These scrumptious Seared Sea Scallops with Fava Bean Purée comes together in less than 20 minutes, and never fails to impress.
Scallops are one of the easiest and quickest ways to delight your dinner guests. With just a few good tips and tricks, succulent scallops can wow their tastebuds and keep you free from hours in the kitchen.
This simple scallop recipe I’m featuring is from 101 EPIC DISHES: Recipes That Teach You How to Make the Classics Even More Delicious by Jet & Ali Tila.
In 101 EPIC DISHES Jet and Ali have a novel way of approaching cooking – each recipe teaches a key culinary technique similar to something taught in culinary school. This means that if you cook your way through this book, when you’re finished you will have learned 101 new techniques! And you don’t even have to leave your kitchen to do it!
Other features from this easy-to-follow book include some principles for great cooking (such as understanding dry and moist heat cooking), must-have kitchen tools (cooking scale & thermometers to name a few), and knife skills.
I recently heard Jet & Ali speak at Melissa’s Produce. They were animated, charming, and bursting with great stories as well as culinary tips.
“Our goal for this book is to take you deeper in the why of cooking, and to show you how chefs approach recipes and give dishes that little extra something.” – Jet & Ali Tila
Most of their recipes are based on popular or classic dishes — the ones all cooks should have in their repertoire. But what makes each recipe different in this book are the tips, secrets, and the special twist the couple adds. Check out the great tips on scallops below.
Here are a few of the delicious recipes prepared by the Melissa’s Produce team.
Today’s Recipe: Seared Sea Scallops with Fava Bean Purée
A perfectly seared scallop is one of those benchmarks that all cooks strive for. Jet gives us a few tips to help you master these mollusks.
- Buy scallops that are firm and cold. They should bounce back like a firm steak. They should look moist, almost oily, and smell like the beach
- Pat your scallops dry before cooking, because moisture is the enemy of browning.
- Pan selection is also key. Cast iron or steel is best because it retains heat amazingly well; this will cauterize and sear the scallop instead of boiling the moisture out of them, making them tough.
What makes the base for scallops so easy is pre-packaged fava beans from Melissa’s Produce. Look for them in your grocery store.
I used two packages for this recipe. You can make this dish a main or appetizers. I think frozen lima bean or peas would make a good substitute.
Seared Sea Scallops with Fava Bean Puree
This super fast and elegant dish is perfect for a special evening with out all the work.
Fava Bean Puree
- 1 lb 454 g packaged steamed fava beans
- 2 tbsp 30 ml chicken stock
- ¼ cup 60 ml heavy cream, or more as needed
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 tsp 10 ml olive oil
- 8 sea scallops UlO or larger
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
- 1 tbsp 4 g coarsely chopped Italian parsley
To make the puree, place the peeled and steamed fava beans in a food processor. Add the stock, cream, salt and pepper and process until smooth and creamy, a few pulses at a time, about 1 minute. If not creamy enough, add a tablespoon (15 ml) of cream at a time until smooth. The puree should feel like creamy mashed potatoes. Scrape into a saucepan and warm gently over low heat for about 2 minutes. You can hold it warm until the scallops are ready.
To make the scallops, heat a 12- to 14-inch (30.5 to 35.5 cm) cast-iron skillet over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the olive oil. Pat the scallops dry with a clean paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Carefully place the scallops in the hot skillet. Let them sear, without disturbing them, until browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn and cook for about 1 more minute, until warm in the middle. Transfer the scallops to a paper towel-lined plate and let rest. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
Mound about ½ cup (120 g) of fava bean puree onto the centers of 4 plates. Top with 2 scallops each, sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.
Chef Tip: Look for scallops that are UlO or larger (the "U" means "under"). So UlO means under 10 per pound (454 g). The lower the U number, the larger the scallop.
101 EPIC DISHES teaches important cooking skills you need to kick your kitchen game up a few notches―all while whipping up some delicious dishes.
I appreciate learning how to upgrade my culinary knowledge, and that is what I love about this book.
…and then, she paused for thought.