Dinner and a Playlist: Vocal Duos and Scallop Risotto, the Perfect Pair

For a jazz fan, there’s almost nothing better than heading out to a jazz club for an evening of fine food, good times and great jazz. But what if we told you we could bring the jazz club to you?

Here, we present our latest Dinner and a Playlist feature, which pairs a delectable, easy-to-make recipe from professional chef (and amateur jazz fan) Carlos Loza with a playlist curated by JAZZIZ editors. The idea: gather up the ingredients, fire up the stove, open the playlist on the platform of your choice, and enjoy a wonderful evening of cooking, listening, and fine dining. We’ve got music to keep you company from the first chop to the final bite.

This month’s recipe represents the perfect pairing of flavors and textures: with pan-seared scallops and citrusy vegetables atop a creamy pillow of risotto. It got us thinking about some other perfect pairings in jazz, and right away, we thought of the classic vocal-instrumental duo. There’s just something so intimate about two musicians creating music together in isolation – one with words, the other with harmony. The greatest vocal duos have a way of cutting right to the essence of a song, and we’ve rounded up a few tracks that do just that. So uncork that wine, fire up the stove, turn on the playlist and get cookin’. Tonight’s going to be a great night.

The Recipe

Marinated vegetables

½ C.   Baby carrots steamed and cut thin 

10       Baby zucchini sliced raw 

5         Cherry tomatoes cut in ¼ s 

1pc.     Lemon zested

¼ C.    Olive oil 

3 pc.    Green onion sliced thinly

½ t.      Dill ( fresh or dry) 

Add all ingredients inside a bowl and let them sit overnight. 

The next day, sauté all vegetables for 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Set them aside. 


8pcs.   Cremini mushrooms sliced 

3 tsp.   Canola oil

1 tsp.    Thyme and rosemary 

Pinch.   Salt/ pepper to taste 

3T.        Sherry wine to deglaze mushrooms

Warm the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add herbs, salt, and pepper. Turn heat higher and add sherry wine, cook the alcohol for about 2 mins. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.


2c       Risotto rice

2pc.    Shallots finely diced

1pc     Garlic clove minced 

3T.       Olive oil 

½ C.    Dry White wine

6 C.     Chicken or Vegetable stock or broth 

4T.      Butter unsalted 

¼ C.   Parmesan cheese 

In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat. It’s important that you heat the broth as this will help the risotto to cook better. 

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a hot skillet, and stir in the garlic and shallots. Cook for 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and the rice, stirring to coat with butter for about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in the wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed.

Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the vegetables, the mushrooms with their liquid, the rest of the butter, and the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Seared scallops: 

Preheat oven at 350f

8 pc.    Medium scallops( rinsed and take off the little rubbery piece on the side ) dry them with a paper towel.

2T.       Vegetable oil

Pinch   Salt/ pepper    

Have your scallops cleaned and then dry with a paper towel. 

Heat vegetable oil in a pan on high heat. Season the scallops and place carefully on the pan,  and sear them for about 1–2 minutes to get a nice brown color.  

Transfer the scallops to a sheet pan and finish cooking them in the oven for about 5 minutes. Serve right away.

Carlos Loza is a pastry chef living in the Chicago suburbs. A graduate of The French Pastry school, he previously worked as a sous chef at New York’s Café Cluny and as a pastry cook for Chicago’s Vanille Pâtisserie. He’s currently the head pastry chef at My Chef Catering in Naperville, Illinois.


The Playlist

Listen on: qobuz

Mean To Me
Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson
Ella and Oscar [Original Jazz Classics Remasters]

Some Other Time
Tony Bennett, Bill Evans
The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans

Dat Dere
Sheila Jordan
Portrait Of Sheila

‘Round Midnight – Live
Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea

When Lights Are Low
Roberta Gambarini, Hank Jones
You Are There

I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes) – Remastered
Nina Simone
Nina Simone & Piano

It Might As Well Be Spring
Mel Tormé
An Evening With George Shearing and Mel Tormé

There’s a Small Hotel (Live)
Nancy King, Fred Hersch
Live at Jazz Standard

The Waking
Kurt Elling

We Are Many
Luciana Souza

Blackbird/Bye Bye Blackbird
Sara Gazarek, Josh Nelson
Dream in the Blue

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