Tag: Scallops

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 forΒ 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 onΒ 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).

Seared Sea Scallops with Carrot-Marjoram Sauce

Seared Sea Scallops with Carrot-Marjoram Sauce

Seared Sea Scallops with Carrot-Marjoram Sauce
Seared Sea Scallops with Carrot-Marjoram Sauce

Seared Sea Scallops with Carrot-Marjoram Sauce

When Jonah’s parents were in town, we had them over for dinner. My dad had sent me a recipe for these scallops with reduced carrot sauce that he made a couple times when I was younger. This is the recipe that made me discover scallops. I used to think scallops were gross, the texture was a little too slimy for me, so I never ever ate them. But this sauce was so good that I tried one of the scallops that was drenched in it, and now scallops are one of my favorite seafoods.

This recipe is fromΒ The Herbfarm Cookbook, which is a book my dad uses all the time. The Herbfarm is a restaurant in Woodinville, Washington (near where I grew up). I’ve never eaten there, partially because $$$$$$ and partially because you have to make reservations hella in advance. Anyway, if you’re in the market for a beautiful cookbook with lots of good recipes, here’s one to check out.

Seared Sea Scallops with Carrot-Marjoram Sauce

Serves 4 people

Ingredients

2 cups fresh carrot juice (one of those personal Odwalla bottles is usually 2 cups)
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
3 Tbl freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 medium shallot, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbl unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 8 pieces
8 3-inch sprigs fresh marjoram, tied together with kitchen twine (if you can’t find marjoram, you can substitute fresh tarragon or fresh lemon thyme)
1 1/2 pounds large sea scallops (~12), untreated (dry-pack)
salt and pepper
2 Tbl vegetable or olive oil

Instructions

A warning before we start. This recipe is long. But it’s not really that hard, it just seems hard because there are a lot of steps. However, it is totally worth it because these scallops and this sauce are so delectable. I promise. Just try it. I’m going to type it out in the same steps as in the cookbook because it breaks it down into little pieces. Quite nice if you ask me.

Combine the carrot juice, 1/4 cup of the wine, the lemon juice, shallot, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat just enough to maintain a steady boil. Cook the mixture until reduced to about 1/2 cup of liquid. The sauce should be thicker, about “the same consistency as pulpy orange juice.” This should take about 20-30 minutes. You can do this step ahead of time and stick the mixture in the fridge overnight.

Reduce the heat so the sauce is gently simmering and add the butter, one piece at a time. Whisk the butter in, and wait until each piece is melted and incorporated before adding another. Return the sauce to a simmer, whisking constantly. Add the bundle of marjoram, submerging it completely in the sauce, and remove the pan from heat. Set aside till you’re done cooking the scallops!

It’s time to sear the scallops. I’ll let you know that Jonah and I struggled a little bit with this step, mostly because we decided to try to use our cast iron skillet (the recipe says to use a heavy bottomed saute pan). We’ve had some trouble, despite reading about how to cook in a cast iron and clean and care for it, with things sticking to the pan, and can’t really figure out what we’re doing wrong. Anyway. The recipe also says to heat your oven to 175 and then turn it off and you can put the scallops in there to warm them, but our oven was otherwise occupied, so we just put them on a rack on a pan.

Pat the scallops dry and season them lightly with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in whatever pan you choose to use until it is very hot and smoking. Using tongs, carefully put the scallops flat side down in the pan. Let them cook without touching them for 2-3 minutes or until the side touching the pan is a deep golden brown. Then turn them and cook them another 1-2 minutes on the other side. When you turn them, you want to preferable put them in a different part of the pan, where there has not just been a scallop. When they’re done cooking, remove them from the pan and put them in the oven or on a rack or whatever you choose to do.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the other 1/4 cup of wine. Scrape up the little browned bits in the pan and add the liquid from the pan to the carrot juice.

Remove the marjoram bundle from the carrot sauce, squeeze it dry, and get rid of it. Reheat the sauce over medium heat, whisking in the oil/wine mixture from the scallop pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed. If you want the sauce to be super smooth, you can put it through a fine sieve. I like the little scallop bits and shallots, so we skipped the straining. Now put the scallops on plates, dress them with the sauce, and enjoy!

Seared Sea Scallops with Carrot-Marjoram Sauce