Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Compliment, Wine Splits.

Funny, as I mentioned, I had to have bloodwork done yesterday morning. I saw a veinsguy who Matt says has been there for years, but I had never seen him before. He stuck his needle into my arm and then paid me a compliment – he said “You have beautiful veins”. I told him the story of how in hospital one time the nurse had put the IV into my wrist which was so very painful. He looked at my hands and said it had been unnecessary because of my beautiful veins. I came out smiling. Actually I noticed everyone waiting started smiling too, they say that happens and now I have seen it for myself. In all my life, I have never been complimented on my veins before, giggle, I guess at my time of life I should be pleased anything is called beautiful.

Matt and I ran a couple of errands later in the morning and at some point I thought of something I would like to write in this blog. By the time I got home I had wine splitsforgotten, and I still have. All I know was it was something I thought would be of interest. I am teed off with myself. Obviously it was something brilliant! One thing we did do was call into an LCBO (liquor store) because I wanted to get some small bottles of white wine. All they had was Chardonnay and as I want it for cooking, that is really a tad sweet. I then visited another LCBO and it was the same thing. Apparently one can buy small bottles of Pinot Grigio  but they are vintage wines and cost over $10 each, and anyway, nobody round here has them. I guess if I want to cook with white wine I will have to open a large bottle. It’s very frustrating as they have all kinds of small bottles (splits) in the States but not here for some reason.

This is an unusual recipe and sounds pretty good. I personally could not eat it as is as I am not allowed grapefruit because of my cholesterol pill, however, it could possibly be made with oranges. Makes me think, with longing, of North Carolina when in the season I would buy a gallon of bay scallops for $8 and then split them up into serving sizes and freeze them. Sea scallops are bigger but bay are very good.

Scallops in Yellow Curry with Spicy Grapefruit Salad

Contributed by Andrea Reusing

This crowd-pleasing dish from chef Andrea Reusing of sweet sea scallops with a rich curry sauce and refreshing mint-and-grapefruit salad is so flavorful, it seems Scallops curry Grapefruitlike hours of work went into it. In realty, the from-scratch curry sauce is ready in under an hour and can be made in advance.


  1. 2 green cardamom pods
  2. 1 whole star anise pod
  3. 1/2 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  4. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  5. 1 teaspoon canola oil
  6. 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  7. Two 1/4-inch pieces of unpeeled ginger
  8. 1/2 tablespoon ground turmeric
  9. 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  10. Kosher salt
  11. 2 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  12. 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  13. Pinch of saffron threads
  14. 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  15. 1 cup Thai basil leaves, torn

Grapefruit Salad

  1. 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  2. 2 lemongrass stalks, tender inner bulbs only, finely chopped
  3. 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  4. 2 Thai chiles, minced
  5. 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  6. 2 teaspoons sugar
  7. 3 large Ruby Red grapefruits
  8. 1/4 cup mint leaves, torn


  1. 1/4 cup canola oil
  2. 24 large sea scallops (2 pounds)
  3. Kosher salt
  4. 3/4 cup salted roasted cashews
  1. MAKE THE CURRY In a skillet, toast the cardamom, star anise, coriander and cumin over moderately low heat, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes; transfer to a spice grinder and let cool completely, then coarsely grind.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the canola oil. Add the garlic and ginger and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly golden, 3 minutes. Add the ground spices, turmeric, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and saffron, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Strain the curry sauce and return it to the pot. Stir in the lime juice and basil; keep warm.
  3. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE SALAD In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the grapefruit and mint; let stand for 15 minutes. Carefully peel the grapefruits, removing all of the bitter white pith. Working over the bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the sections. Stir in the mint.
  4. COOK THE SCALLOPS In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil. Season the scallops with salt, add half to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until just barely cooked through, 5 minutes; transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining oil and scallops.
  5. Serve the scallops with the grapefruit salad; drizzle with some of the curry sauce, garnish with the cashews and serve.
Make Ahead The strained curry sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance; stir in the lime juice and basil just before serving.

Have a great day
Jo (2)


  1. Isn't that annoying when you can't recall such wonderful ideas/thoughts. Happens to us a lot, usually when we're in the car chatting or listening to the radio - one of us says 'must Google that when we get home' and then neither of us recalls what we'd found so interesting earlier in the day!

    Can you substitute grape juice for wine Jo? We used to do that in Singapore when wine was very expensive so we preferred not to cook with it (except for special occasions). I haven't done it recently so can't confirm if it changes the taste but the alcohol in wine disappears in the cooking anyway doesn't it?

    1. I have a notebook but then forget to use it. Grrr.

      Dunno about grape juice Sue, wouldn't that be too sweet? More sweet than Chardonnay anyway. I believe that is not true about the alcohol cooking off. I read it somewhere, damned if I know where.

  2. When I'm at the doc having bloodwork done I always end up apologizing for my veins. I ended up having to have an IV up near my knuckles once because they couldn't find my veins. Same thing happened to me in recent visits though, they just laugh and say that those folks must have been incompetent to not find my big, monstrous, man veins.

    It does make me feel good.

    And cooking wines, I have no idea what to use for a cooking wine. They sell them here at the grocery store, called, 'cooking wines' but it seems like I was once told not to use those, that they're really just really bad wine that couldn't be sold otherwise.

    1. It is ridiculous how some people can't seem to find veins.

      Never, but never use wine labeled cooking wine. Apart from anything else, it is apparently very over salted and not fit to drink. The guideline for cooking with wine is if you wouldn't drink it don't cook with it. I always have wine available, but I just didn't want to open a full bottle when I only needed half a cup. Red wine for cooking is no problem, we keep a box of wine in the kitchen, but not white.

  3. Sorry you can't find the small bottles. They also have tiny cartons here.
    Hopefully the brilliant blog idea will come back.

    1. I know Alex, have seen them in the Lowes or Food Lion Stores so why don't we have them here? Frustrating.

      I hope so too, but it hasn't yet.

  4. Hi Jo - love the idea of the scallops .. makes me yearn for them. Re the blog ideas - they can just come and go .. as Alex says .. it'll be back. Frustrating about the small white wines .. hopefully you'll find some somewhere ... til then enjoy the rest of the bottle .. cheers Hilary

    1. I haven't had scallops in a while either. White wine would go nice with them too. Hope my idea does come back, I will be sure and write it down next time.