Saturday, November 21, 2009

Edgy scallops

Scalloped edges may be long out of fashion, but as for scallops - the shellfish - they are edgy and always in style.

They are a fast food extraordinaire - 3 or 4 minutes each side until they turn the color of new pennies - and they play well with other fast foods.

Tonight, they took center stage with orzo, spinach and yam fries playing supporting rolls, all tied up with a lovely sauce that featured lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. A colorful (golden scallops, brilliant green spinach, bright orange yams) dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes, and few pans to clean.

Scallops' edge

Serves 2

4 ounces orzo (ricelike) pasta
6 scallops, rinsed and drained
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Juice of half a lemon
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black
2 teaspoons dried basil
4 or 5 ounces baby spinach

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, al dente. Drain.
  • As the orzo is cooking, whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Arrange scallops in a single layer in a shallow bowl or rimmed plate. Pour mixture over scallops. Sprinkle dried basil over scallops so that one side is coated with basil.
  • Heat a medium skillet over medium-high, and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Place scallops basil-side down, and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until dark golden brown. Turn scallops, and cook the other side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Heat the marinade in the microwave for a minute, then add to the pan, scraping all the caramelized scallop juices and stirring well. Add the pasta and spinach to the skillet and toss well until the spinach wilts. Serve immediately, with the scallops on top, with a side of oven-baked yam fries.

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