Last night I got off work early & after a long walk with one of the dogs I decided to treat myself to a nice dinner. Kelly was at work so all bets were off. I could cook anything I wanted to! At the local Whole Foods I went straight for the butcher & seafood counter. I always prefer to purchase meat & seafood from Whole Foods because both are at LEAST sustainably farmed or sustainably wild caught. The scallops looked fantastic, not all uniformly colored (to indicate bleaching) & large & plump. The fish guy said that their scallops are not treated or injected with anything & that these particular ones were fresh, not previously frozen. I grabbed three, moved down to the meat & got two slices of applewood smoked bacon & one medium sized lamb chop. Hey it was Saturday & I was treating myself so why not?? I knew I had arborio rice at home so I planned on a risotto. All I needed now was some stock, cream, fennel, garlic & a nice little chocolate bar to nibble on.
Upon arriving home I got the stock warming in a pan, browned some butter, reduced some beef stock with parmiggiano rinds (always helps to save those!) & sauteed the onions & garlic for the risotto. Once the risotto was going I chopped up some fennel & threw it in a hot pan to caramelize. Whoever doesn't like fennel should really try this. It is absolutely delicious & very wine friendly. Next I got a cast iron skillet SCREAMING hot & seared off my lamb chop. As soon as it was nicely browned I transferred it to the oven to stay warm while I turned my attention to the scallops. With the skillet still ragingly hot I added a little more olive oil & dropped in the quivering, pale pieces of heaven. Once crusty & brown I took them out, placed them on a creamy mound of risotto topped with the fennel. I took the rinds out of the reduced stock & whisked in the brown butter & some truffle oil. This was just about the most heavenly meal I had made in a very long time. Paired with a Lachini Ana Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Dundee Hills, Oregon it just sang. The wine was earthy & laced with bright cherry, mushroom & had a bright elegant acidity.