Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Scallops? Yes Please

Scallops are low in fat and calories, high in protein and uhh cholesterol, but who really cares when they taste so delicious (just eat them in moderation ie not a few dozen at a time). To get a good sear on scallops, make sure they are dry dry dry. I generally set them out wedged between two sheets of paper towels to blot excess moisture. This is a bit harder if the scallops are bought frozen, but you can leave them between several sheets of paper towels in the fridge overnight to get the moisture out. Fresh & Easy offers never-been-frozen scallops in a pack of 9.

Pasta in Tomato Cream Sauce
Serves 2-3

1/2 lb pasta in any shape you like
1 Tbsp each oil & butter
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine or broth
8 oz can tomato sauce
2/3 cup cream

In a large pot, bring water to a rapid boil and add enough salt to make the water taste like the sea. Add pasta (the one in the picture is mafalda pasta) and cook to just al dente. You want it barely done, with still a bit of a bite, so it can continue to cook in the tomato cream sauce.

In another large pan, melt oil and butter over medium-high heat. Cook onions for about 3 minutes until softened and translucent. Add garlic and stir for another minute, to toast the garlic and bring out the aroma. Add wine and let the alcohol cook off for a couple minutes. Pour in the tomato sauce and once heated through, lower the heat to medium-low and add the heavy cream. Stir to incorporate, the sauce should be lovely and pinkish. Salt and peper to taste.

Once the tomato sauce is done, drain pasta and add directly to the sauce. Stir to coat the pasta; it will finish cooking and soak up the sauce.

Seared Scallops
as many as you can eat

Bring the scallops to room temperature by leaving them out for about 15 minutes. This helps the entire scallop be the same temperature throughout, which helps them cook through quickly without having any raw cold spots in the middle.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Once the pan is very, very hot, add scallops in a single layer. Make sure you don't overcrowd the pan, or they will steam instead of sear (do two batches if you have a lot of scallops).

Don't move them! Resist all temptation to peek underneath and see the beautiful searing. After 1.5 minutes, turn the scallops to sear on the other side. If they have not gotten a good sear, leave them on the same side and check every 15 seconds until they are golden brown. Cook on the other side for 1.5 more minutes and plate immediately. Scallops cook up very quickly and continue to cook after you take them off the heat, so take care not to overcook.

* Serve both with salad if you want to capture all food groups.
* Substitute the wine/broth with vodka and you will have vodka sauce.


  1. Make me seared scallops!

  2. LOL I will make you anything you want - you can request it for Hanna's bbq.