Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Seared Scallops with Orange Pecan Green Beans

I've been on a scallop kick lately. On Saturday night, I had them with some delicious balsamic glazed baby brussels sprouts and on Monday night, I had them with Mexican style with some tomatilla salsa. What's not to like about scallops. They are naturally sweet but can also stand up to any flavorings you choose.

Last night, I chose oranges. Determined to make a dent in our stock pile of Florida's finest, I grabbed six oranges, juiced them, and them, and reduced the juice to create a sweet sauce/glaze for the green beans. Whisking in a little unsalted butter would have brought the dish to another level, but I'm still in the 'it's time to eat healthy' phase.

First things first: searing scallops. Here are the key points.
1. Keep you product dry. If you feel the need to rinse, that's fine, but before you sear, dry the product and season it well with salt and pepper. (Oil and water doesn't mix, it splatters)
2. Non stick pan always helps. Turn the heat to high and let the pan get hot.
3. Add a little oil. You're don't want to pan fry, so a little oil. For added flavor you can use a little butter combined with the oil. (I wouldn't use butter soley because it will brown too quickly).
4. Let the oil get hot.
5. Gently place the product into the pan with the side you want to sear face down.
6. Don't touch it!!! If you're cooking something totally on the stove top, (scallops, shrimp, thin chicken, or anything else that doesn't need a lot of cooking time) turn the heat down to medium once a nice crust forms. Otherwise, you can keep the heat high and finish cooking in the oven (steak, lamb, ect).
7. Turn the product when a nice crust has formed. Scallops, for example, don't take long to cook. So sear them for 3-4 minutes (not touching them) and then flip them to finish the cooking for antoher 2-4 minutes. Time of cooking depends on the size of the product.

These tips aren't specific to scallops. They are specific to searing. And that means anything, from mushrooms to chicken to apples.

I blanched the green beans earlier in the day and just tossed them with the toasted pecans and hot organe glaze when I was ready to serve the meal. Following the culinary rule of everything is best in odd numbers, I added five scallops to each plates and then added the green bean salad.


foodbin said...

good dish, well presentation.

Anonymous said...

I tried these with my mom- amazing! =D


dan said...

Damn. This looks good.

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