I love scallops but I rarely think about making them. On a whim I decided to buy them at the supermarket this week without having any specific recipe in mind. One of the things I like to do when I don’t know what to do with an ingredient is to go on foodnetwork.com and look for recipes and get ideas. Looking around I found this recipe for creamy spicy seafood pasta. I decided to play around with it, keeping in mind that a lot of the reviews said that it was bland and try to “kick it up a notch” a la Old School Emiril.
Ingredient collage: Garlic (as much as you can stand), onion, red chilies, pureed tomatoes, chopped parsley and lots of vodka. Notice I put the most important ingredient in the middle? Booze makes pretty much everything taste better.
First of all, as usual, I browned the onions along with salt and pepper. Right before they were done I added in the garlic to cook quickly. I loathe burnt garlic so I don’t mind if it is under rather than over cooked.
Next was a big glug of the pureed tomatoes along with a splash of cream, a cheerful amount of vodka and the red chillies. I let it reduce a bit until it had a smooth creamy consistency.
I decided to rinse my scallops really well, I’ve eaten scallops that still have some sand in them and it does not make for a happy meal.
All the scallops went for a swim in the creamy sauce which resulted in them getting poached. On the plus side this makes for less dishes and faster prep, on the negative side this waters down the sauce. Next time I will pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and then sear them before adding them to the sauce.
Once the scallops were cooked I threw in the parsley and gave the sauce a taste. I ended up adding plenty of smoked Spanish paprika (buy this, it will change your life), a pinch of oregano and a pinch of dried basil as well as more salt and pepper. I taste everything as I’m cooking and constantly adjust the seasonings. Obviously, I don’t do this when there is raw meat involved as I have no interest in ending up in the hospital.
Make this. Impress the in-laws, the parents or just yourself. Unless you’re one of those lucky souls who lives near the ocean and has access to cheap seafood this isn’t exactly budget friendly as a family meal. This would work equally well with Nordic shrimp or shredded imitation crab. The ingredients are pretty much pantry staples and the whole thing takes less than half an hour to pull together. Definitely a repeat.