Last night I got home and all I could think about was ordering delivery. I wanted someone to bring me hot delicious food while I sat on my couch, had a cocktail, and indulged in some seriously questionable TV programming.
But instead, I rallied. I did the dishes, broke out the recipe book, and tried out something new for dinner. And man am I glad I did because it was DELISH. Like really, really good and super satisfying. And I am so glad I tried it because, in an effort to eat a bit lighter, I’m trying to focus most of my meals on fish and vegetables. I’m also trying to opt for quinoa and veggies instead of for my true love – the potato. The change in focus is not for any particular reason other than it’s been a long winter and quite frankly my body is craving the lighter food. That being said, this particular recipe calls for pancetta and crème fraîche…and some butter…so I suppose by definition it’s not SUPER healthy, but by my standards it’s perfect. All the flavor I need and all the healthy factors as well. I mean, let’s be honest, if there are no potatoes on my plate smothered in butter (and I do mean smothered) then it’s healthy and light according to this home chef.
Just based on the recipe, when I began cooking this I wasn’t anticipating it to be that great. I love scallops and I’ve always appreciated brussels sprouts, but despite it sounded relatively straight forward and tasty, I was almost annoyed that I was cooking it simply based on the fact that I was exhausted and wanted someone to ring my doorbell with my dinner. I was not in the mood for any kind of prep work. To be fair, if you’re in a cooking mood, the prep work is pretty light and once all the elements are ready to go, cook time takes less than 10 minutes. Also it turned out SO STUPIDLY GOOD. I got this particular recipe from Food and Wine Magazine and it’s a definite winner:
1/4 cup crème fraîche
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon snipped chives
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 jumbo scallops (about 3/4 pound)
6 thin slices pancetta (about 2 ounces)
1/2 pound brussels sprouts thinly sliced
1 shallot thinly sliced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1. In a small bowl, whisk the crème fraîche with the finely grated lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, snipped chives and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season the lemon-chive crème fraîche with salt and pepper.
2. In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Generously season the scallops with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet. Cook the scallops over moderately high heat, turning once, until they are golden and just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the scallops to a plate; tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.
3. Meanwhile, in another medium skillet, cook the pancetta over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Add the brussels sprouts and shallot and cook, stirring, until the brussels sprouts are softened but still bright green, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the butter and garlic and season with salt and pepper; transfer to plates and top with the scallops. Serve with the lemon-chive crème fraîche.
I followed the directions exactly and it came out beautifully. The only difference was that I didn’t have jumbo scallops so I used more. I mean, seriously, look at it:
There’s obviously more crème fraîche available if you want it but I found a light drizzling to be just enough.
This one is a definite keeper and a new favorite without a doubt. Worth a try if you’re in the mood!