Meals for Myself

So as I’ve previously stated, I love to cook but hate cooking for myself.
But there are exceptions to this rule… glimmers of inspiration… moments of magic in the kitchen.
Usually these anomalies occur when I
a) have time to conceptualize and construct a yummy meal for myself
b) find a good recipe, good produce and a good location to cook.

A weekend trip out to my cabin by myself usually draws together the requirements above, culminating in something quite delectable, and reaffirming that yes indeed, I can cook. And more than that it reminds me that I do enjoy cooking and I’m not too bad at it either.

The last couple times I’ve been out there I’ve brought the oh-so amazing cookbook, How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking by Michael Psilakis. I’m officially obsessed with this cookbook. Absolutely everything I’ve made out of it has turned out to be spectacular – and let me tell you for a cookbook that’s pretty dang impressive. I think deep down I want to be Greek or well, at least from the Mediterranean region. Their food is just so fresh, yummy and makes my body feel good. Don’t get me wrong, I love my sauerkraut, bratwurst and lefsa (tributes to my german and norwegian heritage) but there’s just something about how the greeks use lamb, figs, fennel, olives, feta, and seafood… I’m making myself hungry just typing this.

The curious thing is this recipe I’ve now made for myself twice is, well a-typical for me in that its main ingredient is cauliflower – a flavorless vegetable I strongly dislike. But the way this one is prepared is pretty amazing, and quite simple.

The ingredients are cauliflower, spinach, shallots, capers, dried cherries, fresh sage, cinnamon and sea scallops. The recipe is designated as an appetizer for four, but I just divided it in half and had it as my entrée. Below are some photos of this meal I made for myself.

The main ingredients minus the scallops and cinnamon. The key for this recipe is to have all your prep work done because the cooking process goes quite quickly.

The cauliflower all chopped up and ready to be boiled. Once it’s tender you quickly submerge it in ice-water to keep it from further cooking. You can do this ahead of time if you need to. Later you caramelize it in a hot skillet with olive oil dusting it with cinnamon, and adding 1/2 your chopped shallots and your cup of spinach. Cook it till your spinach begins to wilt, but no longer.

But before you caramelize the cauliflower you have to sear those scallops! The trick is to rinse and dry your scallops and make sure your cast iron skillet + olive oil are smoking hot (no, literally it should be slightly smoking). Then don’t touch those puppies for a good 2 minutes to allow a nice crust to form on the bottom before you flip them. Once you flip ’em remove the skillet from the heat… they’ll continue cooking but won’t be overdone. No one likes a chewy scallop.

After caramelizing the cauliflower, shallots and spinach divide it onto your plate and in the same skillet add a bit of butter and a dribble of olive oil (the olive oil keeps the butter from burning) with your remaining shallots, dried cherries, capers and sliced sage leaf. Sauté those for a minute or two, but don’t burn your shallots.
Add your scallops on top of the plated cauliflower and then drizzle your brown butter cherry-shallot mixture over all of that and…

Voila! You get this delicious meal to enjoy! Bon Appetite!

And boy was it tasty… can you say “cleaned my plate”? 

And for dessert? Some fresh mission figs with vanilla ice cream topped with a balsamic glaze. 

Now doesn’t that look good?! God’s so good to provide us with such amazing food/fruit to enjoy!

Well that’s all folks… the kitchen in the cabin is pretty ghetto, but it’s definitely produced some pretty wonderful meals. 

So for all of you singletons out there (or those who’re just plain tired of cooking day in and day out) I hope this inspires you to make a yummy meal too… even if it’s just for yourself. 

And if you want a cookbook that will never fail you, you can buy How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking here.
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2 thoughts on “Meals for Myself

  1. WBA says:

    Oh Sika! I miss your cooking. And the cabin, too. Hope you're doing well! Talk to you soon, okay? (And surprise video chats with mom/you are a little creepy, no? 😀 But great, too — it was nice to see you last night!)

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