Seared Scallops. The Delaware Seashore offers quite a selection of restaurants that serve good fresh local seafood. And I’m a huge sucker for good scallops.
Two of my favorite picks, SoDel Concepts Restaurant Group and Patsy’s Restaurant, both feature seared scallop dishes. Chef Matt Haley of SoDel Concepts and Chefs Patsy Dill Rankin and Robin Rankin of Patsy’s pull together some outstandingly unexpected combinations for their respective patrons. I have to admit that I’ve “borrowed” some of their ideas for my own kitchen.
My Seared Scallops over Mashed Potatoes recipe is one version that I’ve adapted from tasting Matt’s dishes. (I’ve got a few recipes that I’ve adapted from Patsy’s and Robin’s dishes, too — more in an upcoming posting.)
Additionally, I must confess that I pulled together the specific ingredients for this dish by leafing through my Culinary Artistry book (which I do often). What goes with scallops? Scanning the scallops ingredient pairing list from Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page‘s often-referenced book in my cookbook collection, I found potatoes, shallots, mustard, cream, garlic, white wine, and bacon in my fridge.
Back to my seared scallops and mashed potatoes recipe. I started by making a pot of mashed potatoes and setting them aside to stay warm. Also crisped up some bacon and set it aside. Sauteed some scallops on either side in butter and oil just until the scallops are golden brown but not cooked through. Removed the scallops to a plate and kept warm. Then added shallots and let them cook until a bit caramelized. Then added some garlic and cooked a few minutes. Deglazed the pan with white wine and then added the scallops back to the pan. Let the scallops cook a bit until they were cooked through but not overcooked. In a separate pan, I combined grainy country mustard with dijon mustard and some heavy cream and heated through. I plated the warm mashed potatoes, set four scallops and some of the sauteed shallots on the potatoes, and spooned a bit of mustard cream sauce on just the scallops and a bit around the edge of the potatoes. Then, I sprinkled some crunchy real bacon bits and minced parsley over the whole dish. Decadent, and of course, I will tell you how to lighten it up in the recipe details below.
From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….
Seared Scallops and Shallots over Mashed Potatoes with Grainy Mustard Sauce and Real Bacon Bits
6 c Easy Mashed Potatoes. (Click here for recipe.)
2 strips bacon, cooked crispy, and crumbled into bits
2 T grainy country mustard
1 T regular dijon mustard
1 c heavy or whipping cream
2 T butter
2 T vegetable oil
16 fresh or thawed scallops, each about 1 – 2 inches in diameter, shelled and de-bearded
3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 c dry white wine
1 T Italian parsley leaves, minced
1. Make the easy mashed potatoes, set aside, and keep warm. Cook the bacon to crispy, crumble it, and set aside.
2. Combine the mustards and cream in a small saucepan and set aside to warm over very low heat, stirring occasionally.
3. Heat the oil and melt the butter together in a large skillet over medium heat.
Sear the scallops on each side quickly just until they are golden brown on each side but not cooked through. Remove the scallops to a plate, cover with foil, and keep warm.
4. Add the shallots to the skillet and cook until they are lightly caramelized.
5. Lower the heat a bit, add the some garlic to the shallots, and cook a minute or so.
6. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom.
7. Cook 4 – 5 more minutes until the broth is slightly reduced. Add the scallops back to the pan, turning the scallops so they don’t overbrown yet are cooked and warmed through. Do not overcook the scallops or they will become tough.
8. Spoon 1.5 cup of mashed potatoes onto each of four plates. (Each plate receives 1.5 cups of mashed potatoes.)
9. Place four scallops on top of the mashed potatoes on each plate.
10. Divide the caramelized shallots and the buttery pan sauce over the scallops and mashed potatoes across the four plates.
11. Lightly spoon some of the mustard sauce over each scallop and around the circular edge of the mashed potatoes.
12. Sprinkle the crushed bacon bits over the scallops and mashed potatoes.
13. Garnish with the minced parsley.
14. And serve!
Serves four as a main course. Accompany with a side salad of baby greens and a light mustardy vinaigrette, or my Roasted Walnut Oil Dressing.
Variations: If you are not one for “tall food”, you can deconstruct the plating and put the scallops and shallots next to the mashed potatoes on the plate. Spoon the mustard sauce over the scallops and sprinkle everything with the bacon bits. To lighten this recipe, use less butter and olive oil, less cream and more of the mustards, and leave off the bacon. Substitute cauliflower puree for the mashed potatoes if you are watching your carbs — I believe that one version of the Bluecoast restaurant’s scallops dish had used cauliflower puree as a base. And if you are abstaining from alcohol in your diet, you can substitute seafood or chicken stock/broth for the white wine.
www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2012)