gluten free · seafood

Seared Scallops in Chive, Lemon Butter

I was in St. Lawrence Market today, buying giant capers and other fun treats when walked by Seafront Fish Market and my eyes locked with some beautiful scallops, staring at me from beyond the glass. I had to have them. For some reason I equate scallops with special occasions because they tend to be on the more expensive side, but I wanted to treat myself! I picked up 6 large scallops (enough for myself and my husband) and they came to about $13. That’s not bad when you think about it. Considering the price of beef these days, $7.50 per protein portion ain’t too shabby!

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I had already picked up some fresh corn, kale and baby red potatoes a few days ago that I knew I wanted to serve with the scallops. I meandered around the market looking for more inspiration and found some beautiful chives. Chives go with everything in my opinion. So does butter. So does lemon. A RECIPE WAS BORN!

The nice thing about scallops is that they take minutes to cook and they’re fairly hard to screw up. Worse case scenario, you over cook them. Just don’t do that and you’ll be fine!

*Just a side note, I’ve been reading the comments on a lot of recipes lately and people need to RELAX. Some people leave comments about a chicken dish as if that chicken dish murdered their whole family. Unless it’s a very technical dish like a soufflé, there is always room for interpretation. If you don’t like something the author of the recipe is suggesting, try another option. If you don’t understand something in the recipe, google it or wing it! In my food blog I don’t explain every single step to death because I assume you all have basic common sense and I don’t want to bore you all to death. If you’re someone like my husband who is confused about basic terms like “sauté”, then ask Jeeves. If you didn’t get that reference, Google “Ask Jeeves”. Capeesh?*

OKAY, BACK TO THE FOOD! The hardest part here is getting the timing down. After basic prep (chopping chives, washing veg etc.), I suggest starting the potatoes first because once they’re done cooking, they can be re-heated in a pan with the kale. The last thing you want are overcooked scallops because the potatoes aren’t done yet. Once the potatoes are almost done, start boiling a large pot of salted water for your corn, sautéing your kale and prepping your scallops.

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Ingredients:

5 leaves of kale, stems removed, chopped.
6 large, fresh scallops
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
about 10-12 new potatoes (red, white, purple etc.)
1/2 cup butter
half lemon
large clove garlic
salt and pepper to taste
corn

Kale and Potatoes:

Sauté kale on a low heat with olive oil and a clove of crushed garlic, salt and pepper for about 5-6 minutes. Add the cooked new potatoes and heat through.

Corn:

Boil large pot of salted water. Add corn. Cook for 2 minutes. If it’s fresh it won’t need any longer than that!

Scallops:

1st rule of scallop club, always pat them dry. A wet scallop won’t give you that nice sear. Rule #2, use a heavy bottomed pan. I tried to cut corners by using my regular frying pan because I didn’t feel like washing my cast iron pan and the scallops didn’t turn out as golden as I would have liked. If that’s all you have, don’t fret. They will still taste wonderful. Salt and pepper your scallops, heat a heavy pan over medium-high heat and sear scallops for about 2 minutes on each side. DO NOT try to move them. They will stick if they’re not ready to be turned. Set scallops aside and turn the heat down. Add a generous pad of better (about a 1/4-1/2 cup depending on how decadent you want to be), the juice from half a small lemon, salt and pepper. Let melt and combine for about 2-3 minutes on low heat.

Transfer the kale and baby potatoes to a plate and top with the scallops and butter sauce. Scatter a generous amount of chives on the finished dish. Serve your corn on the side. DIG IN!

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This was so delicious, decadent and still somewhat light. The sweetness of the scallops was not overwhelmed by the delicate onion flavour from the chives and the kale helped offset the richness of the butter. Every ingredient complimented each other beautifully. Don’t be scared if your scallops look “raw” in the middle. They’re supposed to be like that.  If you try to cook them all the way through they will become rubber balls. No one wants to eat rubber balls.

Look at how easy that was! If you’re thinking to yourself, “I got a better way of cooking scallops!” then good for you! Do whatever makes you happy. Instead of chives you could also use fresh dill, tarragon or basil. I chose chives because they go so well with potatoes. The world is your oy…scallop!

Treat yourself to some fancy ass scallops this week. You deserve it.

Julia

 

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