Friday, February 8, 2013

Carbonara with Pan Seared Scallops

  I finally did it, tackled my fear of cooking scallops. Watching "Hells Kitchen" for several seasons now and seeing Gordon Ramsay throw countless hysterics over scallops, I stayed away. The two times in my life I did try were a complete disaster of dry, rubbery scallops. My problem was I always over cooked them for fear of poisoning someone. Time to take up the challenge. I bought some very large beautiful scallops, looked through countless videos on YouTube and started my cooking adventure. I also invested a good quality Calphalon non-stick frying pan.
     I decided on Pasta Carbonara to pair with my scallops. This is such a quick and simple recipe with  gourmet flavour, an all-time favourite of mine. This entire dish can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes; a gourmet meal that you would be proud to serve to company!

 Carbonara with Pan Seared Scallops
by Laureen King from Art and the Kitchen
Prep Time 10-15 mins.     Cook time: 15-20 mins    Serves: 4
Ingredients for Scallops:
  • 12-16 large scallops (3-4 per person)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • Salt & Pepper
Ingredients for Carbonara:
  • 8 slices of thick cut bacon diced (I try to find bacon with less fat, or cut away excess fat)
  • 1 shallot finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic (leave whole)
  • 4 green onions
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 cup parmigiano reggiano grated
  • fresh ground pepper
  • pasta of your choice (I used Linguine, but most recipes use Spaghetti)
Directions:
*This recipe tastes best served VERY fresh, so don't let it sit or Scallops and Pasta dry out quickly . Have ALL your ingredients and pots ready to go to make easy work of this.
*Start water boiling for pasta.
*Oven on warm

Pots required: large stainless steel pot for cooking pasta, nonstick frying pan for frying bacon, garlic and shallots, skillet for pan searing scallops, large bowl for combining pasta and sauce.

Perfect Pan Seared Scallops
  1. Blot scallops with paper towel to remove any water. Salt and pepper.
  2. Heat large non-stick frying pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  3. Make sure frying pan is hot before adding scallops but not smoking.
  4. Add scallops leaving plenty of space between. Overcrowding the pan will drop the pan temperature and cause scallops to steam rather than sear. (may have to do in batches)
  5. Sear for about 2-4 minutes or when bottom is a nice golden brown. Don't move them around in the pan or you will prevent them from forming that nice brown crust. After a couple of minutes have peek under to see if golden brown.
  6. Turn  to sear other side. (about 1-3 more minutes)
  7. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to pan now.
  8. Spoon the melted butter over the scallops as the other side finishes cooking.
  9. Transfer to paper towel covered plate. 
  10. Keep warm in oven.
Pasta Carbonara
  1. Start cooking pasta in large stainless steel pot.
  2. In small bowl mix together cream, egg yolks and 3/4 of cheese.
  3. In large skillet cook bacon until crisp, add shallots and 1/2 green onions.
  4. Smash down garlic clove a bit, add to bacon. (remove prior to adding pasta)
  5. When pasta is finished cooking, drain well, then add to skillet of bacon.
  6. Toss well, then transfer to large bowl.
  7. Add cream mixture to pasta and combined well. Make sure pasta is still hot in order to cook the eggs and melt the cheese. 
Arrange pasta on plate, top with seared scallops, add some fresh ground pepper, grated parmesan, and green onions.
ENJOY A MEAL THAT WILL IMPRESS YOUR GUESTS!

Step by Step Pictures
Ingredients required + Scallops
Brown bacon, shallot, green onion and garlic
Cream, parmesan, egg yolks
Stirring cooked pasta into bacon mix.
Tossing hot pasta with cream, cheese, egg mixture
Scallops
Pat dry, sear until golden brown in hot olive oil, turn, add butter, spoon over top as other side cooks.







37 comments:

  1. These look a lot like the pasta dish I grew up making, from an old, yellowed book, that doesn’t even have an image on Amazon. Thanks for reminding me of them. Can’t wait to try, this and the older one.

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  2. The seared pieces of scallops are made to perfection but its pretty expensive over here. I will try the pasta by itself minus the scallops. Though I am a big eater of rice, my other half loves pasta. When I back home, this will be a perfect meal for other half as a belated Valentine's day meal.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Navaneetham, scallops are pretty expensive here too, the pasta is awesome and grilled chicken or shrimp would taste great as well.

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  3. Good morning, I have featured this recipe on my blog for my weekly seafood round-up and have also linked this recipe to your original post so that my readers will be forwarded to your site. Thank you for allowing me to share and have a wonderful weekend. Here is the link: http://carriesexperimentalkitchen.blogspot.com/2013/03/seafood-frenzy-friday-week-50-giveaway.html

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Carrie for sharing my recipe. Love your blog
      http://carriesexperimentalkitchen.blogspot.com

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  4. Congrats on the Top 9!! This looks amazing!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Tara, hope everyone has a look at your awesome recipes. http://www.noshingwiththenolands.com

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  5. This looks delicious, & I love the fact that your recipe post includes a picture walk-through! Consider your recipe pinned + backlinked :D

    I didn't want to outright post the link in my comment, but you can click my name to see your pinned recipe.

