My pa-in-law served some big scallops on pasta last year sometime; they were really good, but I got to thinking about doing a reduced-cream sauce with those. This simmered on my mental back burner for a long time, and then I saw sea scallops on sale again and decided to get serious. I'm very glad I did, and so are Mrs. O and our friend Sue, who got to help me eat the results. Here's how it went:
1 lb. big sea scallops, patted dry
1 1/2 lb. assorted mushrooms - I used oyster and cremini
1 small or 1/2 large pasilla* pepper, cleaned and chopped fine
3 shallots, minced
1 1/2 cups crème fraiche**, at room temp.
1/2 lb. cooked shrimp, chopped coarsely
3 green onions, w/4" of green stem, chopped
olive oil, butter, herbes de Provence, salt, pepper
Mix about 1 Tbs. salt, fresh-ground pepper and a good big pinch of herbes de Provence with about 1/3 cup olive oil, and marinate scallops in this at room temperature for about an hour. Set an iron skillet under the broiler and preheat both for about 15 minutes, or until it's as hot as it's going to get. Lay in the scallops and broil for 5 minutes. Remove scallops to a bowl, cover and keep warm.
Add a big knob of butter to the skillet and sauté the mushrooms, in batches if necessary, salting a bit and adding butter as needed. When well cooked add to scallops.
Add more butter to the pan and cook the shallots and pasilla pepper gently until they're soft. Raise the heat and pour in the cream, cook and stir until reduced and fairly thick. Add scallops and mushrooms, stir and simmer to meld the flavors, then add the shrimp and green onion. Stir to blend, taste and adjust seasoning, serve on linguine or fettucine.
* I've really gotten into using those fresh pasilla peppers. They're hot enough to make seeding and de-ribbing while wearing rubber gloves a really good idea, but the heat tempers very nicely when they're cooked like this. Best of all, their flavor is delightful, and you don't have to peel them!
** I made mine by beating a half-cup of plain nonfat yogurt into a pint of heavy cream, and setting it in a warm place covered with a dish towel all day - in this case, I set the bowl in a pan of warm water on a hot tray, and monitored it off and on to make sure it didn't overheat. A major PITA, but worth it.
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