For whatever reason, we’ve been in a Pasta-Scallop frame of mind. Hubby is a big fan of Scallops. I really don’t think I had ever tasted a scallop before marring him. And to be honest, the first time I tried scallop anything I was not thrilled. So what changed?
First off, attitude has a lot to do with how things taste and feel in our mouth. Before Hubby, my idea of water creatures fell into certain categories. First there was tuna fish, the sandwich of Friday’s lunch growing up Catholic. Then there were fish sticks, which I tolerated with mounds of ketchup-mayo mixture for dipping. There were my aunt’s Salmon Burgers that I loved, and fried cat fish. That’s it. All other things that lived in water was ucky. No clams. No lobsters. Nothing that came in a shell. In time clam chowder became good. Not so much for the clams but for the creamy potatoes. Lobster and crab became good things to eat. Again, not so much for their meat but the butter that dripped down my chin. Scallops? No thanks. I had decided scallops were off limits without even tasting them. Hubby slowly won me over, bite by bite.
And then the disaster came when I tried cooking scallops for the very first time. Scallops don’t need to be boiled in oil. If you cook a scallop for too long, it turns to mush. Gross, ucky mush. Searing was the trick. Now I love scallops. Paired with pasta, and I’ve gone to heaven. Kissed with lime and nestled with orange slices – wow!
Citrus Kissed Scallops and Pepper Strips over Pasta
8 oz Linguine
Kosher Salt, to taste
Bring a tall pot of salted water to a full boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain, retaining some of the pasta water. Keep pasta warm until ready to serve.
Citrus Scallops with Pepper Strips
1 Medium Red Bell Pepper
4 Whole Green Onions, Sliced Thinly
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Lb. Sea Scallops
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 teaspoon Lime Zest
4 Medium Navel Oranges, Peeled and Sectioned
Stem, core and slice bell pepper long, thin strips. Set aside
Cut root from green onion, discard. Chop remaining bulb from green section, then into thin slices. Cut greens into strips, then dice into small pieces. Set aside.
Peel and mince garlic, set aside.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté the red pepper strips, onions and garlic in the oil for 1 minute.
Add the scallops, season with salt and pepper flakes. Cook for 4 minutes.
While the scallops cook, cut lime in half. Zest half of the lime, squeeze juice into a small bowl with the zest. Add lime juice and zest to pan and cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat.
Peel and break orange into sections. Add orange sections to the pan; cook 2 minutes longer or until scallops are opaque.
Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Chop cilantro and set aside.
Spread pasta out on a serving platter. Top with scallops and moisten with pasta water as needed to create a thin sauce.
Garnish with cilantro and red pepper flakes as desired.