Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Scallops and Shrimp served over Lightly Seasoned Pasta

Scallops and Shrimp served over Lightly Seasoned Pasta

This is my own creation. Large sea scallops were on sale at Sunflower Farmer's Market, and I've been dying to try my hand at cooking some, especially after watching Hell's Kitchen. I have heard repeatedly that scallops can easily be overcooked, and I have tasted many of those overcooked scallops.

In a nutshell, this was not one of those super easy dishes (especially in this microwave or eat out era). The culinary snob in me wants to stretch my legs and play. Each main part of this dish - the shrimp, the scallops, the pasta, the sauce were all cooked separately - to avoid overcooking any singular item and to best accentuate the flavors of each.

  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • 12 raw shrimp
  • 1 package of 16 oz brown rice spiral pasta (and a bit more of a second package)
  • green onions
  • diced tomatoes (I used canned tomatoes, since fresh ones aren't in season) - I think it was a 15 oz container
  • 2-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • sea salt
  • olive oil
  • chicken broth
  • a few pinches of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Cook the pasta (15 minutes) wit a bit of sea salt. I drained it, rinsed the pasta with cool water, and drained the water again.
  • I used a pan to cook the shrimp. Start with some green onions cut finely with olive oil on medium heat. Once fragrant, dump the shrimp in. Season with sea salt and red pepper flakes while they're cooking. Just cook long enough for them to be done. Pull out the shrimp but leave whatever juice that accumulated from cooking.
  • With the left over juices and green onions, melt the butter in the pan. Then put the scallops into the pan. Mine were frozen, but I had thawed them out on the counter top for a few hours. BE REALLY CAREFUL NOT TO OVERCOOK THE SCALLOPS. I had thought about searing them, but given the amount of juice I was working with, that wasn't going to happen. Shouldn't take more than a few minutes to cook, depending on the size of the scallops and the intensity of heat being used. Should be a bit translucent in the middle. They should be tender and NOT at all rubbery. These are way to easy to overcook.
  • In a third cooking vessel, a pot, I cooked the sauce - my very own creation - diced tomatoes (with the juice), apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and whatever juice remained after cooking the scallops.

Ready to serve! In each bowl, put in the pasta, followed by some shrimp and scallops, finally with sauce on top.

These ingredients probably serve 8-12.

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