Youngest Hawthorne was home this past weekend, found out I had scallops, so he had to have one of his favorite dishes. I was happy to oblige.
He came in for lunch, declared he was starving, and would I make this for him and how long would it take. Generally, I put this on a bed of risotto with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and Parmesan, but since Youngest Hawthorne was faint from hunger, I opted to forgo the risotto. So what I have here is a Parmesan crisp, caramelized onions, seared scallops, topped with pesto. I had made the Parmesan crisps and pesto the day before, so all I needed to do was caramelize the onions and sear the scallops. About 10 minutes worth of work.
I sliced part of an onion and sauteed in a combination of ELBOO and LOLUB. That's Extra Light Bertolli Olive Oil and Land O' Lakes Unsalted Butter. And yes, I'm going to use the acronym and repeat what it stands for every damn time I use it to acid-etch it in the brains of all my readers, a la Rachael Ray with EVOO - "That's Extra Virgin Olive Oil!" Has Rachael ever said, "EVOO," without explaining "That's Extra Virgin Olive OIL?" I think not.
I added about a tablespoon of sugar to bring out more of the natural sweetness of the onions and to help in the caramelization. Keep sauteeing over medium low heat until the onions turn a light brown.
Scallops have a very delicate flavor and you don't want to overpower that with a heavy batter. I'm using Gold Medal Wondra Flour instead of all purpose flour. It's lighter, grainy, and doesn't get gloppy like regular flour. I added in just a small amount of two different seasonings shown above: Top left is a combination of 2 parts toasted black sesame seeds, 2 parts toasted white sesame seeds, and 1 part toasted red chili flakes. Bottom left is a combination of 4 parts grated Parmesan cheese, 2 parts Hot Paprika, and 1 part sugar. I just sprinkled a few teaspoons of each seasoning into the Wondra flour.
I heated my heavy skillet which I bought especially for scallops, heated ELBOO and LOLUB. That's Extra Light Bertolli Olive Oil and Land O' Lakes Unsalted Butter! Added in the largest scallops first for about a minute ...
Lunch for three - Rosie, Youngest Hawthorne, and Youngest Hawthorne's friend, who declared these scallops to be the best he's ever eaten.
Parmesan crisp, with caramelized onions, seared scallops, pesto, with an extra sprinkling of the toasted sesame seed mixture.
The scallops were sweet and delicious and nicely complemented by the freshness of the pesto, the sweetness of the onions, and the hint of heat in the seasonings. This is one of my all time favorite meals. Sorry I didn't have time to make the risotto, because I love the creaminess and flavor that would have brought, but you know how teenagers have to eat when they want to eat and my child could not wait. For those of you who'd like to make the risotto, here's the link.