Vino executive chef, Becky Rabiee prepares one of the restaurant’s favorites.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Good chefs evolve their dishes with the seasons, and incorporate the best and healthiest ingredients possible. Accordingly Vino’s executive chef, Becky Rabiee has tweaked their popular daily seafood special to a lighter version, which includes fresh baby spinach—rather than pasta and sauce—and includes the best, fresh and organic products she can find locally.

Moroccan Couscous Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon olive oil (to cover bottom of pan)
½ Cup chopped onion
1-2 Tablespoons butter
¼ Cup sultanas
¼ Cup pistachios, shelled and roasted
1/2 teaspoon each of salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric 1Tablespoon lemon
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 Cup vegetable or chicken stock
½ Cup Couscous
Moroccan Couscous Procedure:
Sauté onion in oil until onions are clear and translucent. Add butter, sultanas and pistachios to sautéed onions and simmer for two to three minutes. Add spices, lemon juice and stock to other ingredients and simmer slowly until sultanas “plump up.” Pour couscous into pan with the other ingredients. Cover with a lid. Turn off heat, and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff gently with a fork before serving.

Pan Seared Shrimp, Sea Scallops and Baby Spinach Ingredients:

6 Gulf shrimp, or other Gulf seafood
4 Sea scallops
3 Cups Baby spinach Sprinkles of one part cayenne, two parts chili powder and three parts garlic powder Olive oil
½ Cup roasted cubed butternut squash, or any choice of veggies or combo of veggies
Pan Seared Shrimp, Sea Scallops and Baby Spinach Procedure:
Sprinkle the shrimp and scallops with a mix of ground cayenne, chili powder and garlic powder. Lightly cover bottom of skillet with olive oil. Sear the spiced scallops on and shrimp on each side, starting with scallops because they take longer to cook. Do not overcook. Remove the seafood, and set aside. Toss the roasted butternut squash into the pan. Stir. Add baby spinach, and very quickly pan sear the spinach. It is very easy to overcook the spinach. So cook only long enough to heat it through. Arrange the couscous in the middle of the plate with the wilted spinach encircling it. Top the spinach with the shrimp and chosen roasted veggies. Accompany with lemon wedges. Serves six to eight.

Published, B-Metro magazine, February 2013