Grilled Scallops with Saffron Butternut Squash Risotto

by Gavan on January 22, 2009

Wild Scallops with risotto

On one of my most recent trips to Ireland we ate in one of our favorite seafood restaurants, The Tankard, in my hometown. Ireland gets some amazing seafood from the Atlantic Ocean and it definitely affects the flavor to the good. The Tankard is known for their scallops, which are always so fresh and sweet. If only the Irish didn’t love their sauces so much. I’m not a big fan of putting sauce on my food as the Irish tend to do. In my opinion if the quality of the product is good let the flavor of the food speak for itself.

Just as with any seafood, it is best to purchase scallops from a store that has a good reputation for having a fresh supply of fish. Get to know a fishmonger so that you can have a trusted resource from whom you can purchase your seafood.

RECIPE:
Serves 4

16 wild sea scallops
2 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup white onion, fine dice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 heaped cup Arborio rice
¼ cup white wine
Pinch saffron
½ cup butternut squash – peeled, diced, tossed in 1 tbsp olive oil and roasted in 400°F (200°C) oven until tender, 20 minutes approx, pureed until smooth.
S & P to taste
2 tbsp  grated Parmesan (Optional)
1 bunch Asparagus – ends trimmed, grilled.

TIP: The best way to ensure your scallops are cooked evenly is to  picture your pan as a clock and begin laying the scallops at 12 o’clock  and continue clockwise. Once all are down let cook for 1½ minutes and  turn over beginning with the 12 o’clock scallop. This ensures that all  the scallops get the same amount of cooking time.

DIRECTIONS:
1. Begin by heating the broth and saffron on medium heat in a saucepan on stove.
2. Keep broth on a low heat while risotto is cooking.
3. Preheat large sauté pan on medium heat for 1 minute. Add olive oil.
4. Saute diced onion for 2 minutes on medium low heat, stirring but not coloring.
5. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
6. Add rice and sauté for 2 minutes along with onions.
7. Add wine and reduce until almost evaporated.
8. Begin cooking risotto by gradually adding broth to rice and simmer.
9. Once broth has been absorbed by rice, add another ladle.
10. Continue adding broth gradually until rice is cooked.
11. Once rice is ready fold in pureed butternut squash.
12. Taste and season.
13. Add Parmesan, cover and keep warm on very low heat on stove.

Scallops
1. Begin by removing the small side muscle from the scallops and discard.
2. Rinse with cold water.
2. Lay scallops on some kitchen paper and pat dry.
3. Preheat a grill pan on high heat for 2-3 minutes.
4. Just before searing season scallops with salt and white pepper.
5. Sear the scallops for 1½ minutes on each side.
6. Scallops should have a nice golden brown color but should be translucent in the middle.

TIP: The best way to ensure your scallops are cooked evenly is to picture your pan as a clock and begin laying the scallops at 12 o’clock and continue clockwise. Once all are down let cook for 1½ minutes and turn over beginning with the 12 o’clock scallop. This ensures that all the scallops get the same amount of cooking time.

All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Meg Wolff January 23, 2009 at 5:53 am

Hi Gavan,
This looks wonderful. I agree with your opinion “if the quality of the product is good let the flavor of the food speak for itself.” Hope you are having fun in LA. My son just moved to Topanga.

Kathleen January 23, 2009 at 6:32 am

This looks yummy! I’m going to find my fishmonger and cook this recipe for a little dinner among friends. Thanks Healthy Irishman!

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