Raw Scallop Amuse Bouche, Blood Orange Emulsion

Raw Scallop Amuse Bouche, Blood Orange Emulsion

Raw Scallop Amuse Bouche 💋
Blood Orange Emulsion 🍊

A pristine day-boat scallop with a vibrant blood orange emulsion makes an exquisite and sophisticated amuse-bouche, combining the delicate sweetness of the buttery scallop with the lively, citrusy zing of the blood orange. This elegant bite certainly exemplifies the essence of an amuse-bouche: a small yet impactful introduction to the meal.

Raw Scallop Amuse Bouche Recipe

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Senate Bean Soup

Senate Bean Soup

🇺🇸 Senate Bean Soup 🇺🇸

Today, March 30, 1940, we are dining at the United States Senate Office Building Restaurant. We choose a bowl of “Old-Fashioned Bean Soup” for 15 cents, a “Lettuce Salad” for 15 cents, “Iced Tea” for 5 cents, and a cup of “Coffee” before we go back to the office, for another 5 cents. The bill for our very pleasant luncheon in the Senate dining room is 40 cents each.

Bean soup has been a required and beloved menu tradition in Senate restaurants for well over a century. There are competing stories about the origin of the mandate that bean soup be served daily.

According to one story, the Senate’s bean soup tradition began early in the 20th century at the request of Senator Fred Dubois of Idaho, who as chair of the committee overseeing the Senate Restaurant, passed a resolution in the committee requiring that bean soup be on the menu daily.

Another story attributes the request to Senator Knute Nelson of Minnesota, who expressed his fondness for the soup in 1903 and insisted that it be on the menu each day.

Lunch in the Senate Dining Room

The name change from “Old-Fashioned Bean Soup” to “Senate Bean Soup” on the Senate menu occurred in 1977. This change was part of a broader update to the Senate restaurant’s offerings and menu presentation, aiming to modernize and capitalize on the soup’s long-standing popularity and association with the U.S. Senate.

Senate Bean Soup Menu

There are two official recipes for Bean Soup on the government website senate.gov here. My recipe combines elements from both of them.

One includes mashed potatoes, celery, garlic, and parsley, the other does not. One includes butter, the other does not. One uses ham and a ham bone, the other uses smoked ham hocks.

In my recipe I add celery and garlic but do not include potatoes. And because we are fans of onion, celery, garlic and smoked ham, my recipe includes proportionally more of these ingredients than the originals. I also finish the soup with a sprinkling of parsley.

P.S. There are no carrots in Senate Bean Soup.

Senate Dining Room Menu

Senate Bean Soup Recipe

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Summery Strawberry Watermelon Salad

Strawberry Watermelon Salad

🍓🍉🇺🇸 Strawberry Watermelon Salad 🍓🍉🇺🇸
Feta Cheese, Toasted Almonds, Balsamic Glaze

A fantastic seasonal Strawberry Watermelon Salad paired so well with our Memorial Day BBQ of grilled Tri-Tip au Jus and Corn on the Cob, it would be excellent on Flag Day or the 4th of July or really any day for a cookout this summer! ☀️

This salad was inspired by one of the dishes we enjoyed last month at Primal Steakhouse Las Vegas. It was quite a celebration at Primal where they set things on fire and employ lots of smoke in their cocktails and dishes. 🔥

Their Watermelon Salad was surpringly fresh and delightful, a perfect counterbalance to all the rich smoky foods including bone marrow shanks, bacony seared scallops, four cheese lobster mac, smoked NY steak, and more.

The service was super-fun and super-friendly. The themed atmosphere was charmingly mysterious and medieval. Guests are fully encouraged to unsheathe and pose with the assorment of swords from a coat of arms hanging on the wall, as well as take pics wearing helmets fashioned from the middle ages!

Themed restaurants unfortunately can vary widely in the quality of their food. This one impressed us by offering delicious upscale food and entertaining service, as well as a unique and memorable dining experience.

And while our dessert crème brûlée was set ablaze, the server handed me a heavy 4-foot-sword to heave into the air while all the folks in the dining room sang “happy birthday” and finished with “off with his head!”

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Dayboat Scallops with Coconut Lentils

Dayboat Scallops with Coconut Lentils

Dayboat Scallops with Coconut Lentils

The natural sweetness of the scallops, the rich creaminess of the coconut lentils, and the nutty chewiness of the brown basmati rice come together to create a colorful dish that is both sophisticated and comforting. Each component complements the others, resulting in a harmonious and delightful meal that is impressive and satisfying.

Day-boat scallops  are harvested from fishing trips that return to port the same day. This is key to their pure, unadulterated flavor as they do not need to be stored on ice at sea for extended periods. Additionally, they are not treated with sodium tripolyphosphate, a common preservative that can degrade the quality of scallops by making them waterlogged and altering their texture and flavor.

Dayboat Scallops with Coconut Lentils

Coconut Lentils are a flavorful and aromatic base for the scallops. The red lentils are cooked with coconut milk, which imparts a creamy texture and rich flavor. Turmeric brings warm, earthy flavors and a vibrant hue. Tomatoes, garlic, and onions add depth and savory notes, while lemon and ginger provide bright, zesty accents. Thinly sliced red chile adds the contrasting spicy element while mixed herbs contribute freshness and complexity to the dish.

Steamed Brown Basmati Rice accompanies the dish, providing a nutty flavor and chewy texture that pairs well with the creamy lentils and tender scallops.

Dayboat Scallops with Coconut Lentils Recipe

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No-Cook Mexican Corn Soup

No-Cook Mexican Corn Soup

🌽 No-Cook Mexican Corn Soup 🌽

Fresh Corn, Golden Tomatoes, Yellow Bell Pepper
Tortilla Strips, Avocado, Jalapeño, Pepitas
Mexican Crema, Cotija Cheese, Lime Juice, Cilantro

Well…  it’s a “no-cook” recipe, except for the tortilla strips. And I highly recommend frying your own tortillas. The toppings on this raw soup take it over the top – visually, texturally, and flavorfully. The chilled soup itself is refreshingly delicious but definitely don’t skimp on the garnishes.

Corn season in the United States typically runs from late spring to early fall, so we are at the start of another glorious corn extravaganza.

It’s at peak sweetness and flavor when freshly picked. After harvesting, the sugars in corn begin to convert to starches, which diminishes its sweetness and overall flavor. Fresh corn is also higher in moisture, for these reasons this tasty soup is best using only fresh picked corn.

The time it takes for fresh corn to get from the field to the supermarket can vary based on several factors, including the proximity of the farm to the market, the distribution process, and logistical efficiency. However, under typical conditions, fresh corn generally reaches the supermarket within 1 to 3 days after being picked. Once at the supermarket, the corn is typically stocked on shelves quickly to ensure freshness, usually within hours of arrival.

If you can get it from a local farm or farmers market, even better!

No-Cook Mexican Corn Soup

No-Cook Mexican Corn Soup Recipe

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