After watching a few episodes of Top Chef Masters recently, I had a hankering for some scallops (which I’m going to blame on seeing Jamie, who made like 14 scallop dishes during her season on Top Chef). Luckily, the December issue of Cooking Light had a recipe for scallops that looked really appealing:with fennel and grapefruit salad. I was interested to see how such strong flavors would work together.
1 large grapefruit
1.5 cups sliced fennel bulb (1 small-ish bulb)
½ cup flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
½ – 1 lb(about 12 for two people)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
To start, peel and section the grapefruit, reserving about ¾ cup grapefruit sections in a bowl. With the remaining grapefruit, squeeze to extract the juice (about ¼ cup) and set aside (apart from the grapefruit sections.
To cut the fennel, trim off the stalks and discard. Remove any dirty or hard areas on the bulb (that white part at the bottom) by peeling off the first layer if needed. Cut the bulb in half and lay them on the cutting board flat side down. Slice across the bulb in thin slices.
Combine the grapefruit sections, fennel, and parsley in a bowl. Set aside.
|grapefruit and fennel salad|
I always thought cooking scallops would be a daunting task, but it is actually really easy, and quick too! However, be careful to not overcook them, scallops can get very rubbery if left on the heat too long. This recipe called for pan frying the scallops so I started by heating 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a sauté pan. While waiting for the pan to heat up, I sprinkled some salt and pepper on the scallops and then added them to the pan one by one (I used tongs to put them in so that the liquid didn’t splash all over the place). Let the scallops cook one that one side for about 4 minutes. Use the tongs to flip the scallops over and cook for another minute. Remove the scallops and keep warm.
Add the reserved grapefruit juice to the pan and cook for about two minutes. Remove from heat.
To assemble the dish: place half of the fennel mixture on each plate (I made two servings). Divide scallops evenly (each plate should have 4-6 scallops) then top with half of the rendered juice.
This ended up being a really pretty dish, if I do say so myself. Taste-wise, it was something nice and different, but I don’t think I enjoy fennel ( = mild licorice) enough to add this to my list of rotating dinners. However, I’m pretty jazzed to add scallops to my list of foods I can handle cooking!