Saute scallops quickly

March 08, 1992|By Linda Gassenheimer | Linda Gassenheimer,Knight-Ridder News Service

Scallops are sweet and tender and need very little cooking. In coquilles a la nage (scallops in light wine sauce), the scallops are gently poached in a light wine sauce that will keep them juicy and tender. Cutting the carrots on a diagonal will make them about the same size and shape as the snow peas that give color and texture to the dish.

Porcini, or cepes mushrooms, have a wonderful pungence; only a few are needed to flavor a dish. They are delicate and difficult to find fresh,but are readily available dried. If you can't find them, substitute another dried mushroom, or fresh button mushrooms sauteed in butter.

Basmati rice is a fragrant Indian rice that can be found in the supermarkets. Long-grain rice may be substituted.

Coquilles a la nage

Serves two.

1/2 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup thinly sliced onion

1 leek, white part only, washed and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)

1 large carrot, sliced on the diagonal (about 1 cup)

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1 bay leaf

3/4 cup white wine

3/4 cup clam juice

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 pound fresh scallops

1/4 pound snow peas, tipped and tailed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a nonstick frying pan. Over medium heat, saute the onions and leeks for 10 minutes, covered. Add 2 tablespoons water if the onions begin to stick. Add the carrot, sugar and bay leaf. Saute uncovered another 5 minutes. Add white wine and clam juice and reduce by half; this will take about 3 minutes.

Add the cream and warm 1 minute. Add the scallops and snow peas. Cook gently without simmering, about 2 minutes. Do not overcook; the scallops will be a milky color when cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the rice.

(Nutritional information per serving: 380 calories; 23 grams protein; 25 grams carbohydrate; 15 grams fat; 35 percent of calories as fat; 4.3 grams fiber; 86 milligrams cholesterol; 472 milligrams sodium.)

Porcini rice

1/8 cup dried porcini or other wild mushrooms

1/2 cup boiling water

1/2 cup basmati rice, rinsed

1/2 tablespoon butter or margarine

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pour boiling water over dried mushrooms and let soak for 15 minutes. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the rice and boil for 9 minutes or until it is cooked through. Drain.

Place in a serving bowl; mix in the butter. Drain the mushrooms; cut into small pieces, if necessary. Stir into the rice. Add salt and pepper to taste.

(Nutritional information per serving: 213 calories; 3 grams protein; 39 grams carbohydrate; 3 grams fat; 14 percent of calories as fat; 0.2 grams fiber; 8 milligrams cholesterol; 30 milligrams sodium. Qualifies for heart-healthy if made with margarine.)

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