A Simple Christmas Eve Supper

The wait is over. The house is decorated. The stockings hung, and all those presents wrapped. Perhaps you and your family are planning a quiet evening at home. Perhaps a seven-course-seven-fish meal is just a bit over the top. I get that, really I do. Yet Christmas Eve should be special. With that in mind, might I entice you with a simple scallop supper?

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A Mother’s Day Five-Star Seafood Delight

A few years ago, I put together several of my favorite things for a wonderful Mother’s Day Menu. My guys were able to handle all but the sauce for the scallops.  To me, that’s proof positive that this menu may sound complicated, but is easy to execute.  Granted, Kiddo is a whiz-kid in the kitchen. However, Hubby – well let’s just say he needs a lot of detailed instruction and supervision. Fire up a grill and he’s your man. In the kitchen, he’s out of his element. You would think after all these years of exposure to kitchen lingo he would get it, but he doesn’t. That’s okay, I know nothing about football despite the fact that I’ve spend many a Sunday cuddled up with my armchair quarterback. He even took me to a Super Bowl game once. Loved all the tailgate parties! Just don’t understand the game.

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Mexican Inspired Pan Seared Salsa Verde Scallops

While some people have their tradition of Taco Tuesday, I like to mix things up a bit with delicious dishes from Mexico or that have a truly Mexican influence. Today is a Tuesday, the twelfth day of the Lenten Season. These beautiful scallops are perfect. The Salsa Verde is mild, with just enough heat to let you know it’s a Verde Sauce. These scallops are awesome served in so many ways. This is wonderful with a rice pilaf and salad for a light yet delightful supper. It could also be served as a fish or seafood course to an elaborate meal or as an appetizer to a sit down formal affair.

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Seared Scallops with Jalapeno Vinaigrette

Hubby and I have a wedding anniversary coming up. Seems to come up around this same time every year for as long as I can remember. Our anniversary got me to thinking – and planning a meal for my soul mate, the love of my life. Something special – my gift to him. Hubby adores bounties from the sea. Scallops are right up there on his hit parade. As are dishes that contain a bit of heat. This bright, beautiful recipe for scallops contain both.

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Pan-Seared Scallops with Browned Butter Tarragon Sauce

One of my favorite herbs has to be tarragon. I love all the complex flavors of this herb. Slightly sweet yet subtlety bitter with hint of pepper and a dash of licorice. I love it in butter both as a spread for warm bread and to pat over a perfectly grilled steak. Tarragon is great in sauces, too. It goes with just about anything – from beef to seafood. Sweet, mild scallops seared in butter just scream for a white wine tarragon sauce. This is one wonderful dish that won’t disappoint.

I especially love how quickly the seared scallops comes together for a spectacular supper after a long day. From beginning to end, we are talking twenty-minutes at most. Wow, that’s what I call quick!

While these scallops would do justice to just about any bed of rice, I served my scallops with Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Pilaf. It’s flavorful, fluffy and cooks up in under two minutes. Hey, every shortcut in the kitchen adds up to more relaxation time with my family.

Pan-Seared Scallops with Browned Butter Tarragon Sauce
Sea Scallops
1 lb Sea Scallops (about 15 large scallops_
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
1/8 teaspoon white pepper or to taste
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Olive Oil

Rinse scallops and place on paper towels to drain. Pat dry. Sprinkle scallops on both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat  large non-stick skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the oil and butter. Swirl pan to blend oil with butter. Heat until bubbling and the butter is just beginning to brown.

Pat the scallops dry once more. Add scallops to the pan and sear 2 minutes or until golden. With tongs, turn scallops over and sear other side about 2 minutes longer, until golden. When done, scallops should feel firm to the touch.

Remove scallops from pan and place on serving platter. Hold in a warm oven while the sauce is made.

Browned Butter Herb Sauce
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 medium shallot finely diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/8 cup finely chopped fresh chopped tarragon
1/8 cup finely chopped fresh chopped chives
1 Lemon, Zested
2 to 3 lemon wedges reserved for serving

To the now empty skillet over medium heat, melt 1/2 tablespoon butter. Add shallots and sauté for about a minute, scrapping up any browned bits left behind in the skillet.

Add the wine, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture is reduced by half.

Add the herbs and lemon zest, stir to blend.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the remaining butter, and whisk constantly until all the butter is melted.

Return the scallops to the skillet and roll gently in the sauce to coat. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning as needed with more salt and pepper to taste.

Place scallops with sauce on serving platter. Garnish with slices of lemon if desired.

For a nice presentation with awesome flavor, surround scallops with Rice Pilaf.

NOTE: Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Pilaf cooks up in the micro wave in 90 seconds for a quick finish to the meal.

rice pilaf

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