack may have the offending seasoning on it. I decide not to risk it and then proceed to the fish showcase. Beautiful scallops, some rainbow trout................ Scallops it is. Once home, I have to devise a menu with the scallops. Last Saturday, we went to the Strathcona Farmers Market and came away with some incredible fresh spinach, dark green and curly, like I have never seen before. This spinach needs to be sauteed! What else? I get a picture in my head..... a bed of polenta with sauteed spinach topped with pan fried scallops. That's it! Here are the pictures and a recipe of sorts.
2 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup polenta
fresh grated parmesan cheese
Bring water to the boil with salt and then stream in the polenta and stir for a few minutes. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat to low until slowly bubbling. Let cook over low heat for approximately 30 minutes.
The polenta cooking in it's pan
1 shallot diced finely
about 4 cups of fresh spinach
1/4 cup creme fraiche
Saute the shallot in butter until translucent, add the spinach and cook until wilted , then add the creme fraiche, and remove from heat.
While the spinach is cooking, get your saute pan hot. Pan fry the scallops, that have been seasoned with salt and pepper. Saute on one side for a few minutes, turn and then finish until the scallops are done on both sides, but still slightly rare inside.
Stir in some fresh parmesan to the polenta. Place onto a plate and make a depression in the centre with a spoon. Spoon on the spinach and top with the gorgeous scallops. We enjoyed this with a great Austrian Gruner Veltliner. Superb!