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How do you solve a problem? | Manolo's Food Blog

How do you solve a problem?

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Faced with the problem of choosing the dinner menu yet again, Mr. Henry sallied forth with characteristic boldness.

Although when he entered the grocery store he hadn’t a clue what to buy, like Sister Maria he had confidence in confidence alone.

Sea scallops lay glistening on a bright bed of chipped ice, their silken bodies firm and pink. Inspiration struck.

He recalled a marvelous summer salad of spinach, white beans, scallops, and bacon bits.

Could it be winterized?

Scallops quickly sautéed in bacon fat are a personal favorite. Bacon goes well with spinach. Bacon and spinach go well with white beans – great northern or cannellini. All good, all good, but weren’t these flavors all too mild? A proper dish must have balance. Where was the acid?

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In summer fresh peaches go perfectly in that salad, the whole dressed in white balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Now in winter what fruit would work? Wouldn’t lemon juice be too strong?

The answer was grapefruit, the most underappreciated citrus.

Back home Mr. Henry cut five strips of bacon into bit sizes and fried them to a light crisp. To half a chopped onion in olive oil he added herbs de provence and a splash of white wine (sauvignon blanc). Once the onions softened he added one can of great northern beans (drained) and let the mixture simmer.

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Whole spinach leaves boiled for three or four minutes emerge dark and pliant. Once slightly cooled they can easily be sliced into manageable sizes.

After sautéing the scallops, he deglazed the pan with a little more white wine and added a splash more olive oil.

After mixing everything together and topping with chopped parsley, Mr. Henry sliced grapefruit sections and served them on the plate alongside the rest. The whole preparation took no more than 25 minutes.

A willful Little Henry objected to eating this satisfying ensemble with crusty brown sourdough bread, so an ever indulgent father quickly boiled some fresh pasta.

11 Responses to “How do you solve a problem?”

  1. Jennie March 7, 2009 at 11:55 am #

    Will you marry me or at least keep me as a mistress on the side? You had me at:
    “Sea scallops lay glistening on a bright bed of chipped ice, their silken bodies firm and pink.”

  2. Mr. Henry March 7, 2009 at 1:28 pm #

    Mr. Henry has never before strayed from the straight and narrow, dearest Jennie, but a mistress on the side is an offer he has never before entertained.

    Although he believes that looks are not as important as character, before proceeding further he would like to pose an initial question. Do you resemble those scallops fresh from the sea?

  3. Glinda March 10, 2009 at 2:55 pm #

    It’s good to know that I’m not the only one with a willful child. Although I’m guessing yours is WAY more adventurous than mine.

  4. Jennie March 10, 2009 at 7:02 pm #

    Silken, Glistening, pink, yes…not as firm as one should be!

  5. Mr. Henry March 11, 2009 at 9:26 am #

    Ah, Jennie, Jennie, fear not. A mistress of the heart (and a feast for the eyes) not unlike a scallop on the plate should be firm and yielding in equal measure.

  6. Jen March 11, 2009 at 9:57 am #

    Is Mrs. Henry going to be involved in this love affair? I mean, since you’ve announced it on the internet, you should at least give her a chance to join in.

  7. Mr. Henry March 11, 2009 at 1:28 pm #

    Oh yes, certainly, very involved without a doubt. All important Henry family decisions are reached jointly. After Mrs. Henry grants an audience to the carefully considered opinions of her husband, she determines an appropriate course of action.

    One question which may arise, however, a question that has come up under similar circumstances in the past, is whether or not Jennie does heavy housework.

  8. Jennie March 12, 2009 at 4:58 pm #

    In this economy? I’ll do a lot for a good meal and a good man! I just don’t do windows.. 😉

  9. raincoaster March 15, 2009 at 3:07 am #

    Is this the first threesome in Manoloville?

  10. Jennie March 15, 2009 at 6:22 pm #

    Excepting your multiple personalities Raincoaster!

  11. Long Island March 21, 2009 at 8:16 am #

    Thank goodness I am not that woman who found herself blushing at Mr. Henry’s scallop description.

    When my husband just asked, “what are looking at on the internet?” I quickly closed the page and replied, “Nothing but a recipe.”

    You Mr Henry have forever changed my perception of scallops. In the future when I order them in a restaurant my checks will turn crimson and I will say, “the scallops please” with naughty smile on my lips.