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Recipe File: Pan Seared Scallops with Quick Roasted Red Pepp
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:48 pm    Post subject: Recipe File: Pan Seared Scallops with Quick Roasted Red Pepp Reply with quote


Article Digest:
This is a seafood dish that can be thrown together quickly and yet tastes like you spent the entire afternoon in the kitchen. The briny, sweet flavor of the sea scallops is reinforced by the natural sweetness of the roasted red peppers that form the sauce. The scallops of pan seared for a couple minutes right after preparing the sauce and cooking the pasta resulting in a meal that can be prepared in thirty minutes.

Start with 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of sea scallops. Clean the scallops by removing the small, tough muscle found on one side of each scallop (see picture below). If you don't peel off this piece from the scallop, then you'll have an extremely tough and chewy piece attached to your tender scallops after cooking.
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Now, assemble the rest of the ingredients. Core three red bell peppers. Cut them in half and press down flat (with the skin facing up) onto a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil. Also, gather together 8 oz. sour cream, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, and a little bit of lemon zest. I also reserved a few sprigs of parsley for garnishing.
[IMG]

Start bringing four quarts or more of water to a boil. While the water is coming to a boil, we'll roast the peppers.

In the past, we've roasted peppers on the grill, but, since it's winter, we'll roast them under the broiler in the oven. Place the sheet pan with the peppers on a rack in the highest position. If your rack doesn't reach high enough (the peppers should be within 2 inches of the broiler), invert another sheet pan and place that on the rack first to raise the level of the peppers. Broil until the surface of the peppers bubble and then turn black, about 15 minutes. Rotate the pan as necessary for even roasting.
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After the peppers are done roasting, stack the peppers and fold the aluminum foil over to seal the peppers in and steam them. Steam the peppers for five to ten minutes before peeling the skins off.
[IMG]

Once the water comes to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt to the water along with a pound of fettucini. Remember to stir the fettucini when ever you get a chance to avoid clumping.

In a large skillet, melt 4 Tbs. butter over low heat, then turn up the heat to medium until the foaming subsides.
[IMG]

Once the butter is brown and smells rich and nutty, place a single layer of scallops on the skillet and allow them to sear for about 2 minutes. If your scallops are truly fresh, then they should sear beautifully without releasing moisture faster than it can evaporate. Unfortunately, most scallops sold in the supermarkets are presoaked in water to give them a more uniform look at the store (and to increase the weight of each scallop for better profits). To big downside to the soaked scallops is that they don't cook well. The water tends to run out of the scallop and we end up either steaming or braising the scallops. If this is happening, remove the scallops from the pan after the first side is done cooking and allow much of the moisture to boil off before returning the scallops to the pan (with the raw side down). Sear the uncooked side of the scallops another 2 minutes. Our objective is to have the scallop turn opaque on the two flat sides, but leave a translucent center - medium rare. If we cooked them any longer, the scallops would turn stringy and lose a little bit of their natural flavors.
[IMG]

While you are pan searing the scallops, remove the skin from the red peppers and place them in a bar blender. Blend until the red peppers have been fully pureed. Now add the sour cream, salt, cayenne pepper, parsley, and lemon zest. You can also add a squirt of lemon juice to heighten the flavors. Blend until fully integrated and set aside.
[IMG]

As soon as the pasta is cooked to al dente, ladle out a 1/4 cup of the pasta water into a bowl or cup. Pour the rest of the pasta water (and the pasta) into a colander and return the pasta to the pot. Toss the pasta with the reserved pasta water to help prevent excessive clumping. Serve the pasta with scallops and sauce spooned on top. If desired, garnish with a sprig of parsley and a couple wedges of lemon.

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Pan Seared Scallops with Quick Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (serves four)
Pan Seared Scallops
4 Tbs. (55 g) buttermeltbrownsear 2 min.flip, sear 2 min.
1-1/2 to 2 lb. (680 to 900 g) sea scallops

Quick Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
3 red bell peppersroastpeelpureeblend
8 oz. (230 g) sour cream
1/4 teaspoon (2 g) salt
1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon (4 g) chopped parsley
pinch of lemon zest
Copyright Michael Chu 2004
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Michael
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you think using canned roasted red peppers are acceptable? What style would be ideal?
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Doug
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oof... never could bring myself to try molluscs. The red pepper sauce sounds good, though.

