Scallop Risotto with Spring Vegetables

scallop risotto

Many people are nervous about making risotto but I’m here to say don’t be! Making risotto is super easy, it just requires your constant attention and a little bit of time.

This scallop risotto is great for springtime entertaining, it’s filled with tender bay scallops, sweet peas, zucchini and the brightness of lemon, it’s elegant and easy to make.

risotto ingredients

When I make risotto I like to have all my ingredients set out, prepped and ready to go, it makes the flow of things go much faster.

making risotto

The scallops are cooked on one side only then, they don’t take long at all, then folded into and finished off in the warm risotto, of course you can substitute any other seafood you like such as shrimp if scallops aren’t your thing.

Bay scallops are the ones used here, they’re smaller and easy to find. No need to use the larger more expensive sea scallops in this dish. The bay scallops are perfect for this risotto, they’re sweet, buttery and delicate and bite size  and with the hint of lemon zest throughout it’s flavor perfection!

scallop risotto

Fold the scallops gently into the cooked risotto reserving some for garnish on top.

scallop risotto

If you haven’t made risotto yet I encourage you to do so, especially this scallop risotto with spring vegetables, I promise you’ll be in love with every decadent bite!

Follow me on Instagram to see what else I’m cooking up during the week.

Scallop Risotto with Spring Vegetables
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 lb. bay scallops, patted dry
  • 1¼ cups short grain arborio rice
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 medium zucchini, small diced and precooked in sauté pan with olive oil until golden ( may substitute chopped asparagus)
  • 1 cup peas, frozen or fresh
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1¼ cups shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • handful of chopped parsley
  • butter and olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. Have all your ingredients ready to go.
  2. Heat all the stock in a separate pan.
  3. Use a heavy bottomed pan to make and stir the risotto in so it doesn't burn.
  4. Add a knob of butter and drizzle olive oil at the bottom of the pan on medium heat.
  5. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to translucent.
  6. Toss in the rice and stir to coat for around 2 to 3 minutes
  7. Add the white wine, stirring until rice absorbs it..
  8. Add stock in 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until it absorbs, then repeat with another cup of hot stock.
  9. In the meantime, heat a separate sauté pan until hot, add a little butter and toss in the bay scallops, don't turn them, let them cook for 2-3 minutes, set aside.
  10. Keep stirring and repeat adding stock 1 cup at a time until the rice absorbs the liquid and tastes al dente but not crunchy and hard. ( there might be a little stock leftover).
  11. Remove risotto pan from heat, add a tablespoon of butter, lemon zest and all of the grated cheese and stir until combined.
  12. Fold in the cooked zucchini and peas being gentle when tossing and most of the cooked scallops, reserve some for garnish.
  13. Put a lid on for 1 minute, so everything can meld together.
  14. Add chopped parsley and spoon into bowls.
  15. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and the reserved scallops for garnish.
  16. Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

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Seared Scallops Infused with Flavored Butter and Herbs

seared scallops

Are you planning on dining in instead of facing the crowds this New Years Eve? Have you been searching for a special dish to serve for an intimate dinner party or a romantic dinner for two?  Well look no more this is it!

Sweet and delicate, melt in your mouth seared scallops topped with a flavored butter that’s infused with the zest of lemon, shallot, garlic and a hint of spicy chili.

compound butter

The recipe itself is fairly simple to pull together, it’s basically all about the infused butter that will anoint the seared scallops with so much flavor, but equally as important are the steps you take to properly cook the scallops. It’s critical to avoid over cooking them, if you do they’ll become tasteless and rubbery and that would be such a waste!

In this recipe you’ll be using the large sea scallops, the smaller bay scallops are not what you want to be using here at all.

seared scallops

This could be the perfect first course with one scallop presented dramatically on baking sea shells, (Amazon). If you’re doing this for a main course you can use pretty gratin dishes.

As far as servings go, for a main I would say 4-5 per person because you’ll be having some sides with it. Scallops pair wonderfully with any green veggie and if you want some starch I like to serve maybe some couscous, garlic mashed potatoes or creamy polenta.

seared scallops

Grab a bottle of champagne, make this “fancy” dish and ring in the New Year at home!

Wishing you all a very healthy and happy 2019, thank you for all your support throughout the year I appreciate each and everyone of you, you’re the best! xo

You can follow me on Instagram to see what else I’m cooking up during the week.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Seared Scallops Infused with Flavored Butter and Herbs
 
