Fear not, for you, too, can make creamy risotto at home (we recommend the Italian short-grain Arborio rice). When cooking the scallops, pat dry beforehand, add to a smoking hot cast-iron pan, and avoid flipping until the flesh is opaque and caramelized, tender perfection is achieved.
• Prep time: 5 minutes
• Cook time: 35 minutes
• Yield: Serves 4
• 4 ½ cups chicken stock
• ¼ cup olive oil, divided
• 2 tbsps unsalted butter, divided
• 12 ounces leeks, white and light green parts only, diced (about 2½ cups)
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 ½ cups uncooked Arborio rice
• 3 thyme sprigs
• ¾ cup dry white wine
• 2 tsps kosher salt, divided
• 3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about ¾ cup)
• 1 ½ tsps lemon zest plus 1 tsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)
• 12 large sea scallops, patted dry, at room temperature (about 1 lb.)
• 2 tsps chopped fresh tarragon
- Heat chicken stock in a saucepan over medium-high until steaming but not boiling; reduce heat to low to keep warm.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add leeks and garlic; cook, stirring often, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in rice and thyme; cook, stirring until coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups of the warm stock and 1 teaspoon of the salt to rice mixture. Cook, stirring often, with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, until almost absorbed, about 10 minutes. Continue adding remaining warm stock, about 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until most of the liquid has absorbed between additions, about 25 minutes total. Rice should be tender and saucy. Remove and discard thyme.
- Remove from heat, and stir in Parmigiano- Reggiano, lemon zest, lemon juice, and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Set aside.
- Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron or stainless steel skillet over high. Sprinkle scallops with remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and place in hot oil, leaving space between each one. Using a spatula, press each scallop lightly to ensure good contact with skillet. Cook scallops until well browned, 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate.
- Stir fresh tarragon into risotto; spoon into 4 shallow bowls. Top with 3 scallops each, and serve immediately.
This great family recipe is thanks to Coastal-Living Recipes at https://www.coastalliving.com/recipe/sea-scallop-risotto