Home-made Birthday Dinner

I made dinner for L’s mum’s birthday about a week ago – she’s a small eater in general, plus we already had a large lunch at Chui Huay Lim, hence the much smaller dinner menu – mesclun salad tossed with honey mustard sauce and seared scallops in cava sauce. I bought the cava wine about a month ago in preparation for this – M&S sells small bottles for about $9 which are perfect for this.


Cava Sauce with Seared Scallops
adapted from Dolce Dente
Serves 4

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
20 sea scallops
1.5 cup dry Cava or other sparkling wine
1 cup heavy cooking cream
Fresh Lemon juice from 1 wedge
Minced fresh parsley (optional), can use dry

Dry the scallops (if frozen, thaw them out, then pat dry with paper towels). Season liberally with salt and black pepper. In order for searing to work, they have to be extremely dry!

Melt a little butter (1 tbsp) or oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops and saute just until cooked through,turning occasionally,about 2 minutes. Transfer to plate. Add the remaining butter, Cava and saffron to same skillet, scrape the boil until reduced by half,about 7 minutes. Add cream and boil until reduced to sauce consistency,about 10 minutes. Season sauce to taste with lemon juice,salt and pepper. Return scallops to sauce and stir just until heated through. Divide scallops and sauce among plates. Garnish with fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley or saffron threads if available.


We used frozen Canadian sea scallops, which looked humongous in the box, but are actually individually covered with a thick plate of ice, so they thaw into these:
– still pretty large, but pumped full of water.

I just plate the seared scallops on top of the sauce, like so:

We also prepared a salad for the ‘main’, no carbs, cause none of us could fit it in

The salad was lightly tossed in an extremely simple home made honey mustard dressing


Home-made Honey Mustard Salad Dressing
Recipe adapted from She Wears Many Hats

6 tablespoons honey
⅓ cup dijon mustard (I used Grey Poupon.)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (juice from 1-2 wedges)
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
A dash of black pepper

Whisk together (or shake like crazy in a tightly closed jar) all the ingredients.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Toss salad greens with desired amount of dressing, add salad toppings, and roasted or grilled chicken – this dressing is pretty punch-y and so not too much is required for deliciousness. As you can see the leaves are only very lightly coated – you shouldn’t be able to see yellow gobs at all.


Everything was hugely successful (everyone enjoyed it) and took less than an hour to prepare! We get Grey Poupon Dijon mustard in our supermarkets here as well, which worked out beautifully.


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