Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Succulent Scallops & Sauvignon Blanc

January 4: Dinner

This meal was a decision based on a sale item at my grocery store. Scallops were at a reasonable price, so I bought them and searched for a recipe later. I’ve seen television chefs pan sear them easily, and many online and cookbook recipes concurred. Therefore, I took the general idea from them all and did what I could without adhering to any particular recipe.

Basics:  Seared scallops in olive oil-drizzled pan for three to four minutes on each side. Added some butter to the pan upon flipping to second side. Seasoned with salt and pepper.

Adding spinach and small shitake mushrooms looked easy as well. Again, I didn’t use any one particular recipe.

Basics:  Sautéed chopped garlic and mushrooms in olive oil for a minute or two. Added spinach, cooked until wilted. Seasoned with salt and pepper.

I then put the scallops on the bed of spinach and mushrooms and drizzled some fresh lemon juice over the top.

And for a side dish that would use up my cherry tomatoes, I decided to bake them.

Basics:  Sliced tomatoes in half, spread in olive oiled baking dish. Topped with mixture of bread crumbs, basil, and minced garlic, fresh parmesan cheese, salt, and olive oil. Baked at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Not bad! The tomatoes were a tasty side, and the spinach/mushroom mix was seasoned well. The scallops were tender and buttery, though they didn’t sear and brown like they were supposed to. I think I have to use a stainless steel pan instead of a non-stick teflon to make that happen.

The bonus for the night was that friend/neighbor Evelyn agreed to come by and enjoy the dinner with me. She liked all of the dishes, especially the tomatoes, and noted that the spinach done very well. Sweet!


I tried my first wine of the year, and it was one of six California wines that was sent to me as an Xmas present by my mom and sister. This was a sauvignon blanc from Napa Valley, specifically the Alazar Winery & Vineyards in St. Helena. The 2008 vintage was sweet and fruity but subtle enough to pair perfectly with the scallops, and it was smooth enough for me to continue drinking well into the late evening.

Clearly, I’m not a great wine critic, but I’m learning as I go! The first new wine of the year was very nice.


  1. The meal looks fantastic! I love scallops and this looks like a great non-recipe, recipe. I think you could pull off the sear in a non stick pan but you have to let it get very hot and not crowd the pan with too many scallops at once.

  2. You might be right; my pan could've been hotter and less crowded. I've browned meat in that pan, so why not fish? I'll try again. Thanks for the tip!

  3. I can certainly confirm the dinner was yummy nummies! Thanks for the good eats, mama.