My fiance, Catie, loves scallops. If given the choice between some tender seared scallops and a rib eye, I think she would be hard pressed to choose. As a lawyer, she works pretty long days, and so I surprised her with dinner by combining her favorite flavors: tender, lush scallops with Thai flavors.
We had these as an appetizer with a steak dinner entree (hey, just cause I said she would choose one over the other, doesn’t mean I made her choose!), but the scallops were the real star. A balanced, controlled heat from the peppers, a lushness on the tongue from the butter, and a tangy acidity form the lime juice that brings all the flavors together made every bight scrumptious. So grab some seafood and enjoy this epic journey under the sea!
1 Thai chili, minced (to lower heat, seed the chili; you can also use a jalapeno to drastically drop the heat level without sacrificing flavor).
6 tbsp butter
4 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp soy sauce
1.5 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon cardamom, ground
1 lime, zest and juice
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh mint, chopped
Put 2 tbsp vegetable oil into a large pan (just enough to coat) over medium high heat. While heating, pat the scallops as dry as possible with a paper towel on each side (this will help give a better sear). Cook the scallops approximately 3 minutes per side, making sure to flip only once, until cooked through and opaque. Remove from pan onto a paper towel to dry any excess oil and sprinkle with salt.
To the same pan, add the chili pepper and ginger, stirring frequently until fragrant, approximately 30 seconds.
Add the fish sauce and soy sauce, and, using a wooden spoon, scrap the pan of any browned bits on the pan.
Add the butter, cardamon, lime zest and juice along with a pinch of salt. Whisk and cook for a couple more minutes, making sure not to boil the butter (lower heat if required).
Plate scallops then spoon on some of the sauce on top. Garnish with fresh, chopped mint if desired.
It’s Monday evening. A long day of work finished, and the project of dinner looms like a towering obstacle. Ordering take out may be your go to option in this weekday struggle, as it often was mine. Before my diagnosis of diabetes, I ate take out at least a couple of days a week. With the demands of long workdays and household tasks to also accomplish, it was an all too easy solution.
With this recipe, the preparation is done ahead of time on the weekend so the entire meal on the weekday takes a mere 15 minutes to cook. A perk? It’s delicious – with some key, light substitutions, you can have a far healthier version of one of my favorites – chicken lo mein. Here, we replace the pasta with zucchini noodles and the hoisin sauce with a lighter mixture. An optional sprinkle of everything seasoning adds another twist.
We hope this recipe inspires you to take on take out and eases the weeknight struggles!
6 zucchinis, ends removed
6 carrots, peeled and stemmed
1 red onion
3 cups baby spinach
4 green scallions
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ cup soy sauce
¾ cup chicken broth
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp siracha sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, freshly grated
1 tbsp everything seasoning
The day before cooking, use a spiralizer to make the zucchini into thin strips like noodles (you can also buy them already like this at the grocery store.
Grate the carrots. Slice the scallions into ¼ inch pieces, omitting the white ends, and slice the red onions into thin half-moons.
Cut the chicken breast in half and then into strips. Season with the vegetable oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, tossing well. Marinate overnight. Whisk together the soy sauce, mustard, sriracha and broth, and put in the fridge in a separate container.
The next day take all ingredients out of the fridge and get your mis-en-place ready (everything ready beside you).
Heat a wok with 2 tbsp of sesame oil on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken. Stir often but not too frequently until the chicken is mostly cooked. This will not take long. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and put in a clean bowl (do not use the same container you had the raw chicken in).
Add the garlic and ginger. Sautée until fragrant, approximately 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
Add the vegetables with a pinch of salt. Cook down, stirring frequently. Return the cooked chicken to the pan and mix to incorporate. Add the soy sauce mixture to de-glaze the pan, scrapping any brown bits.
Add the zucchini, tossing well to incorporate. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until softened. If desired, add the everything seasoning, and toss to incorporate again.