Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pan-Seared Scallops and Leek Risotto (and Blackberry Vinaigrette)

Scallops and Leek Risotto

jump to the new blog for more risotto
Leek and Bacon Risotto
*note: omit the bacon for a vegetarian version

2 slices regular thickness bacon or 1 slice thick cut bacon *omit and replace with 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil for vegetarian
1 leek, white and light green part only thinly sliced and washed
1 C arborio or carnaroli rice (do not rinse!)
1/4 C dry white wine
2 1/2 - 3 C homemade chicken stock
1/4 C freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp butter

In a small saucepan, bring the stock to a low simmer and keep it warm.

In a large heavy bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium low heat until crisp and the fat has rendered. Turn up the heat to medium and add the leeks and a pinch of salt. Cook until the leeks have softened. Add the rice and cook the rice until the rice is evenly coated in the fat and toasty. You will be able to see an outer opaque ring around a white center on the rice grains.

Add the white wine and cook until it has absorbed. Reduce the heat to medium low and add a half cup of the chicken stock and freshly ground black pepper to taste. At a low simmer, cook the rice, while stirring continuously, until all of the stock has been absorbed. Add another half cup of stock and stir continuously. Repeat adding the stock and stirring continuously until the rice is al dente. You may not need all of the stock, or if you find yourself running low on stock, use some hot water. Start tasting the rice after 20 minutes of cooking. It should be tender with a slight firm bite in the center. When the risotto is finished cooking, take it off heat. It will be creamy, moist, and somewhat runny but it will thicken after adding the cheese and while it cools.

Off heat, stir in the Parmesan and butter and taste for salt.

Seared Scallop
Made these for Valentine's Day. They're perfect on this risotto.
Pan Seared Scallops
3 - 6 Scallops per person
Salt and Pepper

Keep the scallops in between two sheets of paper towels before you cook them. This will help absorb any moisture from the scallops. Season the scallops on both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat a stainless steel or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil.

When the pan is hot, add the scallops, giving them about 1 - 2 inches of room in between each other. Cook them undisturbed for 2 minutes then using a spatula, gently flip the scallops to the second side, cook for another 1 minute or until the second side is nicely browned also. Take off heat and serve with your favorite side.

Blackberry Vinaigrette

For the salad mix in our CSA box, I made a blackberry vinaigrette with the blackberries I painstakingly picked last summer. I still have about a gallon of frozen blackberries and I better hurry up and use them before they start tasting like freezer. Wouldn't that be a waste! I mean, my sweat and blood went into picking those blackberries! This is a great summery, fruity dressing that really relies on fresh berry flavor.

Blackberry Vinaigrette
3 Tbsp fresh blackberry puree
fresh lemon juice (to taste)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (to taste)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

If your blackberries are very ripe, sweet, and potent, you can get away using just two tablespoons of puree and add some lemon juice for tartness. My blackberries were not picked at their absolute ripest so they were still on the slightly tart side and I didn't need to add any lemon juice at all. Don't add any acid in the the beginning and just taste as you go.

Whisk the blackberry puree and Dijon together to mix, slowly whisk in some extra virgin olive oil until you get the consistency you like. Add lemon juice for additional tartness. Season with some salt and pepper.


Maria said...

The scallops look perfect and I can't wait to try the blackberry vinaigrette. Looks lovely!er

Rachel said...

Will have to try that risotto, looks great! Don't worry about not constantly stirring the risotto . . we never do and it always turns out perfect!

Anonymous said...

A great way to use leftover risotto is to form them into patties, dip in flour, egg then panko breadcruumbs and fry them up. Great with Salad as a light lunch or as a side dish....

Claudia said...

Looks like a good combo, the sacllops on that risotto. Another great way to use leftover risotto is stuffed chard leaves.

Patsyk said...

The scallops look amazing! I don't stir risotto either, but I do make it in my pressure cooker and that takes all the work out of it completely!

Honeybee said...

Mmmh, that looks amazing! I love scallops - in fact we just had some last night.

I sometimes make risotto in the pressure cooker (found that recipe on an italian blog of all places) and it turns out very nicely!

Anonymous said...

I feel that it's not so much how much you stir, but how well you stir risotto. If you give it a good, serious stirring every once and a while, the rice releases its starch and is as creamy as if you stirred constantly.

Love the combo here. Can't wait to try.

Anonymous said...

this is beautiful! the blackberry vinagrette is so creative!

The Food Hunter said...

I love scallops. This dish looks fantastic.

judyfoodie said...

Your scallops look amazing. Perfectly seared and still plump. I tend to overcook them. I'll have to give your risotto a try.

Amy said...

Judy, try searing them really fast in a very hot pan with lots of oil so they don't stick. Get some good color on them and you'll be good to go. :)

Amanda said...

oh our anniversary is coming up and this just seems like something really good to make! i like your blog with all the asian bits and parts - i'm tempted to make the xiao long bao in the next few weeks!

Hillary said...

What a beautiful light dinner! I think scallops go well with everything when they are pan seared! Yum!

Chew on That


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