Week 29: Scallops with a Corn Salad and Parmesan Risotto

Last weeks attempt at making fried chicken, and succeeding at it, influenced me to attempt another daunting dish. SCALLOPS.

I have read numerous times that is it so easy to overcook scallops and they can turn rubbery. Truthfully, overcooking might as well be my middle name. But, putting all fears aside and still living off the high from last week, I went to my bookshelf and found the scallop recipe I flagged months ago in the Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings Cookbook.

Her recipe looked simple enough, it included all the guidance I needed to make perfectly seared scallops, and a warm corn salsa to go with it. For me that would have been enough food, but I knew my boyfriend would be starving 30 minutes after eating, so I added a Parmesan Risotto to the dish.

I looked at the timing of each dish, and determined that I should start the Risotto first, then the corn salsa, and once both were finished, I could cook the scallops without any distractions.

Before I started, I made sure I had all of my ingredients and they were all measured out. This weeks dish is all about timing and precision, so having everything laid out before I begin is critical.

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For the Risotto:

  1.  I melted 2 Tbsp of butter in a high walled skillet. Then I sauteed diced up red onion.
  2.  Once the onions were fully cooked, pour in the cup of Arborio Rice and mix together for about 2 minutes; then pour in the white wine. * Maybe pour yourself a glass as well*IMG_1363
  3. Once the wine is absorbed, pour in half of the chicken broth and let it simmer until the rice has fully absorbed the broth. Mix occasionally so the rice doesn’t burn on the bottom. This should take about 6-8 minutes. Then pour in the remaining broth and again, let the rice simmer with occasional mixing until it is fully absorbed.
  4. Finally, pour in the Parmesan cheese and the remaining 1 Tbsp of butter and mix.

You will end up with a super creamy risotto, that you should season with some salt and pepper!

For the Corn Salad:

This portion of the meal was the absolute easiest. From above, I had already cut up all my ingredients, which included the scallions, red pepper and corn for this dish. So, making the salad was essentially 2 steps.

  1. Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a skillet.
  2. Add the pepper, scallions and corn to the skillet and mix.

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For the Scallops:

Here was the moment of truth. All of my side dishes had turned out perfectly, but that wouldn’t matter if I overcooked my scallops.

Chrissy first recommended drying the tops of the scallops so they could get a better sear. So while I made the risotto and the corn salad, my little scallops sat with a paper towel on top of them.

Once it was time to cook I removed the damp towel and I made sure my butter, oil, salt and pepper were all next to me. I did not want to be running around looking for my ingredients while my scallops burned.

  1. First, heat up your nonstick skillet and add 1 Tbsp of oil and then 1/2 Tbsp of butter.
  2. While the butter melted, season the tops of your scallops heavily with salt and pepper.img_1381.jpg
  3. Let them sit, DO NOT TOUCH THEM for about 2 minutes. (I imagined Chrissy yelling this at me in the kitchen, because it is so hard to not touch them) You might be able to see a little sear forming at the bottom of them. IMG_1382.JPG
  4. Nearing your 2 minutes, take a paper towel and gently dry the tops of your cooking scallops. Then again heavily season with salt and pepper.
  5. After your two minutes, add 1 Tbsp of oil and 1/2 Tbsp of butter and flip those babies over and admire your beautiful sear!
  6. Let them sit for about another 1 -1 1/2 minutes. You should take them off immediately and there should be a beautiful sear on both sides.

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Plate your dish:

In total, the entire meal took about 1 hour from preparing all of my ingredients until this beautiful masterpiece was on the plate.

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The moment of truth was cutting into the scallops and they were the perfect consistency. Not at all rubbery and tasted great with the corn salad and risotto.

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Pretty sure I won’t be able to top this dish. It was absolutely amazing, and I can honestly say this is definitely not a dish to fear. Time management and not getting distracted are key!

-R-

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