Monday, August 9, 2010

Scallop and Sweet Pea Risotto as a Celebration Dinner

Good morning all!
It's been a while since my last recipe, but with the Vacation I took and catching up from that...time has been a little short.
Forgive me dear readers, I promise I have a REALLY good reason.
While on vacation (pictures and video will be up this week)...
I'm got engaged!
My boyfriend Matt (also known as the SO, the boy and the one who shoots my videos) and I will tie the knot in October 2011. Planning started almost immediately upon our return home, hence the shortage of time.
So, to celebrate our first night together without family and work insanity, Matt and I decided to make Scallop and Sweet Pea Risotto.
We shared a bottle of wine that was given to me by an awesome friend of mine, and enjoyed the evening of relaxation.
So, here is the recipe for that incredible dish.

Scallop and Sweet Pea Risotto

2 cups sweet peas (frozen or canned depending on preference)
6 cups chicken stock, heated
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 pound Sea Scallops, Thawed if Frozen

Put 1 cup peas and 1/3 cup chicken stock into a blender and blend until smooth; set aside. Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat and pour in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add celery and shallots and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until soft. Stir in rice, making sure to coat all the rice grains with the oil. Add wine and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Ladle in 1 cup of hot stock. Using a wooden spoon, stir gently until most of the stock has been absorbed. Keep adding stock, a cup at a time, and stirring. After about 10 to 15 minutes, test the rice. It should be cooked and creamy but still have a slight bite to it. (You may not need all of the stock.) Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the butter. Gently fold in the pea puree and remaining 1 cup whole peas. Taste for seasoning.
Remove from the heat and cover while you sear the scallops. Set a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Pat the scallops with paper towels to make sure they are very dry. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. Add scallops to pan, making sure not to overcrowd, and cook until they are nicely browned on both sides, about 4 to 8 minutes depending on the size of your scallops. Check the risotto and add a bit more stock if it has gotten too thick. In a shallow bowl or plate, make a nice mound of risotto and top with 3 or 4 scallops. Garnish with the Spring Green Salad, Parmesan, and olive oil. Serve immediately.