Friday, February 10, 2012

Capering Scallops: Scallops With An Aglio Ollio Sauce

A few weeks ago I bought a bag of frozen bay scallops and used some of them to attempt to recreate a luscious seafood risotto I'd had years ago at the Italian restaurant where the Man and I got married. It was okay, but not what I wanted and the rest of the bag has been in my freezer ever since.

Tonight JR and I were supposed to be making canneloni together--a recipe that she had selected because I want her to start cooking, not just baking. But the local store didn't have canneloni shells. Wegmans was likely to have them but I couldn't get the Man on the phone and I wasn't going to head out to the burbs in rush hour.

So JR and I made meatballs together and that took care of the girls dinner. But what to cook for the Man and me on a Friday night, a night where dinner is leisurely and where he can eat all the raw garlic he wants to?

I pulled out the scallops and started searching for a recipe, then noticed the recipe on the back of the bag for a sauce reminiscent of one of our favorites aglio olio (garlic in olive oil), something I hadn't made in ages.

No fresh tomatoes or basil, but there was a can of diced tomatoes in the pantry, complete with garlic,basil and oregano. No mushrooms, which would be a nice addition to this, but we'd manage.
Chicken broth base always on hand. And we had capers.

Tiny unripe buds from a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern bush, they are pickled in vinegar or brine and you might wonder if they were really necessary in this recipe.  But it's the capers that gave this dish a lovely tangy snap and I am very glad I didn't omit them.

This was delicious and next time I am in the store I am buying another bag of scallops to stow away so I can make this again.

Scallops With Tomatoes and Capers, Aglio Ollio Style
1 lb bay scallops, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves chopped garlic 
1 cup canned diced tomatoes w/basil,garlic and oregano
1 Tbs capers (rinsed)
1/2 cup chicken broth
fresh ground black pepper

If the scallops are frozen,defrost them under cold running water and drain well.
Heat 1/2 the oil in a large skillet and add the scallops. Cook them, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes.
Remove them and set them aside.
Add the rest of the oil and add the garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently so that the garlic does not burn. It should develop a nice golden color.
Add the tomatoes and capers, bring to a boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Add the chicken broth and pepper to taste and simmer for a few more minutes.
Add the scallops back in and mix everything well.

Serve over pasta or rice.

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