Saturday, February 15, 2014

Scallops and Risotto

For St. Valentine's Day my husband decided to plan something really big. For the first time since we've been together. Which isn't long, but we have never done the  stereotypical Valentine's Day festivities.

I realized right away that I needed to step up my game and decided to plan a special dinner for the two of us. This is a big deal since I suck at meal planning and cooking interesting things in general.
So I decided on sautéed scallops and risotto after I came across this risotto recipe on Pinterest. I've never made either before but hey, go big or go home, right?

I promptly called my mother for a scallop recipe she'd made a few years ago that I really liked.

The scallop recipe (yields 4 servings, I made half the recipe):
From the cookbook Ode to Joyous Cooking
1 1/2lbs bay or sea scallops, rinsed and dried
All purpose flour, seasoned with pepper
4 Tbsp butter unsalted
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
Lemon juice
1/4c chopped parsley

  1. Dredge scallops in flour mixture. Melt butter and oil in skillet until foamy. Sauté garlic for 2 minutes.
  2. Add scallops and increase heat to medium-high. Sauté, stirring frequently, until browned on all sides. Do not overcook.
  3. Squeeze lemon juice over scallops and sprinkle with parsley.
Variation: Once scallops are browned, remove to a serving platter to keep warm. Do not use lemon juice. Deglaze skillet with 1/2c white wine, scraping browned bits. Cook and stir until slightly 
reduced. Pour sauce over scallops and serve.
Next time I would use less oil and butter proportionate to the amount of scallops I'm cooking. I forgot to halve those two ingredients when I halved the rest of the recipe. That's why the flour coating fried off of the scallops, as you can see in the above photo.

This recipe recommends a chardonnay. The risotto recipe didn't recommend any specific wine other than white. So I bought what was on sale...

The risotto was also a first, cooking and eating it. The recipe was delicious, first of all, and the way they have you add the asparagus at the very end results in perfectly cooked asparagus. The only thing I did differently from the recipe was add about 1/4c plain old water when I added the asparagus for the last 8 minutes of baking time since the risotto looked like it would dry up and burn if I didn't.

And of course, the kiddos needed a special meal too. Heart toast and heart apples to get festive: