A Sarcastic Appetite


Sea Scallops with Caramelized Onions
November 14, 2009, 11:25 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

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This isn’t the ideal meal for those crazed weeknights, when you left work later than you thought, and you had more errands to run than you realized, and you get home and it’s after 8 and you need to eat and maybe you’re cranky now, too, to boot. (What? No? Just me?) The onions need to go for a solid hour, if not a bit longer, so they really melt down and soften. But it requires a little bit of white wine, which is always a bonus in my book, so plan accordingly: save it for that night when everything has come together smoothly, you’re home in time to watch Alex’s former mustache on “Jeopardy,” and you can throw back a glass or three while the onions cook. The scallops come together in about 10 minutes, sauce and all. I suppose you could forgo the caramelized onions, and serve this over some slightly wilted spinach, but then when are you going to have time to drink that wine?

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Scallops with Caramelized Onions

Serves 2

1 enormous sweet onion, thinly sliced

about 1/2 stick of butter, divided

8 nice, big sea scallops (fresh ones smell like the ocean)

lots of salt and freshly ground pepper

1-2 cloves of garlic

scant 1/2 c. white wine, divided

2 tbsp. dijon mustard

a little bit of cream  (optional)

fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Take 2 tbsp. of butter and melt it in a big saute pan; add the onion and stir occasionally with some salt and pepper. Turn the heat down low and let it go for about an hour – keep stirring occasionally. Have some wine. About 45 minutes later, add about 1/4 c. of the wine to the onions; let it reduce. Take the scallops out and salt and pepper both sides. Heat the rest of the butter in another saute pan – but get it very, very hot first. Add the scallops – in batches if you need to, since you don’t want to crowd them too much – and cook for about 2 minutes a side. Don’t move them, and be sure the pan is stinking hot before you add them; otherwise, you won’t get those nice brown sear marks. Once the scallops are cooked, remove them to a plate, cover with foil and keep warm. Add a little more butter to the pan if you’re feeling edgy; add the garlic and saute for a minute or so. Take the pan off the heat and add the wine; let it reduce for a few minutes. Be sure to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan, too. Whisk in the mustard and cream, if using – you could also whisk in a little lemon juice too. Adjust for seasoning. Throw the scallops back in there and toss in the sauce. Serve over the onions; sprinkle with parsley.

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