Since the joyous day of celebrating my wife’s birth fell on a weekday, a weekday when some clean-living, nose to the grindstone people had to work (and me too), the cooking festivities had to be postponed until the weekend.
Since I am well acquainted with Mme. Pants, I knew that what she wanted for birthday eating was to not be asked what she wanted. Her ideal dinner is for me to cook something fun and delicious and not bother her with all of the particulars.
Being an ideal husband, I complied.
The lady is a big fan of seafood, but does not get to partake of it much, especially at home, as until recently I have only really cooked vegetarian. This being the case, I thought she might appreciate a little meaty variety. So early on in the selection process, I decided that scallops should be involved.
These sweet, tender little mollusks rank high on her list of eatin' treats.
Scallops are versatile and really don’t need much fuss to make them fantastic. However, being a special occasion and all, I wanted to go with something striking. Several options sprang to mind, but last week I’d seen old Michael Chiarello of Tra Vigne fame, whip up a particularly interesting dish of spaghetti cooked in red wine with broccoli rabe.
Perfect fit right? The white, the red, the green. It certainly seemed like a dish with pop and panache.
And I was right. It looked great and tasted better. Best yet Mme. Pants was very pleased. She finished most of it.
We ended the meal with a light sabayon topped with some strawberries macerated in red wine, sugar, and lemon juice.
The sabayon is egg yolks, champagne, and sugar whipped over a double boiler. It’s just the right amount of sweet and boozy to finish up a tasty meal.
Check out another sabayon rendition here.