Never “Bean” There, Never Done That

I’ve been telling people about my food challenges since my first challenge including shrimp, kale, mushrooms, and endives back in August. People always think the idea is fun and start throwing out some really oddball ingredients. Joe must have been listening, because this week, I had an oddball ingredient. Below you can see turnips, baby scallops, whole trout, and whole coffee beans. He only gave me one rule – I had to use the coffee in the main meal.

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I love coffee. I drink it every day, preferably multiple times a day. I like coffee ice cream, java flavored pastries, or just smelling it as a walk or drive by a coffee shop. I had coffee eclairs in France that were to die for. But….with fish?

Although coffee was the challenging ingredient, I can’t forget about the turnip. I started with the turnip first, slicing it Bloomin’ Onion Style. I drizzled it with olive oil, wrapped it in foil, and put it in the oven to roast. I let it roast for about 40 minutes before I began anything else.

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Next, I threw a handful of the whole beans into a pot of water and let them boil. They smelled so good! But I still couldn’t fathom how that would fit with fish.After the beans had boiled a while, I added white rice to cook.

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While the rice cooked, I rinsed the scallops and the trout. I sauteed the scallops in olive oil, but only until they were about half way done and just to get a bit of a sear on them. I planned to bake them and didn’t want them to be overcooked.

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After the rice was done, I picked out all of the beans and stuffed the trout with the coffee flavored rice and scallops. I really struggled with what else to do. The colors seemed bland and there was no other seasoning. However, when I thought about coffee, I thought cinnamon would be complimentary. At this point I thought to myself, “Luckily we live close to a restaurant. Looks like we’ll be eating out for dinner tonight…”

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I put of cup of water in the bottom of the fish pan, added another handful of coffee beans in the bottom, and put the remaining rice and scallops on top of the beans and around the fish. I baked it for about 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

About 15 minutes before the fish was ready to come out, I put a butter, italian seasoning, and garlic mixture over the turnip and allowed it to continue baking uncovered.

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The final dish:

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Here’s my honest assessment. The coffee flavored rice was not too bad! And it didn’t interfere with the fish or the scallops at all. Joe thought the cinnamon was a nice touch to bring the flavors and aromas together. Unfortunately, the turnip was a massive fail. We even tried turning it into a turnip mashed potato substitute and still no good. I’m not sure if this is because of my cooking or just because of it being a turnip though…

So, now I have leftover whole coffee beans (and no grinder) and leftover chocolates from holiday candies. I’m planning to make chocolate covered coffee beans! Stay tuned!

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