This week for Gutsy Cooks Club Marie from Weekend Viands, our July host, served us up a fantastic Italian recipe for scallop sauce. One of our favorite shellfish options.
It was Italian simplistic; the best seafood you can find, simple olive oil, garlic, parsley and hot pepper. Couldn't be much more simple and delicious.
We actually LOVE scallops. Sweet, succulent and with a smooth texture when cooked well. The original recipe called for chopped red hot pepper. We went with a dried ancho chile instead that I used some Rick Bayless technique on. In most of his recipes he first basically deep fries his chiles to rehydrate them which gives them a fantastic deep, complex flavor. We did this and chopped it up for the sauce.
This recipe first started with a great classic combo of garlic, olive oil and the pepper brought up to high temperature without burning the garlic. Not easy for me to do usually.
The thing with scallops is they are best when seared well. And its hard to get a good sear when buying frozen scallops which is most typically what you will find in the grocery stores even in a seafood haven like the Pacific Northwest. We used Sea scallops instead of the small Bay scallops the recipe called for.
To achieve as much 'dryness' as possible I typically first ensure they are fully defrosted. Then I place them between layers of absorbent paper towels with weight on top to absorb as much moisture as possible. This helps. But having a hot pan, and we find the cast iron skillet works best for this, is another technique to help with this searing process.
The recipe called to serve them over pasta. We had just had pasta the night before and having pasta two nights in a row for us, being not huge pasta consumers, was just not in the cards. We decided to make some Israeli Couscous to serve them on instead.
We loved this simply elegant and delicate delicious dish. So, so good.
Find the recipe it's linked here. Thanks Marie for a great line up of Italian recipes to try this month.