Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Seared Scallops with Lemon Risotto and Wilted Baby Spinach and an Update! 25 Bakers!

 Scallops are my favorite seafood, but they're usually only for special occasions, because they are kind of pricey., or if we got to a nice restaurant.  Several weeks ago, we had gone to the Acquaviva Winery and Estate. There is a 40 acre vineyard and 20,00 sq foot winery in the middle of the cornfields.Now, picture this  winery 50 miles west of Chicago. I'm not kidding. Click on the link and see for yourself. The winery is gorgeous with a stone facade.  Inside there are marble floors, and fresco paintings on the walls, ceilings, and niches.  Just breathtaking. Now, I've not been to Italy, but  hope to get there one day.  If not, this winery might be the closest that  I get to it.  They have a large wine bar, of course and a winery tour on the lower level.  We didn't have time for the tour. Both Scott and I had the seared scallops on lemon risotto, with wilted spinach, and it was wonderful. a word to the wise in the Chicago area. If you don't have reservations, there is a 1-11/2
hr. wait, but well worth it.

We had vivid memories of that wonderful dinner at the winery and wanted to replicate it at home  I had gotten a  Trader Joe's gift card for my birthday, so I went shopping and the first thing in my cart were the scallops, even if they were frozen.  Then I put the fresh spinach, arborio rice, 2 lemons, chicken stock, and Trader Joe's turkey bacon into the cart, along with a bottle of white wine for cooking. The scallops that we had at the winery were wrapped in pancetta, and we wanted to cut the fat and sodium, so we opted for the uncured turkey bacon.  I will be posting the Lemon risotto recipe soon. I had only made risotto once before, and that was a long time ago.

 Seared Scallops- Adapted from Fine Cooking
To get a perfect sear on the scallops your pan has to be hot, and the scallops have to be "dry" At the store, ask for scallops that haven't been soaked in a sodium solution. the sodium solution plumps the scallops, bit then leeches out as the scallops cooks, making it impossible to get a good sear.  .If there is any liquid on the scallops you must drain them on paper towels, and then I put the scallops on my small baking rack to dry further. Actually we had better luck with the frozen scallops, than the scallops we got that weren't frozen.

Once your scallops are thoroughly dry, Slice the  strips of the turkey bacon, down the middle. Then take one of the sliced  strips, and wrap around each scallop, securing with a skewer or toothpick.  Heat your nonstick pan over med-high heat, then add olive oil.  It's ready to use, when a drop of water sizzles in the pan. Place each scallop in the hot pan, but do not crowd the pan.  There should be room between the scallops to sizzle.  That way they will get a good sear. Scallops only need  a few minutes per side to brown, if your pan is hot enough. Brown them quickly. Scallops are done, when they feel barely firm to the touch. Don't overcook or they will be rubbery.

Here is the updated Baker's list  25 Bakers and counting!!! Yahoo!!!!
Here is the updated list of Bakers
Kate from Diethood
Gina from  Oatmeal, Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Natasha from My Saint John Lemon Bread
Reese from  The New Art of Baking   Old Fashioned Ginger Snap Cookies
Chef Dennis from More Than a Mount Full  Chocolate Decadence Cookies
Wendy from The Weekend Gourmet
Molly from Toffee Bits and Chocolate Chips Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter
Charlie from Sweet Salty Spicy  Maple Pecan Quinoa Crunch Granola 
Kim from Liv Life  Limoncello, Limoncello,Biscotti, and a few recipe cards
Jennifer from   Three Little Piglets
Debbie from SquirrellBakes Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sabrina from The Tomato Tart  Vegan Triple Chocolate Banana Bread
Lindsey from Gingerbread Bagels
Elisabeth from Food and Thrifts  Biscotti
Carolyn from All Day Long I Dream About Food Caramel Nut Bars
Dee from Dee Dee's Delights  Lemon Lavender Cookies
Brooks from Cakewalker Mayan Toffee
Jill from Dulce Dough Ranger Cookies
Abeer from Cake Whiz
Tiffany from Como Water Vegan Earl Grey Tea  Shortbread
Raven from  Ravie Nom Noms
Susi from Susi Kochen und Backen Nutella Chocolate Cookies
Lauren from forevernowandthen  Oreo Sugar Cookies
Meghan from butrcreamblondi
and me of course. Raspberry Dark Chocolate BarsChile Spiced-Mango Chocolate Chunk Cookies, and
Fight Back Brownies


  1. Hi Becky,
    I got your message and I had already seen the info about the bake sale. This is not a good time for me to sign up as a baker due to my treatment schedule, but I will definitely bid and donate.

  2. Judy, I wish you the best with your treatment. Any help that you can do would be apreciated

  3. Those are some great looking scallops and you can never go wrong with Lemon Risotto :o)

  4. I LOVE these scallops!! I love it with the bacon... deliciousness!

  5. 25 bakers - yay!
    Becky - your picture makes me want to eat Love the bacon on there!!

  6. I don't like scallops but you did make it amazingly delicious! My husband would love something like this for sure!

  7. i am not too fond of scallops either but i really like the sound of that risotto..lemonnyyy! :D

  8. Those scallops sound divine! Love the flavors in this meal.
    Sounds like your bake sale is really shaping up...wishing you continued success in your endeavor! (And I'll post a link on my next post...hopefully some people head over to check it out.)


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