You will definitely have extra infused butter leftover but it will be perfect for other things and it stays good for a couple of weeks in the fridge.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 dozen large sea scallops, side mussel removed and patted completely dry
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 small garlic cloves grated on a microplane
  • 1 fresh red chili, veins and seeds removed and finely diced ( if you like it hotter add more)
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parsley for garnish, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat you oven to 400F.
  2. Mix by hand in a bowl the softened butter with the garlic, zest, chili and shallot, taste for salt and pepper addition and set aside. Butter can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.
  3. Heat up a good non stick skillet on medium high heat until its screeching hot, making sure it's big enough so scallops have room and don't touch at all, you might have to do them in batches if your skillet isn't big enough to give them room.
  4. While skillet is heating up salt and pepper each side of the scallops.
  5. When you think the skillet is hot enough drizzle some olive oil on the bottom of the pan, when it starts to slightly smoke add the scallops and press them down gently on one side.
  6. Don't touch them or move them until you see a deep crust forming, then peek and check them out using tongs.
  7. When you see a deep crust take them out and place them crust side up in your gratin dish or baking shells.
  8. Add a good dollop of the infused butter on top, place them into the oven just so the butter melts down.
  9. Take them out, let rest a second, garnish with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.

 

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Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli with a Limoncello Cream Sauce

shrimp and lobster ravioli with limoncello cream sauce

I thought I’d make something special to bring in the new year, how about shrimp and lobster ravioli with a luscious  limoncello cream sauce?  It’s so full of flavor, not too heavy, and the light limoncello sauce just enhances all the chunky seafood tucked inside. It’s elegant and perfect for New Years Eve!

The effort to create this dish is well worth the time, it’s something you would make for a smaller group, maybe two couples or a romantic dinner for two. You may not have the time to make it right now, although it really doesn’t really take that long, please keep it in your memory bank for a future special occasion or upcoming Valentines Day.
shrimp and lobster ravioli with limoncello cream sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re not a fan of limoncello no worries, you can simply make a lemon cream sauce, equally as amazing!
cooking lobster

It may sound decadent or a little extravagent but it’s really not that expensive to make at all.  I bought two small lobster tails, six dollars each and one pound of shrimp and I was able to make thirty one ravioli that were packed nice and full.shrimp and lobster filling for ravioli

The filling is easy to make, you chop up your pre-cooked lobster and shrimp then quickly saute in a pan with garlic, olive oil and shallots. When that mixture cools down you fold in a little ricotta, mascarpone and chopped parsley.

making shrimp and lobster ravioli

You can either roll out your dough by hand, which is a little time consuming, or use a crank style pasta machine which works really well, or this handy pasta attachment to your Kitchen Aid, which will speed things up a bit, either way will work. After the pasta sheets are rolled out then cut your pasta into a three inch circle.

shrimp and lobster ravioli

Once you get the dough rolling, everything moves really fast, just fill and crimp!

shrimp and lobster ravioli

After one bite you’ll know it was worth all the effort, I promise.

shrimp and lobster ravioli with tomato cream sauce

I’ve also served this with a tomato cream sauce, easy to make by stirring some cream into your marinara, either way you choose I know you’ll love it!

Wishing you all a very Healthy and Happy 2016! Thank you for all your support this past year, all your comments, emails and friendships mean the world to me, and don’t forget you can always see what I’m cooking up during the week on Instagram!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli with a Limoncello Cream Sauce
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • RAVIOLI DOUGH
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • a little dribble of water until the dough comes together
  • additional egg for egg wash
  • FILLING
  • 2 small lobster tails, pre-cooked and chopped in small chunks
  • 1 lb of medium shrimp, pre-cooked and chopped into small chunks, when combined you should have 2 heaping cups of lobster/shrimp meat
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon, limoncello, or lemon juice
  • ¼ cup of ricotta
  • 1 heaping tablespoon, mascarpone cheese
  • 2 teaspoons, chopped parsley
  • LIMONCELLO CREAM SAUCE
  • 4 Tablespoons of limoncello
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • heavy cream to thicken it up
Instructions
  1. The dough comes together really fast when made in a food processor, put the dry ingredients in and pulse, then put wet ingredients down the tube and process until the dough forms a ball. You can also make it by hand. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes. This one batch will make about 30 ravioli.
  2. Pre-cook both lobster and shrimp, then cut into small chunks.
  3. Add olive oil to saute pan, then add garlic and shallot, cook for a couple of minutes, then add in seafood and parsley, toss til coated, then let it cool down.
  4. Put the cooled down mixture into a bowl and add in the ricotta and mascarpone
  5. Roll out your dough and cut into 3 inch circles, brush top with egg wash and place a heaping teaspoon of filling on top.
  6. Fold dough circle in half, into a half moon, and crimp edge with a fork.Place them onto a sheet pan, ready to boil or to be frozen. Freeze them on sheet pan, individually then place into ziplock bag.
  7. For the sauce, simmer the limoncello and lemon juice together, or just plain lemon juice, then whisk in the butter until well incorporated, then pour in a little cream for thickness. You're just spooning on the sauce, not drenching it in sauce. You can double this and make more if you desire.

