Saturday, May 19, 2012

On the menu: Seared Scallops

I've eaten a zillion scallops in my life, but never prepared them in my own kitchen. That's about to change. My buddy made this recipe (much to the delight of her dinner guests) with seared scallops and garlicky polenta. Everyone loved it so much, she has been pressing me to try it, too.

Image via Kitchen Parade.

Let the cooking begin!


*This recipe serves 2, but it's easily multiplied

CHIMICHURRI, preferably made 24 hours before serving, makes 3/4 cup
2 cloves garlic
1 cup packed fresh parsley, washed well and patted dry
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes or cayenne
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Chop the garlic to form small pieces but don’t mash or let become mushy. Transfer to mixing bowl. Chop parsley into small, but distinct pieces, not a paste. Transfer to the mixing bowl. Stir the remaining ingredients into the mixing bowl. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Before serving, let rest at room temperature for at least an hour. Stir to re-mix the ingredients before serving.

1/2 pound large scallops
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter

SCALLOP PREP: Arrange the scallops on a double layer of paper towels, pat dry, then season both sides with salt and pepper. Leave the scallops on the towels to come to room temperature for about 10 minutes. (Make the polenta while the scallops rest.)

2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 clove garlic, sliced small
4 tablespoons polenta (see TIPS)
1 ounce feta cheese

POLENTA PREP: In a saucepan, bring the water, salt and garlic to a boil on medium high. Stirring continuously, slowly pour the polenta into the boiling water. Let the polenta cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat, stir in the feta cheese until it melts. Set aside but keep warm.

SEARED SCALLOPS: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium high, add the scallops flat-side down and let cook, without moving so that the bottom side will sear, for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Add the butter, then turn the scallops over with tongs and cook for another minute. While they cook, tilt the skillet to pool the butter, spoon it over the scallops. The scallops are done when their centers are opaque.

TO SERVE: If needed, rewarm the polenta and spoon onto warm plates. Arrange the scallops on the plates, then dot with chimichurri sauce.

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