Recently I requested Mario Batali Simple Italian Food from the public library – and the thoughtful catalog suggested I might also be interested in Andrew Carmellini’s Urban Italian. Sure, why not? Carmellini, like Batali, preaches the gospel of stripped-down, unfussy Italian cooking – delicious, rustic stuff that make take all day, or might be thrown together in half an hour. The book is peppered with personal anecdotes, funny in-phrases from his restaurant, and suggestions about how to make the process of making his recipes even easier. It was in this spirit that I decided to tackle scallops for the first time ever.
At first blush, the recipe for Bay Scallops with Citrus and Dried Herbs couldn’t be much easier. Pat the scallops dry, then dust them with a mixture of herbs and flour. Cook them quickly with a bit of oil, then set aside. Done and done. It was the sauce that was a bit fancy – the Cara Cara orange had to be peeled, segmented, and supremed (which, it turns out, is easier to do prior to the peeling and segmenting), which I’d never done before and which I’m glad I noticed in the directions BEFORE I started cooking. See, I’m learning! After removing the scallops, the pan is deglazed with orange juice, which is reduced until thin. Whisk in a bit of butter, add the supremed oranges, and toss the whole lot with the scallops just before serving. I made a quick bag of edamame, which provided a nice and salty counterpoint to the sweetness of the sauce. We both really liked the scallops, though Shane would’ve preferred a different sauce. Next time! This time, however, I felt pretty bad-ass for producing a totally new dish, a side (albeit a pre-fab one), and a sauce in about half an hour on a weeknight.
Bay Scallops with Citrus and Dried Herbs from Urban Italian