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Monday, December 6, 2010

Mediterranean Cous Cous with Seared Sea Scallops



My computer is finally fixed! Hallelujah! And thank you, bonus son H! I'm getting back to the blog after weeks of being out of touch with cyber space. Let's get cooking.

This light, healthy dish is perfect for the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. You know, those days when your pants start getting a bit snug so you're practically living in your sweats? (a.k.a. "happy pants").  It comes together in about 40 minutes and makes for a great main dish, side dish, and leftover lunch. What I like about this dish is the combination of raw and cooked ingredients. It has great texture. This can be eaten hot, cold, or at room temp.
Here's what we need:

4 cups chicken stock
2 cups Mediterranean cous cous
1 bag fresh spinach
1 green (or yellow) zucchini
1 red bell pepper
1 carrot
2 cloves garlic
2 green onions, chopped
6 - 8 sea scallops
1/2 lemon
2 Tbls fresh chopped parsley
Extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

First things first. Let's prep the veg. Chop up everything except the carrot. Use a peeler and shave it.

Place the scallops on a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Set aside.



Heat chicken stock to a boil then add the cous cous. Give it a stir.


Simmer for about 7 - 10 minutes until cous cous is tender. Drain and save excess stock.
Put about a Tbls olive oil in a large skillet and heat on medium high heat.
Saute the onions and carrot until the onions are translucent. Sprinkle the onion and carrot with a pinch of Kosher salt.
Stir in the minced garlic and saute for about one minute.


Pour hot cous cous over the spinach. This will wilt it a bit. Then drizzle with about a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add the chopped red pepper.


Now, put your chopped zucchini into the smoking hot skillet. You're going for brown here, not soft and slimy. Once brown, add it to the cous cous.

Add 1 Tbls butter and 1 Tbls olive oil to the skillet. Get it hot. Pat the scallops dry. Place them in the hot skillet, turning after about 2-3 minutes. Scallops cook in a hurry, so be vigilant. Cook only until golden brown on each side. (6 minutes max).

Place the scallops on top of the cous cous. Squeeze 1/2 a lemon on top.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Taste. Add more stock,  salt and pepper, as needed for moisture and taste. Finish with chopped chives or green onions.
Serve.

The great thing about this dish is it's versatility. Don't have scallops? Add shrimp. Allergic to seafood? Leave it out. Add some toasted pine nuts and some cheese (Feta, Mozzarella, Manchego, Parmesan). Need a side dish? Leave out the seafood. This is wonderful served at room temp, (great make ahead), cold, or hot. Sub any vegetables you have on hand... Cucumbers, tomato, artichokes, etc. Clean out your fridge and make a tasty dish!



Ingredients:

4 cups chicken stock
2 cups Mediterranean cous cous
1 bag fresh spinach (6 oz)
1/2 onion, any color, minced
1 green (or yellow) zucchini, rough chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 carrot, shaved
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped
6 - 8 sea scallops, seared
1/2 lemon
2 Tbls fresh chopped parsley
1 Tbls butter
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper


Method:


  1. Prep the veg. Chop up everything except the carrot. Use a peeler and shave it.
  2. Place the scallops on a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Set aside.
  3. Heat chicken stock to a boil then add the cous cous. Stir.
  4. Simmer for  7 - 10 minutes until cous cous is tender. Drain and save excess stock.
  5. Put 1 Tbls olive oil in a large skillet and heat on medium high heat.
  6. Saute the onions and carrot until the onions are translucent. Sprinkle the onion and carrot with a pinch of Kosher salt.
  7. Stir in the minced garlic and saute for about one minute.
  8. Pour hot cous cous over the spinach.
  9. Drizzle with one teaspoon  extra virgin olive oil.
  10. Add the chopped red pepper.
  11. Place chopped zucchini into the smoking hot skillet. Brown.
  12. Add 1 Tbls butter and 1 Tbls olive oil to the skillet. Pat the scallops dry. Place them in the hot skillet, turning after about 2-3 minutes. Cook only until golden brown on each side. (6 minutes max).
  13. Place the scallops on top of the cous cous. Squeeze 1/2 a lemon on top.
  14. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
  15. Taste. 
  16. Add more stock,  salt and pepper, as needed for moisture and taste. 
  17. Finish with chopped chives or green onions.
  18. Serve.










      

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About Me

Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
I'm a home cook that can put some good tasting food on the table, most of the time. My family knows dinner is ready when the fire alarm goes off.