 

 

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Scallop Piccata

Piccata is such a simple sauce that comes together quickly but produces extraordinary results. No need to wait until you visit your favorite Italian restaurant to order up this classic, you can easily make it at home!
The word piccata is translated to mean, tasty, savory, spicy and piquant, and that is so true because of the key ingredients of lemon, parsley and capers.
I’ve always made the classic piccata with chicken, and recently have come to love it with tilapia, but now my new favorite way is with scallops! Thanks goes to my friend Ciao Chow Linda, for giving me the inspiration! I can’t believe I never made it with scallops before! It’s all such a perfect pairing, if you haven’t tried this yet, please do.

Hop on over to her delicious blog and check out her recipe, and pay close attention to searing your scallops, you’ll want to make sure you get some good color on them.
I served mine with a side of angel hair pasta and extended my sauce a little by adding 1/2 cup of chicken broth.
Hope I’ve inspired you to give this dish a try, it was wonderful!

Buon Appetito!

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Shrimp… Simple, Quick, and a little Fancy

I always keep a bag of frozen shrimp in my freezer, I like it for the convenience when I don’t have time to run out and get fresh, it’s easy to defrost, and it makes for a very quick dinner, and besides for a minimal amount of money I can get a few meals out of one bag. I think I paid $11.00 dollars for a 2 pound bag of jumbo cleaned and deveined ready to cook shrimp, you can’t beat that! Here’s a couple of my favorite ways to prepare it.

Bucatini with Shrimp and Roasted Tomato sauce
1.Roast your tomatoes at 400F till all of the juices burst out, remove from oven. I used those Campari tomatoes on the vine, cut in half drizzled with olive oil, S&P.
2.While tomatoes are roasting saute some shaved garlic in olive oil and toss your shrimp in there, remove when they’re almost done.
3. Toss in some white wine, reduce a little and scrape all the tomatoes and every bit of the juices into the pan,
4. Add back your shrimp, toss in some chopped basil, and blend it all with your favorite pasta, bucatini works well with this.

Shrimp Aragonate

This is baked stuffed shrimp, with tons of flavor, this is a great dish for a party too. You can make a huge pan of these, or just a few, to go along with a steak as a surf and turf.

1.Preheat oven to 450F. Oil a large baking pan.
2.In a medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, fresh or panko, fresh parsley, and crushed garlic (don’t be shy). Stir in olive oil to moisten the crumbs.
3.Arrange the shrimp single layer, curling each shrimp into a circle. Spoon a little of the bread crumb mixture onto each shrimp. Drizzle a little more olive oil on before baking.
4.Bake until the crumbs are browned and the shrimp are cooked through when cut in the thickest part, about ten minutes.
4.Serve hot or at room temperature, with lemon wedges.
Recipe adapted from, “Entertaining with the Soprano’s”

Its been so nice to see and smell spring flowers popping up all over, here’s some I have popping up around my house. I just love the smell of hyacinths!

Have a great week, and Buon Appetito!
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Grilled Scallops with Roasted Tomatoes and French Beans!


If you love scallops, I’m certain you will love this dish! Every time I make it you will hear sounds like “Mmmmm!” “Oh, Wow!” “Yummm!” around my table, (me included).
Believe me, it isn’t any skill on my part, it’s very simple to make, it’s just that the flavors go so well together. You have the intense concentration of the tomatoes which have been roasted, balanced with the sweet and slightly smoky flavor of the grilled scallops, added with it all, are those thin french beans that still have a little bite to them, I’m telling you, it’s a match made in heaven!

The other great thing about this dish is the fact that the tomatoes and beans can be done ahead of time, even the day before. Scallops take no time at all, so I actually recommend you doing that, this way when the scallops are done, everything comes together so quickly.

Roasting the Tomatoes:

You must use those little tomatoes on the vine! I used the Campari ones from Costco, but you can get them almost any where. They have such terrific flavor already, and when you roast them they get even better. Take a foil or parchment lined baking sheet, cut each tomato in half, over a bowl lightly squeeze a little of the juice out, place cut side up , drizzle with olive oil, s&p, and crushed garlic. Roast in a hot 400 degree oven till they shrivel up and have a deep red color with still a little moisture.

Forgive me, I’m not sure how long it takes, I know its less than an hour and more than 20 min’s.

Again it depends how much moisture is inside, just keep checking. Let them cool, and gently lift them off with a spatula and pack them into a container till ready to use.

Scallops:

Good quality scallops, big ones, that are dry, you don’t want to put a wet scallop on the grill it just won’t sear right. So place them between paper towels to get any moisture out. Toss them with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and cook them on a very hot grill and don’t flip them till you get some good grill marks. I can’t tell you exactly how long they take, it depends on how thick they are.

But don’t over cook them OK!

French Beans:

Cook till crisp tender, rinse in cold water, put them into a Ziploc bag till ready to use.

Now when you’re ready to eat, take a large saute pan, cook some shallots and more garlic in olive oil till tender. Now take your roasted tomatoes, place them in the pan and heat then gently through, as well as the beans.

When scallops are done, just incorporate everything together! That’s it!


Buon Appetito!!!
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