If you have a "specialty neighborhood grocer", I hope they offer free cooking demonstrations.  If they do and you haven’t taken advantage of it?  You’re missing out on one of the best deals in town!

Locally, we have a Fresh Market; about once a month they offer a 30-minute cooking class, complete with samplings at the end.  The benefits to these complimentary classes are obvious:  the chef is available to answer questions, you can watch the recipe prepared from start to finish, and you can see–and taste!–what it’s supposed to turn out like.  Whoever chooses their recipes, chooses well.  They alternate between beef, chicken, seafood and even lamb; the end result looks gourmet but the recipes are simple to re-create; and suggestions are always offered for companion side dishes and complementary wines.

The most recent class I attended was for Seared Scallops and Asparagus with a Creamy Herbed Butter Sauce.  Let’s see how I did:

First, allow me to introduce you to Chef Melanie; she’s my CBF (culinary best friend) IRL. 


No matter what it looks like, Chef Melanie is NOT givin’ me the evil eye in that last picture.

The complete recipe from The Fresh Market’s website is available below, but here’s a quick look at what you’ll need to complete the dish: 


Oops!  Twitchy trigger finger!  I snapped the shot without including salt, pepper and the uber-important Mascarpone cheese!

This isn’t exactly a step-by-step tutorial for making this dish…I forgot to take pictures at each step when Melanie was preparing it, and when I’m cooking?  Good gracious!  I CAN’T take pictures at each step, especially if the recipe moves quickly (like this one).

Here’s Melanie’s asparagus, sauteed in just a bit of olive oil.  Stinky-tinkle makers never looked so healthy and delicious!


I like seafood…a lot.  Real, buttery scallops?  Divine!  Look at these big boys–before and after they’re seared.  Come here luvahs (the afters, not the befores!)


Let’s check in on my attempts at the same:


Lookin’ good, Billy Ray!

Feelin’ good, Lewis! 

(Recognize the movie?)

I should add, smellin’ good!

Melanie’s version of the Herbed Butter Sauce is simmering on the left; mine’s on the right.  I wonder if mine is so much darker a) because of my pan, or b) I reduced the wine sauce a bit too long….


And now for the pièce de résistance–again, Chef Melanie’s on the left, mine on the right:



With just a little guidance, I made it with my own two little hands :). 

…which is just what Karisma asked for in her Fun Monday challenge this week.  Since I had already posted these hand-made favorites before, I thought it’d be fun to post a recipe.  Please join Karisma for a host of diverse offerings, all one-of-a kind creations, I’m sure!

  • 1  pound  green asparagus, trimmed and cut into slices on the diagonal
  • 3  tablespoons TFM Olive Oil, divided
  • 1  pound  sea scallops 
  • 1/2 teaspoon  black pepper 
  • 3/4 teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 1/3 cup  Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc 
  • 2  tablespoons TFM Roasted Garlic & Herb Finishing Butter 
  • 2  tablespoons  Mascarpone cheese 
  • 1  tablespoon TFM fresh tarragon, chopped
  • zest of 1/2  lemons, for garnish

1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until
hot, but not smoking. Sauté asparagus until tender, stirring
occasionally; about 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer asparagus to plate with
slotted spoon and return skillet to stove.

Pat scallops dry and sprinkle with pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add
remaining olive oil to skillet. Sauté scallops until browned and on
both sides and cooked through, about 4 to 6 minutes, and transfer to a
clean plate.

Return skillet to stove and add Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc, bring to a
boil. Deglaze by scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the
skillet, boiling until liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Reduce
heat to low and whisk in finishing butter, 1 tablespoon at a time until
incorporated. Repeat with mascarpone cheese. Once fully incorporated,
add tarragon, asparagus and remaining salt and cook until heated. Plate
scallops and top with sauce. Garnish with lemon zest before serving.

Pin It on Pinterest