23 January 2009

Wine and Mushroom Risotto with Seared Scallops

Let me start off by saying that I rarely cook. When I do, I stick to the basics-- pasta, burritos, salads, stir fries, and the occasional ethnic dish. Needless to say, I had never made risotto nor have I seared a scallop in my life.

But man, I love scallops and risotto, so I decided it was finally time to stop spending $25 a plate at restaurants on this stuff, and learn to make it myself. The following recipe is partly made up, partly stolen from the internet, and mostly inspired by a risotto brainstorming session I had with an Epicurean lady friend of mine in a locker room. If I can make this, you definitely can too!

I'll call this "fancy shmancy wine and mushroom risotto with pan seared scallops for people that don't make risotto and scallops." Now say that 5 times fast, and enjoy.

For the risotto:
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 8 oz package of mushrooms (I was lazy and used baby bella, but if you're feeling fancy, try porcini), chopped
  • 1 14 1/2 oz can of low-sodium chicken or veggie stock
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

For the scallops:
  • 1/2 pound jumbo scallops
  • a bit of olive oil
  • a dash of salt and pepper
  • a squirt or two of lemon


Start off by melting the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Then add in the garlic and the onions, and saute for a minute. Add the rice and saute for another minute, fully coating each grain with butter. Now add in the wine. Bring it to a boil, and then turn it down to low heat and let it simmer for several minutes until the wine is nearly completely evaporated, stirring frequently.

Brief interlude: --in fact, what I learned is that the key to risotto is to KEEP STIRRING!-- end interlude

Anyway, then add in about half the can of broth and the chopped mushrooms, stirring and stirring and stirring as it simmers. As the liquid evaporates and the mixture begins to thicken, add the rest of the broth and stir some more. (see, I told you!) Continue to simmer until the rice is fully cooked-- about 15-20 minutes altogether.

Meanwhile, coat a frying pan with olive oil and get it nice and hot. Salt and pepper the scallops, and then drop them into the hot pan. Squeeze some lemon on them. Sear scallops on each side until they are opaque-- about 2-3 minutes per side. Don't overcook!

By now, your risotto should be just about done. (Are you still stirring?!) When the risotto is fully cooked and the mixture is creamy, finish it off by stirring in the Parmesan cheese, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve and enjoy! Then brag to your friends. Repeat.


  1. about time you made this!

    looks good. i'm not a scallop kind of guy, but your plating is nice too.

  2. I know! I'm a known procrastinator. *shrug*

    In other news, I must say, the wine really makes this recipe extra delicious.

  3. this looks AAAAAMAZING!!! minus the mushrooms



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