Seared Scallops over a Creamy Bed

This is officially the first meal that I’ve prepared by myself since getting pregnant. I think I’m finally over this whole ‘pukey’ phase, thank GOODNESS!

To celebrate, I asked you…my lovely readers, what I should do with my scallops. This dish is what I came up with after hearing all of your excellent ideas! So thank you for helping me in my cooking-block (similar to writers block, you know?!?).

I also apologize for the quality of photographs. The darn sun goes down so early these days that dinner shots are taken under my kitchen lights…and I guess will have to do until I figure some sort of ‘faux’ natural light. Speaking of which, any ideas? 😀

Seared Scallops over a Creamy Bed

Ingredients (rice grits)

rice grits recipe from Anson Mills
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup rice grits (or something similar)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Ingredients (creamy vegetables)

  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 6 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole milk

Ingredients (seared scallops)

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • about 12 scallops
  • salt and pepper, to taste

How-To

  1.  Bring the water to a boil. (see ingredients for Rice Grits)
  2. Add the rice grits, bring back to a boil and turn the heat to low to simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  4. Pour the rice grits into a fine meshed colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  5.  Spread the rice grits on a baking sheet in an even layer.
  6. Bake for 5 minutes.
  7. Scatter the butter cubes, salt and pepper on the rice grits.
  8. Bake for another 5 minutes.
  9. Stir and place in n oven safe bowl.
  10. Cover the oven safe bowl with foil and place back in the warm oven to keep warm.
  11. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. (see ingredients for Creamy Vegetables)
  12. Preheat a skillet to medium-high heat.
  13. Add the butter and olive oil to the skillet before adding the onions.
  14. While stirring, allow the onions to get tender.
  15. Once tender, add in the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are tender.
  16. Add in the spinach and cook until wilted.
  17. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, and stir to coat.
  18. Add the milk in 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly.
  19. Once everything is combined, pour the creamy vegetables into an oven safe bowl, cover with foil and place in the oven to keep warm.
  20. If you’re using the same skillet for the scallops, rinse the skillet clean and wipe dry with a paper towel. (see ingredients for Seared Scallops)
  21. Preheat the skillet to medium-high heat for about 4 minutes.
  22. Meanwhile, rinse and drain the scallops.
  23. Place the scallops on a paper towel and pat good and dry.
  24. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  25. Add the butter and olive oil to the skillet.
  26. Carefully add the scallops to the skillet, spaced out far enough from one another to cook well.
  27. Let sear on each side for 2-4 minutes, until browned and almost firm to the touch.
  28. Serve up the plates and enjoy!

Servings: 3-4

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11 comments

  1. these look SO good. i’m in love with scallops and the way you cooked them, with the nice sear on the outside, makes me want to eat the screen.

    so faux lighting suggestions: i made an entry on how to make a lightbox a week or so ago: http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/2011/12/05/how-to-lightbox-tutorial/ it’s definitely helped me out a lot — also, buying daylight CF bulbs are a lifesaver too!! good luck 🙂 the box is super easy to make.

  2. Yum! This sounds wonderful. Any idea how I can do the creamy vegetables with a milk substitute? I would love to make these for Christmas dinner and will have a couple vegans joining us.

    1. Thanks Sami! It looks like you have a couple of options. I was basically making a very small amount of alfredo sauce with the vegetables. So, if you went vegan, here are three options that you could modify for this dish: http://happyherbivore.com/recipe/instant-vegan-alfredo/ http://ohsheglows.com/2011/01/03/quick-and-easy-vegan-alfredo/ http://vegetarian.about.com/od/pastaandnoodlerecipes/r/cashewalfredo.htm I hope this helps! Happy cooking and Happy Holidays! 😀

  3. looks yummy, caroline! i love love love seared scallops. we used to make them a lot at home, but i’ve gotten a bit lazy lately (i have to drive a good distance to get good scallops). this is inspiring me to go out + pick some up — thank you!

  4. Yummy 😀 I don’t often get scallops, but those look delicious, especially with mushrooms and spinach.
    I’ve heard of using a lightbox as well, but I haven’t tried it. I’m sure you can find lots of tutorials on how to make one if you google it. I really should give it a try, the light is awful this time of year!
    Oh, and I’m glad you’re starting to feel better!

  5. This recipe looks delicious! I think I’m going to make it this week. Where did you find the rice grits? I love, love, love you blog! I grew up in Charleston and moved back here after college so I love reading your posts about Charleston 🙂

    1. Aww, thank you Elizabeth! I actually got the rice grits from Anson Mills in Columbia, SC, but I’m pretty sure they would sell them some place in downtown Charleston. 🙂 Good luck finding it and making this dish! I bet it’ll be delicious!

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