There are few things I enjoy more than making a meal for my friends or family. I love to put a plate of food in front of someone only to hear a few minutes later between bites "This is sooooo goooood....." There are all sorts of different reason that I like to cook for different people. I like to cook for my Mom because I can see that she is truly impressed that the little chef that managed to get pudding on her kitchen ceiling (during one of my earliest attempts at baking) is now an accomplished cook that can whip up healthy and delicious food. I like to cook for my husband because, well, I love my husband and for me there is no better way to show him how much I care. But, of all the people I've cooked and baked for, my all time favorite is my friend Mansur. Mansur went to college with Dan and we were lucky enough to live near him for a short time when we moved to Philadelphia. We often had him over for dinner and I loved it because Mansur genuinely appreciated that I cooked for him and he loves food - not to mention, he's just good company. Whether I made him filet mignon or a grilled cheese sandwich he was always excited. One time I made grilled steaks with a Gorgonzola sauce and we all three ate so much that we ended up laying on our floor in agony (or ecstasy, depending on how you look at) for the rest of the night moaning about how full we were.
Mansur has been on my mind this week because it's the middle of NCAA March Madness and every year we play in an online pool with him and some other friends for bracket supremacy. So, when I was pondering what to cook for dinner on Saturday night I was reminded of a meal I prepared for Mansur that he particularly liked. If memory serves - the first time I made this he and I finished the entire pan in one sitting. Venetian Shrimp & Scallops is a Rachel Ray recipe - so it can supposedly be made in 30 minutes or less. I think it takes closer to 45 but it depends on how much you have prepped before you start cooking. One thing is for sure - get lots of crusty bread for the table to soak up the delicious broth! This dish is similar to Cioppino but less expensive and much less time consuming. The recipe can be found here. It makes four servings but at times I have scaled it up to 9 servings with relative ease.