Saturday, September 29, 2012

scallops with hazelnut browned butter

This dinner of Scallops with Hazelnut Browned Butter from Everyday Food Light was a dinner I almost didn't consider making. It didn't look very interesting and seemed like it could easily go wrong. Between removing the skins from the hazelnuts, to the risk of overcooking the butter and scallops, I felt like we might just skip this recipe altogether. But a sale on frozen scallops (President's Choice vacuum sealed) enticed me enough to try it out anyways.
It's certainly not the sort of dinner I think a two year old would enjoy, but on Friday Owen came home with a fever and went to bed at 5pm. That left Nuno and I all the time in the world to make this dinner which actually turned into one of our most romantic dinners in months! Probably the biggest pain in the butt was removing the skins from the hazelnuts. I've done this once before so I knew what I was getting into and through that experience I learned that roasting them in the oven and then rubbing the skins off with a kitchen towel works well although time consuming. Once that task was taken care of this dinner came together in mere moments. Starting with a very hot non-stick skillet you brown your butter (took us only 1 minute to achieve), add vinegar and chopped hazelnuts and set aside. The best trick to this dinner was to half the scallop width wise. It ensured a quick and even cook, more surface to sear and twice the scallops! We returned the pan to high heat the scallops are seasoned with salt and pepper. Once all the scallops were in the pan the first ones were already seared. Literally moments and they were perfect. Sweet and succulent, I couldn't stop myself from snacking on them like popcorn. Served with fresh baby arugula and couscous, this really was like a dinner out. I highly recommend this dinner for special occasions because with such little effort, quick prep the results are nothing short of brilliant.

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