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Simply Food: Champagne Scallops Pasta

January 28, 2014
By Wendy Monro , The Journal

I have been so incredibly healthy. I take vitamins, exercise and eat well. I believe this is why I stay so healthy. I make sure I have the proper nutrients and believe that food is medicine.

For over a year, I haven't caught as much as a little sniffle. I have watched most people I know get some sort of sickness. Daphne and Claud have been sick. I never catch it. My friends have had the flu. They tell me not to come over or to get near them. I don't catch it. My parents spent days in bed getting over a bronchial infections or stomach bugs. For some reason, nothing was getting to me. Once a year went by without a cold contaminating my system, I started feeling invincible. Seriously, I thought, maybe I just don't get sick anymore. I liked that idea.

Well, it is one thing to think that I'll never get sick and it is another thing to say it out loud. I kept this thought to myself for a long time. Then, one day, my neighbor Susan was just getting over the flu. I walked into her house and she said to keep my distance because I didn't want to catch what she had.

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Champagne Scallops Pasta

I said, "Don't worry, I don't get sick." As the words left my lips, I knew I made a mistake. I quickly found some wood to knock on. She did too. The next day, I was still healthy. I felt like I dodged a bullet. Then, another neighbor of mine, Nan, called to tell me I haven't heard from her because she has been sick in bed for two weeks. I told her I was so sorry to hear this. As we talked, I blurted out, "I have been so lucky. You know, I haven't been sick for over a year." Again, I felt that saying this was a mistake. It was like the flood gates had been opened when I told Susan and now telling people this was just too easy. I told her I was looking for wood to knock on. She said she already did it. The next day, I woke up healthy. I was so relieved.

About a week went by and I was still perfectly healthy. I decided to stop saying that I never get sick. I was really worried about jinxing it. I would no longer utter those words and just be silently grateful instead. One evening, my cousin Alex showed up for a quick visit. He had a bad sore throat and a cough. I didn't think twice about hugging him and kissing him on the cheek. I don't worry about catching things since I barely ever get sick. However, I don't talk about how it has been over a year since I have been sick. I keep my big mouth shut and enjoy my time with my cousin.

Together, we whipped up a quick pasta and scallops dish for us to enjoy. I made it up as I went along and he helped by telling me to add flour to the seasoning with the scallops so they will brown easier. He was right. They browned up beautifully. Also, he said I had to use butter and not olive oil to saut the scallops. I aim to please, so that is what I did.

Fact Box

Champagne Scallops Pasta

Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

2 tablespoons butter

1 pound bay scallops

cup flour

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning

salt and pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

large red onion, diced small

2 cloves garlic, chopped

8 small tomatoes, quartered

2 cups roasted corn

1 tablespoon light sour cream

1 cup champagne

1 package pasta, cooked according to directions on the package

In a saut pan, melt the butter over medium heat. While this melts, (paper) towel dry the clams and place in a bowl. Cover with flour, Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Toss the scallops in this mixture. Pour into the melted butter. Sear the scallops for about five minutes each side. In another pan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and saut for five minutes. Add garlic and tomatoes. Saut for five minutes longer. Pour champagne into the scallops and scrape the seasoning off the bottom of the pan. Let this simmer for five minutes longer. Add corn and sour cram to the tomatoes mixture. Pour scallops into the tomato mixture. Mix together. Pour in cooked pasta. Mix well and serve.

My addition was to use spinach pasta and to add tomatoes and roasted corn. He also added the sour cream to make it more of a creamy sauce. Luckily, I had light sour cream. Alex told me this could really use some white wine. I only had red. However, I told him, "I do have champagne!" He said that was perfect. We popped open a bottle and poured it in to deglaze the scallops. We decided to call this dish champagne scallops pasta. It tasted so good. It was a lovely meal to eat while catching up with someone I love. It was also nice to sip the rest of the champagne together.

The next morning, I woke up coughing, full of congestion, feeling depleted of energy and with a sore throat. I had all of the symptoms Alex told me he had. I caught it! I was certain that this was because I got arrogant with my good luck. I should never have said that I don't get sick. I jinxed my good health. I am not too upset about it though. Not catching a cold for over a year is still pretty good. This time, I am going to try to make it to two years.



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