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Vital Choice at Home: Scallops and Asparagus


Vital Choice at Home: Scallops and AsparagusWelcome to Vital Choice at Home!
 
 
 
 
 
 
This series features me, Michelle, a writer and soccer mom from the Rocky Mountains, my husband and two kids, some beautiful Vital Choice seafood and lots of regular home cooking.
 
 
(Click here to learn more about me, below.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
I want to feature the products and preparations you're curious about.
 
Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test? Email me and help to shape this series.
 
 
 

 
Scallops and Asparagus
Celebrate spring with a simple-yet-delectable dish
by Michelle Lee
 
Happy spring! Here in the Colorado Rockies, we've entered that wonderful season of 40-degree daily temperature fluctuations as things gradually begin to green.

 

We'll certainly have several more big snowstorms before June, but for now we're enjoying the feeling of warmer spring weather.
 
Delicious simplicity
To celebrate this delightful change from constant snow, I prepared a very simple, very delicious recipe I found on epicurious.com: Scallops with Asparagus.
 
I had (naively) relegated scallops to "fancy restaurant food” status. It was a dish I only ordered out, and assumed I wasn't equal to making it at home.
 
Wrong! So wrong. If you've never made scallops at home before, or if you're also ready for a little taste of spring, PLEASE try this and then email me or share with us on Facebook what you thought!
 
The recipe
While the recipe calls for 2 lb. of scallops, I had 1 lb. of Vital Choice Wild Atlantic Sea Scallops in the freezer, and that was the perfect amount for my three diners. (You could also use their Wild Alaskan Sea Scallops.)
 
To prepare, you sauté the asparagus tips and sliced stems in olive oil for about five minutes, then set them aside.
 
Next, in the same pan (I love one-pan meals!), you sauté the scallops about five minutes, turning only once until they're just seared on each side, then plate them for dinner.
Reading through the accompanying information card that came with my scallops, I was reminded not to overcook the scallops. They're best when they're still light on the outside, silky sweet on the inside.
 
Because the scallops are 100% sushi-grade, I felt more comfortable pulling them from the heat at 5 minutes, and that was absolutely the right choice, preserving all of their buttery goodness.
 
The last step is to make a very simple beurre blanc sauce. Despite the fancy French name, a beurre blanc is merely a pan sauce of a bit of butter, wine, vinegar or lemon juice and perhaps other seasonings like shallots or fresh herbs.
 
For this recipe, you quickly cook down a bit of white wine plus white wine vinegar, then whisk in a bit of butter, one tablespoon at a time.
 
Total time for the sauce? About 2 minutes. Add the asparagus back in to warm, then top the scallops with the saucy asparagus. Done.
 
What a wonderful way to experience homemade scallops for the first time. It makes the most of one of the best parts of spring – fresh asparagus – and doesn't mask the sweet, light taste of the scallops with a heavy sauce.
 
The entire dish comes together in about 15 minutes, making it perfect even for a busy weeknight dinner.
 
Plus, if you're watching your calorie intake, this meal is very light – a 3 oz. serving of scallops has just 56 calories, and the sauce doesn't add a huge amount of additional calories.
 
I served my Wild Atlantic Sea Scallops with roasted gold potatoes (because that's what was in the pantry), but reading through reviews online I saw that many folks served them with rice, which sounds equally delicious (and simple).
 
A few notes on thawing
Because we're often busy in the late afternoons, I generally end up following the quick-thawing instructions from the Serving/Care tab of the scallops page at Vital Choice.
 
For the scallops, they recommended thawing them (still in the inner package) for 30-40 minutes in a cool ice bath, then patting dry, seasoning and using immediately.
 
Please note – it was necessary to remove the inner bag from the outer packaging and weigh down the scallops with a heavy platter (the bag wanted to float), and it took closer to 40 minutes for my scallops to become flexible and thawed.
 
Give yourself plenty of time to thaw them, and be sure to check them frequently.

 

I'd love to hear your experience with this simple, elegant dinner ... email me or share your experience and thoughts with the Vital Choice community on Facebook!
 

A Note from Michelle
 
Like you, I have a passion for beautiful-yet-healthy food that's easy to prepare.
 
 
While I do love making the occasional "fancy” dinner, most of the time I'm short on time and have a house full of hungry people who want to eat NOW.
 
I'm not a professional chef – I'm just a busy mom who loves to cook and who's focused on that intersection of healthy and delicious.
 
I want this series to feature the products and preparations you're curious about.
 
 
 
Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test?
 
 
 
Email me and help to shape this series.
 
 
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