Monday, April 4, 2011

Pan Seared Scallops with Quinoa and Grapefruit Salad

This is a meal I thought about making on Thursday night, since Corey was out to dinner with his coworkers.  However, I decided to be lazy, and got some frozen shrimp spring rolls from the freezer at Whole Foods, which I enjoyed with some chardonnay and a couple of chick flicks I knew I could never subject Corey to.
Finally, last night, I made it.  I love sea scallops, and haven't cooked them at home in a long, long time.  I made a quinoa and grapefruit salad to go with them, a recipe I saw on   The recipe shows the salad with salmon, but it was delicious with the scallops.
There are several steps involved in making this salad - infusing the olive oil, segmenting the grapefruit, cooking the quinoa, etc.  It is certainly not something to make when you are short on time (or patience, so I was glad I didn't do it on Thursday).  It was perfect for me yesterday, since I was able to do most of it in the afternoon before Corey got home from work, so we could go for a walk before dinner, and finish it afterwards.
Here are the instructions for making the salad.  I made the whole recipe, so that I would have leftovers.

1 medium grapefruit
8 thin slices fresh ginger
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (I used champagne vinegar)
2 teaspoons honey
1 small serrano or jalapeno chile, minced (with seeds for maximum heat)
2 scallions (both white and green parts), minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Make the infused olive oil:
Strip the peel from the grapefruit with a vegetable peeler, taking care not to include the bitter white pith.  (This requires a very light hand.)

Warm the grapefruit peel, ginger, and olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Remove from the heat as soon as the oil starts to bubble.  Set the oil aside to steep for 30 minutes.  Strain and reserve the oil.  Discard the solids.
2. Cook the quinoa:
Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and drain.  Put the quinoa in a small saucepan with the water and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Boil over high heat, and then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes.  Set aside off the heat, undisturbed, for 5 minutes.  Transfer the quinoa to a bowl and fluff with a fork.  Cool.
3. Prepare the grapefruit and juice:
Segment the grapefruit over a bowl, reserving the segments and juice separately. Squeeze the juice out of the membrane into the bowl with the juice.
Cut the peel and white pith away
Cut the flesh away from the membranes over a bowl
4. Prepare the dressing:
Whisk 3 tablespoons of the grapefruit juice with the vinegar, honey, and salt to taste in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in 3 tablespoons of the reserved grapefruit oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a stream to make a slightly thick dressing. Season with pepper to taste.
5. Mix the salad:
Add the dressing, chiles, scallions, and cilantro to the quinoa in the bowl and stir to combine.  Season with pepper.

These cook very quickly, so do this last.
1. Pat scallops dry and remove the foot muscle.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil and mix to coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat.  (I again used 1 of our Calphalon anodized pans - great for searing and easy to clean.)
3. Add the scallops and cook until a nice brown crust is formed, about 2 minutes.  Turn and cook until browned on the other side, another 2 minutes.

Spoon some salad onto a plate, top with some grapefruit sections and the scallops, and enjoy!
This was delicious and healthy, with plenty of protein thanks to the quinoa.  I would have liked the salad to be a little spicier.  I scraped the seeds out of 1/2 of the jalapeno, so next time I might get a larger jalapeno, and would use all of the seeds.

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