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"If you're afraid of butter, use cream."- Julia Child

If you haven't noticed by now, I have a strong affinity for scallops. There's something indulgent about biting into those meaty, delectable rounds. Grilled on the BBQ, pan-seared, or even served raw in sushi...the list is endless and there's no wrong method in my opinion. For dinner this week, I decided to make Carmelized Scallops with a Balsamic Reduction Sauce served with roasted carrots and wild rice. It only took about 20 minutes to make and was scrumptious! So tasty that Mr. S. even offered to do clean-up solo.

Prep Tips:

1. Drain your scallops.

2. Place several papertowels on a plate, place the scallops in one layer on the plate. Cover with several papertowels. Place an inverted plate on top and push down hard, squeezing the liquid out.

3. Remove top layer of papertowels. Replace with fresh, dry papertowels. Repeat squeezing process.

4. Salt and pepper scallops on both sides.


Caramelized Scallops with a Balsamic Reduction Sauce

Ingredients:

For the Sauce:

½ cup good quality balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp unsalted butter

For the Scallops:

1 lb scallops
salt and fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp clarified butter
fresh basil or parsley
a pinch of sugar (optional)

Instructions:

1. In a saucepan, heat the balsamic vinegar over medium high heat until reduced by half. 

2. Add unsalted butter and stir gently. Set sauce aside (the sauce will thicken somewhat as it cools down).

3. Prepare the scallops (see above prep note). 

4. Heat ½ of the clarified butter in a a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until the butter's edge begins to brown slightly. 

5. Place ½ of the scallops in the pan and let them cook for 2 minutes (space them out so they are not touching).  Don’t move, stir or otherwise disturb them during this time as you want them to develop a nice, toasty carmelized crust.  (As the "bottom" is cooking, sometimes I like to sprinkle a teeny, tiny bit of sugar on the scallop. When flipped over to cook the "top," the sugar crystalizes and makes an even crunchier crust.)

6. Gently turn them over with tongs or a spatula and continue to cook for another 1 – 2 minutes. 

7. Transfer scallops to a warm plate. Cover with foil. Repeat with the remaining scallops.

8. Spoon sauce onto plates, top with scallops, and sprinkle with fresh chopped basil or parsley. Voila!


Roasted Carrots

Ingredients:

6 large carrots

2 tablespoons good olive oil

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

1 tablespoons minced parsley

 
Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Slice the carrots diagonally in 1 1/2-inch-thick slices. (The carrots will shrink while cooking so make the slices big.)

3. Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.

4. Transfer to a sheet pan. Spread them out in 1 layer and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until browned and tender.

4. Sprinkle with parsley, season to taste. Serve immediately.

 

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