What can you make easily on a rainy weekend for a special dinner? How about seared scallops over collard greens?
Here is all you’ll need:
- 1/4 lb of scallops/individual if you are not starved…on the plate is about 1/2 lb costing about $10 fresh
- olive oil, regular oil
- one head of collard greens for 2 people (4 if you are adding salad) Cost about $3
- two cloves garlic
- one small onion
- 3 slices bacon (I prefer thick cut)
- salt/pepper/pepper flakes
- 2-3 cups chicken broth (I prefer College Inn)
The entire dish will take 1 hour from start to finish. Start with your collard greens. They need time to tenderize as follows:
- Take 3 strips of bacon. Cut in half length-wise, then into small cubes about 1″ square.
- Cook your bacon in a large fry pan. I like mine a little on the chewey side…some prefer crispy…that is a personal preference. As the bacon cooks over low heat, dice one onion and mince the 2 cloves of garlic. Once the bacon is cooked to your liking, set aside…leave the excess fat from the bacon in your fry pan!
- Saute the onion until translucent or soft. While the onion is sauteing, cut off the stems of the collard greens, discard the stems, and chop the greens into 2″ squares. When the onion is soft, add the garlic for a minute or two.
- If the bacon has stuck to the pan, add a little warm white wine or beer…and with a wooden spatula de-glaze the bottom of your pan and loosen up any bacon bits…this will add flavor and texture to your greens.
- Next add the greens and sautee for 2-3 minutes, coating the greens with your oil, onion, garlic, bacon and bacon rendering. Add crushed red pepper to your taste at this point.
- Now add your chicken broth, mix, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 35 minutes. I know that seems like a long time…but trust me, the greens can be a little tough if cooked less.
- While your greens are simmering, salt and pepper your scallops to taste. Kosher salt is recommended. You can also get your scallop pan set up and ready to go…add a small amount of olive oil and regular crisco or other oil (about 2 tablespoons of each should do it…) to a separate fry pan. I prefer a cast iron skillet. Get your oil mixture hot.
- Once your timer goes off, re-set it for 10 more minutes and
- Carefully place your scallops flat-side down in your oil…and don’t touch them! Allow them to brown on one side for about 2-3 minutes. Then, turn them over. If your pan was hot, they should not stick. If you encounter any sticking, use a spatula to loosen them up. Make sure your flame is medium or hot enough to sear your scallops! You don’t want to over cook these little gems! Watch your scallops’ bottom side, and when you see them turning brown, remove. They should be soft in the center. My advise here is a hotter flame is better than lower flame. If you watch your scallops, just turn them earlier…you want a nice, carmelized crust on each side.
Arrange a generous helping of collard greens on each plate, add your scallops on top of your greens, serve with a crisp white wine or your favorite beer or soft drink and this is a simple…but delicious treat for those cooler Spring/summer weekends!