Watching the Clock

When you make dinner (or breakfast or lunch or whatever), what’s the longest you’re willing to wait before eating?

I’m also wondering if I’m unusual in that I don’t own a microwave.

This took about close to 50 minutes. 40 to 45 minutes for the roasted vegetables, 2 to 3 minutes for the scallops and < 5 minutes to plate everything.


Pan-seared scallops with roasted winter root vegetables

For the vegetables:

3 medium-sized potatoes, cut into chunks
3 Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 shallot, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
juice of half a lemon

For the scallops:
1/2 lb. scallops
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Combine vegetables in a Pyrex baking dish along with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Toss to coat. Roast at 350 F for 40 to 45 minutes. When vegetables are done, season to taste with pepper and lemon juice. Stir and let rest for a few minutes to let flavors blend. You can add some chopped parsley prior to plating.

Make the scallops while the vegetables are resting. Melt butter in a saute pan. Add scallops. Sear on one side, then flip on the reverse. Scallops are easy to overcook. The idea is to treat them as minimally as possible, no more than 2 to 3 minutes total cooking time. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

4 thoughts

  1. Hello Stash.

    The longest I’m willing to wait before eating?

    A long time…

    On weekends I’ll cook things that take all afternoon. I’ve been partial to stewed bean dishes on Sundays lately. I’ll multitask and do other things while I wait, and of course I’m not impervious to snacks and/or some wine while I wait.

    On weeknights after work it’s often a different story, especially if I get home later than usual, but I’ll still spend at least an hour or so if the mood strikes me.

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  2. Hm.

    It was mentioned to me [in the context of a thread criticizing Alice Waters’ views — see the post “Eggs in a Spoon“] that spending an hour making dinner meant I had a lot of free time. Most people in America wouldn’t stand for that, especially working parents with children.

    But then again, neither of us fits into that category.

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  3. Well, I don’t work out for an hour after work, and I don’t exactly spend the full hour standing over the chopping board or stove, or even if I do, I’m listening to NPR or otherwise mutitasking while I cook. I don’t think one hour of my evening is that much of a time suck, but I admit I only cook maybe 2-3 weeknights max per week.

    With kids it’s different, but I often think of the comment you made about your mom being a full-time single mother and still managing to dish up fresh food every night.

    Also, I don’t mind one bit eating at 7:30 or 8:00pm, but to many people, that is an extremely late suppertime.

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  4. I guess I really do live in my own little world. LOL.

    That egg dish above took about 30 minutes. In the interim I was noshing on a couple of things including a bowl of leftover pasta.

    Then I had some ice cream for dessert.

    And now I’m thinking about what I want to make for dinner (after I get lunch).

    A nonfoodie friend of mine once told me that obsessing about food is as unhealthy as logging onto Manhunt as some are wont to do. Maybe, except there’s less cleanup afterwards. I’ll take food over sex any day.

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