08 Feb Special of the day: When in Orlando, Eat at Emeril’s
Huge Harry Potter fans, our daughters, Mackenzie and Madison could hardly believe it when we arrived at the park, feasting their eyes on the magical world Universal Studios had created, based on the best-selling book series by J.K. Rowling, which included Ollivander’s Wand Shop, Honeydukes Sweet Shop, Three Broomsticks Restaurant and the amazing “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” experience, which I highly recommend.
Welcomed to Orlando by Universal Studios billboards urging us to “Be Courageous; Be Outrageous; Be Extraordinary”, we found this “Be Something” ad campaign to be hilarious and made our own short video called “Be Nine” on our shuttle ride in, which instantly became the tagline of our trip.
Part of being the Birthday Girl and turning nine, we decided, meant Madison made our daily plan: which park to visit, which attractions to hit and where to eat.
That said, the foodie in me couldn’t help but wish to “Be Wined and Dined”, and so, when it came time to celebrate Madison’s birthday, my one wish was to have dinner at Emeril’s Restaurant Orlando.
Suddenly, BAM! There were we, being seated at a corner table surrounded by windows overlooking Universal’s lively Citywalk. Kicking it up a notch, our servers surprised us with an amuse bouche of curried chicken salad on crostini drizzled with a spicy tomato glaze, compliments of the chef.
This was soon followed by the Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Egg Noodles, Stir Fry Vegetables, Thai Red Curry Sauce, Marcona Almonds and Cilantro. Talk about feeling the love. This island of noodles and stir-fried vegetables surrounded by a moat of velvety smooth Thai red curry sauce and surrounded by seared sea scallops was pure perfection on the palate.
For dessert, we shared a trio of cupcakes: red velvet, carrot with browned butter frosting and chocolate raspberry, each divine in their own special way.
The exceptional service, attention to detail and top-notch fine dining made for a memorable experience, a dream come true for a girl like me.
Once home, Mike and the girls couldn’t quit thinking about the rip-roarin’ rides and rollercoasters they had been on, and I couldn’t stop reminiscing about the pan-seared scallops I had enjoyed at Emeril’s. You can imagine my delight when Michael Kilwein, Marketing Manager for Emeril’s Homebase emailed me back graciously sharing the recipe for their Pan Seared Scallops, modified for the home cook, as well as their famous BBQ Shrimp appetizer recipe.
If you’re headed to Orlando and all it has to offer anytime soon, do make plans to dine at Emeril’s Restaurant Orlando. It’s an enchanting experience you won’t want to miss.
And if you’re not, I give you this week’s Special of the day: When in Orlando, Eat at Emeril’s! and recipes for BAM! B-Q Barbecued Shrimp and Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Egg noodles, Stir-fry Vegetables, Thai Red Curry Sauce, Marcona Almonds & Cilantro with sincere thanks to Emeril’s. Enjoy!If you go: Reservations: 407. 224. 2424 Or online at www.emeril’s .com Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Egg noodles, Stir-fry Vegetables, Thai Red Curry Sauce, Marcona Almonds & Cilantro Recipe from Emeril’s Orlando courtesy Emeril Lagasse, copyright Emeril’s Food of Love Productions, Inc., 2012. Ingredients 20 “U10” sea scallops 1 lb. fresh egg pasta, such as angel hair 1 each, red & yellow bell pepper, julienned 1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves 1/4 cup Marcona almonds, sliced 1/2 cup olive oil For the curry sauce: 1/2 cup olive oil 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, diced 1/2 stalk lemongrass, chopped into 2 inch pieces 1/4 teaspoon cumin 1/8 tablespoon paprika 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste 1/8 cup tomato concasse* 1 can unsweetened coconut milk 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 teaspoon fish sauce 4-6 fresh basil leaves with stem 1 teaspoon white pepper, to taste 1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste 1 teaspoon sugar, to taste Preparation In a medium sauce pan, over medium-high heat, add the oil. Add the ginger and lemongrass and cook until glossy and aromatic; stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Add the cumin, paprika, Thai red curry paste and tomato concasse; cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Deglaze the pan with coconut milk and bring the mixture to a boil; lower heat to simmer, add the lime juice and fish sauce. Allow to simmer for 7 minutes and reduce slightly. Season to taste with salt and sugar. Remove from heat and steep the basil for 10 minutes. Stain through a fine mesh strainer or chinois. To prepare the scallops, preheat oven to 425 degrees. In the boiling water cook the pasta until “al dente,” drain and set aside. Preheat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat; add 1/4 cup olive oil and the julienned peppers. Cook until slightly tender yet still crisp; 3-4 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Preheat another large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 1/4 cup olive oil. Pat the scallops dry with a clean cloth or paper towel; season with salt and white pepper. Place five scallops at a time in the pan and sear until golden brown on each side. Place the cooked scallops in the warm oven for 3 minutes to keep warm while cooking the remaining scallops. Repeat the same method with the remaining scallops. To serve, in four medium size serving bowls; evenly divided the pasta, stir fried peppers and curry sauce; place 5 scallops atop the pasta. Garnish each bowl with mung bean sprouts, fresh cilantro leaves and sliced Marcona almonds. Makes 4 entrée servings
…*tomato concasse-peeled, seeded, chopped tomatoes
Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.