Seared Scallops with Wine-Braised Leeks

The photo doesn’t do these justice.   If those jumbo scallops were cheaper, I’d eat these all the time.  Like  popcorn.  Or Cool Ranch Doritos.  Seriously, you’ll be tempted to eat them with your hands if only to lick your fingers afterward. 

Now I’m hungry.

Seared Scallops with Braised Leeks

1 lb large scallops
1 large leek, white and pale green parts only
1 cup dry white wine
1 chicken bullion cube
2 Tbs butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs  fresh tarragon, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
flour for dredging
salt, hot sauce, lemon juice, to taste

Trim bottom of the leek and cut crosswise into segments about 2-1/2″ long. Cut each segment in half lengthwise. Wash any grit from the leeks, keeping the half-cylinder segements intact.  Cut the leeks into sticks.  There should be 3 to 4 loosely packed cups.

Melt butter in a saucepan and add wine, boullion cube and leeks. (I use a teaspoon of concentrated chicken base, like Better Than Boullion).  Toss the leeks to coat with the butter and then cover tightly. Braise over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until leeks are very tender.

Drain leeks and return the braising liquid to saucepan.  Add the cream, stir, raise the heat to medium high and reduce the liquid by about half.  While the liquid is reducing, wash the scallops and dry them well. Place them in a ziploc bag with the 1/2 tsp salt and some flour. Shake well to coat.  Rest scallops on a plate for 10 minutes.

When the cream mixture has reduced, add tarragon, garlic and braised leeks.   Season with salt, hot sauce and lemon juice.    Keep warm while cooking scallops.

In a heavy frying pan, heat 1 Tbs. butter and 1 Tbs. olive oil until very hot but not smoking.  Sear the scallops for 1 minute, then turn and cook another 30 seconds.  Serve atop braised leeks.

Recipe courtesy of Stephen Cooks.

Smoked Paprika Scallops, Fennel, Black Japonica Rice & Spiced Tomato-Spinach

This was one of those “what do I have in the freezer/pantry and how can I spin it into something different?”-type meals.    It was also pretty easy to make.

 

Smoked Paprika Scallops

 

Smoked Paprika Scallops with Fennel

1 pound small scallops
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 tomato, diced
1 cup white wine
Salt and pepper
1 lime, sliced into wedges, for garnish

Rinse the scallops and pat them dry. Toss with the paprika and salt. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium high heat and sear the scallops for about a minute on each side – do not overcook. Remove and put on a plate and cover to keep warm.

Heat the olive oil in the skillet and add the garlic and fennel. Saute slowly over medium heat until slightly softened – about 5-10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and wine and simmer until slightly reduced – about 10 minutes. Add the scallops back in for about 2 minutes – just long enough to warm through. Taste and season as necessary with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with pasta or rice.

Recipe courtesy of Apartment Therapy.

 

Spiced Tomato-Spinach

1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach
1 cup tomato, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2  teaspoon cumin, ground
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper

Rinse & clean spinach.  Discard tough stems.  Pat dry or spin in salad spinner.  Heat olive oil in heavy saute pan over medium-low heat.  Saute garlic for a few minutes.   Add spinach, tomato, cumin, and cayenne.   Toss over heat until spinach is wilted, but not mushy.  Salt & pepper to taste.

Recipe based on an article I think I read in the New York Times about a Middle Eastern spinach recipe.  Or a Mediterranean one.