Valentine’s Day With Amoeba & Quilly

This morning I went to work with Amoeba. I helped a bit in the lab by doing the non-science housekeeping stuff so he could do science. I washed beakers and did some general clean up. I also watched him work for a bit and put wax seals on petri dishes for him.

At lunch time Amoeba took me to The Hungry Clam. We wanted to eat at Mi Casita, but their winter hours don’t include lunch on week days. When Amoeba suggested The Hungry Clam instead, I couldn’t think of any reason to tell him no, but I thought he was about me make me change my Valentine’s Day dinner plans. He always orders a scallop basket when we eat there — unless we go for breakfast then we both get Eggs Benedict.

Much to my joy and surprise, Amoeba ordered a fish sandwich. I wasn’t going to have to spend the afternoon researching new recipes! After lunch I happily took him back to his Fernald Hall lab, and I skipped off to the grocery store where I bought the ingredients for my love’s dinner surprise.

Speaking of surprises, Amoeba didn’t want me to pick him up from work despite the occasional rain squall and bellowing, nasty, ice-cold wind. On top of that, he surprised me by coming home an hour early. I had been futzing around and hadn’t finished tidying the house. Still, I was tickled to see him early, even more so when I realized he brought me a puppy!

For the last couple of weeks I have been telling him I wanted a dog — already house broken and well-behaved, but still a puppy. He kept telling me, “Good luck with that.” He also kept telling me “no” because the lease forbids it. Then he brought me:

stuffed dog

Love Puppy

He’s perfect. He’s well trained, but still a puppy and cute as a button! I have named him Love Puppy.

And then I cooked the special meal I have been planning all week.  I set the table with matching place mats and napkins, my favorite wine glasses and a bouquet of tulips.   We had Maryland Crab Cakes as our starter.  I’d like to tell you I made them, but the truth is, I bought them frozen from Schwans.  I served them piping hot on a ring of cocktail sauce.  No photos, I forgot.  Sorry.

Our second course was a lovely fresh baby spring mix salad with mushrooms, green onion and shredded baby carrot.  We drizzled a Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing over it.

For our main course we had pasta in Asiago Cream sauce (just make your favorite white sauce and stir in shredded Asiago Cheese to taste.  Asiago is quite dry, so make your sauce a tad on the thin side), accompanied by butter sauteed scallops & mushrooms.

The meal was a huge success with both of us.  It was mouthwateringly delicious.  And you’ll be happy to know I remembered to take a picture!

rotini pasta in cream sauce topped by scallops, scallions, garlic & roasted red pepper

Yum!

Check out the little wooden block above Amoeba’s plate. That was my gift to him. It isn’t as cute as Love Puppy, but I bet it is better behaved!

The scallion recipe follows, but I have to warn you, I read recipes as suggestions, so I am going to tell you how I made this, but I rarely measure anything.  If you’re a measuring cook, this recipe will likely frustrate you!

Sauteed Scallops with Scallions, Mushrooms, Garlic & Roasted Red Pepper.

Sauteed Scallops
with Scallions, Mushrooms, Garlic & Roasted Red Pepper

24 oz. Scallops (two 12 oz packages)
1/4 cup (half a cube or so) butter
1 clove garlic, diced
1/3 cup (or so) sliced small crimini mushrooms
1/3 cup (or so) of roasted red peppers (store bought in a jar)
1/3 cup (or so) diced scallion greens
salt & pepper to taste

Melt butter in sauce pan, add garlic, scallions, red pepper & mushrooms, sauté for 3-4 minutes, juice should form from veggies & butter.  Move veggies to outer edge of pan and place semi–frozen scallops in the middle.  Turn the heat to low and put a lid on the pan.  Allow scallops to simmer 7-8 minutes.  Turn over, simmer 3-5 more minutes, serve over pasta with cream sauce*.

~*~

*I made my cream sauce with about a table spoon of butter and a cup and a half of real cream, I brought them to a slow boil and stirred in a bit of flour mixed in water to thicken it, then I removed it from the heat and immediately stirred in 1/4 cup (or so) of Asiago Cheese.

The recipe I adapted this one from called for dill, which Amoeba doesn’t like so I omitted it.  It also called for vermouth, which I didn’t have and didn’t try to substitute anything for.

Lemon was also called for — I was supposed to stir in a tablespoon of lemon juice before adding the scallops to the veggie and butter sauce in the sauté. I had planned to do that but forgot. That is probably just as well since I used cheese instead of dill.