Monday, March 23, 2009
Our daughter Jess was having a dinner party tonight and wanted a recipe for scallops. The Kitchen Genius came up with a new recipe for scallops recently that made me want to lick the plate. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I did run my finger across my empty plate when no one was looking for one last taste of this amazing sauce. Seriously, it was that good.
I love scallops, but for years cooking them intimidated me. It doesn’t take much to overcook them and if you do, the tender morsels turn into rubbery hockey pucks.
Luckily for me, KG is an expert at cooking scallops and showed me how it’s done. The trick is to sear them over medium high heat, making sure you don’t overcrowd the pan. I know from experience if you crowd the scallops they will never turn a nice golden brown.
And trust me, you want that lovely golden shade, not just for eye appeal, but because scallops are naturally sweet and searing them properly caramelizes the surface to bring out the best flavor.
So make sure your scallops don’t touch each other while they’re cooking. It’s a bit like taking a car trip with kids – you want to give them enough space so they don’t drive you crazy. Even though it takes slightly more planning, it’s more than worth it.
The most important kitchen tool for this dinner (and many others) is a handy dandy pair of spring release tongs. If you don't have a pair (or three) go out and buy some now. They’re as precise as fingers but they don’t burn when they touch hot food. You will use them to flip the scallops and move them to the baking dish. And then you will be amazed at how many other things these babies can do.
Have I mentioned how good this sauce is? It bears repeating, because sauces are another thing that used to intimidate me. I grew up eating gravy, not delectable sauces, so this is not a natural for me. I’m still learning, but even after all these years I watch in awe as that man whips together dishes like this.
We served the scallops on top of a turnip puree with a side salad.
Our daughter replicated that exact meal tonight and I just got off the phone with her. She was impressed by how easy this was to make (perfect when you have a house full of guests) – and yet it was so tasty that everyone was impressed with her culinary skills.
Don’t you love it when you can be a hero for your kid like that? It’s why I started this blog…
Pan Seared Scallops with Lemon Thyme Drizzle
1 pound sea scallops
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 lemons, juiced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
1/4 cup honey
Pat scallops dry with paper towel. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil. In small batches making sure they don’t touch in the pan, sear scallops 2 to 3 minutes per side until brown, but still medium rare inside. Use tongs to flip them. Place seared scallops in a baking dish and continue until all scallops are seared.
Turn heat down to medium low and add 1 tablespoon butter, lemon juice, zest, thyme, and honey. Cook, whisking constantly until thickened, about five minutes. Add the last tablespoon of butter and whisk briskly.
Drizzle sauce over scallops and bake in 350 degree oven for 5 – 7 minutes until heated through, but still tender.
For a printable recipe click here