Have you ever woken up after a good night’s sleep and felt like you’ve been hit by a bus, and you have 10 pound weights attached to each of your limbs? That’s how I felt when I woke up yesterday morning. I have no idea why, but I was so tired when I woke up.
I ate breakfast (I don’t recall tasting anything), kissed my husband goodbye as he headed off to work, and then I went back to bed. I ended up sleeping until 12:30, and then I spent the rest of the day basically doing nothing but resting. I started feeling a little better in the evening, and I’m glad to say that I’m feeling much more normal again today. I still don’t know what was wrong. I guess I was just really tired, but I’m not sure why (I always make sure to get plenty of sleep. I like my sleep. Heck, I love getting a full night’s sleep, and make it a priority most of the time).
Today, it’s hot. It’s the hottest day we’ve had this year so far actually. And it’s humid. Like really humid. If you’ve never been to Japan in the summer, it’s like like a steamy bathroom right after a shower outside. Not fun. They call Japan a “semi-tropical” climate, which basically means it’s only tropical in the rainy season and the summer.
Naturally, I chose today to go walking. Why, I have no idea. I suppose I though I’d better get used to it while I can. After my walk in the hot steaminess of outside, all I can say is that I am so so so very grateful for our air conditioner. As all Japanese air conditioners, it only cools one or two rooms, so our kitchen and bathroom are always without air-conditioning, but it’s still so much better than not having an air conditioner at all (which I endured for two years until last September when we got our air conditioner).
It’s almost 2 in the afternoon, it’s about 91 degrees F outside and about 75 – 80% humidity, but I am comfy and cool in our living room with the curtains closed and the air conditioner on. Awwww. Bliss.
Monday evening (before I started feeling bad), I cooked a few French recipes for dinner. I’m trying to expand my repertoire of cuisines I can cook, and I decided to try out some French dishes this week.
The main dish for Monday’s dinner was Coquilles Saint-Jacques Provençale. If you’re like me and have never studied French, and have no clue how to pronounce that, it’s pronounced [koh-keel san zhak proh-vuhn-sahl]. At least, that’s what the dictionary told me.
From what I’ve read, Coquilles Saint-Jacques is a pretty common/popular French dish. Scallops are cooked in a creamy white wine sauce and then gratinéed with cheese and bread crumbs. This version, however, is a little different as it’s Provençale style, or in the style of Provence. That just means it’s cooked with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and basil instead of cream and cheese. Look how much I’m learning Mom!!! *pats self on back*
Okay, so on to the recipe!
Coquilles Saint-Jacques Provençale (serves 2)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1, shallot, diced (can substitute 1/4 onion, diced)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 c. diced tomatoes (canned is fine)
- 1/3 c. white wine, plus 2 Tbsp
- 1 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped (or 1/2 tsp basil powder)
- sea salt and pepper
- 1/4 c flour
- 450 – 500 grams (about 1 pound) fresh scallops
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until tender, about two minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes, 1/3 c. white wine, parsley, and basil, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.
- Put the flour and a dash of salt and pepper into a plastic ziplock bag and mix. Add the scallops and shake gently so the scallops are evenly coated with the flour mixture.
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Shake any excess flour off the scallops, and place them in the skillet. Cook until golden brown on the bottom (about 2 minutes), and then turn the scallops over and cook for an additional 2 minutes on that side.
- Add 2 Tbsp white wine to deglaze the pan, then add the tomato sauce to the skillet with the scallops. Cook until heated through and then serve immediately.
Adapted from the recipe in Williams-Sonoma Collection: French cookbook.
And just to make you more hungry…