Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday Night Dinner for One - Scallops

I hereby declare Friday nights as "learn to cook again" nights. And you, dear readers, get to hear all about it.

Tonight's menu ~ Pasta with pan seared shrimp and scallops. Dessert of Starbuck's Cranberry Bliss Bar.

Outcome ~ Dinner was excellent. I personally don't care for scallops, but on a whim picked some up at the store today. The husband loves them, and I figured it would be a good thing to know how to cook them for when he gets home. Despite not caring for them overall, the dish turned out very tasty. I made up the sauce as I was cooking, and thankfully I didn't waste my money by turning the scallops into something burned or mushy. Dessert, on the other hand, was not good at all. I got one of these bars the other day at Starbuck's and immediately decided to find a recipe. I thought I found a good one, but not so much. The frosting is runny, and the cake is way too heavy. There will be tweaking in the future, for sure.

Pasta with scallops and shrimp

Dry scallops with a paper towel.
Melt 2-3 tablespoons butter in a pan.
Add a generous dash of garlic powder, a pinch of dried parsley and a dash of white wine.
Saute shrimp and scallops in mixture until scallops are springy, and browning on the ends.
Pour contents of pan onto pasta, add another pinch of parsley.

Starbuck's Cranberry Bliss Bars

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup diced dried cranberries
6 ounces white chocolate, cut into chunks
½ tsp baking powder


4-ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup diced dried cranberries

Drizzled Icing

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Make cake by beating butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, baking powder and salt and beat well. Gradually mix in flour until smooth. Mix 3/4 cup diced dried cranberries and white chocolate into the batter by hand. Pour batter into a well-greased 9x13" baking pan. Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly across the pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake is light brown on the edges. Allow cake to cool.

3. Make frosting by combining softened cream cheese, 3 cups powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. When the cake has cooled, use a spatula to spread frosting over the top of the cake.

4. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of diced cranberries over the frosting on the cake.

5. Whisk together 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, and shortening. Drizzle icing over the cranberries in a sweeping motion or use a pastry bag with a fine tip to drizzle frosting across the top of the cake.

6. Allow cake to sit for several hours, then slice the cake lengthwise (the long way) through the middle. Slice the cake across the width three times making a total of eight rectangular slices. Slice each of those rectangles diagonally creating 16 triangular slices.

Makes 16 bars.

1 comment:

Jess said...

That looks delicious. How do you cook the scallops so they don't become rubbery? I have such a problem cooking seafood!!