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Something Cheesy

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    Truth in advertising and election night take-out.   By Judi Gallagher   As I am sitting in the Denver airport, happily devouring the last of my fabulous luau salad, after finishing my Belgian endive and blue cheese salad (yes, I really like salads!), I am looking at my Brighton handbag, the exact one […]

November 7, 2006


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Truth in advertising and election night take-out.
 
By Judi Gallagher
 
As I am sitting in the Denver airport, happily devouring the last of my fabulous luau salad, after finishing my Belgian endive and blue cheese salad (yes, I really like salads!), I am looking at my Brighton handbag, the exact one that I recently noticed on one of the menu pages from The Cheesecake Factory (thecheesecakefactory.com). That’s right; the menu at Cheesecake Factory sells advertising space. Do I really want to shop for designer eyewear or suede boots while contemplating whether to order the hot meatloaf sandwich with French fried onion rings or the chopped salad, thus saving calories for the pumpkin cheesecake? While I anxiously await the future Cheesecake Factory in Sarasota, fork in hand, will I be shopping through the menu for a spicy chicken sandwich and a tummy tuck?
 
Negative Restaurant Campaigning
As if it isn’t enough to turn on the TV on and see the relentless attack ads from politicians throughout the country (on both sides of the aisle), now I’m spotting attack ads from some local restaurateurs aimed at their chain competitors. Yet I never come away with any idea what the candidate who “approved the message” really stands for, politician or restaurant owner. Why am I told that I can’t have a fabulous fresh and creative meal from a successful restaurateur, no matter how many restaurants he/she owns?  I wish politicians and business people alike would remember their manners and consider what really works. If you inform the public of what you serve and how you operate, we will choose the restaurant based on the lemon beurre blanc, chocolate martini, how much charity work is performed or whether the arugula is peppery enough.
 
 
Take-Out Candidates
We follow politics in our home like a national sporting event, so as we settle in on election night, the important question remains: Will it be take out chicken and green beans from Mak’s Chinese Restaurant in Gulf Gate (941- 922-6765) or nachos and buffalo wings from downtown’s Sports Page (941-365-0469)? Stay tuned for the results.
 
Congratulations to Michele Doss, October’s winner for our recipe contest featuring fresh apples. I have already made this dish twice and love the flavor combination. Michele will receive a $100 gift certificate to 5 one 6 Burns. Thanks to all who sent in the recipes. They were wonderful, and I look forward to receiving some delicious and inspired recipes for November’s contest on your favorite holiday side dishes.
 
 
 
 
Seared Scallops on Spinach with Apple Brandy Cream Sauce
 
Olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1/3 cup Calvados
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup peeled and chopped Granny Sith apples
1 teaspoon butter
16 large sea scallops, patted dry and salted and peppered
1/2 cup unfiltered apple juice
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 large garlic clove, minced
1  9 oz. bag of spinach
 
Heat  ½ tsp. olive oil in large skillet, add onion and cook 1 minute, stirring it. 
 
Add Calvados (brandy may ignite—careful). Boil 1 minute. Add cream; boil 2 minutes (stirring) and set aside. Heat some olive oil in another skillet, add scallops and cook 2 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
 
To scallop pan add chopped apples and sauté with 1 teaspoon butter, apple juice and thyme. Boil 1 minute, scraping up browned bits. Add this to the cream sauce and stir.
 
Clean pan, heat more olive oil and add minced garlic and stir 1 minute.  Add spinach and
stir 2 minutes until slightly wilted.  Mound the spinach in the centers of 8 plates.
 
Add scallops to the cream sauce and heat up. Arrange 2 scallops on each of the 8
 plates. Spoon sauce over and serve.
 
This recipe came from one of the cooking magazines I receive.  We adjusted the portions to have this as a main course and added fresh apples for a fabulous autumn flavor. 
Michele Doss
 
Please e-mail your side dish recipes for our November contest to judig@sarasotamagazine.com.
 
 








Chef_Judy