Well, this is a good question. The reason I ask myself this question again is that I just had the most amazing dinner!
I normally do not praise myself, but this is the first time I am blowing my own trumpet. I was in Hinckley Sunday Munch recently and next to me is Nic, the Fish. He is the chap that sells frozen fish. I used to buy from him in Hinckley town. However, I do not go to Hinckley that often nowadays. I suppose this is because I am more settled where I am and have some what of some ‘roots’ in the neighbourhood. I think another reason is that I am so busy with all the things that I want to do.
Since I had not bought from him for sometime, I decided to get some scallops from him. I have always wanted to cook scallops but I don’t seem to get good quality ones from the fishmongers or the supermarkets. The ones that I normally see are rather small, so it will not taste nice, nor succulent when cooked. I only want big, fat ones.
Nick had some really good ones so he showed me a pack. The scallops were big enough for me. Unfortunately, I could not have it with me as we intended to go for a late lunch. Since he did not have any ice or dry ice, he offered to deliver to my house the next day, which is fine with me. And he did promptly.
I kept it in the freezer for a few days as I was a bit busy. I had in mind how I want it to be cooked.
I like to buy frozen fish and seafood as I find that it is easier to handle and keep fresh compared to fresh or chilled fish. This is because fish deteriorates easily if not kept in the correct temperature. There is always a time lapse when buying fresh fish from the supermarket or the fish monger and putting it in the fridge or freezer. I do buy fresh fish and tend to cook it on the same day. Or, I will freeze it immediately. There is no point in buying fresh fish if I need to freeze it. I just buy frozen ones. Prawns, lobster and scallops keep well when frozen.
Coming back to the dinner:-
I decided to cook the scallops Western style, and I had in mind Chinese food as well. I cooked scallops, tofu with minced turkey breast, and the super easy blanched lettuce.
The scallops were served on pureed cauliflower, which is in season now. I added fried dry-cured back bacon ( you can use pancetta as well) and some garnishing. The result is soo delicious! My daughter loved it, too. We then proceed to our Chinese food. I had a good dinner with very low smart points and seafood is zero points. The scallop dish is only 1 smart point due to the bacon.
Tofu and chicken breast are zero heroes as well. So is the lettuce. The only points are the seasoning like soy sauce, and the oyster sauce for the vegetables. It was most satisfying.
Here is the recipe for the scallops:
Pan-seared Scallops with Cauliflower Puree and Bacon
12 fat scallops, frozen or fresh
2 cups or handfuls of cauliflower florets
I shallot ,chopped
4 slices of dry-cured smoked back bacon cut into strips
Stock of your choice, or water
Calorie controlled spray
- Defrost the scallops in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
- Chopped the shallots. Cut the florets into smaller pieces.
- Heat up a pan and spray with calorie control spray.
- Saute the shallots until soft but not coloured.
- Add in the cauliflower and stir. Add some water or stock of your choice to slightly cover the vegetable. Simmer until soft, season with salt and pepper, and remove from the fire and let it cool.
- When cool, place the vegetables into a chopper or blender. Add in some of the cooking liquid and pulse/ blend until fine. Add some more of the liquid if it is too thick. The mixture should be thick enough to hold its shape when a spoonful is placed on a plate. Once done, set aside.
- Heat up a pan over medium heat and spray with calorie controlled spray. Fry the bacon until well done. Remove and set aside.
- Pat the scallops dry with kitchen towels and place them one by one on the frying pan. Season. Fry for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the scallops turn opaque halfway up from the bottom, Lift and turn the scallops and fry for a minute or 2 until it just turn opaque. Remove from the pan.
3 scallops per person.
- Place a spoonful or two of the cauliflower puree strategically on a serving plate, making a dent. Place a scallop on top. Garnish with the bacon and other garnishes like chopped tomato, etc.
- Serve and enjoy!
This is the best meal I have had in a long time and I am very happy with the scallops. My daughter and I then proceed to have our Chinese meal which we enjoyed.
The recipe for the blanched vegetable can be found here.
I have not shared my tofu recipe yet. I usually cook the tofu with prawns, but this time I try to be different. I will share the recipe at another date.
Now back to my question: Is Nyonya food the ultimate fusion food?
The answer is Yes! As a Straits born, we incorporate food from the Malays and Indians. So when we are in a new country we incorporate other types of food and culture as well. Here is to fusion food!
I hope you like my recipe. Do try it. It is very easy to make. All you need is a bit of time.
That explains my photos. I was so in a hurry to eat it and I just did not spend much time taking good photos!
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Until the next post, here is whishing you good health and enjoy your food.