I know what you need. Because who doesn’t need this from time to time? You need a comfy-cozy food blanket to burrow into. Something that gives you the warm-fuzzies from your tummy to your toes. And I’ve got just the one.
I’d like to say that I enjoyed this dinner snuggled up on the couch watching a Meg Ryan movie and sipping warm apple cider. It would have been nice to spoon this up over a candle-lit table and a nice bottle of red wine. But no, the universe had different plans for me.
I sat at the table in front of my Macbook simultaneously oohing over my bowl of food and freaking out that I CRASHED MY OWN site. It sounded something like this: “Shluuurrrp. Mmmmm. Oooohh. WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?!?!?!?!. Shluuurrrp. Uhhhh yyeahhhh mmmmm. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! #&*@)$?!?!”
Note: That shlurrrping sound just happens. With every bite. You will be powerless against it. So this may not be first-date appropriate. Just sayin’.
And so I spent hours reading about FTP and hosting and html stuff. And I fixed it. Or at least it fixed itself, but I took the credit.
So now that there are no blog errors or web site woes in the way, let’s get back to the food. I cooked this up in my kitchen after work one day and brought the entire saucepan over to the BBFs so as not to dirty any more Tupperware (or because I am lazy – take your pick). And he still has that saucepan in his refrigerator with the leftovers and every day I dream about eating more of it and would he notice if I snuck in and opened the fridge and just stood there and ate it still cold with the pan in one hand, fork in the other, and the contents of his fridge spilling out on top of my house slippers?
Yes, friends, I’m afraid he would notice. And so I’ve gone hungry these past few days, refusing to eat anything that does not live up to the standards of Apple Cider Cream Sauce.
And if you want some intelligent, coherent food musings, read this paragraph: Don’t be daunted by the number of steps in the recipe or the number of dishes you need. It’s surprisingly easy and took less than an hour from start to finish. It is on the “sweet” side for a supper, but is not dessert-like by any means. I think the sweet, creamy sauce pairs well with the nuttiness of whole grain pasta. And it has SCALLOPS (mmm!!!), which have a mild flavor and buttery texture. (I threw in some shrimp too because I could only afford, like, six scallops.)
Seared Shrimp & Scallops in Apple Cider Cream Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound shrimp
- 1 pound scallops
- 4 scallions diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider
- 2 cups light cream
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 apples chopped into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 box Barilla Whole Grain Spaghetti
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed into 1 tablespoon water optional
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Pan-sear the shrimp and scallops about 2 minutes per side, or until golden on the surface. You do not need to cook them all the way through. Remove the shrimp and scallops and set aside.
In the same saucepan, saute the scallions and garlic until soft, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the apple cider and let it boil for 1 minute. Then add the cream. Add the oregano, basil, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat so that the sauce simmers.
In a separate saucepan, over medium-high heat, boil the apples in the sugar and water until all the water has evaporated and the apples are soft, about 10 minutes.
While the apples cook, prepare the pasta according to manufacturer's directions.
When the apples are done cooking, add them to the cream sauce. If the sauce is too thin for your liking, you may thicken it by adding the cornstarch and water mixture. Once the sauce is to your desired consistency, add the shrimp and scallops and simmer until they are cooked through, about 3 more minutes.
Plate the pasta and pour the apple cider cream sauce on top or mix everything together and serve!
My rating: 5 stars. Did I forget to mention the creamy yumminess that envelopes you like a blanket on a cold winter’s day? I did not. See paragraph one.
The BBF’s rating: 4.5 stars. I gave him a hard, hard time for this. But he has an actual, factual, critical thing to say, he’s not just pulling a number out of a hat. And I can appreciate that. He prefers his scallops saltier, he said. Like, bacon-wrapped? Topped with shaved black truffle? In a balsamic glaze? I asked. Uhm sure, he replied. Stay tuned for that one.