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Goin' Coastal: Scallops with Pumpkin Risotto

Serves 4-5

Pumpkin Puree Ingredients
-1 sweet pumpkin (or pie pumpkin)
- sweet (Vidalia) onion
- teaspoon ground nutmeg
- teaspoon ground ginger
- teaspoon allspice
-1 cup brandy
- cup honey
-2 tablespoons fresh thyme

Pumpkin Puree Procedure
-Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
-Cut the pumpkin in half, from stem to base. Remove the seeds and pulp, and cover each half with foil.
-Bake in the oven, foil side up, for about 1 hour or until tender.
-Scrape pumpkin meat from shell halves, and set aside.
-In a 2-quart sauce pan, sweat the onion with seasonings.
-Deglaze onions with 1 cup brandy; reduce, and cook out alcohol.
-Stir in honey and fresh thyme.
-Place onion mix and pumpkin meat in blender, and puree until smooth.

Scallops Ingredients
-20 oz. New Bedford scallops
-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
-4 sprigs thyme
-Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Scallops Procedure
-Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
-Season scallops with salt and pepper, and cook until deep golden brown on one side (about 3 minutes).
-Turn the scallops, and add the butter and thyme to the pan.
-Continue cooking, spooning butter over scallops often, until scallops are cooked through, and butter is brown and smells nutty, (about 3 minutes longer).

Risotto Ingredients
-5 cups unsalted chicken stock
-1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-1 cups diced onion
-1 cups Arborio rice
-5/ 8 teaspoon kosher salt
- cup dry white wine
-2 tablespoons butter
-2-3 cups pumpkin puree
-1.5 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/ 3 cup)
-Toasted pumpkin seeds and thyme for garnish

Risotto Procedure
-Heat a 10 saute pan to medium heat. Add oil to the pan, and swirl to coat.
-Add the onion, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
-Add the rice, and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently, making sure not to burn the rice.
-Add the wine, and cook 2 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently.
-Stir in 1 cups stock, and cook for 4 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.
-Add the remaining stock 3/4 cup at a time, stirring nearly constantly until each portion is absorbed before adding the next.
-Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the pumpkin puree, butter and cheese.
-Finish with seared scallops, and garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and fresh thyme.