Tag Archives: scallops

Seared Scallops with Pancetta and Radicchio

I’m writing this recipe even though I didn’t *love* it. However, I feel that the ingredients and seasonings were really great – I just don’t like radicchio. I’m sorry, but even with sugar and vinegar added, the radicchio was just too bitter to enjoy. That’s even with pancetta drippings all over it! Maybe my radicchio was old or something?

Anyway, if you love radicchio, you will love this. The soft, buttery scallops on top, the crispy pancetta, the blooming florals of rosemary and the sweet vinegar mixture drizzled over the top. It smelled heavenly.

I really hope somebody tries this and has more success than me! For now, radicchio just isn’t my favorite.

Seared Scallops with Pancetta and Radicchio

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 1 head radicchio
  • 2 T cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 6 large scallops, cleaned and patted dry
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 6 oz. pancetta, small diced
  • EVOO
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 T minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped

Remove outer leaves from radicchio and cut head in half through root end, then cut each half into 4 wedges and remove white core. Set aside.

In a small bowl, dissolve sugar into vinegar. Set aside.

Season scallops with salt and pepper. Heat large skilled (cast iron is best) over medium heat until hot. Add pancetta and cook, stirring, until crisp, 5 min. Remove to paper towels to drain and pour off all but 3 T fat.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add scallops and sear until golden brown on each side, 2-3 min. per side. Transfer to plate and cover to keep warm.

Add onion and rosemary to the skillet and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, 3 min. Add garlic and stir 15-30 seconds, until fragrant. Add radicchio and pancetta, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing gently, until radicchio is wilted, 2-3 min. Take skillet off heat and pour vinegar mixture over. Toss to combine.

To serve, plate radicchio and then top with scallops.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Meridian Restaurant

The food at Meridian is so good. Grant and I enjoyed a Groupon Date Night there last week, where he had the NC rock fish and grits while I had the seared scallops with andouille, leek and wild mushroom risotto. Everything – from the service to the appetizer to the meal – was superb.

My dish inspired me to make a bacon and leek risotto that also has wild mushrooms in it…and a poached egg on top, because that is my latest culinary crush.

Happy dining, friends! xoxo

Seared scallops with Christmas risotto

For Christmas Eve dinner, my sister and I prepared a meal perfect for the night before Christmas because it won’t compete with the rib roast and Yorkshire pudding. Scallops seared to a caramel brown sit atop a creamy risotto made with bacon, basil, jalapeno and bright red tomatoes – creating a red and green festive plate.

I’ve made this risotto a couple times before, after seeing it here on We Are Not Martha. However, I’ve had to change a few things. For example, adding the tomatoes at the very-very end to prevent them from dissolving into the risotto. Also, I used more chicken stock than it called for, to add extra creaminess. The only fat you’ll need comes from the smoky bacon, which will blow your family away with the addition of garlic and white wine.

Truly, there’s little to dislike about this dish. The following offers small portions for 4 people, but plenty for 2-3.

Seared scallops with Christmas risotto

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound large sea scallops, rinsed, patted dry, salt and peppered
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T EVOO
  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, minced (or 1/2 of large jalapeno) – approx 2 tsp
  • 3/4 c. arborio rice
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
  • 3 c. chicken stock, low-sodium
  • 2-3 tomatoes, seeded and diced (roughly 1 c.)
  • Handful fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 c. Parmesano Reggiano, grated, plus more for serving

Heat chicken stock in medium saucepan over medium heat on back burner. Keep simmering.

Meanwhile, add bacon to large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, reducing heat to medium-low, until bacon is crispy. Transfer to paper towels to drain, then pour off all but 1 T of the bacon fat.

Return pan to medium-low heat and add garlic and jalapeno (you could also substitute a pinch of red pepper flakes here). Cook for a minute, until foaming.

Stir in rice and cook until translucent around the edges; 1-2 min.

