After watching a version of Hells Kitchen on television recently, Bill was hungry for scallops! We see so many delicious foods on the Network but as you’re aware, we don’t have plentiful access to fresh seafood here in Minnesota. We made a trip to Costco last week and by good luck they were hosting their “seafood roadshow”! Basically, this means that they bring in a lot more seafood options and items. I’ve done some looking around other stores in the area and most offer seafood that is “previously frozen”. So even if they “look” (and smell) fresh, its likely that they have been frozen at some point. I’ve had good success with the scallops from Costco, so I bought a big bag! They were of great quality and smelled “sweet” once thawed. We had also recently eaten scallops as the second course that were served in a broth during Chef Kevin’s wine dinner at Nectar, so I was inspired to try something similar! Though it was delicious and Bill LOVED this dish, I would cut back next time I make it on the Cumin. You can always add more as there may have been a lot within the sausage.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Chorizo Sausage
1/2 Onion, medium chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, pressed
3 Cups Water
1 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Sweet Paprika
1 Tablespoon Vegetable “Better than Bouillon” (I’ve heard there is a seafood version, but have not been able to find it yet!
1 Cup Half & Half
Remove the small side muscle from the thawed scallop. Rinse in cold water and dry completely. Set aside and prepare the other ingredients for the broth and side dishes.
To prepare the chorizo broth, begin by cooking the sausage over a small simmer in the water within a small sauce pot for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the sausage and set aside to cool somewhat. Reserve the water/liquid, which may have some of the fluids from within the sausage that has been released. Add the bouillon to the water dissolving completely.
Saute the chopped onion in oil until it begins to become translucent. Add the chopped chorizo and saute until it becomes somewhat browned and begins to caramelize.
Add the vegetable broth, half and half and spices to the same skillet whisking to pick up all the bits at the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and reduce by about a third to half.
To prepare the scallops, season each with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear the scallops by heating two teaspoons of oil and two teaspoons of butter in a very hot skillet. (Some chefs recommend searing in oil only and omitting the butter, but I like the flavor.) If you choose to use butter, you do not want it to burn, so heat it with the oil until it just begins to brown and smoke.
Gently add the scallops to the skillet cooking one and a half minutes on each side. They should have 1/4 inch golden crust on them, while still remaining translucent in the center. DO NOT overcook them. I recommend using your timer. Serve immediately by placing into the chorizo broth that has been spooned into a shallow, large dish.
I recommend serving a crustini that has been brushed with oil and fresh garlic. We enjoyed a nice sweet potato and a salad along side with a spectacular bottle of Beringer Merlot! You may have heard that certain wines can only be enjoyed with specific foods. White for example, with fish? In reality, everyone has their own preferences about which wines and foods are complementary, and how good a wine tastes with food often has more to do with the seasoning in a dish or how it is cooked than it does with the dish itself. I encourage you to discover your own preferences!