It’s late on Sunday night (90% of you won’t read this until Monday) and I’m kicked back in bed with the monsters, while Will watches some man-show out in the den. We’ve spent the entire day in the kitchen, aside from a yoga class, and we’re beat. Because of all the new recipes we churned out today (5, but 1 failed), I feel motivated to knock out at least one post tonight since I’ve now got over 20 in the backlog (oooooooooops). I figure before I share anything else new from our new place (of course we’re already making NEW recipes, duh), it’s best to wrap up the last of the pre-Tacoma recipes. And this one is a recipe that I should not have been holding out on you with. Ohmigosh this is heaven. One of Will’s best concoctions, ever. I can’t believe I’ve been so rude to withhold it from you this long.
This all started with a moment of enlightenment that we don’t eat a lot of fish other than the occasional tilapia recipe. It’s partly because fish can be pricy but also partly because we (Will, jk I don’t cook) don’t know what to do with fish. And for some reason committing to fish seems slightly intimidating, even to Will. I think it’s in part because of the financial commitment and not wanting to screw it up and lose money, combined with the fact that if fish doesn’t cook correctly….somebody’s stomach will pay. So in an effort to expand our horizons and treat ourselves to a little “splurge,” we pulled up this scallops recipe from lightyears ago, that we have saved in our spreadsheet of recipes to try (it keeps a consistent 50-60 recipes that we find from all over the internet, at all times). Simple, perfect scallops. Sounded good to us, yes? But what, what, WHAT to serve it with? That’s where Will came in with the suggestion…not a standard grain but perhaps a cauliflower puree that I had saved in the same document?
Well apparently Will is even more of a kitchen genius than I realized because he struck gold with this recipe. Famous chefs should be plating this combination of scallops, cauliflower and broccolini (or another green like asparagus would work too). This is literal food perfection on one plate. And I know what you’re thinking – “ewwwww cauliflower.” Well get over yourself and grow up. Have you ever cooked it with whole milk or cream? Likely not. Have you ever pureed it in a food processor until it tastes more like a less-starchy bed of potatoes, with 100% more flavor and 90% less guilt? Have you ever laid it under a bed of perfectly cooked broccolini and buttered scallops that are to-die-for? Probably not. So trust me when I say, this recipe set is a must-try. Onward friends, to give this a go!
Cooking Notes: We didn’t really change much about the recipes themselves (minor adjustments here and there). Probably what is more prolific about this grouping of recipes was that they were combined to perfection, instead of all remaining individual recipes.
Perfect Scallops Over Cauliflower Puree with Broccolini
~1 lb. sea scallops, muscle side removed*
S&P, fresh ground
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 sprigs herbs (tarragon, thyme or sage)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
*ask for “dry” when you get them from the fresh counter
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into pieces
1 onion, chopped
4 tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 cups milk
S&P, to taste
For the scallops: Being by removing the side muscle. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season scallops with S&P and cook until deep golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn scallops and add butter and herbs to pan. Continue cooking, spooning butter over the scallops often, until they are cooked through and the butter is brown and smells nutty, about 3 more minutes. Add lemon juice, then serve scallops over cauliflower puree with brown butter pan sauce.
For the Cauliflower: In a large saucepan over medium heat, soften the onion in 2 tbsp butter. Add the cauliflower, garlic and milk. Season with S&P. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently until the cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well, setting aside the liquid for another use. In a food processor, puree the cauliflower with the other 2 tbsp of butter and no more than 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid (substituting milk or cream, if you prefer). Adjust the seasoning flavor with more S&P, then serve with scallops.
For the Broccolini: Using a steamer set, bring the bottom pot of water to a boil. Place broccolini in steamer, then cook for 5-7 minutes until bright green and crisp to your liking. Serve over cauliflower puree and enjoy!