My Blog on WCCO-TV: Bite of Minnesota

Monday, December 11, 2006

Potato Chile Cheese Soup and Scallop Wontons

Happy Monday! I had a great weekend and was able to get a lot of things done and even came up with a new way to make necklaces. I had an idea of how to do it, but wasn't sure so I packed up my stuff and headed to Sea of Beads (a beading store nearby). I sat there and practiced until I had the technique down. Then I dropped a bunch of money (somehow I can't leave that store without spending money) and headed home to start manufacturing! I'll have to take some pics of the finished products and share soon.

Onto the food...Ryan was helpful in the kitchen again and was just putting the finishing touches on these dishes when I got home.

The Potato Chile Cheese Soup (from the Star Tribune) was thickened with pureed potatoes, which made a nice texture and there were chunks of pepper to give you some substance to the soup. It was only very mildly spicy and could have used even more spice.

The Seared Sea Scallops was a recipe I've been wanting for awhile to see if it is a good appetizer and I think it is. It seems to be missing something though...maybe simply some kind of thicker sauce/"glue" to set the scallops on top of that adhere them to the wonton skins. It's a recipe from Health, so maybe they wanted to eliminate excess calories. Overall, it was very tasty and easy to eat with one hand.

Potato Chile Cheese Soup
(5-6 servings)

2 medium russet potatoes
1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ c. chopped onion
1 medium bell pepper (any color), diced
2 medium Anaheim or poblano chiles, minced
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp cumin
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 ½ c. milk, at room temperature
¾ c. grated Monterey Jack cheese
Minced basil, green onions, and cilantro for garnish

Scrub potatoes and cut them into small chunks. Place them in a large pot with 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, partially cover and cook until tender, 15 minutes or so. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook for several minutes, then add the bell pepper, chiles, salt to taste, cumin and garlic. Sauté over medium heat until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Puree potatoes in their cooking water, using a blender or food processor. Add water if needed to thin mixture. Add puree to sautéed vegetables, and then stir in the milk until well blended.

Heat the soup very slowly, being careful not to boil it. When it is hot, stir in the cheese and grind in some fresh black pepper. Serve hot, topped with a light sprinkling of fresh herbs.

Seared Sea Scallops with Wontons
(makes 2 dozen)

¼ c. light soy sauce
1 tbsp wasabi paste
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp dark sesame oil
12 large fresh sea scallops
12 wonton skins
¼ c. chives or scallions, sliced horizontally

In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, wasabi paste, ginger, and sesame oil; mix well. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the mixture. Rinse scallops in cold water; pat dry with paper towels.

Cut each scallop in half horizontally, forming two rounds. Add scallops to soy sauce mixture in bowl, tossing to coat. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°. Cut wonton skins in half diagonally; arrange on two cookie sheets that have been coated with cooking spray. Brush wonton skins lightly with remaining soy sauce mixture. Bake 6 minutes or until crisp and deep golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely.

Meanwhile, drain scallops, discarding marinade. Pat dry with paper towels. Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add half of scallops in one layer; cook 2 minutes or until browned. Turn; continue to cook 1 minute or until scallops are opaque in center. Repeat with remaining scallops.

Arrange onto skins on a serving platter. Arrange two chive or green onion pieces over each wonton skin in a crisscross fashion. Top each with a scallop. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. I don't know how else to say that your dish looks SO incredible! I only dig a few scallops when I eat 'em, but putting them on 'tons would make me eat more ;)

  2. Those scallops look marvelous! I like scallops fully cooked and not chewey, so I bet they were fantastic. The soup looks comforting . . . nummmmm!!!

    One of these days I'm going to make it to Sea of Beads, but of course, I'm thinking the expert (you) will have to come with me!

    Haven't talked to you lately. I miss you and am looking forward to seeing you on Christmas :)!!!!

    Love You,


  3. Can't wait to see your necklace creations!

  4. Great Soup, I can't wait to try it. One of these days I will also get around to trying that book club to :)Thanks for sharing.


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