Orzo Risotto with Sea Scallops and Tomatoes
To make Orzo Risotto with Sea Scallops and Tomatoes you have to start with great scallops.
Scallops can be a tasty and healthy addition to any meal, but if you’ve ever had rubbery or overcooked ones you know how icky they can be. Here are four ways to ensure you’re getting the best scallops every time and start off on the right foot when making Orzo Risotto with Sea Scallops and Tomatoes.
Diver scallops are the largest and most expensive because divers hand select them for size and quality. Small bay scallops (around ½ inch) and large sea scallops (between 1 inch and 1 ½ inch). Smaller bay scallops tend to be sweeter.
A wet scallop has been soaked in a preservative phosphate solution. This makes the scallop absorb more water, and when you cook them, they kind of shrivel a bit and don’t brown as well because of that extra liquid. The phosphate solution also gives the scallop an off flavor, and they’re usually not as fresh.
A dry scallop has not been treated with any chemicals additives or solutions. Compared to the wet scallops, they are darker (more of a beige color, whereas the wet scallops are whiter), and they have a more pure flavor.
Pure white scallops most likely have been sitting in and absorbing water (adding extra weight to the price per pound) or chemicals, causing them to lose nutrients and color. The color of fresh scallops should range from pale beige to creamy pink, and the meat should have a clean, fresh smell with a moist sheen.
Make sure fresh scallops pass the smell test. If you pick up fresh scallops, they should have a sweet smell and look moist. If the fresh scallops at your local grocery or fish market look dry or smell off, frozen scallops are a good alternative. Frozen scallops will have the same delicious taste and texture as fresh scallops if they are prepared well.
Orzo Risotto with Sea Scallops and Tomatoes Recipe
Be sure to remove the small crescent- shaped muscle that is sometimes attached to the, scallop. It will turn rubbery when cooked. Garnish with minced fresh parsley, if desired.
Before cooking, mince the garlic and shallot. While the scallops brown, cut the cherry tomatoes.
SEASON AND DRY SCALLOPS
Lay scallops out over dish towel-lined plate, and season with salt and pepper. Press single layer of paper,,towels flush to surface of scallops and set aside.
SEAR HALF OF SCALLOPS
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch non-stick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add half of scallops to skillet and brown well on one side, 1 to 2 minutes (when last scallop is added to pan, first few scallops will be close to done). Reduce heat to medium. Flip scallops over and continue to cook until sides of ,scallops have firmed up and all but middle third of each scallop is opaque, 30 to 60 seconds longer. Transfer scallops to plate, browned side up, and tent with foil.
SEAR REMAINING SCALLOPS
Wipe out skillet, with wad of paper towels. Add 1 more tablespoon of oil and return to high heat until just smoking, Add remaining scallops and brown well on one side, 60-90 seconds. Reduce heat to medium. Flip scallops over and continue to cook until sides of scallops have firmed up and all but middle third
of each scallop is opaque, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer scallops to plate with first batch, browned
browned side up and tent with with foil.
Add 1 more tablespoon of oil and half of garlic to skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and capers and cook until be-ginning to soften, about 1 minute. Season with salt – and- pep-per to taste.
Transfer to clean bowl and cover to keep warm.
SAUTE ORZO AND AROMATICS
Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet and return to medium high heat. Add orzo and toast until light golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining garlic, shallot,
and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine and cook until evaporated.
Stir in water and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed and orzo is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
Off heat, stir in butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with tomatoes and scallops .
Orzo Risotto with Sea Scallops and Tomatoes Recipe Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds sea scallops(16 – 20 large)
Salt and ground pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic cloves minced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 1/2 cups orzo
1 shallot, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter