Tag Archives: scallops

Sauteed Scallops & Swiss Chard

I have been craving scallops lately; when I order them out I love them fried; when I make them at home I tend to always sear them.  They take no time at all to cook so this could be a wonderful quick weeknight meal. Even though I made them; I still want to go out for some crispy, tender, juicy fried scallops. They are just plain delicate and delicious!
IMG_5359My husband has taken over the task from my son who is now living with his girlfriend; of asking me “what are we having for dinner?” When I said sauteed scallops & Swiss chard over rice. His face lit up and said Risotto? Well I was thinking wild rice but we haven’t had risotto in quite awhile so why not? Now I can tell you why not; since scallops are on the lighter side for flavor the heavy Parmesan flavored risotto overpowered my sauteed scallops.  Not to say dinner was a disaster; it was absolutely delicious and I would make it again, but with either a wild rice or jasmine or even a basmati rice. IMG_5355

Ingredients

Scallops – I buy by the quantity I want to serve each person plus a couple of tasting
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 small shallot, minced
¼ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon dijon mustard
½ teaspoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon butter

Directions

In a large nonstick fry pan over medium heat, add a couple of swirls of the olive oil. Add the chard and season with salt and pepper. Saute until just softened, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm
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Scallops; remove muscle, pat dry and season with salt and pepper. In the same pan over medium high heat and another swirl of olive oil. Add the scallops and cook; without moving so they get nice and browned; after 3 or so minutes turning once to finish cooking. They are done with they are still springy to the touch and no longer translucent. Approximately 3 minutes on each side. Transfer scallops to a plate and keep warm.
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Add another swirl of olive oil and saute the shallots till they are softened a couple of minutes. Add wine and boil until it’s almost evaporated. Stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Add the broth, lemon juice, mustard and the thyme. Boil until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, add the butter and stir till melted. Season with salt and pepper.


Place a spoon or two of rice on a plate or in a bowl; top with the chard and then arrange the scallops on top and then spoon the sauce over it.
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Baby Bok Choy

I will admit this ingredient has NEVER been on my radar, not only is it green (my younger self was very opposed to green vegetables) it was totally foreign to me. I will also admit that one of my favorite restaurants in town uses it in some of their dishes and my adult self has tried and actually liked it and it is kind of fun to say baby bok choy – I know you just repeated it, pretty cute huh!

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I usually make a nice dinner for my husband’s birthday, his day is on a very popular dinner date night and we are pretty last minute kind of people so getting in somewhere is usually impossible. we’ve tried a few times. This year’s’ dinner was going to be seared scallops over risotto and he wanted a bitter green. First one that came to mind was baby bok choy. Gosh I wonder why – this is one of the dishes at our favorite local restaurant where we first tried it.

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Searing scallops check, making yummy risotto check, preparing baby bok choy no idea! They are actually quite simple so I wanted to share with you a simple but effective way to maybe bring baby bok choy into your kitchen and not just for a special occasion.

6-8 heads of baby bok choy, trimmed, cut in half lengthwise
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
2 tbs fresh lemon
1 tbs white wine
freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 450’F. in a small bowl add oil, garlic and salt and toss with trimmed baby bok choy. Roast on lower rack, stirring a couple of times until wilted and tender crisp; about 6 minutes. Whisk lemon juice and zest along with the wine and pepper in a small bowl. drizzle over the roasted bok choy and arranged on your platter.

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Having a DVR is a great and terrible thing! I just got back from vacation and had WAY to many shows to catch up on. Thankfully no plans this weekend so I was able to binge watch most of them. One of the shows I just finished watching was Master Chef Junior. I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the 2 nine year old’s in the final round and at the same time how much more there is I need to learn. They know techniques and flavor profiles and are not afraid of any ingredients at age 9. I am far from 9 and there are a ton of ingredients I haven’t yet discovered. The only reason I am mentioning this show was the winner made her entree with baby bok choy and cooked it to perfection plus it wasn’t her first time using the ingredient. They made a souffle to get into the final round; I have always been intimidated by souffles but I will be making one soon!

 

Seafood Mixed Grill

I more often than not write my food blog on Sunday’s which the same day I post; which is probably why they never post at the same time during the day. Or maybe I like to keep you guessing; I know a few of you personally and you’re probably like will you post already!!! You know who you are. Today is Friday and I am getting ready to head to Lake Winnipesaukee for the weekend; it’s supposed to be a gorgeous here in New Hampshire and I can’t think of a better way than to spend it on the water hanging out with good friends and grilling on the boat. Did I tell you I LOVE having friends with boats; all the fun none of the headaches; though they are on the water a LOT more than I am; ahhh it’s OK I’ll take it when it get it.

