Paul's Kitchen

Paul Hill
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Something different

A few weeks ago, my wife and I were in Halifax and we wanted to go out for dinner. We try to find something different each time we do this.
I look for a certain thing when we go out. One thing is a knowledgeable waiter/server, because I want to ask about what they are serving. I remember in my restaurants it was very important for the people serving to have tried everything on the menu. We would have tasting nights and, if there was a special on the menu, everyone was expected to have tried a taste. Don't you hate it if you ask your server what the soup of the day is and they don't know? How can they advise you as to how it tastes? This place was recommended by a classmate of Dorothy, so we were looking forward to trying it out.
The place was "It's all Greek to Me" on Quinpool Road. The first thing we noticed is that it is small in comparison to most Halifax restaurants. This gave you a feeling of authentic Mediterranean off-the-main-track dining.
The service was excellent, and our server was well-equipped to make recommendations as to what we might like. As you have guessed, it was a Greek restaurant, and I would encourage you to try it out if you are in Halifax. Especially try the Baklava. I came away with an idea for a meal, and I will pass this on to you.
Take your best Greek salad recipe (in a traditional salad there is no lettuce.)
This is served with the following.
1/2 pound Sea Scallops
8 med. Cremini Mushrooms
2 med. red potatoes
1/3 cup uncooked rice
2 green onions
3 tablespoon E/V Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Chili Flakes (optional)
Salt and fresh ground Pepper
1/2 cup vegetable stock
Start by cutting your potatoes into half-inch wedges, and cook in salted water until just about done (do not overcook.) Drain and save water, spread potatoes on a cookie sheet to cool quickly (stop the cooking.) In a bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. When potatoes have cooled, toss in the oil coating well, cover and place in fridge. I try to do this far enough ahead to let them marinate for a couple of hours.
When I am ready to start my meal, I remove the potatoes to a cookie sheet, spreading them out so they are not touching each other. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. In the remaining marinate, toss your scallops. Cut mushrooms in half and on wooden skewers (remember to soak in water first) place 1/2 mushroom and two scallops, repeat and finish with mushroom. Use any remaining marinate to baste. The rice I will cook in a heavy skillet, start with a little oil, add rice, stirring to coat, slowly add vegetable stock, bring to boil, as it is absorbed add more, if you need more, add potatoes to water. Put your potatoes in the oven and turn after 10 minutes. They are done when they start to turn brown. I like to use a toaster oven for my scallops because you can get closer to the heat, which allow the scallops to cook quickly (turn once.)
To serve this dish, I will put a scoop of rice with some potatoes arranged around the rice. The skewer is placed on the plate and salad on the side.
Hints: potatoes will hold for 30 minutes if you turn the temperature down, rice for about 15 minutes in an oven.
It may sound like a lot of work, but I am sure you will find it easier than it looks.

Organizations: Olive Oil

Geographic location: Halifax, Quinpool Road

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