It was so nice to get back in the kitchen tonight. I haven't been cooking much lately, as I've gotten myself into other projects that are taking precedence. You know how that goes. Sundays are, after all, my favorite night to cook in so I decided to dive into a cookbook that I've had for years and never made a thing out of. It is Atlanta Cooks At Home. By now, it is very outdated (2006) as far as what chef's are at which restaurants, but the two recipes I tried tonight were anything but!
I had originally picked out a recipe by La Tavola for Seared Scallops with Sweet Pea Puree and Brown Butter. I found the scallops at my grocery to be very small, so I also grabbed a pound of Georgia shrimp and pulled Ecco's recipe for Garlic Shrimp with Olive Oil and Fresh Bay into the cue. They went together perfectly!
OK, pet peeve...when my meal is all the same color, like so...ARGH!
I am keeping a lot of Trader Joe's frozen sides on hand these days. This is the quinoa with veggies. It was unbelievable! Good protein, too.
For the scallops, you'll need:
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil (every time I type "olive oil", I type "Oliver"! HAHA)
- 4 sea scallops (I had to use 8!)
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 Tablespoon capers, rinsed
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
The recipe also calls for 1 cup of shelled English peas that you boil, shock and blend with a tablespoon of olive oil and cooking water...the scallops are supposed to sit on a bed of pureed peas. I skipped this, mostly because it just seemed more cumbersome than what it was worth!
For the scallops, heat a saute pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season scallops with salt and pepper. When olive oil begins to smoke, add the scallops. Cook for 2 minutes and turn.
Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Now, use your judgment depending on the size of your scallops. Mine were teeny tiny and didn't take as long!
When done, they should be crispy on the outside but springy to the touch. Remove scallops from the pan and drain on a plate with a paper towel.
Add butter, capers and thyme to the saute pan and cook over medium-high heat. The butter should become nutty brown in color and the capers will start to split. I think next time I will cook more over just medium heat. My capers got a little crispy...
When you are ready to serve, you'll spoon this butter sauce right over the scallops.
If you are crazy like me and think you need more than one entree, you'll need to do the shrimp at the same time. I was a little stressy tonight. Usually, I only like to handle one item that is time sensitive. For the shrimp, you'll need:
- 1/2 cup olive oil (Oliver, I did it again.)
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed (I used the pre-minced garlic for ease, although I much prefer fresh garlic.)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 pound fresh Georgia shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Kosher salt
Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add garlic, bay leaves and red pepper flakes. Saute a few minutes. Season both sides of the shrimp with salt and add to the pan. Saute 2 minutes and turn shrimp.
Cook for another 2 minutes. Again, use your judgment. There is nothing worse that tough, over cooked shrimp! They'll start to curl up and turn pink when they are done.
They are ready to be served!
Now, if you are a better meal planner than me, you will choose something green to go with these to brighten up your plate. Although, the flavor of the quinoa was a great compliment to the surf & surf!