Curried Scallops with Acorn Squash

By Katherine

Since it's now mid-October, we are firmly in autumn - although you wouldn't know it living in San Diego (it's sunny and 78 today).  Nonetheless, I still feel the pull of seasonal eating, and I can't resist all of the winter squashes that are popping up at the grocery store.  I picked up an acorn squash on a whim the other day, and then set about to find something to do with it.  Here's what I came up with. . . . 

Curried Scallops with Acorn Squash

Adapted from Gourmet , serves 2

1 medium acorn squash

2 tablespoons butter

3/4 lb. sea scallops

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3/4 teaspoon turmeric

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

1 large garlic clove, minced

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/4 cup water

3/4 cup coconut milk

1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala

Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash in half, remove seeds, and season with salt and pepper.  Place the butter in a medium roasting pan, and put it in the oven while it is preheating.  Once the butter is melted, place the squash halves face down in the roasting pan, and roast until tender, about one hour. 

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Once squash has roasted for 30 minutes, begin preparing the scallops. Pat them dry and season with salt.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sear scallops on each side until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Set the scallops aside and toss with the turmeric.  

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In the same skillet, add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil and cook the jalapeno, garlic, ginger, and lime juice for about one minute.  Add the water and cook until the mixture is softened and water is evaporated, about 4 minutes.  Add the coconut milk and garam masala and simmer for 2 minutes.  (Hopefully your squash is about done now; if not, you can pause here - just take the curry sauce off the heat.)

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When the squash is done, return the scallops to the skillet with the curry sauce and heat through.  Place each squash half on a plate, scoop the scallops and sauce into the hollowed-out part of the squash and garnish with cilantro. 

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Boston Food Highlights

By Katherine

This past weekend, Sean and I headed to Boston to meet up with Elissa and her family, as well as my parents, to celebrate Elissa's induction into the Harvard Varsity Club Hall of Fame.  It is an amazing honor, and I am so proud of Elissa! 

It was a pretty quick trip, but we managed to squeeze in some good eating.  As we boarded our flight to Boston, the one thing that was on my mind was getting a really good lobster roll.  I did some research on Chowhound and Yelp, and I learned that Neptune Oyster Bar is highly rated.   I also learned that Neptune is tiny and often has a long wait, so Sean and I headed over there at what we thought would be an off time, around 2:45 on Friday afternoon.  When we got there, we were told the wait would be an hour, but we ended up being seated at the bar after only about 20 minutes. We each knew we would be ordering lobster rolls, but we had to decide between the two options Neptune offers:  hot with drawn butter, or cold with mayonnaise.  We contemplated ordering both and sharing, but we both really wanted the hot/butter combo, so we got two of those to preserve our pre-marital harmony. 

This was an epic lobster roll.  Neptune's cold/mayo lobster roll may be fantastic, but I will never know because I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to order anything but the hot lobster roll if I make it back there.  I think there was a whole lobster's worth of warm, buttery lobster on the classic toasted bun.  The fries were good, too, but who has room for those when you have so much lobster meat to take care of? 

Neptune is in the North End, Boston's Italian neighborhood, so while we were there, we decided to sample some cannoli.  When  I was in college, our go-to cannoli place in the North End was Mike's Pastry.   This trip, I decided to branch out and try some new places.  Besides, the line at Mike's is always too long. 

Maria's Pastry Shop

Modern Pastry

We tried to make this comparison as scientific as possible, choosing chocolate dipped shells filled with ricotta at both Maria's and Modern, but our system broke down when we realized Modern did not offer pistachios, and we had to substitute almonds. Although I had never heard of Maria's before this trip, it ended up having the winning cannoli!  The crunchy shells are filled to order, the ricotta is rich and just a little tangy, and the pistachios are the perfect topping. 

Finally, it wouldn't be a trip to Boston without a stop at Dunkin' Donuts.  I didn't get a donut myself, but I know a couple of donut fiends who were pretty happy with theirs.  

Chocolate-covered Lane

A soon-to-be very sticky Elenor