XO Seared Scallop, with Moscato and Dill Spaghettini
It's a simple pasta recipe that can be enjoyed in under 2 hours, so give it a go!
This recipe calls for dill herb instead of Italian parsley. The combination of dill herb and Moscato gives a pleasant, fruity, and somewhat interesting finishing on the palate. It has been trialed (by myself and missus). You may substitute accordingly if you wish.
Depending on the number of servings, gauge your ingredients accordingly.
For 2 persons, things you will need:
6 -8 scallops at room temperature (US or Hokkaido, fresh or frozen are all fine)
A knob of butter
A splash of Brandy or XO
Half a pack of spaghettini (slightly smaller diameter than regular spaghetti)
10 cloves garlic, chopped, divided
1 red chili, chopped
A handful of fresh dill herbs, finely chopped, divided into 2 portions
1 sprig of thyme
A good lug of olive oil
Splash of Moscato
Splash of XO (or Brandy)
500ml Fish stock
Half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
For the scallops:
Ever frustrated by scallops that "steam" instead of "sizzle" on a grilling pan?
Tips on how to achieve a nice and beautifully seared scallop instead of one that turns out wet and soggy!
Blanch the scallops in boiling fish stock for about 45 to 60s, drain and retain the stock for the pasta. This step partially cooks the scallop, and the salt in the fish stock helps to draw out moisture from the scallop.
Using a paring knife, slit the scallop criss-cross on both sides.
On a hot grilling pan, add the knob of butter and thyme herb. Do not allow the butter to brown too much.
Add scallops onto pan and leave it to sear and brown. It should have minimal liquid coming from the scallop.
*If the pan is hot enough, there should be a LOUD sizzling sound. This is the kind of hot pan we need when searing.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Once browned, turn to sear the other side.
Finish off by adding a splash of brandy, and allow the flame to cook off the alcohol.
*If there's no flame, it means that the pan is not hot enough!
Set aside the scallops.
For the pasta:
Boil a pot of water and add a good amount of salt (about 1% salt concentration)
Cook pasta to 1 minute lesser than Al dente. Drain, add a generous amount of olive oil to the pasta, toss. This prevents the pasta from sticking. Set aside.
On a hot pan, add a good lug of olive oil.
Add garlic, red chili, and half the dill. Reduce heat to prevent the garlic from burning. Stir until fragrant.
Before de-glazing the pan with wine, turn up the heat. Add a splash of white wine. The alcohol will burn if the heat is turned up high enough.
Add fish stock spoonful by spoonful just enough to have a garlic fish broth.
Stir in lemon juice.
Add in pasta, scallop, remaining dill and toss well. Season to taste, if necessary.
*Season with salt cautiously as the pasta has been cooked in 1% salt solution, and the use of fish stock adds saltiness as well.
With a twining fork, twirl pasta into a the shape of a cocoon.
Plate and garnish with dill or chives, drizzle some olive oil around the pasta and finish off with some cracked black pepper.