Seared Scallops with Buttered Artichokes and Truffled Potatoes
(Courtesy of LuLou's Restaurant in Reno, serves 4) 16 scallops
4 large artichokes
4 ounces butter
2 russet potatoes
½ cup buttermilk
4 yukon gold potatoes
8 ounces unsalted butter
1 shallot
2 to 3 ounces truffle oil
Salt and pepper For Artichokes:
Pare artichokes down to the hearts, clean chokes of all "fur" (tough green skin). Slice choke hearts lengthwise into ½ inch slices, toss with melted butter and salt and pepper to taste. Lay chokes out on parchment paper and roast covered with foil in a 400 degree F oven for 30 minutes. After roasting, heat a sauté pan and add remaining butter, shallots, and chokes. Cook slowly until shallots are crisp.
For Potatoes:
Boil potatoes with the skin in salted water until tender through the center. Drain potatoes and peel while still hot. Next, run them through a food mill or ricer in order to mash thoroughly. Once mashed, immediately heat potatoes on low while adding in buttermilk, butter, salt, pepper, and truffle oil. Stir until creamy.
For Scallops:
Heat a sauté pan with extra virgin olive oil. When hot, sear scallops with salt and pepper until you see a brown crust develop. Immediately remove from heat and set aside.
To serve, turn scallops over, exposing the seared side (this must only be done when ready to plate). Spoon potato purée on the center of a plate and place artichokes on top. Add your scallops and garnish with more truffle oil and/or fresh herbs (chives, tarragon, or chervil). Bon appétit!Very Spicy Thai Soup
(Courtesy of LuLou's Restaurant in Reno, serves 26 — it's a restaurant recipe so you can cut it in half or by a quarter, unless you want to make a big pot) 4 large shallots
10 cloves garlic
2 large pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
1 gallon coconut milk
4 stocks lemongrass (pound with back of knife to release flavor)
14 ounces red curry paste
1 gallon chicken stock
250 milliliters fish sauce
1/8 cup sugar
½ ounce kaffir lime leaves
½ cup canola oil Heat canola oil and sauté garlic and shallots until light brown. Add curry and caramelize (while stirring constantly). Add chicken stock, lemongrass, and lime leaves, and cook for a few minutes. Add fish sauce and sugar and bring to a boil. Finally, add coconut milk and boil for 1 minute. When serving, get creative with the garnish. Try chicken, potatoes, shrimp, zucchini, mushrooms, basil, or anything else you have. Enjoy!

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