My platonic better half boarded a plane for Korea this morning, leaving me home alone for the week. I thought this would be a nice time to cook for myself for a change. Inspired by the beautiful spring weather we’ve had this weekend I opted for something light and fresh, as well as nice and simple.
Seared Sea Scallops with risotto, truffle oil and shaved Parmesan
1 large shallot, finely minced
1 dried chili pepper, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup dry vermouth, or drinkable white wine
1/2 cup arborio rice
1-2 cups seafood stock (I picked some up at Fairway)
1/2 tsp old bay seasoning
1 piece of good Parmesan cheese at room temperature
2 tbsp olive oil
3 large sea scallops
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp truffle oil
To make the risotto:
If your stock is room temperature you can pour it right from the container as you make this dish. If your stock is fresh, and therefore cold, heat it up on the stove to avoid dropping the temperature of the risotto as it cooks.
Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add shallot and saute a few minutes until it becomes translucent. Add dry rice and stir occasionally until you can smell the rice beginning to toast.
Away from the flame, add vermouth to deglaze the pan. Set back on heat, add hot pepper, bay leaf and stir until all the vermouth is absorbed by the rice.
Add stock a third of a cup at a time, again stirring until all liquid is absorbed before adding more. Once about one cup of stock have been added try rice to test consistency. Continue to add stock if needed until rice is cooked through but still has a good bite to it. Remove from heat.
Add old bay and salt/pepper to taste and cover with a lid to keep warm while making scallops.
To make scallops:
Heat olive oil in a small saute pan over medium high heat. Place scallops in pan and cook 2-3 minutes on each side until golden around the edges. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, plate risotto with a few large shavings of the Parmesan cheese (a vegetable peeler works well for this). Set scallops on top of risotto and drizzle with truffle oil to finish.
I also roasted some asparagus and tossed with olive oil, sea salt and fresh lemon to balance the richness of the risotto.
Sadly one problem with dining alone is the lack of judges. You’ll just have to take my word for this one.