Please excuse my mid-week rant that has absolutely nothing to do with health or fitness. But bear with me people, I promise it kind of has a point. You know what I don’t understand? Why at least half of the channels offered at Marriott Hotels are ESPN or sports related. Am I the only one who finds this a bit excessive? There’s ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U, ESPN Classics, ESPN News, Speed Network and the Golf Channel. I mean, I understand that the majority of business travelers are men, but come on now. Would it kill them to offer some sort of girl-friendly options? I’m not asking for a lot people, maybe just a little Bravo, HGTV or MTV to spice things up.
So, whenever I’m traveling I usually resort to watching network TV. Let me tell you, it brings back some good memories of my cable-less childhood. Yeah, we were THAT family. Recently, one of the shows I’ve gotten into is Hell’s Kitchen. I know it’s been on for awhile, but I’m normally too busy watching House Hunters or Say Yes to the Dress to make time for it. One thing I’ve noticed about the show is that every season there seems to be something that everyone sucks at. This season it’s scallops. So naturally Gordon Ramsey makes them cook them all of the time. And, every time I see them cook them, I want them more and more. But, after watching the professionals eff them up day after day, I thought they’d be a little out of my culinary abilities. So, what does every newbie in the kitchen do? Enlist the help of their mother, of course. So we found this fairly simple scallop dish and gave it a try.
The dish actually ended up being really fast and easy to make. The original recipe included honey, but since I’m going sugarless, we left it out. Feel free to do as you wish. After making the scallops, I really don’t see what the big deal is. How do these people continuously mess them up? I’m thinking it has something to do with the fact that Gordon Ramsey is scary as f*ck. I would probably mess up toast if I had him breathing down my neck. So, as long as Gordon Ramsey isn’t in your kitchen, you should be fine! Anyways, enjoy!
- 10 jumbo sea scallops
- 3 slices bacon (I used the Whole Food’s uncured bacon)
- 10 ounces baby spinach
- 4 ounces mushrooms
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (or pepper blend)
- 3/4 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
- Place sea scallops on paper towels and blot dry. Lightly season with salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside (keep on towels so they will stay dry, or they will not sear properly.)
- In a large saute pan, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon, chop into bits (when it cools off) and set aside.
- Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat from the pan and reheat to medium-high. Add mushrooms to pan and sauté until mushrooms are soft and slightly browned. Add additional butter to pan, if the mushrooms soak up all the fat. When mushrooms are done, place them in a small bowl and set aside.
- Add a couple more tablespoons of butter to the pan and reheat to medium-high. Working in batches, sauté the spinach until it is all wilted. Add the mushrooms and bacon bits to the pan and stir to mix. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Set pan aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and honey (amounts are estimated). Set aside.
- Using a large cast-iron skillet or heavy frying pan, heat pan over high heat until searing hot. Add a thin layer of bacon fat and butter to the pan, then quickly place the scallops in the pan to sear. Cook undisturbed for around 3 minutes, or until the bottom of the scallop is deeply browned/caramelized. Turn the scallops over and sear the other side in the same manner. Remove the scallops to a shallow bowl or plate – tent with foil to keep warm. Carefully add the cider mixture to the hot skillet and stir to mix in any caramelized bit in the bottom of the pan. (The fluids will boil and steam like crazy when they hit the hot pan, so be careful not to burn yourself.) When the liquid has reduced and thickened some (1 to 2 minutes), pour over the scallops.
- Reheat the spinach, briefly. To serve, place scallops over a bed of the spinach and mushrooms, and spoon some of the apple cider glaze over the top. Enjoy!