Sunday, August 7, 2011

Scallops with Cherry

Sometimes I run into the grocery store for certain ingredients and something else grabs my attention. This is exactly what happened one day when I went to get some hamburger, but instead found myself in front of the counter looking at some giant scallops. Where I live, it’s not very often that I find fresh scallops much bigger than a marshmallow. When I do, I can’t resist the temptation. I asked for three of them, which came up to about ½ a pound.

I have far too many scallop recipes stowed away. This time I felt like getting away from the traditional garlic and herb method. I remembered seeing some recipes using cherries, and it just so happened that I had some sweet red cherries in my fridge. Cherries with scallops seemed a little adventurous, but sometimes that’s the best part of cooking. I knew I would need something to bridge the two. I used shallots for their slightly sweeter flavor.

I first rinsed the scallops and patted them dry with a paper towel. I then sprinkled them with salt & pepper. To sear the scallops, I poured some olive oil into a skillet and let the oil heat up. Once the oil was very hot, I placed the scallops in the pan.

I’ve always heard that you only want to flip scallops once. I let one side cook for 3-4 minutes before flipping them over to the other side for the same amount of time. This may take less time depending on the size of the scallops. I like my scallops to have a nice, caramelized top.

While the scallops were cooking, I pitted and chopped up about ¾ cup of fresh cherries. The hardest part about this step is getting all the cherries to a bowl instead of snacking on them as I go. I also diced one shallot.

When the scallops were done, I placed them on a plate & tented them with foil. I added the shallots to the leftover drippings and cooked for a couple minutes. Next I added the chopped cherries, a splash of white wine and a splash of chicken broth. I let that cook on medium low heat until the cherries started to soften and form a bit of a mash. Once the sauce was cooked, I plated my scallops and poured the cherry mixture over the top.

There are some food combinations that I joke should be married in the food world. I’m beginning to think that scallops and cherries may be one of them. This is one slightly risky recipe that really paid off. Now I just need to decide what scallop recipe to try next. Now that I know fruit worked out well, I could try scallops with watermelon soup. I could also get even more adventurous and try vanilla bean. The possibilities seem endless, but that’s yet another one of my favorite things about cooking.

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