Scallops, Meyer Lemon Risotto and Parsley Oil

Most recipes in Thomas Keller’s “Ad Hoc at Home” are simple and the one for scallops is probably one of the shortest, but it uses a technique I probably never would’ve thought about. First the scallops, largest specimens I could find, are brined for about 10 minutes. After a rinse and a pat in paper towels to ensure they are dry, they are cooked in a very hot pan. To cook them, Keller heats clarified butter in a stainless steal skillet (I used my well-seasoned cast iron pan) until smoking hot. The scallops then cook for a relatively long time, about 4 minutes, on the first side in the hot fat. Once flipped, I cooked them for another 2 minutes. They came out perfect, moist and delicious with a wonderful texture.

To serve them I prepared a Meyer lemon risotto flavored with the juice and zest of the fruit. I made it a bit lighter by not adding any cheese and very little butter at the end. For a little richness, an herb flavor and color, I blanched parsley and shocked it in an ice bath. Then the parsley was blended with olive oil and strained to make a vibrant parsley oil.

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