Add wine, scraping up the bacon bits from the bottom. When wine is absorbed, add 1 ladle (1/2 c.) chicken stock. Stir until absorbed, repeating until all the stock is used or the risotto is creamy with just the smallest bite to it. You don’t want it to be grainy in the middle – but slightly al dente. Check for seasonings (I’ve never had to add extra salt and pepper).

While the rice is cooking, heat a large saute pan over medium heat with butter and EVOO. When butter is melted and foaming, add scallops and sear until a nice brown crust forms on each side. Reserve to a plate.

When risotto is done, stir in the cheese until melted, then add the basil, tomatoes and reserved bacon.

To serve, spoon risotto onto plates, then top with scallops. Serve with extra cheese to dust on top.

I can’t tell you how delicious this is. Served with more white wine and a salad, my family was sighing with happiness. Please try this – special enough for a holiday, but perfect for any ol’ day. Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Scallops gratineed with wine, garlic, herbs

I don’t do dinner parties very often, so sometimes it’s nice to create one for  two people, as if you were feeding a crowd. Make it complete with flowers on the table, candles, themed music, wine and entertainment.

All things French recently got under my skin. I wanted a French meal with French wine and to watch a French film. Describing this to a co-worker over drinks one night, he asked, “Are you a Francophile?” After I figured out what that meant, I said no, I am not obsessed with the French. I simply like cooking with butter.

Julia Child immediately came to mind and I picked her version of scallops Provencale – gratineed with white wine, garlic and fresh herbs. I’m usually wary of shellfish cooked with cheese, but I must say this turned out perfectly splendid.

Grant got a really nice French white wine and red wine, and tuned Pandora to something you would hear in a French cafe.

Before preparing the scallops, I finished up this bizarre yeast-cake that is supposed to be like the one Amelie makes in her movie. I’ve never made a cake with yeast, I’m assuming this is a French tradition. Anyway, you essentially fold the dough over butter and sugar a bunch of times, then top it with sliced fruit (I used apples tossed with lemon juice and orange zest), and more sugar and butter.

Then you bake it and everything caramelizes and oozes together.

I must say I didn’t fancy this cake, which is why I’m not going to bother you with the recipe.  The texture seemed wrong – I just didn’t get it. But the fruit was tasty.

Certainly, the star of the show was the scallop dish, as described below (note: Julia writes her ingredients as they appear in the cooking method, so notice the multiple times butter is listed):

Coquilles St. Jacques a la Provencale

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 c. minced yellow onions
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 1/2 T minced shallots
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 lb. washed scallops (we used the small guys)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 c. flour in a dish
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2/3 c. dry white wine plus 3 T water
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh
  • 1/8 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 1/4 c. Swiss cheese, grated
  • 2 T butter cut into pieces

Cook onions slowly in butter in small saucepan for 5 min, until tender and translucent but not browned. Stir in shallots and garlic, cook 1 min. Set aside.

Dry scallops and cut into 1/4 inch slices, if you don’t have the small ones. Small ones can be whole. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, roll in flour and shake off excess.

Saute scallops quickly in large pan, heated with 2 T butter and 1 T oil for 2 min, to brown. Work in batches, if needed.

Pour wine and water into pan with all the scallops, de-glazing with a wooden spoon. Add herbs and cooked onion mixture. Cover and let simmer for 5 min., then uncover and boil down sauce for 1 min. Check for seasoning.

Simmering away

Spoon scallops and sauce into a baking pan (or individual ramekins), sprinkle with cheese and dot with butter.

Ready for the broiler

Run under moderate broiler 3-4 min, until heated through and cheese is lightly browned.

We served the scallops hot and bubbling, with some toasted French baguette and more French wine.

I complained that my scallops were a little tough, but Grant said I was crazy. One thing I WAS crazy about was this sauce! Oh my, Julia, you know how to make a great sauce. Bread is absolutely necessary to sop up all that flavor.

We finished up supper and then settled down to watch “Amelie,” of which I finished a little over half before drifting off to sleep. A satisfactory end to Frenchie day.

Enjoy your dinner parties for two (or one), friends! xoxo