Seared Scallops + Parmesan Risotto
You know when you scroll thought Pinterest trying to find something you can cook that looks freaking awesome but also not so hard at the same time? Yeah, me too. I'm actually a pretty decent cook and baker in the kitchen, my first job was working in the kitchen at a bakery! Cooking just sounds so exhausting, daunting, and time-consuming, sometimes at the end of the day you just want it to cook itself.
Well this recipe was perfect! I actually found this recipe on Pinterest and thought I would give it a try. See the full recipe and original post from food blogger - Pinch of Yum and keep reading to see my tips below on how I pulled off this meal.
Y'all, I felt like a professional chef while making it and it really wasn't hard. It didn't even take that long nor did it leave a big mess in the kitchen when I was done. This is my "this is what cooking really looks like when normal people cook" so if my pictures are professional chef-worthy pictures, just know it's because I'm here to be real with you. :)
A few things I did that helped me out. I started by boiling the spinach to get that part out of the way. I make spinach a little different, I literally buy a frozen package of spinach at the store, drop a couple servings in a pot of water, bring to boil for 5 minutes or so and add some seasoning salt to give it some flavor and pepper. You can add whatever else you'd like to give it some more flavor. Once it has come to a boil I let it sit warm on a back burner until I'm ready to serve. when I serve I like to top with shredded cheese for more taste :).
Then I tackled the risotto. It was so fun! I followed Pinch of Yum's instructions exactly and oh my goodness was it amazing. Once the risotto was done I turned off the burner and placed near the back of the stove (keep warm). Seriously, I impressed the pants of my husband with this meal!
Lastly, the scallops. Ok, seafood scares me. The word searing scares me. Put them together? Just no. But they looked so yummy in the pictures I had to give it a try. I bought a pound of frozen scallops at Wal-Mart. Yep. Frozen and Wal-Mart. Not sorry, this is real life people not Food Network over here.
The one great thing about this Texas heat is that anytime I buy frozen food it's usually thawed out by the time I get home :). I put the bag of scallops in the sink and ran hot water over them while I cooked the spinach and risotto. Follow the instructions about making sure they are dry (I just pat mine down with a paper town).
Ok now the searing part.... you need a HOT pan, definitely buy the grapeseed oil. Once your pan is freaking burn you hand hot, put the grapeseed oil in the pan, and then start dropping in your scallops. I pulled a few of those cool "shake the pan with one hand moves" to just slide around the scallops, it helps them to brown more evenly. I browned my for about 3-5 minutes on each side (make sure both sides are browned). Once they look done (tender and browned on both side!) remove from pan, pat dry again.
Now you are ready to serve! I plated our meals ( drop spinach on the plate, drop risotto and place scallops last) don't forget to drop a few tablespoons of butter in the still hot pan, melt and drizzle over your scallops for the most amazing taste EVER. Good luck!
*Ingredients and Instructions from Pinch of Yum - see her original post here!*
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1 tablespoon butter
1 minced clove garlic or 1 minced shallot (or both)
1 cup arborio rice
½ cup white wine
3-ish cups of chicken broth
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 pound jumbo scallops
SAUTEED SPINACH OR KALE:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
4 cups spinach or kale
3 tablespoons butter
For the Risotto: In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic or shallots and sautee for a minute or two, until soft and fragrant. Add the arborio rice, stir to coat with butter. Add the white wine and enjoy the sizzles. Add the broth, ½ cup at a time, and simmer/stir after each addition until the rice is soft and creamy. I usually err on the side of more liquid to get a creamier texture. Add the parmesan and stir until incorporated. Salt + pepper to taste.
For the Seared Scallops: Heat oil in nonstick skillet. Pat scallops dry (VERY DRY, as dry as possible), sprinkle with salt, and add to pan. They should sizzle (if not, you need a hotter pan.) Shake gently to prevent sticking. After 2-3 minutes, flip each scallop over. They should have a pretty golden brown exterior and an opaque inside. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil. Serve immediately.For the Sautéed Spinach: Heat the oil over medium low heat. Add the garlic, stir for a minute to get the flavor going. Add the spinach or kale and stir until wilted.For the Brown Butter: Put a few tablespoons of butter in a clean skillet over medium heat and stir it while watching it closely - when it starts to look golden and foamy, remove from heat, transfer to a heat-proof bowl to cool slightly, then drizzle over the risotto, scallops, and greens
For the Brown Butter: Once I transferred the scallops I literally dropped 3 TBS of butter back in the pan and on the burner to sizzle and drizzled over the scallops when plated.