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Seared scallops and...

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Request from son: seared scallops. So that's tonight's dinner. I was thinking of serving it with some kind of risotto. Do you think a porcini risotto would be totally wrong? I plan to sear the scallops in olive oil, then deglaze with white wine or a bit of cream (or both). The scallops would be served beside the risotto, not exactly on top of it. Asparagus as a veg and, maybe a fennel and orange salad.

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  1. Risotto is a great backdrop to seared scallops, but I'm inclined to think the porcini might overwhelm the delicate mollusks. How about a more subtle risotto -- spinach, maybe?

    Other than that, your meal sounds perfect!

    1. I've served the citrus risotto from the Zuni Café Cookbook with seared scallops, to great acclaim. The citrus/starch combination is really nice -- even though the risotto itself is rich, its puckery quality is a good foil to the richness of the scallops.

      1. I wouldn't add porcini to the mix. We often serve scallops with a very loose risotto flavored simply with peas, yellow pepper, and occasionally a little saffron.

        1. i've had scallops dusted in ground dried porcinis then seared and they were fantastic! the porcini didn't overwhelm the scallops at all.

          another good pairing is a savory blood orange reduction. yum!

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          1. re: rebs

            Ooooo...dusted in dried porcini powder. That would be totally amazing. I happen to have a ridiculous amount of dried porcinis from a very successful foraging season and this sounds like an incredible use for them. Maybe I'll do the scallops in the porcini dust, and make the risotto with asparagus.

          2. I love risotto with asparagus, or peas. Either of those with a bit of citrus sounds heavenly!

            1. That's a major league dinner. I am adding this one to my cookbook.

              1. Excellent dinner! I served the seared scallops with asparagus risotto and a salad of fennel, red onion and clementine.

                My scallop technique I owe almost entirely to Chowhound. Because of where we live, the only scallops which I was able to get were frozen. So I defrosted them in a colander, then salted them to extract the excess liquid, rinsed and drained them again on paper towel so that they were nicely dried. Sprinkled them lightly with sea salt, ground pepper and porcini powder. Incredibly hot pan, a bit of olive oil and a quick sear on both sides. They were delicious. My son said they were the best scallops he has ever had. Success!

                The risotto was basically Marcella's recipe, but I added probably too much asparagus which I cut up and blanched first, then only threw into the risotto for the last few minutes of cooking. It was ok - definitely too much asparagus but, well, whatever. Oh - and a big squeeze of lemon at the end.

                And the salad was just thinly sliced fennel bulbs tossed with thinly sliced red onion and topped with sliced clementines. Dressing of clementine juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Probably could have used a shot of lemon juice to liven it up but it was good anyway.

                Thanks everyone!

                1. Sounds lovely - I adore fennel.

                  Here's something I tried recently at a restaurant that was quite good, in case you want to experiment with more scallop recipes sometime:
                  Pan Seared Scallops on a Bed of Asparagus and Coconut Rice
                  Served in Yellow curry sauce with a hint of vanilla.

                  (Sauce was very vanilla, and it worked.)