Pan Seared Scallops with Lemon Champagne Orzo Recipe
Craving scallops this past weekend, it was finally time to put an end to the suffering. What else to do but buy some scallops.
Pan seared scallops are, in my book, the best way to eat a scallop, In my attempt to fully satiate my craving, I was not up for trying anything too radical with my precious scallops, I just wanted something different to accompany them on my plate.
I decided to try something lemony and light with some pasta, so I thought “Pan Seared Scallops with Lemon Champagne Orzo”. . .yes! I used champagne in this particular recipe because that is what I had in the fridge. I never throw half a bottle of any wine or champagne away. Just seal it up and use the leftovers for cooking.
First as I always try do when I cook, I prepped all of the ingredients:
- 1 pound Sea Scallops – the biggest you can find (I was not able to find Diver Scallops – uugh!)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil for the scallops)
- 1 cup orzo
- 1/2 cup champagne (you can use wine if you have it available)
- 1 cup stock (use chicken, seafood, vegetable, whatever you have on hand except beef)
- 1 teaspoon thyme (I used fresh lemon thyme from the garden)
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (a staple in my cooking)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (use fresh if you can)
- fresh parsely or chives or both.
- Salt and pepper to taste
Make sure you remove the foot from the scallops, pat them dry and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a sauce pan over medium high heat add 1 tablespoon butter (I always use unsalted) and melt. Add onions and cook for about 2 minutes, until they start to become translucent. Make sure not to brown the onions.
Next add the orzo and saute for about 2-3 minutes. This will toast the orzo and help it absorb some butter flavor. Now add the champagne (be careful of flare ups), stock, lemon juice, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the liquid is almost absorbed.
Now comes my favorite part. I’m a Hell’s Kitchen fan and uber fan of Chef Gordon Ramsey, so I am obsessed with cooking scallops. In a small non-stick pan heat 1 tablespoon butter, or 1 tablespoon of olive oil. I normally swap half of the butter in a recipe when pan frying/searing whenever possible – just for my own “health” reasons, but use what you like.
Using medium high heat, sear scallops on each side for 2-3 minutes. If you are using butter, go ahead and baste the scallops after you turn them. They should have a nice caramelized color on each side, but be careful not to overcook them.
Add chives and or parsley to cooked orzo and serve with seared scallops on top.
This is a quick and easy meal that does not involve a lot of ingredients or prep, and a nice short cooking time (about 30-45 minutes total). This dish screams summer; it’s light, but very filling and full of flavor. I love the orzo so much, I think I may try this dish with chicken breast too. Makes a great meal any night of the week, or make this dish for a date night. You will surely impress with this one.Powered by Sidelines