Scallops and Green Beans with Capellini
Scallops & Green Beans with Capellini

Watch television cooking shows and you may envy the nonchalance of some chefs as they prepare mouthwatering dishes.

They add dashes and pinches where you'd be digging through the kitchen drawer in search of measuring spoons.

If you'd like to loosen up your cooking style, a few tricks can help.

These are especially easy to incorporate when you're cooking for two and not facing a mound of ingredients.

-- Pour a little oil into a skillet. A pool of oil the size of a lemon is a tablespoonful.

-- Shape your hand into a tight cup. The space in the center of the palm of your hand holds about a half-teaspoon of salt or pepper. Open your hand so it resembles a scoop or a tablespoon.

-- Your thumb's diameter is about the same as two ounces of spaghetti, enough for one serving.

-- A deck of cards occupies as much space as a single portion of pork or beef for a recipe.

-- When you're preparing leafy greens for a salad, a fistful is about one cup.

Have fun with these tips, or experiment and find your own shortcuts.

Use these when you're preparing dishes that don't require exact measurements, such as stew, soup or pasta. (However, you still have to dig out those spoons when you're baking a cake.)

Follow the recipe for Scallops and Green Beans with Capellini, or guesstimate. You can't go wrong.

Scallops and Green Beans with Capellini

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Makes 2 servings


1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces

4 ounces capellini

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 ounces raw bay scallops

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon pepper or to taste

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon and sprigs for garnish

Lemon wedges


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boiling. Add green beans and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add cappellini to pot and cook until just tender. Drain and set aside.

While green beans are cooking, heat oil in large skillet. Place scallops in a bag with flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Shake to coat scallops with flour. Add scallops and garlic to skillet in a single layer. Cook over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes per side or until scallops turn white and firm. Remove scallops from skillet. Pour in broth and lemon juice and scrape up browned bits. Return scallops to skillet. Add green beans and capellini. Stir in tarragon. Heat through. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve immediately.

Each serving (excluding salt in boiling water) has: 430 calories; 9 grams total fat; 28 grams protein; 55 grams carbohydrates; 38 milligrams cholesterol; 741 milligrams sodium and 2.5 grams dietary fiber.


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Scallops and Green Beans with Capellini

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