By Jodee Weiland
Making seared sea scallops intrigued me at one time, so years ago I researched how to do this and since that time have made them at home dozens of times. I love Seared Sea Scallops with Parmesan Prosciutto Risotto done right, so it was important to me that I learned how to do this dish correctly. What I learned was that you do not want to overcook the scallops or they will become tough and rubbery. I learned how long to cook them and how to cook them as well. Today a great source on “How To Make Pan-Seared Scallops” by Danilo Alfaro is at About.com Culinary Arts if you have never made sea scallops before.
I use extra virgin olive oil and butter to sear my scallops. Depending upon the size of the scallops, it usually takes about two to three minutes on each side to sear your scallops without overcooking them. More often than not, this time is closer to two minutes in order to leave the inside of the scallop translucent.
Before I sear my scallops, I usually make my Parmesan Prosciutto Risotto, a creamy Italian rice flavored by adding grated imported Parmesan Reggiano and crispy crumbled prosciutto to taste. I make the risotto and then pan fry about two ounces of cut up prosciutto until crisp and able to be crumbled. I add about a third to half of the crumbled prosciutto to the rice after blending in grated Parmesan Reggiano to the cooked risotto. Once done, I pan sear my sea scallops in the same pan I cooked the prosciutto after adding butter and olive oil. The scallops are seared in small batches until browned on both sides, about two to three minutes on each side depending on size. The sea scallops go well with the Parmesan Prosciutto Risotto and served with another vegetable make a great meal!
Seared Sea Scallops with Parmesan Prosciutto Risotto
Parmesan Prosciutto Risotto:
1 cup Arborio rice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 and 1/4 cups fat free vegetable broth (or fat free low sodium chicken broth)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
2 ounces Italian prosciutto
Heat the olive oil and butter, and then add and sauté the chopped onions until translucent. Add the rice to this, and cook stirring for about two minutes. Then add in 1 cup of vegetable broth at a time, and cook while stirring until creamy. When creamy add the second cup of broth, and cook while stirring until creamy. Finally, add the third cup of broth, and cook while stirring until creamy. Once done, add in the last 1/4 cup of broth and the Parmesan Reggiano cheese, stirring it into the risotto until blended together. Add in about a third to half of the crispy crumbles prosciutto and stir into the risotto. Cover the pan to keep warm and set aside.
Seared Sea Scallops:
8 to 10 large sea scallops rinsed and dried with a paper towel
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Heat the butter and olive oil in your pan. Sear the scallops in batches of 4 to 5 scallops at a time. Make sure they are dried off well after rinsing. Place the scallops in the hot oil and butter flat side down and let cook for two to three minutes depending on size. You want to sear the sides to a brown crust, but you do not want to overcook the scallops. They should be somewhat slightly translucent inside when done. If done right, they will not be tough when you bite into the scallop. Once done, serve the scallops over your Parmesan Prosciutto Rice with a side vegetable. Sprinkle crispy crumbled prosciutto over the scallops to taste from what’s left.
Seared Sea Scallops with Parmesan Prosciutto Risotto done right are a delicious seafood meal that make you feel as though you are eating out at a luxurious restaurant. Serve with a side vegetable or salad and a nice glass of white wine for a delicious meal enhanced by the rich flavors of Italian prosciutto and Parmesan Reggiano cheese in the creamy risotto. I love this meal. There are a few more steps to this meal, but once you get used to it, it is really worth the little bit of extra effort. Try it and find out for yourself just exactly what makes this meal so special, and enjoy!