Cheese Crusted Scallops with Sweet Pea “Orzotto”

Cheese Crusted Scallops with Sweet Pea “Orzotto”

Serves 4 As An Appetizer and 2 As An Entree

Ingredients For Scallops
2 Cups Grated Old Ford Cheese, Grated (this is hard to come by, parmesan or pecorino would work)
2 Cups Panko Bread Crumbs
2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley
8 Sea Scallops, patted dry between paper towels
2 Eggs Beaten
Salt and Pepper
Cracked Pepper
Olive Oil

Ingredients for Orzo Ingredient to Finish Dish
½ Pound of Orzo , Uncooked 1 Stick Salted Butter
1 Shallot, Minced Freshly Chopped Parsley
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced Lemon Wedges
½ Cup White Wine
¼ Cup Olive Oil
4 Cups Chicken Stock
1 Cup Frozen Peas, Room Temp

Prepare The Scallops
Combine the Cheese, Bread Crumbs, Parsley and a pinch of Salt and Pepper, spread mixture into a shallow dish.
In a second shallow dish, beat the egg with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Pat the Sea Scallops Dry with Paper Towels and Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper.
Dip the Scallops into the egg wash, let the excess egg drip off, place the Scallop in the Cheese and Panko mixture, pressing the mixture firmly onto the Scallop, place the Scallop onto an empty plate. Repeat the procedure with the remaining scallops.
Place the crusted scallops in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, this will help the mixture stick, while chilling make the orzo.

Prepare The Orzo
In a small pot heat the Chicken Stock, bring to a simmer and turn down to low, so it is merely steaming.

Heat the Olive Oil over medium heat in a wide pot or, straight sided skillet, when the oil glistens add the shallots and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Stir for about 2 minutes, careful to not burn. Next add the garlic, stir for about 15 seconds, add the orzo and a bit more salt and pepper. Stir the orzo for about 2 minutes, making it toasty, next add the wine, stir until it has been completely absorbed by the orzo. Next begin to add the heated stock to the orzo, 1 ladel at a time. Be sure to continuously stir, otherwise the pasta will stick to the pan. When the pasta has a creamy consistency and it is just about al dente, stir in the peas. At this time eyeball how much more stock you need, you don’t want the pasta to look dry, but it should not be soupy either. You will most likely be left with about ½ a cup of stock, which is great to use for reheating the risotto if you have made it in advance. Also, be sure to taste the Orzo frequently as you go, adjusting the salt and pepper in small doses, the flavors really develop as the pasta cooks, and you don’t want to overwhelm the flavors with too much salt and pepper.

Broil the Scallops
While you are making the Orzo it is a great idea to begin preheating your broiler, so that it is nice and hot when you are ready to roll. Remove the Scallops from the fridge, spay the top of the broiler pan with cooking spray or brush with oil. Place the pan, brush the tops with olive oil and place under the broiler for about 3 – 4 minutes. Each person’s broiler is different, so keep an eye them when trying this for the first time. When golden on top and on the sides, remove from the oven.

While the Scallops are in the broiler prepare the Browned Butter. Use a small pot over medium heat on the stove, add the butter and watch it slowly melt. It will start to get light brown and bubbly with a nutty aroma, it is done! Remove the butter from the heat and pour into a small dish so that the heat from the pot does not continue to cook, and then burn the butter.

Plate The Dish!
Put about ½ a cup of orzo on a plate, top with two scallops, a sprinkling of parsley, a pinch of salt on the scallops and a squeeze of lemon. Last, drizzle a bit of the butter on the scallops and around the plate! Enjoy!