Sea Scallops - inspired me 'Hounds!
- lynnlato Mar 9, 2009 10:22 AM
I've been craving seared scallops for days now and it's high time to act on it. I've searched the boards and haven't found any inspiration. In fact, very few recent threads. What is your favorite method and recipe. I don't want pasta and was thinking my cast iron skillet would be best for searing the scallops. Bacon? Balsamic reduction maybe? Help me plan a casual family meal.
I just made this recipe recently for the second time - it's really delicious:
A few changes, though. The recipe calls for the scallops to be sliced into half thickness - I didn't do that becauseI wanted them thick and was afraid of overcooking. And second, I seared them quickly on both sides, but then removed them from the pan before adding the shallot, wine, etc. Made the sauce then tossed the scallops back into the pan briefly to coat with sauce and warm through. Served it with risotto into which I had stirred baby spinach leaves. It was all devoured. Very simple and good.
My scallops were frozen so I defrosted on several changes of paper towel to absorb excess liquid. This is important - often scallops are so waterlogged that they don't sear properly.
I hear ya on the scallops. I live in rural Ontario so my chances of getting decent fresh scallops are about the same as a Mexican finding good maple syrup at the local market.
I picked up some nice frozen sea scallops at Costco. The bag said there was no water added and there didn't seem to be anything else added either (at least nothing that was declared on the package). Like I said, I defrosted them on several changes of paper towel, which absorbed a lot of liquid. Maybe this was scallop juice, maybe it was water - but at any rate, they turned out very nice and not at all soggy.
scallops & bacon are certainly a traditional pairing.
i have a great recipe that you might want to try, and though it doesn't contain bacon, i think that would make a wonderful addition. i like to serve it with roasted or mashed potatoes...
GHG’S SMOKY SEARED SCALLOPS WITH CREAMY LEEKS & MUSHROOMS
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
10 ounces crimini or white button mushrooms (or a combination), sliced
2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon salt, divided
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound large dry sea scallops (cleaned, muscles removed)
1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to give off liquid, about 3 minutes. Stir in leeks; cook, adjusting heat to prevent scorching, until the vegetables are very tender and the leeks are starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Add broth and vinegar; cook until reduced and thickened, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in sour cream, parsley, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.
2. Pat scallops dry and sprinkle with the smoked paprika, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and a little fresh pepper. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallops and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
3. Place some of the leek-mushroom mixture on each plate and top with scallops.
if you want to try it with bacon, omit the oil in step 1 (you can probably omit the salt as well), render some bacon in the pan first, and cook the mushrooms & leeks in the bacon fat instead. that should work.
GHG, I made this tonight for dinner, only I used shrimp instead of scallops. I know, I know, it was my thread and I wanted scallops but my grocer didn't have anything but frozen. I followed your recipe, but used bacon and the bacon fat and served over creamy gruyere cheese grits (I had the some leftover gruyere to use up). It was delicious. Thanks so much! BTW, I also used balsamic in place of sherry vinegar.
I make a wonderful scallops casino. I start with about 3 or 4 strips of diced bacon. Cook until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp. Remove bacon, set aside, reserve half of fat in a separte small bowl. Warm up bacon fat until almost smoking and add about 4 or 5 whole scallops let sear for at least two minutes, and flip to sear opposite sized. Add additional fat and sear remaining scallops.
Once all scallops are seared, remove and set aside. Add a pat of butter and saute chopped shallots and add garlic for last minute. Now deglaze pan with at least a cup of white wine and a sprig of thyme, reduce wine and add two TBS of butter and the juice of half a lemon. Add bacon back to pan an let incorporate into sauce and add a tbs of chopped parsley. Add scallops to sauce and warm for a minute.
I serve on a bed of basmati with chives or green onion, parsley and dill.
Make sure you buy dry or diver sea scallops. If they don't have one of those two words in them, they are going to have water added to them to plump them up, and they won't sear when you put them in the pan. Just a word of warning.
For me, it's all about the scallops. I love the natural sweetness. I try to find dry or diver scallops, the best I can get my hands on. I season simply, sea salt and pepper or maybe a dusting of cajun spice. Get the pan hot and add half and half of butter and grape seed oil. Put in the scallop and do not touch, let a nice brown crust form. I look at the side of the scallop and can see the cooking progress and turn opaque as it cooks. When its not quite at halfway I turn and cook the 2nd side until it is short of cooking threw as the carry over cooking will finish it. I serve it over some sautéed spinach or over a bed of cauliflower puree with a balsamic reduction glaze garnish. I never had this but I'm thinking shrimp and grits are fantastic so why not try scallops and grits. If you try this let me know how it goes.
I am able to get dry diver's scallops. They are huge. Last week I just bought 3 and halved them before pan searing. That night I made a simple aioli to go with them. A couple of weeks ago I pan seared them and served them with sauce Maltaise. That is basically hollandaise sauce made with orange juice instead of lemon. I used blood orange juice and it was delicious.
Diver scallops, bacon, arugula, lemon and tarragon. Basically salt and pepper scallops. Set aside. Saute diced bacon and keep a little of the dripping to cook scallops in. Cook the scallops just a few minutes per side till lightly opaque. Set aside and cover. Add Vermouth to pan with some butter and a large thin sliced shallot, lemon juice tarragon, bacon and parsley. This is the sauce for the scallops. I like to serve this with sauteed spinach or arugula and sliced mushrooms. Just some olive oil to saute the mushrooms and add some balsamic and the spinach or arugula and wilt slightly.
Serve the scallops over this spinach mix. I love a side of Baked/fried zuchinni planks with spicy seasoning. Also I love to make a light creamy dip of yogurt and lemon with parsley and a dash of red pepper for the veggies.
This is quick, easy, simple, very inexpensive and healful and perfect compliments.