Monday, July 6, 2009

Dry Curried Scallops with couscous, peas and scallions.

Dry Curried Scallops with couscous, peas and scallions.

First, a note on "Dry" Scallops: Buy them.

“Wet” scallops have been treated with a sodium tripolyphosphate in order to keep the scallops fresher looking and to help keep them moist. Most of us have only had "wet" scallops. We thus don't know what scallops really taste like. After trying "dry" scallops, I know. They taste jump-up-and-smack-me-in-the-mouth-GOOD. Like the sea, but sweeter.

Right now, they're available at Luken's down at Findlay Market (Downtown Cincinnati, OH) for just $9/lb. This is an incredible value.

To the recipe:

Curried Scallops Over Saffron Couscous
For two

1 lb. Medium dry scallops
1 T. Curry
1 tsp. Cayenne pepper or to taste
1 tsp. Salt or to taste
1 T. Grape seed oil
2 T. Butter
1 cup Heavy cream
6 scallions cleaned and sliced

For the Couscous

1 cup Couscous
2+ cups Chicken stock
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 dzn Saffron threads or a pinch to taste
1 generous pinch Salt
1-2 cups frozen peas

Rinse and dry the scallops (or not, I just season them and cook), and lightly salt both sides. Sprinkle a little cayenne on each side, being careful not to over-do it. Generously sprinkle curry on both sides of the scallops. A curry crust is fine.

Bring stock up to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add salt, turmeric, and saffron, then add couscous. Lower the heat and cover for 3 minutes. Stir in peas and add more stock if necessary. Cover and keep warm. Taste for seasoning and make sure peas are hot. Correct if necessary.

Heat a large non-stick skillet to high. Add grape seed oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter stops foaming, add the scallops, largest first in the center of the pan, then smaller around the outside. They will cook quickly. As the scallops brown lightly, turn them to cook the other side. Each side can cook, depending on how well you like them done, from 90 seconds-to-3 minutes. No more. They'll start getting chewy like shoe leather if you over cook them.

If in doubt, buy a few more than you plan on serving and test them as you cook them. You can always cook a scallop longer by adding more heat, you can't UN-cook a scallop.

Pre heat bowls in the microwave. Put the couscous in the warm bowls. As the scallops finish cooking, place the cooked scallops directly on the saffron couscous in each bowl.

Then add 1Tb butter to the hot pan and add half the scallions. Stir briefly until wilted, then add the cream. Bring to a boil, scraping any brown bits of scallop and spice off the bottom of the pan, and when the cream coats the back of a spoon, pour the sauce over the scallops and couscous. Garnish with scallions.

The whole process from flicking on the heat under the pan until you pour the sauce over the scallops should take about 15 minutes.

Serve with a bone-dry reisling or perhaps a pinot grigio.

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The Summer Kitchen Girls said...

Wo does this look good! We'll have to try it - bouth of our husbands LOVE scallops!

Admin said...

This looks so good, I think i'm going to make this tonight!

The Wife said...

By the way, we're having it again tonight. :-) yummmmmm.