Posts Tagged ‘scallops’

Yia Yia’s Euro Bistro is part of the pb&j restaurant group which also owns Coyote Grill and the Burnt End BBQ. I’ve eaten at a Coyote Grill while living in the West Coast, but I’m not entirely sure they are the same thing.

My wife ordered the Seared Scallops with a crab-saffron orzo. I was (and still am) incredibly weary off ordering scallops in the Midwest because 1) the serving size is usually nothing and 2) the quality is usually sketchy. I was actually impressed by this dish and found the scallops were perfectly cooked and seasoned. They covered this meal with a lemon butter and orange gastrique. I felt this was unnecessary given the sweetness of the scallops and crab, but my wife enjoyed it. I was unimpressed that they did not trim the ends of the green beans and placed large hunks of red pepper into the orzo.

We were visiting friends in Kansas City and one of them ordered the Short Rib Wellington with whipped potatoes and glazed carrots. I wasn’t entirely sure how short ribs would hold up inside a wellington, but it actually worked pretty well. The short rib inside was falling apart and expertly covered with a mushroom duxelle. Being in cattle country, it’s no surprise that the short ribs were delicious. You could make these potatoes at home if you wanted, but they were delicious and perfectly creamy. The carrots were a little undercooked for my preference.

Our other friend ordered the lamb chops. These came perfectly medium rare and served with a puree of locally sourced winter squash, green beans, and spiced with traditional moroccan spices. I detected some ginger and turmeric and boatloads of cinnamon and pepper. I thought this whole dish was fantastic and worked well together. The squash acted as a sauce of the lamb.

If however, you’re looking at the menu and can’t decide between their speciality entrees, Yia Yia’s has a unique option. I ordered a Duet in which I could pick any two entrees and they would give me a “half” portion of each on the same plate. I want to mention first that this is not a half portion. You’ll notice there are three lamb chops above, and only one below. Although I appreciate what they are doing here, I wish my server would have just been honest and told me my portion sizes would be a little less than half of each entree. That said, I would stay away from any Duet combination you have a hankering for. You’ll wind up spending more money and getting less food.

This was our last dinner in Kansas City, so we went all out any finished our dinner the American way – with large quantities of delicious sweetness. On the left is a Lemon Bomb topped with white chocolate and served with what I believe is a raspberry coulis. I love lemon curd and this dessert was absolutely delicious, but I did find the curd itself a little tart. On the right is a chocolate brownie wrapped in phyllo dough and served with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. When crunched into, we discovered that the brownie had melted into gooey chocolate goodness. This was a little difficult to eat, but still a good pick if you like really sweet dessert.

A meal can never be bad when you have good company, and this meal was eaten with the best. Even though this is a chain and the ambiance is devoid of any unique personality, I still enjoyed this meal and wouldn’t say no to an offer to return. If you have a Yia Yia’s Euro Bistro in your neighborhood, treat yourself to a good meal.

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When I was growing up, I often tried to help my Dad by carrying the tools or shining a  flashlight whenever he was making repairs to the house or the family car. Something inevitably would go wrong and he always cursed his lack of the proper tools. Even today, we still joke about never having the right tool for the job.

I only bring this up because risotto intimidates many people, but it would be made incredibly simple by having the right tool for the job. In my Boston Baked Beans post, I mention the versatility of the pressure cooker and how it can make you life easier and introduce you to a whole new realm of cuisine. Here is yet another delightful application that can be made from start to finish in less than 20 minutes.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 lb scallops (U-12 preferred)
  • 4 c chicken stock
  • 2 c Arborio rice
  • 1 1/4 c parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c White wine
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 4 tbsp butter
1. Take the scallops out of the refrigerator and set on the counter. Mince the onion and add to a pressure cooker with 2 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Sweat the onion for 3 minutes ensuring you do not caramelize the onion. Turn the heat up to high and add the rice to the onion and continue until the rice begins to toast.
     

2. Very carefully, add the white wine to the rice. Wait for the steam to subside and then add the chicken stock and lemon zest to the pot. Stir to combine.
     
Note: If you prefer a more deliberate lemon flavor in you risotto, add 1/4 c lemon juice and reduce the wine to 1/4 c.

3. Put the lid on the pressure cooker and bring up to the highest steam level possible. When the button has popped, reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and set a timer for 7 minutes.

4. As the rice is cooking, put two sauté pans over high heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter to each pan. When the fat is nearly smoking, add the scallops to the pans ensuring that the pan is not crowded and the scallops do not touch. DO NOT TOUCH the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes. Flip and cook for another 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the pan.

          


5. When the timer sounds, release the steam from the pressure cooker. Take the lid off and add the parmesan cheese and remaining butter. Stir and allow to melt.
     
6. Serve the scallops on top of a heaping pile of risotto. Garnish with lemon slices or quarters.