Friday, April 10, 2009

Scallops in Garlic Cream Sauce

Here is one of my "fast foods". It takes about 5 minutes, serious. Actually, since it takes 20 minutes to cook the rice, some planning is still required. Or serve them over a toast.

The key to getting sauteed scallops with a nice golden crust is to have dry scallops. "Dry" is a technical term here, it means that the scallops were not treated with a solution that makes them absorb water. Scallops sold frozen (or previously frozen) in the supermarket are usually treated, it makes them keep longer, gives them bright white color, and yes, increases weight. When you try to sautee them, they release their water and steam instead. Steamed scallops are great, but the golden crust is out.

I got my dry scallops in the sashimi section of Ranch 99 market, and they were light pink in color, had nice dry (not dried) surface, and were even not as expensive as the word "sashimi" implies.

To make scallops with garlic cream sauce, have the guests at table, rice ready on hot plates, and move fast.

Scallops with garlic cream sauce
for 2 servings

about 10 dry sea scallops
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp heavy cream
salt, pepper
2 tsp minced fine herbs, like parsley and chives

Heat oil and butter in a large sautee pan over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking.
Add the scallops, making sure they don't touch each other, and cook them without moving for about 90 seconds. Lift one with a spatula and see if the underside is a nice golden color. If the color is right, turn them over and cook on the other side, without moving, for one minute. Remove to a hot plate.
Reduce the heat to medium, sautee the garlic until it gets some color, about 30 seconds.
Add cream, salt and pepper, cook for about a minute to reduce a little, add back the scallops, toss them with the sauce, sprinkle with herbs, and serve over pasta, rice, or on toasts made of nice country-style bread.

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