The inspiration for dinner with friends this week comes from Biaggis restaurant. I had Risotto with Sea Scallops and it was amazing so thought this would be perfect. And it was!The Risotto is the star of this dish. Be sure to start with quality ingredients. For the cheese I mixed Parmesan and Manchego (a Spanish sheep milk cheese). Freshly grated makes for a creamy good risotto. Gather the goods and start chopping.I know what you are thinking – risotto? on a week night? that is a lot of work! Well I figured out risotto is not that hard when you bake it! Yes you can make a great risotto by baking it. No need to stand around and stir for 45 minutes. As for the mushrooms and asparagus – it is best to saute them in a pan and add to the risotto after it comes out of the oven. This is a simple task as well – saute in olive oil, season with salt and pepper for about 7 minutes. Then just fold into the risotto.After folding in the veggies add some butter and the grated cheese. Things are looking good now! Keep warm on low heat while you cook the scallops. You may need to add more stock if the risotto gets dry.Rinse the scallops and dry on paper towels. Check the scallops and remove the side muscle, if still attached. The side-muscle is a little rectangular tag of tissue on the side of the scallop and is tough so you do not want to eat this! Season both sides with salt and pepper before cooking in a hot pan.Heat oil and butter in the pan over a medium-high heat. You want to get the scallops golden brown on each side. These only take 2 minutes per side! Be careful to not overcook or they will be tough.
For the side KZ made a great wedge salad with all the fixings! Blue cheese, bacon, red onion, tomato….Yum!This was restaurant quality wedge salad – thanks KZ!! Now just pour a nice glass of wine, load up your plate and enjoy. Cheers!
1 shallot, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup blend parmesan and manchego
1 cup asparagus
1 cup mushrooms
1 1/2 cups aborio rice
4 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 T butter
Heat 1 T olive oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots and cook for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add rice and cook for 2-3 minutes, until rice is coated and slightly toasted. Add wine and cook until absorbed. Add 3 cups stock, increase heat to high and bring to simmer, stirring. Cover and put in 400 degree oven.
Bake 25 – 30 minutes, stirring half way through time. Remove from oven when liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Add remaining stock and keep warm over low heat. In the meantime saute the mushrooms and asparagus in 1 T of olive oil. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium high heat. Fold into risotto. Stir cheese and butter into risotto.
Serve hot with scallops and enjoy!!