Season for Seafood: Part 2

A week or two ago, I wrote that there was nice sale on seafood at my local supermarket. It seems this time of the year — around the holidays — that always seems to be the case. Well, I stocked up on shrimp and scallops and have been enjoying them ever since.

My most recent meal involved scallops, and although it didn’t turn out exactly as I had planned, that’s not to say the outcome was unsatisfactory.

I had decided to fix some scallops for supper and went on the Internet in search of a new recipe, one that also contained fresh mushrooms, since there was a package of them in the refrigerator that needed to be used.

My perusal of the Web led me to www.cooks.com, a site that I’ve become familiar with the past few years. I’ve found a lot of interesting recipes there, and this time, came up with another one.

The recipe for Scallop Mushroom Casserole looked pretty good, so I decided to give it a try. I tweaked it a bit, using fresh mushroooms instead of canned ones and cream of mushroom with roasted garlic in lieu of mushroom soup and plain old garlic powder. I also used a little grated mozzarella and sharp Cheddar as well as Parmesan for the topping.

However, when the casserole came out of the oven after the alloted time, it seemed a little watery, not exactly what I expected. I initially thought about making some pasta, but at Therese’s suggestion, made a couple of baked potatoes in the microwave (putting them in a sleeve for 4 minutes each).

The casserole turned to out to be mighty tasty served over the spuds, which was accompanied by a tasty carrot slaw, made with a little salt, pepper, mayonnaise and vinegar.

It’s a quick recipe, one that would be welcome by cooks who are busy this time of the year. Here’s my version of the casserole —  and another scallop recipe —  which I would suggest serving over pasta, rice or baked potato.

Scallop Mushroom Casserole
1 pound scallops
1 can cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup
Tabasco sauce to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped onion
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
Salt  and pepper to taste
Baked potatoes
Saute onions and mushrooms in butter, then mix everything together except cheese. Put in thin layer in baking dish. Sprinkle layer of cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve over potatoes

Pan-Seared Scallops with Spinach Couscous
¾ cup water
½ cup couscous
¾ pound fresh sea scallops
2 tablespoons olive oil (divided use)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat, add the couscous and spinach, stir and cover with a lid. Let sit 5 minutes.
While couscous rests, rinse scallops in cool water, drain and dry with paper towel. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat. When it is smoking, add scallops and saute 2 minutes. Turn and saute 1 minute.
Remove lid from couscous and add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss with a fork Divide between 2 plates. Add scallops to the plate and sprinkle coarse salt over scallops.
Yield Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 443 calories, 31 percent of calories from fat, 15.3 grams fat (2.1 grams saturated, 10.1 grams monounsaturated), 54 milligrams cholesterol, 35.4 grams protein, 39.1 grams carbohydrates, 3.2 grams fiber, 898 milligrams sodium.

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