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My husband reads The Week on Sunday’s and they have a Food & Drink section (never tried the drink part hmmmm I might have to change that) which sometimes has some recipes that pique his interest for me to make. Yeah I know he does that a lot. This past week there was a Grilled Mixed Seafood recipe that sounded delish and super simple. Literally it was seafood, lemon, olive oil and some fresh aromatic herbs oh and some crusty bread to sop up all the yummy love in the bottom of the bowl.

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I did have to purchase a grill basket (I threw out my very under used one years ago) don’t tell my son I bought something new he freaks out when I bring home another cooking utensil. He does most of the dishes and when he sees’ something new, oh and he knows when its new trust me. He asks what I am getting rid of so he has a place to put away the new purchase. It’s not like we are lacking in storage space, but what we do have I pretty much have filled up over the years. Not a proud moment but here is a picture of my utensil drawer that I just took…my son is crazy I could totally get a few more things in there!!!

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my junk drawer of utensils – organized chaos is what I all it!

Seafood Mixed Grill

2 lbs of assorted shellfish such as: Jumbo shrimp; Large sea scallops or diver scallops; Firm white fish – halibut, tilapia or barramundi; Mussels etc.

Handful of aromatic herbs such as: chives, scallions, thyme; parsley, tarragon or whatever you have on hand and love

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Here is how I made mine

4 Jumbo shrimp

Barramundi cut into 2” pieces

½ lb Large Sea Scallops

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

¼ cup + more for drizzling extra virgin olive oil

2 Fresh lemons – 1 thinly sliced the other is for squeezing

Chives, scallions, thyme and parsley – chopped

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Start your grill whatever kind gas or charcoal that you are using, place your seafood in a bowl toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I placed my basket over tinfoil in a sheet pan so I could transfer it to and from the outside grill without making a mess.

Scatter your seafood evenly over the bottom of the basket; lay the lemon slices over your seafood and scatter the herbs over the lemons and drizzle olive oil over everything.

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Grill for 4 minutes without moving the basket, carefully flip the basket over (I did not secure my basket as well as I should have and it came apart – sorry no picture evidence but I got it together and no harm no foul; well a little foul language) squeeze half a lemon over the seafood, grill for another 4 minutes or so till seafood is opaque and cooked through.

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Carefully open the basket and pour all the love in a shallow bowl or platter; drizzle with a little more olive oil and a little more lemon and serve with the crusty bread. It was YUMMY and I will make it again – soon!!!!!!

adapted from The Week magazine

Pan Seared Scallops

If you like Scallops and have only ever had them battered and fried; you are missing out on something pretty special and extremely simple to make.  Sea Scallops need very little attention before you can enjoy them.  Make sure to remove the small side muscle from each scallop, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry.

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Get out your favorite 12 to 14-inch sauté pan heat to about high to medium high and add a small amount of olive oil, once the oil start to shimmer and just before smoking.  Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper each scallop and place them gently into the pan; careful not to let them touch each other.  Sear the scallops for a 1 ½ to 2 minutes per side.  They should have about a ¼ inch golden brown crust on each side.  Take special care not to overcook them; they will become rubbery.  The center should be translucent. 

Transfer them to a plate and enjoy!  OR I personally enjoy making a simple sauce to serve over them.  A little white wine, some fresh crushed garlic and to finish it off a tablespoon or two of butter and life is good!

While the heat is still on add some white wine, with a wooden spoon scrape up all the yummy leftover bits. Cook down the wine for like 3-5 minutes, turn off the heat and add a pat or two of butter.  Once melted you can add the scallops back to the pan to re-heat a little or just pour the love over them and enjoy.

Searing is a very important part of making a wonderful flavorful caramelization to most meat.  It is all about building the depth of flavors.  Most people want to move, flip and lift whatever it is they are searing.  Please refrain from touching it for 1-2 minutes for scallops, 3-5 minutes for pork and beef – time is relative to your personal stove; only you know how hot it gets, how quickly it heats up.  I sear Steak, Chicken, Pork and fish fairly often and finish it off in the oven.

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Make sure your using a pan that can go into a hot oven, make sure you pre-heat your oven.  Size matters; that is the thickness of the meat you are searing and finishing off in the oven.  Times will vary so if you have an instant meat thermometer; that will help you until you get a feel for how long things will take to your doneness.

In one of my cooking classes we were searing chicken.  I had 2 saute pans and 2 students watching them.  I literally had to set the timer on my stove to help them with the timing.  Another good tip is to wait for the meat to release itself; that is another way to know when you should flip to the other side. If you have to fight to remove what you are searing from the pan, it is not done building flavors.

I work with one of the students from this class.  She came up to me last week and told me she waited for the chicken to release before turning and her whole family loved the crust and additional flavor that it added to her dish.  She mentioned it was pretty painful for her to not flip but I was in her head saying let it be; leave it alone…I love hearing these types of stories.