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Perfectly Seared Scallops with Mushroom Risotto, Guanciale & Blackberry Sauce

Seared Scallops with Spicy Blackberry Sauce, Guanciale & Shiitake Risotto

I was in a creative mood when I made these Seared Scallops with Spicy Blackberry Sauce, Guanciale & Shiitake Risotto. You might even say I was getting a little experimental– as I was trying to recreate a restaurant dish without actually having the recipe.

In the end my recipe has a lot of steps and ingredients, which means it’s not for everyone I know. Still, I am not here to apologize for that because this recipe is really just an introduction to what I really want to talk about. Scallops.

Scallops themselves should be simple to make. But they aren’t always, are they?

Scallops should be served rare, if you cook them all the way through you are destroying their delicate nature. An overcooked scallop is a rubbery waste of money. But just because I won’t submit to an overcooked scallop does not mean I want it improperly cooked either. In fact I like quite a bit of crunchy crusty searing on my scallops.

But how to best achieve this?

Well, choosing good scallops is the first step. Many scallops today are artificially pumped up and waterlogged by a chemical called STP. If possible get scallops without this additive. The proper term for an STP free scallop is “dry”. Ask your fish monger if you are unsure. I have a whole post devoted to scallops and STP here.