The drive to North Carolina is long.
FOURTEEN hours long.
Seems even longer with five and six year olds in the back seat! 🙂
What to do to fill the time? Well, the license plate game was fun until my husband and I realized that, after turning 40 this year, we can no longer see! “What does that one say?” “I don’t know I can’t read it from this far away…” So, this game got old pretty quickly. Fortunately, I discovered Annie’s Eats blog. Unfortunately for some trees, I printed every entry and read every single one on the drive up to N.C. I drooled over her recipes through four states! Therefore, I had some great recipes on hand to make while we on our vacation.
Our first dinner was her Caramelized Scallops alongside her Fresh Corn Risotto. The scallops were fresh, nicely seasoned, and a little bit sweet. The risotto was To. Die. For. Delicious and creamy and full of summer corn. Perfect! I halved the scallops to serve two and made the full batch of risotto – wise move as the leftovers were fab. 🙂 Make this now while corn is still plentiful – you won’t be disappointed!!
I don’t have pictures, because the lighting was very dim. I’m sure I’ll make this again and will post a picture then!
Yield: 3-4 servings
12 large sea scallops
Pinch of kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp. clarified butter
½ cup white sugar, spread on a flat plate
½ cup dry white wine
Juice of one lemon, freshly squeezed
1 Tbsp. finely chopped flat parsley
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1. Rinse and dry the scallops well. Season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper.
2. Heat a skillet on medium-high for 2 minutes. Add the clarified butter and swirl to coat the pan. When the butter begins to foam, prepare the scallops quickly. Working quickly, coat one side of each scallop in sugar, grasping the sides and using a gentle twisting motion to help the sugar adhere. Place the scallops sugar side down in the skillet and sauté for 2½ minutes. If the sugar starts to brown too quickly, reduce the heat. Flip the scallops over and cook for 1 minute more.
3. Add the white wine and lemon juice to the pan and reduce by half, about 1½ minutes.
4. Transfer the scallops to a platter or serving dishes. Pour the pan juices over the top and garnish with chopped parsley, chives and lemon zest. Serve immediately.
Fresh Corn Risotto
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 ½ Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
½ medium onion, finely chopped
¾ cup Arborio (medium grain) rice
¼ cup dry white wine
1 cup fresh corn kernels, from 1-2 ears
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper
1. In a medium saucepan bring the chicken broth to boil with the bay leaf. Keep warm over very low heat.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring until opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and cook, stirring, until completely absorbed, about 1 minute.
3. Add a half cup of the warm broth and cook over moderate heat until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the broth a half cup at a time, stirring until it is absorbed between additions. After about half of the broth has been added, stir in the corn, and continue to add the remaining broth as before. The risotto is done when it is al dente and creamy, about 25 minutes total.
4. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Discard the bay leaf and serve.