I cannot believe it is already mid- November and before we know it, it will be Thanksgiving and then time to hang up the Christmas décor and decorate the tree. Time seriously flies by so fast and sometimes it’s hard to just slow down, relax, and appreciate the little things. One way for me to appreciate life is by getting in my kitchen and cooking a good meal I can feed myself and others. This super easy recipe is something you can enjoy from start to finish.
I love this time of the year because the mornings are crisp and cooler and on my days off from work, I can go outside and take a morning jog and really live in the moment and think about the things that truly matter in life. Small things like going grocery shopping, reading a magazine, drinking coffee, or even doing my laundry make me feel happy deep down inside. However, above everything, cooking in my kitchen is where I find my happy place. To me, there is nothing like creating something delicious from a handful of simple ingredients. And who doesn’t like to chow down on a good meal?
What I love so much about this recipe is that it is healthy, colorful, and super tasty. The scallops are hearty and very filling so you won’t be digging through your pantry a couple hours later. The quinoa is bright, light, and filled with delicious ingredients such as sun dried tomatoes, golden raisins, capers, and parmesan cheese. It’s exciting for our palates to experience different tastes and textures such as sweet and salty, crunchy and chewy, etc. I think you will find this recipe a real treat and it won’t take you much time at all. Feel free to sip a glass of wine while you’re cooking. 🙂
For this recipe you will need:
4 U-10 scallops (or more depending on how many people you are feeding)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup rainbow quinoa (makes 2 cups total)
1 small shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 Tbsp capers
1 lemon, zested
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the quinoa in a strainer under cold water. Add to a medium sauce pot and cover with 1.5 cups cold water. Once the water reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or once all of the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
In a saute pan, saute the shallot until tender, about 5 minutes. Then, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Degalze the pan with the white wine and reduce over medium-high heat until dry. Add the chicken stock, sun-dried tomatoes, golden raisins, and capers. Cook for about 7-10 minutes. Add 2 cups quinoa, lemon zest, lemon juice, parmesan cheese and parsley. Stir everything together and season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the scallops:
Season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to a sauté pan and crank the heat to high. Once the oil begins to pop and sizzle, add the scallops to the pan and allow them to form a delicious, beautiful brown crust. *This process is known as the maillard reaction.* The scallops should not be bothered while they are searing and forming their brown crust…. leave them be. Once the scallops do not stick to the bottom of the pan, it is time to turn them over. Add 2 Tbsp unsalted butter to the pan and baste the scallops. The basting process will provide the scallops with moisture and extra flavor. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes and they are done! Overcooked scallops are tough and chewy- so don’t cook the hell out of them.
Lay the beautiful, rainbow quinoa on a plate and top with the perfectly seared scallops. The most time consuming part of this recipe is waiting for the quinoa to cook. Everything else is simple and speedy. Bon Appetit!