Seafood can be tedious. Opaque, undercooked, overcooked, chewy – so many possibilities in so little time. I’m no new spring chicken when it comes to kitchen crustacean cooking tragedies, but this time was different. While I was initially defeated by the frozen scallop status, I was determined to make it the best scallop we’d ever tasted. Guess what – it was one for the books.
What you Need
Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
1 large red pepper
1 tsp coconut oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1 bunch spinach (about 25 leaves, destemmed)
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp Parsley
1 tbsp Basil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Preheat your oven to 400, prepare a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil. Cut the pepper into halves. removing all seeds and core. You want to maximize the roast, so flatten the pepper by scoring the edges. Coat the pepper lightly with oil, skin down (don’t feel pressured to use all of it) and season with salt and pepper. Toss in the warm oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, but keep an eye on it. You want a nice brown skin on the outside, generating extreme flavour, but be careful not to burn!
In a food processor, combine all ingredients, alongside the roasted red pepper until smooth. Keep in a bowl, refrigerated until show time.
What you Need
3 large beets, peeled and sliced into medallions
3 tbsp water
Salt & pepper
In a 375 preheated oven, line a baking pan with aluminium foil and lay your beet medallions flat. Add water and salt and pepper, to taste. I prefer more pepper with beets, personally. Beets tend to be quite sweet when they are roasted, fresh cracked pepper lends a nice spice to them without coating them in some red tinted hot sauce from another country. Cover the pan with tin foil and let cook for about 35 minutes, or until tender.
#Confession: the Broccoli Barley mix is a Green Giant frozen bag. It is, without a doubt hands down my ultimate favourite side dish that’s quick and easy. Even self-proclaimed wooden spoon wielders like myself need a break from culinary mastery.
What you Need
1 lb fresh or frozen (and thawed) scallops
1 tbsp coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Get your best nonstick pan and preheat over medium-very low-high heat… you know, just over 6… the trick is to actually get it hot before you start your mission. Add your coconut oil to the warm pan and let the two mingle in the heat for a few minutes. Is it nice and hot? Good. Okay, take a deep breath. Tip #1; Do not over crowd your pan! Give each little gem the room they deserve to breathe and wiggle around. Place your scallops generously but cautiously in your heated pan and gently swirl around so they are not sticking. This also allows a little oil to circulate the sides of the scallops. Here, you can season with salt and pepper. This is the trick… you really want to give them almost two minutes to cook but choose one single scallop to be your tester. Using a fork, carefully check the underside of the scallop – is it a beautiful golden brown? No? Plop it down and count to thirty. Check again for that beautiful light tan – is it there? Yes? Perfect. Flip each of the scallops over pronto and season with s&p again. Give them the same 2ish minutes you gave the other side.
Serve ontop of your plated pesto, beside your roasted beets and enjoy hot! Scallops are incredibly easy to overcook, it’s a game of quick patience and fast acting. I can honestly say a lot of this success was sorcery. Keep an eye on them, they can be the best morsels you’ve ever whipped up!