Thursday, August 30, 2012

Scallop and Broccolini Risotto

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Sometimes...I impress myself.

Like, take last Wednesday night for example.  First of all, it's a Wednesday night, so there's that.  Second of all, I'm like tired after work on Wednesdays, guys!

But, let me back up a little bit, because before Wednesday night there was Monday night, which as we all know is way worse than Wednesday night (because at least Wednesday night is Hump Day and also there's Big Brother).  On Monday night I thawed a frozen package of scallops from Costco in the refrigerator.  This is usually pretty much how I guarantee to myself that I will not be lazy at some point later in the week, because the guilt of having something thawing in my fridge sits in my mind all day long.
So, there was that moment on Wednesday afternoon when I remembered the scallops defrosting in my fridge and I'm like, 'Nooooo, Megan, you!  Aaaah, why?  Why did you thaw out that stuff on Monday knowing full well that you would have to cook it by Wednesday.  Worst!!!' when I remembered that two nights before, in all my master wizardry and self-manipulation, I thawed out some scallops.  What the frick am I going to do with scallops, which by the way, I have never cooked before?  How do you even cook scallops?  But, then the hunger took over on my commute home, and the hour-long-car-ride-dinner-planning kicked in to full gear, and I decided to make a risotto.

A Scallop Risotto in fact, with Broccolini because that was also in the fridge.  Broccolini is kind of fun, for a vegetable.  Don't you think?

I told The Hubby that we were having broccolini for dinner, and he was like, 'oh yeah, that Chinese broccoli type thing?," which was wrong, so in my head I was like, noooo, hmmmm, obviously not, now how do I describe broccolini?  And, basically broccolini is asparagus-broccoli, no debate, so, that's how I described it to him.  But, after researching it on the internet later, it's actually a cross between regular broccoli and gai lan (Chinese broccoli), so I guess...we can call it a draw, right?

And dinner turned out pretty great.  As I said, I've never cooked scallops before, but they participated nicely in the event.  In fact, this risotto was very, very good.  We ate it for dinner and then I ate allllll of the leftovers on Thursday night.  All by myself.

Gluten-Free Update:  Today is Day 31!!!  I made it an entire month, and to be honest it really wasn't that hard.  I'm reading a book called Wheat Belly that I'm finding really enlightening.  I have decided to continue with the gluten-free routine for another two or three months.  Since I last posted, I have had a very minimal number of migraines, so it's worth forging on with this experiment through the fall to see what happens with it.  Stay tuned.

Here's the recipe for the risotto though - it's a good'un!  I'm kind of obsessed with risotto lately, so if you have a recipe please share it in the Comments section below or send me an email.  Thanks!

Scallop and Broccolini Risotto

6 oz (170 grams) package broccolini (or use asparagus or broccoli, cut into large pieces)
1 pound sea scallops (thawed if frozen), rinsed thoroughly to remove any sand
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
2 tbsp. butter, divided
4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 1/2 cups water, divided
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. dry white wine, at room temperature
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Wash the broccolini and place into a pot with 1 1/2 cups water (it will be very shallow) over medium-high heat.  Bring the water to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes.  Remove broccolini from water, and reserve the broccolini water for later use.

After washing the scallops, place between two layers of paper towel, and dry well.
Scallops are weird.
Place a large saute pan over medium-high heat, and then add a tbsp. of butter and a tbsp. olive oil.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on one side the scallops, and once the saute pan is nice and hot add the scallops.

Cook the scallops for 4 minutes, then add another tbsp. butter and a tbsp. olive oil, and cook the other side for another 4 minutes, or until cooked through.

Break each of the cooked scallops into 2 or 3 pieces, and put onto a plate.  Keep the scallops warm on the plate in a 200F oven.  

Put 2 tbsp. white wine into pan, scraping the bits into the liquid, and then dump pan's contents into the same pot as the broccolini water.  Bring the pot to a boil, then add 2 cups of broth and 1 cup water, and reduce to a simmer.  Keep the pot hot, but not boiling, as you start to cook the rice.

Saute the chopped onion in 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat until translucent.  Add the dry rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add the remaining 1 cup of white wine and simmer for 1 more minute.  Raise the heat on the burner to medium high and set the timer for 17 minutes (this is how long the rice will take to cook from here).
Add 1 cup of the hot broth and allow it to cook into the rice for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring often.  Once the liquid is mostly dissolved, add another cup of the broth, and repeat the process.  Keep adding 1 cup of broth at a time, every 3 or 4 minutes or until broth is gone or 17 minutes has elapsed.  After the rice is cooked, add the scallop pieces and the broccolini.

Feel free to add a small amount of broth if the rice is not moist enough.  Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.  Serve with bread and a green salad.  Enjoy!

Recipe Source:  I took this idea from about five websites, but if I was to credit one it would be (adapted liberally):  Wood Fired Kitchen 



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