Seared Scallops with Lemon Orzo

Simple and delicious would be two apt words to describe this dish.  Cath was in the mood for scallops, and she found this gem in her email inbox, courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine. The recipe was fairly straightforward, and our biggest challenge was just to leave the scallops undisturbed as we allowed them to sear on the steaming hot pan. The lemon flavor of the orzo provided a bright counterpoint to the rich carmelization on the scallops, with just a complementary hint of seasoning from the thyme and chives coming through to balance the dish. We paired this recipe with a bottle of La Crema Chardonnay 2005 we found in our collection, and the combination was magic.  It tasted like summer, perfect for a hot August evening in Minnesota.

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup prechopped onion
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation

Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in pasta, broth, wine, and thyme; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and pasta is al dente. Stir in chopped chives and lemon juice. Keep warm.
Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle scallops evenly with salt and pepper. Add scallops to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with pasta mixture.

Yield
4 servings (serving size: 4 1/2 ounces scallops and about 3/4 cup pasta mixture)

Calories 480 (10% from fat); Fat 5.1g; Protein 60.9g; Carb 45.5g

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