Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day, Scallops over Pasta

This is mine and Jeffrey's 1st Valentine's Day as a married couple, but it is our 7th Valentine's day together. I have a "Jeffrey" box that I keep all of our cards and keepsakes in. I look through it often and yesterday I found the pictures of our first Valentine's Day together. I made him dinner (surprise, surprise) and we went to a family friends house (Thank you Heather!) and she had decorated a beautiful table and put out paper hearts all over the place (yes I still have the paper hearts). Jeffrey gave me a CD that had music that reminded him and us and we listened to it during dinner. I even kept the menus with our meal printed on them. Now you have to remember I was 17! See I really have been cooking well for a long time!

I told Jeffrey that all I wanted for Valentine's day was to go out to dinner. Since I have lived here we have only been out to eat 4 times! There are soo many cute restaurants within walking distance from us that I want to try. I will let you know how our dinner goes. Here is a easy meal for a romantic dinner with your Honey!

Scallops with a Crunchy Skin over Pasta
10 whole Scallops (the pack I got had a few too little..)
1/2 box Fettuccine
1 Tb olive oil
1 Tb butter
1 clove garlic
1 whole tomato (I used 1 1/2 Roma tomatoes)
3/4 cup white wine (the recipe called for 1 cup, but I think it was too much)
1/4 cup greens (the recipe called for parsley but I hate parsley so I used this baby arugula, it is just for the color)
2 tsp lemon
salt and pepper

Cook pasta and drain.

Chop tomatoes.
Use paper towels to pat the scallops really dry! This will allow the skin to cook crunchier.

Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
In a heavy skillet heat olive oil on high heat.

Put scallops in skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side.

Remove and set aside on a plate.

Turn heat to low and add butter and garlic.

Cook for 10 seconds and add the tomatoes.

Cook for 30 seconds then turn heat up to medium high and add the wine and lemon juice.

Saute for 1 min, scraping the bottom to deglaze the pan.
Add salt and pepper then add pasta and greens.

Stir and serve on a plate topped with scallops.

It took me a few times to get the searing of scallops perfected, here is what I have learned.
1.) Scallops need to be REALLY dry. So if they are frozen, let them completely thaw, then place them between layers of paper towels and place something heavy on top (I used boxes of chicken broth). Let them sit like this in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
2.) Heat your pan before adding oil. It should be so hot that you can barely hold your hand over it. Then add your oil just before putting the scallops in.
3.) Place the scallops around the outside of the pan first and let cook for 2 1/2 mins. Then when you turn your scallops over place in the middle where it is the hottest to cook for 1 minute.
This will make the skin crispy and golden, while not overcooking. See photo below!

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