Myth #1: It doesn’t take a thousand ingredients to make an elegant meal. In fact, the simpler it is and the quality of ingredients you use make the difference. Here’s an easy summer menu that highlights this concept
4 medium yellow heirloom tomatoes
1 Vidalia onion
1/2 large cucumber
1 clove garlic
6 large sea scallops (untreated please)
1 bunch fresh tarragon
2 TB butter
1 cup shelled pistachios
4 packaged chicken breasts (which is two whole breasts when uncut)
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 box plain couscous (10 oz)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup sliced almonds
I do not use a specific recipe for gazpacho. The reason is, depending on the time of year and the intensity of the onion, garlic etc. I change this recipe. Also, this allows for a more creative approach. I don’t put bread or fillers in my gazpacho.
Roughly chop tomatoes and add to food processor. Roughly chop 1/3 to 1/2 Vidalia onion depending upon how big it is. 1/3 of a really large one and 1/2 of a medium/large one. Add to processor. Add 1/2 clove of garlic (you can add more later if you like). Peel and roughly chop 1/2 a large cucumber. Again, you can add more if the other flavors are too strong. Add a splash of olive oil, 1/2 tsp sea salt and start with two or three hits of Tabasco. Process it until it looks like a soup. Adjust seasonings to taste and chill before serving.
Slice sea scallops by width thinly. Place into a medium sized glass bowl. You should have at least four slices per scallop. Zest lime and set zest aside. Juice lime and add over scallops. Let set for 5-10 minutes. Add a teaspoon of finely-chopped fresh tarragon, a sprinkle of sea salt and a dash of Tabasco, if desired. Put in fridge for a few minutes while you thinly slice and saute a clean leek over medium heat with the butter melted in the pan. Serve leeks on each plate with six slices of scallop fanned over the top. Garnish with a little lime zest.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place pistachios in food processor until they are small and look a little bigger than bread crumbs. Trim chicken breasts if needed. Pistachios are salty, but if they are unsalted season chicken first, then dip in a plate of the processed pistachios. Place on a sprayed baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through or 170 degrees internal temp. Let sit a few minutes before serving. Peel and dice tangerines. Add 1/8 tsp sea salt and one generous tsp of thyme leaves. While chicken is baking, make couscous by package directions but add raisins to the water before boiling (usually with 1/2 tsp salt and 1 TB of olive oil). Fluff when done and stir in almonds. Serve next to chicken. Add a little tangerine salsa on top of chicken.