If you have been following my Fitness Challenge going on right now, you know that I am in the middle of a "demolition" in my bedroom as we are getting a new master closet makeover!! So exciting... but in the middle of the demo yesterday, then getting it painted before they return today to install.... my thought last night was "What do I throw together for dinner!!??"
That's the thing about deciding to lead the "Paleo Lifestyle".... YOU HAVE TO COOK YOUR OWN FOOD. Pre-paleo I would've ran down the road to grab some fast food or called up the pizza delivery guy!! Not anymore!
So, one thing I keep stocked in my freezer for moments like these are frozen sea scallops from Trader Joe's. Sea scallops are the big ones like they serve in restaurants...seared and delicious. (Bay scallops are the small ones.) I also keep some good veggie "sides" on hand for moments like this too. I looked in my veggie drawer and saw asparagus and brussel sprouts. In looking around in my fridge....I also saw BACON! You can't go wrong with bacon, right? (If you don't have bacon, you don't need it for this, tonight it was a bonus!)
I bake my bacon these days....way easier and WAY less mess. I preheat my oven to 400 degrees, get a sheet pan and put a cooling rack on top of it to let the grease fall through onto the baking sheet. Line the bacon in a single layer and bake for about 20 minutes or until done to your liking. Here's the thing when making it for brussels....don't overcook it. It's going to go back in the oven with the brussels, so that's when it will get crisped. If you crisp it too much first...it will be overdone with the brussels, make sense?
Once I got my bacon in the oven... I thawed out my scallops (just what you need). Put the frozen scallops in a colander and run cold water over them, moving them around every once in a while, for about 5 minutes. They thaw quickly. Pat them dry and stick them in the fridge until you're ready for them.
Clean up your brussels...wash them by running them under cold water in a colander. Place them on a paper towel and trim off the bottom and then cut them in half, lengthwise. If any outer leaves are brown, just remove them. Place them on a large baking sheet in a single layer. (If you don't have bacon, you'll just add olive oil, salt and pepper...toss to coat and it's delicious!!)
When your bacon is done and cool, pat off the excess grease with paper towels. (Keep your oven hot for the brussels...) Pile it up in a row and chop it into strips. Again, you want it kind of chewy at this stage, not crispy...
Add your bacon to your brussel sprouts in the pan. I also sprinkled some dried shallots in there too (they smell amazing)..along with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix it all around to coat.
Make sure to spread everything out to a thin single layer on the baking sheet like this so they cook evenly...
Bake them in a 400 degree oven.... I check on them at about 20 minutes. Take them out and toss them around a bit to flip them and cook them evenly on both sides. I just take a spatula and flip and mix... doesn't have to be perfect. Put them back in a single layer and stick them back in... Check on them in another 10 minutes. As they are getting close, I just turn off my oven and leave them in to keep them warm while I cook the scallops. If you feel better about taking them out....just put some foil over them. Just make sure the brussels are tender, crispy around the edges and the bacon is crispy.
Ok, I have used different pans for scallops... I have used my cast iron, my Le Creuset, my non-stick.... it seems like it just depends on my mood. Scallops tend to stick and make a mess out of a pan.... so last night I reached for my non-stick... I know, not as healthy, but I wasn't in the mood to spend too much time cleaning after! :) For the most part... choose a sauté pan.
Heat your pan of choice to medium-HIGH. I use a heat level of "8 out of 10" on my stove...my stove is electric and it runs hot. You may want to set yours to high. MAKE SURE YOUR SCALLOPS ARE DRY before they enter the pan! Salt and pepper your scallops. You want it hot enough that it will sear the scallops. I use Ghee to cook my scallops in because it's nice a buttery! (They carry it at Trader Joe's and Sprouts) I've also used coconut oil or butter, use something healthy that can handle higher heats. Use about a Tablespoon. Place the scallops in the pan, don't crowd them or let them touch each other!! Set your timer for 2 minutes. Don't move them until you flip them.
Flip them over with tongs...set your timer for another 2 minutes...
They should have a nice and golden crust on the bottom like this or your pan wasn't hot enough! They cook quick, I do 2 minutes each side (depending on your stove, you might only need 1 1/2 mins on each side)... you're after about a 1/4" crust on each side with a translucent center. Don't cook them too long or they will be chewy... you want them to be tender. SERVE IMMEDIATELY.
This would be fantastic as is... but my husband loves sauces... so I had a little leftover homemade olive oil mayonnaise, so I used that on the side with a little sriracha hot sauce on his plate to make it pretty!
I don't know if it was because of the hard labor of painting or what... but this was one of the best tasting meals I've had in a while, if I do say so myself! My husband was in heaven. Once you make this a couple of times, it's actually quite easy because the scallops are quick. It's an easy meal to make that tastes decadent. See, no fast food or pizza delivery guy needed... Enjoy!! :)