Aren’t these Sea Scallops beautiful? Perfect for a special Lenten Friday night supper. As many of you know, we’re an old-school Catholic household. Although not always successful, we do our best to stay away from meaty meals on all Fridays throughout the year.
Thinking about what you eat and when you eat it and how you eat it lets you to become more aware of world around you and the passage of time. Awareness awakens the spirit. Abstinence on Fridays isn’t for everyone. Not all Catholics adhere to this discipline. For me, when I’m planning my meals for the week, I take note of Fridays. As a Catholic, I accept the teaching that Christ gave up his life for me on a Friday. The least I can do is to show a little appreciation and give up eating a big steak dinner on Fridays. But that’s us, the way we roll. And I’m here to tell you, there are times when we stumble. I know others who follow a Meatless Monday routine simply to bring more vegetables, fish and seafood into their diet, to eat less red meat and generally dine in a healthier fashion. As a diabetic, it is recommended I eat two helpings of fish a week. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, but I do try. Of course, when doctors say fish, they mean fish – cod, halibut, salmon – things that swim about and not crab claws or lobster tails dripping in golden butter. From a dietary perspective, Scallops are in the fish category, so long as they aren’t swimming in clarified butter.
Did you know that Scallops are a good source of vitamin B12? Scallops are bursting with Omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants, all important for cardiovascular health. Scallops also lower the bad cholesterol levels. And they do all these wonderful things while tasting delicious. There are actually more health benefits to eating scallops such as weight loss, regulating blood pressure and so forth. But we aren’t here for a health class. We are here to eat, so let’s get to it!
And in case you were wondering, today is the second Friday of Lent and the tenth day of the Lenten Season. Are you enjoying the meatless meals thus far?
Tarragon Scallops on Asparagus Spears
1 1/4 pounds fresh or frozen sea scallops
1 cup water
1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed
2 medium lemons
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons vegetable oil spread
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
Thaw scallops, if frozen; set aside. Bring water to boil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat, add the asparagus, return to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until tender crisp. Drain well, place on a serving platter, cover lightly and hold in a warm oven.
Cut one of the lemons into wedges. Finely shred 1 teaspoon peel from the remaining lemon. Squeeze 2 tablespoons juice from the lemon into a small cup or shot glass until ready to use.
Pat scallops dry with paper towels. Sprinkle scallops with black pepper and salt.
Wipe the skillet dry. Heat oil over medium heat. Working in two batches, cook the scallops 3 minutes, turn and cook 2 minutes more or until golden brown and just opaque in center. Place the cooked scallops atop the asparagus, cover and keep warm.
Add the vegetable oil spread, lemon peel, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, and the tarragon to the skillet. Cook 1 minute to thicken slightly. Add remaining lemon juice, if desired. Drizzle over scallops. Serve with lemon wedges.
To serve, place about 7 asparagus spears on each of four dinner plates and top with 5 scallops. Garnish the plate with a lemon wedge.
May this, the second Friday of the Lenten Season, bring peace and comfort to the weary souls as we march ever forward to our final home.