As far as roasted red peppers go, they're so easy to do, it's almost not worth the flavor you lose by buying water-packed ones. Once they're roasted, the skin pretty much peels off effortlessly.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1619
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

re: canned red peppers

It is possible to use canned red peppers. Make sure you drain them so you don't introduce additional water into the sauce. You might need to augment the flavor of the sauce with additional spices.

You can also roast a bunch of red peppers (when they go on sale) and then freeze them for use later after removing the skin and sealing in freezer bags.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love your blog Michael. I read it every day. Keep up the great work! Also, the photographs are excellent. I think you mentioned it as one of your other hobbies and I'm slowly (haven't had much time to invest it in as I have with food and computers) getting into that as well.

Just today I was saying to myself, "wow, a lot of the photos on this site are very well composed and a good number of them look like professional food photography." Today's scallop photos are a great example of that in my opinion. Nice looking photos.
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spottiswoode
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael, thanks for this post. I've been wanting to cook seared scallops for a while now. The red pepper sauce looks really good!
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea of roasting the peppers on foil and then steaming them in it is ingenious. Every other recipe for RRP has you roasting right on the pan and then steaming in a paper or plastic bag. The problem is you end up having to scrape hot peppers off the tray and trying to get them into the bag before they cool too much.
Your way makes so much sense. Thanks.
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Rex Price
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found your site today while researching Google for "professional food photography" and was so impressed with the recipe that I put our 18 month old son in the radio flyer wagon and pulled him to the store to buy fresh scallops for dinner tonight. It was so delicious! The roasted red pepper sauce was sweeter than I anticipated and I don't think I waited long enough for the pan to get sufficiently hot to brown the scallops as much as you did, but we really enjoyed it.

Thank you for sharing,
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved your web page and thought the photos were great, it inspired me to cook for this evenings dinner. I will be using a jar of marinated red peppers as I dont have time to shop, so hopefully it will be tasty. Thanks
Sheila
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nondescriptboy
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:43 am    Post subject: method without an oven Reply with quote

if you don't have an oven (rare here in korea), do you think it would work to just roast the peppers directly on a gas burner and then steam them briefly in a steamer set up (bamboo or otherwise) before peeling off the skins and continuing your recipe?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1619
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 7:51 am    Post subject: Re: method without an oven Reply with quote

nondescriptboy wrote:
if you don't have an oven (rare here in korea), do you think it would work to just roast the peppers directly on a gas burner and then steam them briefly in a steamer set up (bamboo or otherwise) before peeling off the skins and continuing your recipe?

Yep, you can roast them over the burner and then toss them into a paper bag or something else you can seal them in to self steam.
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Lennyatthemill
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:33 pm    Post subject: Scallop Recipe Reply with quote

Great photos. Sounds good. Those muscles you remove before cooking are really a treat raw as a snack while making the peppers.. They are not tough before they are cooked. Only eat them if you are sure the scallops are fresh (not a bad way to check for freshness). Day scallops also are better for browning.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 10:17 pm    Post subject: Re Pepper Sauce Reply with quote

I put my Red Peppers in a toaster oven on broil came out great quick and easy.
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snyder
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:49 am    Post subject: substitutions/alternatives Reply with quote

I used a jar of roasted red peppers with oregano and garlic. I drained them well to keep it from getting too runny. It worked well and tasted great. The extra spices in the peppers added some nice flavor.
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Calvin
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 9:18 am    Post subject: Well done? Reply with quote

After being inspired by reading this recipe, I have been watching and waiting for scallops to go on sale at the super market. So far, I have made pan seared scallops twice.

I think I really needed to cook the scallops a lot longer the first time I tried this because I didn't think medium-rare scallops were that great. The second time I did this, I cooked them pretty much all the way through and I thought it was awesome! I guess I prefer scallops well done.

By the way, the red pepper sauce is awesome too!
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