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Category: Asset 3Arts & Leisure

Fasting and Feasting on Feb. 14

February 9, 2018

By

MARGARET M. JOHNSON

 

 

Ireland Hopping / By Margaret M. Johnson

 

I usually don’t have too much trouble deciding on a topic for “Ireland Hopping,” but when I checked the calendar for next week I realized that Wednesday, Feb. 14, is both Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday, a dilemma indeed, and one that hasn’t happened since 1945! The former generally implies indulgences like champagne and dinner dates; the latter fasting and fish. My culinary solution is scallops, a cosmopolitan family of bivalves that satisfies both requirements. When buying scallops, ask for “dry” scallops that will release very little liquid while cooking and result in a crusty sear. Cook them in a hot pan large enough to hold them in a single layer for at least 2 minutes before turning. They are best prepared simply, so heavy sauces or too many ingredients don’t overpower their unique flavor. All of these recipes are delicious served with Champ.

 

 

MONKEYBUSINESS | DREAMSTIME.COM

 

SCALLOPS WITH WHITE WINE SAUCE

SERVES 4

For the scallops

4 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 pound sea scallops, rinsed and dried with paper towel

For the sauce

2 tablespoons minced shallots

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon salt

Ground black pepper

2 tablespoons heavy cream

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and oil. When it starts to brown, add scallops and cook for 2 minutes; turn and cook for 2 minutes longer. With a slotted spoon, transfer scallops to a plate and cover.
  2. Return skillet to medium heat. Add 1 more tablespoon of butter and the shallots; cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until soft but not browned. Stir in wine, loosening up brown bits from pan; cook for 2 minutes, or until wine is reduced by half.
  3. Stir in parsley, chives, zest, salt and pepper. When sauce starts to bubble, add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and cream.
  4. Return scallops and any liquid from the dish. Remove pan from heat and spoon sauce over the scallops.

 

SALLY SCOTT | DREAMSTIME.COM

 

SEARED SEA SCALLOPS WITH HERB-BUTTER SAUCE

SERVES 4

For the scallops

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound scallops, rinsed and dried with paper towel

Salt

Ground black pepper

For the sauce

3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons minced shallot

1/4 cup dry white wine

4 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs (chives, tarragon, parsley)

1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper

Salt

Lemon wedges, for garnish

  1. Make scallops. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon oil. When it starts to brown, add scallops, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Turn scallops; add remaining butter and oil. Continue to cook, spooning butter-oil sauce over scallops, for about 3 minutes, or until cooked through. With a slotted spoon, transfer scallops to a plate and cover.
  3. Make sauce. Return skillet to medium heat. Add 1 to 2 pieces of butter, and when melted, add shallots. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until soft but not browned. Stir in wine, loosening up brown bits from pan; cook for 2 minutes, or until wine is reduced by half. Add herbs and lemon zest, reduce heat to low, and whisk in remaining butter.
  4. Return scallops to the pan and gently toss in sauce. Season with lemon pepper and salt. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

 

SCALLOPS WITH CHANTERELLES AND BROWN BUTTER VINAIGRETTE

SERVES 4

For the scallops

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound scallops, rinsed and dried with paper towel

Salt

Ground black pepper

For the sauce

8 tablespoons butter

1/2 pound chanterelles or other wild mushrooms

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped

Salt

Ground black pepper

  1. Make scallops. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon oil. When it starts to brown, add scallops, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Turn scallops; add remaining butter and oil. Continue to cook, spooning butter-oil sauce over scallops, for about 3 minutes, or until cooked through. With a slotted spoon, transfer scallops to a plate and cover.
  3. Make vinaigrette. Return skillet to medium heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter, add the chanterelles, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft but not browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chanterelles to a plate.
  4. Return skillet to medium heat and melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it turns nutty brown. Add tomato and vinegar, stir to blend, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through.
  5. Return scallops to pan and gently toss in the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, transfer scallops to serving plates, spoon sauce over, and scatter chanterelles on top.

CHAMP

SERVES 4

3 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inchpieces

1/2 cup half-and-half

6 tablespoons butter

1 cup minced scallions or chives

Salt and

Ground black pepper

  1. Cook potatoes in salted boiling water for about 20 minutes or until tender; drain and mash. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine half-and-half and 4 tablespoons of butter; heat until the butter melts.
  2. Add scallions or chives, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, or until softened.

Stir into potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Top with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

Margaret Johnson’s “Recipes” page now includes “Ireland Hopping: Adventures in Food, Drink, and Travel.” For further details on her work, including how to order her cookbooks, visit www.irishcook.com

 

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