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Thursday, January 9, 2014

What To Cook When You're Not In the Mood To Cook

There are some nights that I'm just not into the whole cooking thing.  I have to admit, this is happening more and more often now that Ted and I are just Ted and I.  The truth is, sometimes it just doesn't feel like it's worth it to cook a whole thing.

Ted likes his meat plus two.  I, on the other hand, could eat Goldfish crackers for dinner and be just fine with that.  Ted says he doesn't care, but I know he looks forward to dinner every night, so what's a girl to do?

A girl, specifically this girl, cooks.  That's what she does.

Here's the thing.  I feel like if I start giving into the not being in the mood to cook thing, I may never cook again.  Okay, maybe I'd occasionally cook, and for sure I'd cook when the kids came home, but the rest of the time?  Maybe not so much.

So as you can see, my challenge is to come up with something really easy, with very limited prep, to make for dinner on those nights I'm not into cooking.

Enter scallops provencal.  Truly, scallops provencal are so easy that they barely qualify as cooking.  And they'll look like you've gone to a whole lot of effort.  In my case, everyone is happy.  Ted gets his nice end of the day dinner event, and I get no more than 15 minutes in the kitchen and lots of kudos for a delicious dinner.

Throw a nice little salad together, and maybe a little couscous or some such something, and you'll look like you slaved for hours.

That's how to cook when you're not in the mood to cook.

Try this nice Spinach Salad with Dried Cranberries alongside the scallops,

Recipe:  Scallops Provencal
(2004, Barefoot in Paris)


1 pound fresh bay or sea scallops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup chopped shallots (2 large)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 lemon, cut in 1/2


If you're using bay scallops, keep them whole. If you're using sea scallops, cut each 1 in half horizontally. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss with flour, and shake off the excess.

In a very large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over high heat until sizzling and add the scallops in 1 layer. Lower the heat to medium and allow the scallops to brown lightly on 1 side without moving them, then turn and brown lightly on the other side. This should take 3 to 4 minutes, total. Melt the rest of the butter in the pan with the scallops, then add the shallots, garlic, and parsley and saute for 2 more minutes, tossing the seasonings with the scallops. Add the wine, cook for 1 minute, and taste for seasoning. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon juice.

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