After a week of ice, snow and unseasonably cold days for Charlotte with several mornings in the single digits, it was nice to get out a little on Saturday to take a walk through the indoor farmer’s market Atherton Mill and Market just a few miles from uptown. My wife Tammy and I browsed through the offerings of certified organic produce, grass feed beef, free-range poultry and an interesting coastal seafood fishmonger, Lucky Fish, that had some great looking large Massachusetts Scallops for sale, which I was eager to purchase to prepare Seared Scallops seasoned with Savory Spice Seafood seasoning.
Scallops have a meaty soft white texture and a sweet flavor which make them a favorite of sea lovers and even a few traditionally non-seafood lovers alike. In addition, they pack a powerful punch of health benefits. FitDay.com notes that a 4-ounce serving contains only 100 calories, only 1 gram of fat per serving and a good dose of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Scallop meat is also a good source of an amino acid named cystine that helps form healthy skin, hair, bones and connective tissue. In addition, these shellfish have more protein per ounce than beef, pork or poultry with only a fraction of the fat.
My preparation was simple: I washed the scallops in cool water, placed them in a bowl, poured in two tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkled a teaspoon of Cheery Creek Seafood Seasoning from Savory Spice and tossed the Scallops in the oil and seasonings with a pair of tongs to lightly coat them.
Next, I seared them in a sauté pan on medium high heat for two minutes on each side. The soft texture of the Scallops were melt in your mouth delicious and very addictive.
Lately, I have been trying to invest a few minutes to make a simple and quick sauce with meals to increase both the flavor and health benefits. I picked up this tip from reading Conscious Cuisine: A New Style of Cooking from the Kitchens of Chef Cary Neff.
Chef Cary, a classical trained French chef, goes over the techniques he has used to transform his cooking to promote good health without losing the flavor most people associate with a high fat French style of cooking.
So, I made a simple ten-minute sauce with a small onion, ¼ of a carrot and three cloves of garlic chopped and sautéed together in a teaspoon of canola oil for five minutes before adding a cup of water because I was out of chicken or fish stock. Next, I brought the sautéed veggies with water to a boil for a minute or two before I dumped the mixture in a Vitamix with a half cup of cauliflower, which is a good source for vitamin C, B6, B12 and minerals like magnesium, copper and zinc.
While the sauce cooked, I removed the scallops from their sear and put a few asparagus stalks in their place to round out the meal. Lastly, I added a little humus, my wife made, to the plates and put a few whole-wheat crackers on the table to add a little crunch to the meal.
Are you adding new items to meals lately to pump up the flavor or health benefits? Leave me a comment about it.