Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thai Inspired Pan Seared Sea Scallops ~ The Man Behind the Scenes

It's husband has caught the bug! An avid food lover himself, throughout most of this blog, he's remained on the sideline... a culinary "wing man" of sorts...offering up his expertise only on occasion. (So not to be a total enabler.) Well...he cracked! Completely competent, he couldn't bear to be the silent sous chef any longer!

He's the man behind the scenes, with superb knife skills and an eye for presentation. He's our expert griller and saucier - a master of charcoal - with a favorite whisk. He wears an apron and travels with knives. He used to commercial fish off the coast of Alaska. Our first date (in college) involved his buying a rice cooker. Our first walk was back to my dorm where he kissed me goodnight. That evening I said..."I will marry this boy." Five years later I married the man... and we've been cooking ever since!

Here are the Thai inspired Sea Scallops my husband made last night. So full of amazing flavors, these scallops are a perfect low carb dish when you're trying to eat healthy - yet want to focus on the food!


Seared Sea Scallops with Lemongrass Sauce and Basil, Mint and Cilantro Salad
SELF, July 2008, Adapted from Anita Lo

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 onion, chopped
6 stalks lemongrass, dry leaves removed, stems pounded; cut into 3-inch lengths
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 red Thai bird chiles, finely chopped (found in grocery stores' Asian section)
2 cups dry white wine
1 can (28 ounce) whole tomatoes, plus juice

1/2 cup Thai basil
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup cilantro sprigs
Juice from 1/2 lime
2 teaspoon canola oil

24 jumbo sea scallops
1 tablespoon canola oil

Heat oil in a large, nonstick pan over low heat. Cook onion with a pinch of salt until translucent, about 12 minutes. Stir in lemon grass, garlic and chiles. Add wine. Raise heat to high, then simmer 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and juice; break apart tomatoes. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Force sauce through a colander and discard solids. Season with salt and pepper.

For Salad:
Toss all ingredients in a bowl; season with salt and pepper.

For Scallops:
Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large nonstick pan over high heat 1 minute; add oil. Cook 8 scallops 1 minute; reduce heat to medium-high; cook undisturbed until golden, about 4 minutes. Turn scallops over; cook 3 minutes more. Remove from heat. Repeat. Divide scallops and sauce among 8 bowls and top with salad.


Katerina said...

You are so lucky. My husband when we were dating, he cooked tuna pasta and a cabbage salad. Since then I have never tasted anything else from his hands. I know noe that these two dishes were the only things he could cook. This scallops look fantastic.

Kathleen said...

This sounds like an amazing dish! I'm bookmarking it now. Thanks for sharing!

Barbara said...

Good for him! And lucky you! Mine couldn't boil water.

The flavors of the scallop dish are wonderful! But then, I would love scallops any way, any time, any place!

chow and chatter said...

wonderful scallop recipe, I write for an Alaskan seafood company could I feature the recipe and link back to you?


rebeccasubbiah at yahoo dot com

Joanne said...

It's always good to have a husband around who will cook you thai-inspired food (or any food...but thai-inspired especially). These look awesome!

Mary Bergfeld said...

What a fabulous meal. It's wonderful to have two cooks in the kitchen, at least most of the time :-). His scallops look wonderful and the recipe sounds delicious. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

Cheryl said...

Wow, great sear on those scallops. this would be an excellent low carb meal for me.

Can you tell me what the difference between Tai basil and other basils are? I have always wondered.

Unknown said...

Thanks for your comment Cheryl. I guess the easiest way to explain Thai Basil is comparing it to the common sweet basil most of us are used to. Thai basil has a darker leaf that in my opinion is a bit stiffer than the sweet basil. Its more intense flavor has hints of cinnamon and subtle peppermint undertones. In most dishes the common sweet basil is a fine substitute!

Hope this helps and if anyone else has anything to add they think I left out please do! :)

oak dining room table said...

This is really terrific! I just tried making it, though I failed two times, it was great and delicious.