I just got back from a trip to the beach, where I consumed my body weight in fresh seafood.
Aside from special time with my sweetie, the highlight of the trip, for me, was the food.
There was a fried shrimp po’boy on day one, but I had to cry “uncle” pretty early on the homemade sourdough roll. It was just too big. I picked the shrimp out and ate it by itself. Then, there was the blue crab stuffed with tender lumps of crab meat, and succulent shrimp alongside the fillet of red snapper and the pan-seared scallops. Then, there were oysters on the half-shell and seafood gumbo. On our final night at dinner, I had the most sublime sea scallops I’d ever tasted. They literally melted in my mouth. The restaurant where we had dinner is 104 years old, which means it has survived two of the country’s most devastating hurricanes and a host of other horrible storms. It’s still in the family of the original owners, and they greet guests and mingle through the dining room.
I’ll never be able to prepare my scallops as well as they did, but I’m sure not going to give up trying.
Seared Scallops with Orzo and Butter Wine Sauce
3/4 cup uncooked orzo
2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley, divided
2 Tbs chopped fresh chives divided
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 lb large sea scallops
3/8 tsp kosher salt, divided
3/8 tsp black pepper, divided
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 Tbs shallots, chopped
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
3 Tbs chilled butter, cubed
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
Prepare orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Return to pan; stir in 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 tablespoon chives, olive oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Keep warm.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle scallops evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; coat scallops with cooking spray. Add scallops to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan; keep warm.
Combine wine, shallots and vinegar in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until liquid reduces to 1 tablespoon. Reduce heat to low. Add butter cubes 1 at a time, whisking after each addition until butter is fully incorporated. Stir in 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 tablespoon chives, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Serve scallops with sauce and orzo.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 382, Fat: 12.9 g (5.9 g Saturated Fat, 4 g Monounsaturated Fat, 1 g Polyunsaturated Fat), Protein: 32.8 g, Carbohydrates: 29 g, Fiber: 1.3 g, Cholesterol: 79 mg, Iron: 0.7 mg, Sodium: 577 mg, Calcium: 50 mg