Seared Scallops & Deconstructed Brussels Sprouts

I don’t have a very good track record with scallops. After one grossed-out husband and two failed cooking attempts, I eventually learned three very important scallop preparation rules:

1) Rinse the scallops to remove sand. No one likes to eat sand.

2) Dry them thoroughly with paper towels before cooking. When scallops cook, they release water. If you skip this step, then they will just end up swimming in liquid in your pan. They swam enough in the ocean (or whatever it is that scallops do), so they don’t need any more exercise.

3) Sear them on medium high heat and don’t crowd them. When searing, the goal is to brown the scallops while thoroughly cooking them. Burnt outsides and raw insides are not a winning combination. Also, no matter how much you want to cram all the scallops in a pan, fight the urge to crowd them. They can’t brown properly if you don’t give the little guys enough breathing room.

On the other hand, brussels sprouts and I have an excellent track record! I love experimenting with various cooking methods and different accompaniments, like pancetta, walnuts, and caramelized onions. Similar to scallops, my goal for cooking brussels sprouts is to fully brown them. I absolutely love the caramelized leaves that unravel as they roast. This time, I deconstructed the sprouts so that all of the separated leaves were given a chance to brown. This recipe is super easy to make and the main lesson that you will learn is that tiny little bugs love living in between the brussels sprouts’ leaves. Deconstructing them isn’t such a bad idea after all.

Seared Scallops & Deconstructed Brussels Sprouts
Serves 2


Olive oil
6 sea scallops, rinsed and dried
1 pound brussels sprouts
Handful slivered almonds or pine nuts
Handful golden raisins
Splash balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper


Cut the stems off the brussels sprouts and tear away all of the leaves. In a pan over medium high heat, sauté the leaves in some olive oil. Add the slivered almonds or pine nuts, golden raisins, and a splash of balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the nuts have toasted and the leaves have caramelized. Set aside on a plate.

Return the pan to the heat and add more olive oil. After the scallops have been rinsed and patted dry, season them with salt and pepper. Sear them for about 2 minutes per side. Don’t crowd them! Serve the scallops over the deconstructed brussels sprouts and enjoy!


Shirley said...

What a yummy sounding recipe, and I love your humor and stories ;)

Kelly said...

Those look delish! I never knew that about not overcrowding or drying them off first - no wonder my scallops are always so soggy. Can't wait to try out your tricks!