I’m never one to turn down a good deal. And that includes food.
You’ve already seen the photo, so you know where this is going. Scallops. Honestly, I cannot resist. I love scallops, and I don’t even live near an ocean so I’ve only had fresh ones a couple of times. Still, they beckon me. So, yeah, although they’ve been frozen before, I am still a sucker for the sweet, succulent seafood.
Maybe it’s cliche or maybe it’s classic, but it seemed natural to pair the scallops with a risotto. I love risotto for its flavor-infused creaminess. Since the rice soaks up so much liquid during the cook, you can really pack in a lot of different flavors in the stock.
I tend to favor risotto with garlic, shallots and bacon because those are pretty much all my favorite ingredients. And cheese, of course.
The great thing about scallops and risotto is both are easy to make, although risotto can be time consuming. But a little effort pays off.
ROASTED GARLIC RISOTTO WITH SEA SCALLOPS
Cook time: 1.5 hours. Servings: 4-6.
2 cups arborio rice
8 oz bacon
10 cloves roasted garlic
7 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 cup parmesan
12 sea scallops
1/2 stick butter
Start by dicing your bacon and onion. I like to cut my bacon in half vertically then cut it into smaller squares. I also chopped up the roasted garlic, but you can leave it whole, if you prefer bigger mouthfuls.
Saute the bacon over medium heat until it begins to brown, then add in the onion. When the onion becomes translucent, add in the roasted garlic.
Pour off most of the fat, then add in the arborio rice. Toast it for a couple of minutes.
Now, you’re going to add in the stock about a cup at a time. Start with one cup and stir frequently until it is mostly absorbed by the rice, then add the next cup in. Repeat until the rice is tender and the sauce is creamy.
Stir in the parmesan and parsley then add salt and pepper to taste.
You’ll cook the scallops during the last round of stock. Prepare the scallops by patting them drying and seasoning with some salt and pepper.
In a cast iron skillet, melt the butter and bring to a medium high heat. Sear the scallops about 1 1/2 minutes to 2 minutes on each side.
Plate your risotto and add the scallops to the top. Finish with a little bit of parsley.