I have a confession: I was not a scallop fan growing up and even into my 20’s. There was just something about the texture and trusting that people were cooking them properly. Okay, I may just have trust issues when it comes to cooking!
However, I started to explore the scallop because of my family. Sea scallops are a little sweet with a mild fish flavor. When cooked properly, the scallop is soft and can melt in your mouth. I recently had my first scallop crudo, and Oh my word! The mixture of citrus, olive and chili oil, I was in scallop bliss. Don’t worry; I will come up with a recipe to share with you all.
But first, here is an excellent recipe because it uses the brown bits of the seared scallop to make an incredible sauce to scoop with the scallop and pasta. Have a fresh loaf of French bread with this dish. Dipping the bread in the sauce is another taste sensation you will love.
Until next time, happy creating!
Seared Scallops over Linguine
by Dina Barton
8 ounces linguine
1 pound sea scallops, cleaned, mussels removed and patted dry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus some for drizzling
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, split into 2 tablespoons and 1 tablespoon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup Chardonnay or your preference on white wine
1 cup seafood stock or clam juice
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
¼ cup lemon juice
Place a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Take out scallops from your refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Once water is at a boil, cook the pasta according to package directions. Hold off on starting the scallops until you drop your pasta.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. While skillet is heating, season scallops with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. Once butter is melted, add the scallops. Sear the scallops for 1 ½ - 2 minutes on each side or when they turn opaque. Get a nice brown sear on them; the brown bits left in the pan will flavor your sauce. Remove scallops from pan and cover them or place in a warm oven at 275 degrees to keep warm.
Add an additional drizzle of olive oil to the same skillet you used for the scallops. Add the garlic, shallots, crushed red pepper flakes, thyme, a little salt and pepper. Reduce heat a little and sauté garlic and shallots 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine to the pan and free up any pan drippings.
Simmer wine 1 minute, then add seafood stock. Continue to cook for about 1 minute. Add the basil, parsley, lemon zest and juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Shake and stir the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the cooked linguine and cook for about 30 seconds, just to combine and let the pasta soak up the sauce.
Divide the pasta between 2 serving plates and top with reserved scallops.