Stay At Home: Day 20
Well, I consider dinner last night to be an abject failure. Although, to be fair, the couple we were “competing” against wound up dialing into our Zoom date with takeout trays sitting in front of them. So, we won the battle over who prepared the best meal, but we probably would have lost if the rules extended to who actually enjoyed their dinner.
Our meal wound up being scallops, green beans, and brown rice. I found a recipe for sous vide scallops that I decided to use (because I thought I was competing to make a “fancy” dinner). Basically you seal the scallops in an air-tight bag with olive oil, salt and pepper, then cook them in a bath of water at 123.8 degrees (although for the life of me I couldn’t get my circulator to hit that precise number so I did it at 124) for thirty minutes. Then you quickly sear them on both sides (for like, 40 seconds total) and serve. I don’t think I screwed up the scallops because of my method of preparation. What ended up happening — and this has never happened when I’ve cooked scallops before — was that they came out of their bath holding an excess of liquid for some reason (maybe the olive oil? maybe from defrosting and then going into a bag?), so when they hit the piping hot pan for their sear there was too much liquid being drawn out that they didn’t brown properly. To get even a gentle sear I had to add more butter to the pan and flip them multiple times. Normally you’d only flip once and they’d be perfect. Either way, they ended up slightly overcooked. If you’ve ever had an overcooked scallop…it’s not nearly as good as a perfectly-cooked scallop. I could tell the difference. The girlfriend couldn’t. Bless her inexperienced heart. Oh! And the green beans were blanched and then sauteed with lemon zest, crushed red pepper, minced garlic, and butter. The brown rice was seasoned with soy sauce, herbs, and a touch of mirin. I enjoyed the sides way more than the main course.
My plating skills have still not improved.
After dinner, we watched One Cut Of The Dead on Shudder. It was nothing like I expected it to be, and would highly recommend it. If this “Safer At Home” mandate has had any positive impact on me — aside from inspiring me to blog more — it has enabled me to cross a lot of movies and shows off of my to-watch list. The least impressive films I’ve seen so far include The Platform (Netflix), Death Warmed Up (Amazon), and all of the movies suggested by the GF (Lincoln Lawyer, The Take, Love Is Blind, et. al.). The best things I’ve seen so far have been the third season of Ozark, the first five seasons of Schitt’s Creek, Tiger King (duh), and Monos. The only current TV show I’m watching right now is Homeland and that one hasn’t been good since the middle of season 1. It’s hard to believe I’ve been “hate-watching” a show since 2011…and yet, here I am.
Today was basically a wash. I went for a run this morning, then spent the morning doing laundry and trying to track down some supplies online. Lunch today was a panini with fresh turkey breast from a local deli, muenster cheese, avocado, tomato, and pesto on sourdough. Tonight is Survivor night, which basically means I’m heating up a frozen pizza and drinking beer on a Zoom call with a half-dozen friends. Tomorrow I’m going to venture out for an afternoon mystery drive. I haven’t really run my car since last Sunday so I’m going to poke around and see if I can find some off-the-beaten-path markets where I might be able to stock up on essentials. I feel like I’m an episode of Walking Dead or something. Well, with a mask on, it’s more like The Last Of Us. Every time I venture out into the world I feel like I’m on a scavenging mission.
Until tomorrow. Stay healthy and stay safe.
Artery – The Slide [MP3]
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