This recipe is part of my Italian Christmas Eve Dinner Menu post but can really be prepared any time you have fresh scallops and preferably between October and May when leeks are in season.
I went to the local fish store for the fresh scallops and learned an interesting fact: scallops are hermaphrodites. They don’t need to find another scallop to reproduce because they can do it all by themselves. When you open the shells of a scallop, you will find a female scallop and a male scallop. You can tell which one is female by the extra red-orange arm attached to it, called the coral. The coral is where are all the eggs are. I was told to discard the coral but, I know that it is edible and just has a more fishy taste.
Just before I get to the recipe, I just wanted to give my husband a mention as all the saffron used in the making of this recipe was grown by him (and his mom). It is a tedious job to plant, harvest, separate and dry hundreds of flowers for a few grams of these saffron threads.
To the ingredients:
5 Scallops in the shell
¼ of a leek thinly sliced
2 spoons of cream
4 spoons of milk
1 teaspoon of butter
8 threads of saffron
salt to taste
oil for cooking leeks and scallops
parsley for garnish
- Sauté the leeks for a few minutes until they start to become translucent
- In a separate sauce pan, melt a teaspoon of butter, add 2 spoonfuls of cream (2 spoonfuls) and 4 spoonfuls of milk.
- Once it warms up, add threads of saffron and continue stirring until the sauce gets thick and creamy.
- In a separate pan, set to medium-high heat to gently sear the scallops. Make sure to brown each side for a few minutes at a time.
- When both sides of the scallops are golden, lightly salt them and turn off the heat.
- Plating: lay a bed of sliced leeks in the centre of the plate and place the warm scallops on top. Carefully, pour the saffron sauce around the scallops and garnish with parsley.
Let me know how it turns out for you!
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