Underground Supper Club Redux

In my rush to clean up and write up our first Underground Supper Club I failed to include a recipe and a few of our sources for the ingredients that we used to create the meal.

My weekly journey to the Hollywood Farmers’ Market provided inspiration and ingredients for our “Underground Supper Club” as well as our daily meals. This place makes me feel a part of a community called Los Angeles more than any other experience in the city.  Where else can one find all ages, all social strata, and a multitude of nationalities in an accessible venue?  Plus, there is always the bonus of a celebrity sighting or two.  I’ve seen Annette Bening, the very handsome Jake Gyllenhaal and Julia Stiles to name of few.

LA Funghi at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market was the source of chanterelles and morels.  Walking under his awning is like trekking deep into a forest.  The variety takes my breath away.  It’s not cheap buying certain mushrooms but once you taste the snap of a perfectly sautéed chanterelle monetary amnesia takes over.

LA Funghi

The fresh thyme came from a seller that doesn’t really have a company name.  Her name is Beverly and always has the greatest variety and freshest selection.  I particularly love her lemon verbena.  This lanky herb will infuse a deep lemon flavor into any sauce and makes a refreshing tea.  Nahid and I like to add it to our Sunday pasta dish—clams, lots of garlic, white wine, the aforementioned lemon verbena on linguini.  Delightful.

Hollywood Farmers's Market Herb Stand

The asparagus came from another anonymous stand.  They were pencil thin and crisp.

What I learned from the Supper Club experience:

  • I haven’t been this excited about something since my first date with Nahid.
  • Nahid and I are at our best when we work as a team.  We sat down after everyone left and experienced that euphoric feeling of achievement and gratification for a job well done.  We loved the experience and want more.
  • Judith needs to lose some rather pronounced belly fat and get a haircut.

How to Sear Perfect Scallops

The art of searing scallops in four easy steps:

  1. Get your pan hot.  No hotter than you think it should be.
  2. Dry your scallops (6-8 larger) with a paper towel.  Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
  3. Use canola oil for the pan
  4. Use butter to baste and finish cooking.

To acquire the perfect caramel brown on a scallop you need to heat your pan for at least 3-5 minutes.  Just when you think the pan shouldn’t get hotter, let it go for another minute.

It’s best to use fresh scallops but it is not vital to use fresh scallops because they are expensive.  If you use previously frozen scallops pat them dry with a paper towel.  This way they get seared instead of stewing in the water they release.

Canola oil can take the heat so use that for the pan.  After two minutes of searing add the two tablespoons of butter.  The butter will brown and sizzle; at that point baste the scallops with the butter/canola for about a minute.

Turn the scallops and baste one or two times.  Plate.  Eat.  Yum.

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