Seared Scallops and Wilted Greens
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On to the food...
The first time I ever cooked scallops was on my honeymoon. Hubs and I got married right after college almost twelve years ago. We decided that before we had to dive into our new "grown-up" careers, we would spend a month in Colorado, hiking, visiting natural hot springs, rafting, horse-back riding and taking LOTS of kissy pictures. We were cute, possibly a little too cute!
One evening we planned to stay in the cabin and cook. Being our honeymoon, we wanted to prepare something fancy, scallops perhaps. Now I had some cooking experience, but coming from a family with five kids, we didn't eat a lot of seafood or expensive proteins.
Like many new cooks, I was afraid of the possibility of raw seafood. The word BACTERIA kept trailing through my thoughts. What if I poisoned my new husband? The image of us sitting in the ER on our honeymoon was more than I could bare. So I sautéed the scallops...and sautéed the scallops. And sautéed, sautéed, sautéed--until at some point they ceased to be moist, buttery pillows of oceanic bliss, and turned into dense rubber balls. Similar to those you get out of a 25 cent slot machine!
My sweet new hubby complemented my dinner as he struggled to chew. Upon first bite my teeth trampolined off the scallops. Oh dear, what had I done?
The truth is, many people overcook seafood. Whether due to fear of bacteria or oversight, it's an absolute travesty! Most varieties of seafood are best when just barely cooked through. Scallops are actually considered to be cooked to perfection when the top and bottom are caramelized and crisp, but the inside is a touch undercooked. Usually 1-2 minutes per side over high heat will do the job!
Here I've paired some "colossal" jumbo scallops with wilted greens. The acidity in the greens make them the perfect complement to devilishly rich scallops. This could be served over grits, potatoes, mashed cauliflower, even beans, for and elegent low-country meal!