Exhibit A: Husband and I (read: husband) kept revisiting the idea of bringing an animal into our apartment. Our options have been whittled down to two, maybe three, as there are no dogs allowed in our building: fish, hamster, cat. The hamster idea never stood a chance, and I wanted something more fluffy to cuddle up to than a fishbowl. So, cat, it was.
One visit to the local shelter later, and I arrive home with not one, but two kittens in tow. Did I mention that I'm not a cat person? However, these two lovelies were sitting in the window, half-scared and half-lethargic. The owner let me know that they had been rescued together, were scared of everything, and were each other's only comfort. Going once, going twice, SOLD to the softy who doesn't like cats.
Wilma's distrustful stare.
I keep convincing myself that this will work out by using phrases like "they're coming around" and "making strides". The truth is, it's been two weeks, and I still can't touch them without a frenzy breaking out.
A friend recently summed the situation up perfectly: "So let me get this straight: you paid for them, bought them toys and blankets, feed them, clean up their crap and you're getting nothing out of the relationship?"
Hmm, yes, that sounds about right. Time will tell whether this story turns into a pleasant surprise.
Exhibit B: What is pleasantly surprising is this dish I threw together earlier this week. It made sense when I was thinking about what I have at home versus what would actually be a satisfying dinner. I had tons of shittake mushrooms, avocados and some lemons. I was in the mood for scallops and what resulted was the perfect meal to pull me out of my kitty stupor. The contrast in textures from the crisp, sauteed mushrooms and the creamy avocado was enticing and the sauce was amazing. I'm not just saying that. It was I'm-embarrassed-to-be-using-a-scallop-to-consume-every-last-drop amazing. Here you go:
Scallops with Shittake Mushrooms, Avocado Puree, Lemon Cream Sauce
For the Avocado Puree:
1 avocado, diced
1/4 tsp. fresh serrano chile, minced
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 T. sour cream
1 lime, juiced
salt to taste
Combine all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Cover and set aside.
For the Shittake Mushrooms:
1.5 cups Shittake Mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
2 T. vegetable oil
1 shallot, minced
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
In a skillet over a medium flame, heat oil and and add the shallot, cooking until translucent, about 3 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the mushrooms, salt and pepper. Saute until well-browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to cook evenly. Right before they are finished, squeeze the lemon juice over the top and cook for about 15 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.
For the Scallops:
1 T. vegetable oil
6 Large Sea Scallops
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup creme fraiche
2 T. cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper
Season the scallops and pat dry. In the same pan used for the mushrooms, heat oil until hot, nearly smoking.
Add the scallops and sear on high heat until a crust forms, about 2 minutes. Turn to cook other side briefly, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Lower to medium flame and add lemon juice, stirring the juice with a wooden spoon to scrape up browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the creme fraiche and continue to stir until the sauce is homogenized and reduced to a thicker consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble: Create a bed of mushrooms on the bottom of each plate and place three scallops on each.
Top each one with a dollop of avocado puree and finish with sauce and cilantro.