Nothing really ever remains the same, does it?
So many of my friends and family are going through major life changes right now. A dear friend is moving, having sold her home after some 20 years.. she is busy packing and sorting and reliving memories of raising her two children in their family home.
My amazing sister is moving into a smaller home with her two boys.
A long time friend has bought her first home and is moving after 18 years in her apartment.
Yet another dear friend has taken on a new job.
And me, well... things keep changing and I'm realizing the truth behind the old adage "the only thing that remains the same is change".
One thing that won't change is my love of Sea Scallops ((Placopecten magellanicus). They are a virtual blank canvas that can be pared with countless ingredients and endless cooking techniques. Rice, potatoes, vegetables, salad, stir fried, broiled, baked, grilled, seared, you name it, a beautiful, fresh, plump scallop can handle it. Here is one of my favorite presentations of these lovely mollusks.
Pan Seared Sea Scallops (with sweet potato mash and burnt sage butter drizzle): (serves 2)
For the scallops:
1/2 pound (6 to 8) large wild caught sea scallops (muscle removed)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
drizzle of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon powdered sage
For the sweet potato mash:
2 medium sweet potatoes
drizzle of milk or half and half
pat of unsalted butter
salt and pepper to season
Wash and prick the sweet potatoes. Microwave on high about 6 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash with the back of a fork. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons milk or half and half and a pat of butter and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. You can make this ahead and reheat in the microwave.
Make the scallops:
Remove scallops from fridge 20 minutes before preparing them.
Pat the scallops dry (very important) with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
Melt the butter with the oil over medium high heat in a medium saute pan (big enough so as not to crowd the scallops). When the butter/oil is very hot, add the scallops. Pan sear for about 3 minutes or until carmelized on one side (if the scallop is sticking, wait for a minute, cooked food does not stick). Turn and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove scallops from pan. Stir sage into pan.
Place a dollop (1/2 cup or so) of sweet potato mash in center of plate. Top with 3-4 scallops, drizzle with sage butter.
As always, Bon Appetite.