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    1. Thanks JD for pinning the recipe and linking back to my blog, let me know if you try any of my recipes how they turn out for you.

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  6. This looks delicious. I have avoided searing scallops but you've given me the inspiration to give it a try. To cut calories I think I'll try using turkey bacon. Do you think I could use egg beaters instead of egg yolks???

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  7. Thanks Raycinqueen for the comments. I thinks turkey bacon would taste great, and although I have never tried it I'm sure egg beaters could be replaced for egg yolks. Drop me a note if you try the recipe with your substitutions :)

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  8. Your recipe looks amazing and I'm trying it tomorrow :)

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    1. Penney I would love if you drop me a note and let me know how it turns out when you make it. I'm sure you will love it!

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    2. Thanks Laureen for a wonderful recipe. I substituted prosciutto for the bacon but otherwise made it exactly as written and it was awesome. I used 1/2 lb of linguine. Just a note, the recipe doesn't specify how much pasta to use, so I guessed at 1/2 lb for 4 servings :)

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    3. Penney I am so glad you tried my recipe, great to hear about it. Prosciutto is a perfect substitute for bacon.

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  9. Hi We made this recipe today and it was delicious. The only thing I had a problem with is I didn't know how much pasta to use. How much pasta does this recipe call for?

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    1. Hi Rebecca, I am so glad you tried my recipe. The recipe is for 4 so usually you cook a pound per 4 persons.

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  10. Lovely work! Would you be happy to link it in to the current Food on Friday which is all about scallops? This is the link . I do hope to see you there. Cheers

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    1. Hi Carole, looking forward to Food on Friday!

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    2. Laureen, thanks for stopping by and adding to the collection. I hope to see you again soon. Cheers

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  11. It looks so good, but I definitely bombed on the scallops. When you added butter to the pan was the pan already full of a whitish foam from the scallops? I feel like this is where I might have changed their flavor? The recipe is awesome- just want to get it right- and yes, I'm a first-timer!! Please help. :)

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    1. A couple of thoughts on what may have happened. Firstly were the scallops fresh or frozen? If they had been previously frozen, were they completely thawed. Did you pat scallops dry with paper towel? Did you preheat pan and oil (med-high heat) before adding scallops? Lastly was there plenty of room between scallops, crowding them in the pan will cause scallops to sweat rather than get a nice sear. I hope you give it another try, I certainly flopped my 1st attempts at searing scallops as well.

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  12. Laureen,

    What a wonderful meal i have just enjoyed with my girlfriend, as a mere rookie in the kitchen I was nervous at the thought of something as gourmet sounding as pan seared scallop carbonara, however your step by step guide was beyond helpful, and I'm glad to say that the whole thing came off without a hitch.

    I used Nelson scallops, which seemed quite little but I only seared them for about 1.5 - 2 minutes per side and pulled back slightly on the butter, they turned out golden, and not the slightest bit chewy.

    Many thanks!

    Chris

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    1. That is great Chris, how wonderful that you cooked something special for your girlfriend. Let me know if there is anything else you would like to try and I will do up a blog post with step by step instructions for it.

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  13. This recipe looks delicious Laureen! I will substitute chicken as I'm allergic to seafood but the boys would love the shrimp version!

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  14. This was a great dish! Made it tonight and actually got my daughter to like scallops. She hates all seafood so this was a huge deal! =) Thanks for the great new recipe to add to our collection.

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  15. Loved this recipe! Thanks so much for sharing. Even got my seafood hating kids to try it.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, mission accomplished - getting kids to eat seafood!!

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  16. That's so funny. I saw that same Gordon Ramsay episode and it also scared me off cooking scallops for a long time! I find Grape Seed Oil the best for them though. Doesn't seem to burn as much.

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    1. I will try the Grape seed oil, lately I've been using avocado oil, which has a high smoke point.

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  17. Wow! This looks so good, thanks for you time in putting this up and sharing with us.

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  18. This looks like it'll make a great valentines day dinner. I'll team it up with a fried prawn starter and tiramisu dessert.

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    Replies
    1. I think someone is going to be very lucky!

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  19. Lauren, I am a pretty bland cook but I saw the photo of your Carbonara w/ Pan seared Scallops. I followed your receipe exactly - I made the best scallops ever! My husband, who is the better cook was really impressed. I posted this on Pinterest and I have gotten over 250 re-pins and counting! Hilarious. Some people have had a hard time finding the receipe. I think you should contact Pinterest and make sure people can find this receipe. It is really popular! Thanks, Maurita

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    1. Thank you Marita, so glad the recipe turned out for you. I think the only way to get a recipe more noticed on Pinterest is to have wonderful people such as yourself repin it, thanks!

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