Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dr Foods Birthday Dinner


It was Dr Food's birthday and instead of going out to dinner we decided to cook. Truth be told, we couldn't think of a restaurant to go to that we didn't have to go into the city for. There is some stuff close by but for what it would cost us we could do better cooking ourselves.

Seeing that I gave Dr. Food 3 cookbooks as part of his birthday gift we looked to those first. I bought him the Fat Duck Cookbook and well, you really can't cook anything out of it unless you happen to have a lab for a kitchen. I bought him Mark Bittman's The Best Recipes in the World and last but not least Spain... A Culinary Road Trip If I hadn't seen this cookbook and also seen the DVD's that showed the trip I would have never picked this book. But having seen both I fell in love with this cookbook and so did Dr. Food.

We picked Fideos with Seafood out of this book and then worked around that to find other things we wanted to make.


We decided to make a couple of starters. We went to another favorite Spanish cookbook (The New Spanish Table) that we have and found this delicious Tapas made with eggs. It was called Revuelto de Setas. Not only was it delicious but it is pretty. I even had a gizmo to take the top off the eggs.


We picked an assortment of mushrooms from Whole Foods.


We also had Scallops with Pistachio Vinegarette. Yum.


I probably should have made these my dinner and called it quits but I didn't. Last but not least was the Fideos with Seafood.


Pasta was browned.


Lots of seafood was cleaned.


Also a tomato sauce is made. Damn, didn't get a picture of that.


And there you have the dinner. We knew there was going to be lots of food so we invited our pal Denis to come eat with us. He made a Tiramasu! Now how good of a neighbor is HE?


Not a bad birthday dinner if I do say so myself.

Fideos with Seafood
adapted from Spain...A Road Trip Mario Batali

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound fideos (or substitute angel hair pasta broken into 1-inch pieces)
1 large onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon hot pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)
One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
6 cups fish or seafood stock
1 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
A large pinch of saffron threads
1 pound mussels, scrubbed
1 pound medium shrimp in the shell
1 pound clams, scrubbed

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the fideos and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until well browned. Using a skimmer, transfer the fideos to a bowl. Add the onion, garlic, and pimentón to the pot and cook until the onion is beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with your hands as you do so, and their juice, raise the heat to high, and cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the stock, wine, bay leaf, and saffron in another large, heavy pot and bring to a boil. Add the seafood, cover, and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, or until all the clams and mussels have opened and the shrimp are opaque. Transfer the seafood to a large bowl and add the shellfish cooking liquid and fideos to the tomato sauce. Add the fideos and cook, stirring frequently, until the fideos have absorbed a lot of the liquid and are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the shellfish, simmer gently just to heat through, and serve.

Scallops with Pistachio Vinagerette
adapted from The New Spanish Table
1/2 cup of Txakoli or Protuguese Vinho Verde
2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
1 medium garlic clove crushed
1 Tbs. minced shallot
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup good olive oil, plus extra for scallops
1 small pinch of sugar
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
18 sea scallops
A handful of baby lettuces, for garnish
2 Tbs. minced chives
1/3 cup lightly toasted, finely chopped or ground
6 bamboo skewers soaked in water 30 minutes


This makes 6 servings, three scallops in each serving, or one skewer

1. Place the wine in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until reduced to about 1/4 cup, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the wine to a bowl and whisk in the vinegar, garlic, shallot, and lemon juice. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, then season the vinaigrette with the sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Let the vinaigrette stand while you prepare the scallops.

2. Light the grill and preheat it to medium or preheat a ridged grill pan to medium-hot over medum heat.

3. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over them. Thread the scallops on each skewer through the sides, placing 3 scallops on each skewer. Brush both sides of the scallops lightly with olive oil.

4. Grill the scallops, working in batches if necessary, until just opaque inside and lightly browned on the outside, about 3 minutes per side.

5. To serve, place each skewer on a small appetizer plate and arrange a few lettuce leaves along side the scallops. Stir the chives and the pistachios into the vinaigrette and dab the vinaigrette on the scallops. Serve at once.

Wild Mushroom Revuelto
adapted from The New Spanish Table Anya von Bremzen

6 jumbo eggs
3 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
2 Med garlic cloves, crushed with a garlic press
6 oz assorted wild and cultivated mushrooms (porcini, chanterelles, cremini, oyster and/or morels), trimmed, wiped clean and finely chopped.
1 Tbl minced fresh chives
Course salt and pepper

1. Prepare the egg cups. I used a little contraption but you can do it anyway you like (I am too lazy to type out how the book describes but basically it sounds iffy to me.

2. Remove the egg and pour into bowl. Repeat with all the eggs. Use only 4 of the insides of the egg. You need 6 shells but only 3 eggs for the revuelto. Rinse the eggshells under warm water and let dry.

3. Heat 2 Tbl of olive oil in a nonstick skilled over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, raise the heat to medium high, and cook, stirring, untl they have released and readsorbed their liquid, about 5 minutes, adding a little more olive oul if the skillet looks dry. Stir in the chives and season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the remainig Tbl of olive oil to the skillet. Working quickly, pour the 3 eggs into the skillt. As soon as the egg whites turn opaque, about 20 seconds,vigorously stir and scamble the eggs with a wooden spoon or spatula until they are barely set, 45 seconds to 1 minute. (Do not let the eggs overcook). Quickly spoon into the prepared eggshells. Serve at once.


  1. Impressive birthday meal! Better than going out :)

  2. OMG!!!!! I want you to come cook for MY birthday. What an amazing dinner. I hope he does something equally as swank for you when you day comes around.

  3. Well Happy Birthday to Dr Food...Looks like a wonderful meal, and I agree much better than going oit :)

  4. What a birthday dinner! That's what I want for my birthday!

  5. Thanks everyone. Tell me your birthdays and you can come over for dinner on that day :--)

  6. I love staying in and cooking meals together. It's a great way to celebrate :) Your meal looks delicious!

  7. Dr. Food is one lucky birthday celebrant! This meal looks absolutely fabulous, I agree, it's better than going out.

  8. The meal looks great! What a great birthday celebration!

  9. I don't mind if you flew over and cooked my birthday dinner too!

  10. Wow, what an amazing birthday meal. I love both recipes and that tiramisu looks fantastic. Happy birthday, Dr. Food!

  11. The meal looks great! What a great birthday celebration!

  12. I love staying in and cooking meals together. It's a great way to celebrate :) Your meal looks delicious!

  13. Thanks everyone. Tell me your birthdays and you can come over for dinner on that day :--)