I just got back from visiting friends in Cleveland, Ohio and one of the highlights was our dinner we made on Saturday night, which inspired this post. I first visited them last July when I spent a week at the Cleveland Clinic for migraines and they are the kind of people you immediately click with. I am so lucky to not only have them in my life, but to have also found manageable ways to treat my migraines. We’ve stayed in touch through emails and I finally made another visit, which was long overdue.
Our weekend included all of my favorite things – an amazing grocery store (Heinen’s in the restored Cleveland Trust building downtown), one of the best bookstores (Loganberry Books) I’ve ever visited, a restaurant with a glass blowing studio next door (M Italian), and a small dinner party with their friend from the Cleveland Art Museum. It was also fun to see their dogs and Winston did really well in the gift department – I discovered Pet People while I was there. We also went to Special Persons Day at a nearby school and I was an honorary special person by association. Preschool is such a fun age and I even got a hug before we left.
Onto the recipes and I’ve included photos from the trip below as well. The couple I visited had recently had scallops made by her cousin and we re-created them. Scallops can be intimidating to make at home – most people over cook them and they become rubbery or tough to eat. However, this cornmeal crust makes for a perfectly crispy outside and a soft, buttery inside. I will also add that scallops are not cheap. They were $30 a pound at Whole Foods, so I got all of my fresh ingredients and went across the street to Kroger’s. They were $20 a pound at Kroger’s and I was only making two servings, so I bought half a pound for $10. That said, scallops can be a delicious and not too expensive treat if you watch prices.
Fresh scallops (3-4 per person)
Sumac (berry spice – available at Penzey’s Spices)
First, dry your scallops really well with a paper towel – this is very important. Next, place a cup of cornmeal in a bowl. Add the sumac and garlic salt to taste (a tablespoon of each). Dredge the dry scallops into the dry mixture and place in a very hot pan with the olive oil. We used a lemon infused olive oil from the Olive Store, but feel free to use regular EVOO. Cook the scallops for three minutes on each side and serve. We had ours with rice, roasted asparagus, and a tomato/mozzarella/avocado salad. When I made it at home, I paired the scallops with roasted potatoes and asparagus.
For dessert, we made chocolate cream in the Vitamix, which is based in Cleveland. The Vitamix store offers classes and tips, like always put liquids in first, solids last. The original recipe called for white chocolate, but I think the dark chocolate complemented the coconut sorbet. You might be skeptical to run the Vitamix for three minutes, but trust me, it works. The cream will be hot and steamy.
Chocolate Cream with Berries
1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened or sweetened – I used unsweetened)
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
7 ounces good quality chocolate, chopped (white or dark)
2-3 cups berries
Place berries in 4-6 ramekins. Next, place the coconut milk and chocolate in the Vitamix. Place the lid on top and gradually increase the speed. Set a timer and run the Vitamix for three minutes on high – the mixture will heat up. Next, toast the coconut in a pan over the stove for a few minutes until golden brown. Immediately serve and pour the chocolate cream over the berries and top with the shredded coconut. We also had coconut sorbet with ours and it was out of this world delicious!
Heinen’s – Downtown Cleveland
Loganberry Books – Shaker Heights
M Italian – Chagrin Falls (we split the margherita pizza and I had the salmon salad)
Mother’s Day with my pup