Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Seared scallops with cauliflower puree: a recipe

Not the best photo but, hey, we were hungry and eager to eat
This is a delicious, elegant dish yet ridiculously quick and easy. Seeming oxymoron, I know, but I swear it's true.

I used to fear the scallop. Not in a food poisoning way, but in a scared-to-cook-it way. I was always afraid they'd be too rubbery when cooked at home, so I reserved them as one of my dining-out-only options.

I no longer fear the home-cooked scallop. Neither should you.

The recipe guidance is to cook them about 3 minutes per side (this was pretty accurate for me and my stove) or until "desired degree of doneness" -- I prefer to call that the would-I-eat-this test. Just look at it and ask yourself (you knew it was coming), "Would I eat this?" If it looks right/done/edible, you're all set.

Incidentally, this is the way I select produce, too. So if you are in the grocery store and see a small crazy woman holding up a cabbage and talking to herself, that's probably me.

Go ahead, say hi.

Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Puree (only slightly adapted from Cooking Light)

2 cups chopped cauliflower florets
1 cup peeled Yukon gold potato, cubed
1 cup water
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
kosher salt
black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5-6 minutes or until potato is tender. Set aside and let rest, uncovered, 10 minutes.

Heat oil in a large pan over high heat. Pat scallops dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Add scallops to pan; cook about 3 minutes per side or until desired degree of doneness (do the would-I-eat-this test!). Remove scallops from pan.

Add salt to taste, butter, and red pepper to the cauliflower mixture. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Serve puree topped with scallops.


  1. Hey, were you in Publix yesterday? I saw a crazy woman talking to a cabbage....

    Those scallops look good.

  2. Ah, the Publico! If you came to visit more often, you could have scallops, too. :-)

  3. I'd get away with my plan of visiting more often if it weren't for these meddling kids!

    You might be sorry you started this blog. When I *do* come to visit I'll have a list of things you need to make for me.