Scallops with Mashed Potatoes and Haricots Verts

scallops

Scallops
scallops

Ok, so I know I’ve talked about how I’m not really crazy about ingredient-heavy recipes. And really, usually I’m not. But when I’m trying to cook a nice, fancy, romantic dinner for someone, I’ll usually put that aside and just go for it. Especially if the recipe is still really not very difficult and I’ve been eyeing it for a while. I found this recipe while surfing around on Food52, which is a great resource for recipes. Seriously, great. I’ve found so many things I want to make. And it’s a cool food community, I’m not sure what the requirements are for posting, but it seems there are a lot of food bloggers who also post there… Anyway, it’s really neat. You should check it out.

So I found this recipe for scallops and accoutrements and it had been sitting on my Pinterest, giving me longing looks whenever I visited, asking “why haven’t you made me yet?” The opportunity arose where I actually had time to go to the store and take my time, buy some wine, and make Jonah a nice dinner. And while he did end up helping (quite a bit) I think he appreciated the gesture. I’ll also say that I usually find it pretty pretentious when people call green beans “haricots verts.” It’s like, we don’t all speak French, why confuse people? They’re just green beans. But I dunno… sometimes it’s fun to throw in some French.

Scallops with Mashed Potatoes and Haricots Verts

Ingredients

4-6 sea scallops (dry pack is way way better than previously frozen, as always)
4 Tbl butter, room temperature
1 tsp shallot, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbl Italian parsley, minced
enough green beans for 2 (in our case), rinsed and trimmed
3 russet potatoes (medium-large), peeled and cut into chunks
1/2-1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbl butter
2 Tbl chives, minced
salt and pepper
2 Tbl canola oil

Instructions

First things first, some scallops have a little 1/2 inch strip of muscle that attaches it to the shell. It isn’t a nice texture in your mouth, so you’ll want to remove it. (I’ve never had a scallop with this little band, but it’s just good to check and make sure). Now either put them on paper towel on a plate or on a cooling rack over a tray to catch any juices and put them in the fridge.

Now the butter: combine the butter, shallot, garlic, and parsley until combined. Was that so hard? No. Moving right along.

Put the potatoes in a large pot of cold water, and season heavily with salt. Put the pot over high heat until it starts to boil. Then reduce the heat (just so it doesn’t boil over, but keep it at a rolling boil) and cook until the potatoes are tender. Drain them in a colander and let them dry for a few minutes. Now you can mash them with a fork, a ricer, BUT I’ve just discovered that an electric mixer makes for a great masher. Throw the potatoes in the bowl, add the butter, and blend (I used the paddle attachment). Once the butter is melted and incorporated, you can add the cream 1/4 cup at a a time until the potatoes are creamy to your liking. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in the chives. If you aren’t ready to serve yet, wait to add the chives until you are.

Take about a teaspoon of the butter you made, throw it in a pan, and add the green beans. Cook over medium heat until done – some like crunchy, some like a little softer, so just keep an eye on them and cook until they’re done to your liking. While those are cooking, bring out the scallops and season them with salt and pepper. Put a large fry pan over high heat and, once hot, add the oil. You want it to shimmer, but not to smoke. Carefully add the scallops (careful as the oil will probably spit a bit and can hurt) and saute until the first side is caramelized. Turn them and caramelize the other side, and remove them from the heat.

Now put a nice serving on a plate, put the scallops on top, and place a little dollop of the butter on top of each scallop. Add the haricots verts (ahem, green beans), and you’re done! That really wasn’t that hard for a fancy dinner with more than a few ingredients, was it? Enjoy with a nice cold glass of white wine (if you’re of age, that is).

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