Saturday, May 15, 2010

Devon, Part Deux

It seems that the lonely picture of the Almond Crusted Tilapia didn't whet the appetite, so here are a few more that hopefully will. 

I love this dish, too.  Pan-seared scallops with a fennel salad, set atop asapargus risotto, and drizzled with basil oil and balsamic vinegar.  This time around, though, I was surprised at how small the scallops were.  Several months ago, I had gotten this dish, and each of them were a good 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter.  These were significantly smaller, but they gave 6 of them, so in total, you're getting the same amount of scallop, but it definitely suffers in presentation. 

Regardless, the scallops were perfectly seared, with a beautiful caramelization on each of them and an opaque tenderness that was just right.  It's perfect with the asparagus risotto - wonderfully rich and creamy.  Then you get the coolness of the fennel salad.  As a kid, I couldn't stand the original licorice Twizzlers.  So I snubbed all things licorice, until I discovered the wonders of Anise and Fennel as an adult.  Now I love and appreciate fennel and often include it in my Arugula salads.  It's how licorice should be - delicate, light, and refreshing.

And then there's the Lobster Mac & Cheese.  It's truly a little sliver of heaven.

With immigrant parents, I did not grow up with Kraft Mac & Cheese, or any other kind of mac & cheese, for that matter.  Several years ago, I was grocery shopping through Wegman's in Princeton, and saw a big ol' display of Kraft Mac & Cheese.  I felt this intense desire to experience this prevalent slice of Americana.  I went home and followed all instructions, raised my eyebrow when I tore open the pouch of neon orange "cheese," but continued on.  And voila, I had my very first portion of Kraft Mac & Cheese sitting on my plate.  I took my first bite and was utterly, wholly disappointed.  What was the big deal about this?  It's horrible!  I rooted through my fridge looking for something to save it.  I started grating a very good 2-year aged Parmesan cheese and then stopped myself.  What was I doing?!?!  It was like throwing good money after bad.  In my mind, NOTHING was going to help this abnormally colored dish.  I threw it away, and I don't throw anything away.  But this?  I wasn't sure I should be ingesting it anyway.

But I digress.  During my first trip to Hershey's Devon Seafood, the server said I should really try out the Lobster Mac & Cheese.  I'm a big fan of following servers' instructions, especially when they're open and honest enough to tell me to not get something else on the menu because it's "just not the best thing on the menu."  Instant credibility.  And I was glad I did.  It's rich.  It's tremendous.  It's creamy.  It's complex; you can taste the white wine, and the crunch of the panko bread crumbs is light and textural.  It's so good, it's salacious.

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