Creamy Risotto and Pan-Seared Scallops
What you need:
5 1/2 cups chicken stock (or broth)
2 T olive oil
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely shopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup Asiago or Parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 T fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 T unsalted butter
1 lb sea scallops (fresh or frozen)
What You Do:
First bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a medium pot. In a pan with high sides (or a pot) heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the rice and combine well with a wooden spoon until the rice is well coated with oil, then add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the wine and stir until most of the wine has been absorbed by the rice. Add about 1/2 cup of the chicken stock to the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until it as been absorbed by the rice.
You will continue doing this for a while, just keep adding the chicken stock and letting the rice absorb the liquid. Don't forget to stir frequently (and by frequently I mean almost continuously. I told you that you'd want a partner to help do the dirty work).
Meanwhile, let's get started on the scallops. Make sure you rinse them really well and remove any of that abductor muscles that are still attached. Once you make sure they are clean, go ahead and season them. I stuck with just salt and pepper, but I think when I make this again I'll be a little more creative with the seasoning. To sear the scallops, add 1 T olive oil and 1 T butter to a large saute pan and place over high heat. When the pan begins to smoke add the scallops, making sure they don't touch each other. Sear the scallops until the form a a golden crust, then turn over and do the same on the other side (about 1 1/2 minutes each side). Don't overcook the scallops or they'll be chewy.
The aforementioned helper. Look how excited he is about stirring. It will take about 30 minutes for the risotto to finish cooking (you may not need to use all the stock). Once the rice is tender, stir in the cheese and chopped thyme.
Serve the scallops over the risotto and garnish with fresh parsley. I also served mine with a couple slices of french bread I put under the broiler for a few minutes and rubbed with a clove of garlic.
If you try this recipe let me know what you think, and if anyone has any tips on pan-searing scallops please share!