“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable. “~ Bruce Lee
Yes, I get a little sappy about love and romance so I enjoy Valentine’s Day whether I’m with someone or not (I have my wonderful husband to enjoy it with now). But even alone, it’s a time to celebrate the love for yourself, so don’t feel like you must have someone to enjoy the day.
The dish I’m sharing with you today is for a main dish or you could scale it down for an appetizer. Think succulent scallops and jumbo shrimp in a bed of jasmine rice with a ginger butter sauce spooned over them, Jumbo Shrimp and Scallops in Ginger Butter Sauce. I hope your mouth started watering right after reading that because this dish is really good and not that hard to make.
Something about seafood automatically takes a meal to a higher level, especially when you’re cooking scallops and shrimp. The trick to both these wonderful seafood’s is not to overcook them. Overcooking turns both of them into a rubbery, chewy mess and that is the hardest thing about this dish.
While all the rules can be broken with any dish, it’s often better to serve a crisp white wine with seafood and since this is Valentine’s Day, you’ll want to have a bottle of it chilled and ready to serve for your special someone. You’ll also need 1/2 cup for this dish. Don’t choose a Chardonnay, it won’t work, too buttery. Instead think of something such as a good Sauvignon Blanc or ask your local wine seller for recommendations of which one to buy. Personally I love Sea Mist Sauvignon Blanc for my seafood dishes. It’s not over the top expensive, about $15 a bottle, and is great for drinking and using in your food. After all, you really shouldn’t use a wine in your food that you won’t drink because it does affect the taste and quality of the dish (trust me on that).
Other than overcooking, the next most important step when cooking seafood such as scallops and shrimp is to make sure they’re dry. Any water on them while searing, does mess up the dish and causes horrible splattering. If you’re using frozen (like I have to, since I live in Colorado, I do miss fresh seafood) make sure you defrost with plenty of time for drying before using them. Unlike with meat, you don’t need to bring your seafood to room temp. before cooking but I do like to set them out about half an hour before I use them.
I did the dish this time on the stove in a very hot pan since our grills are now closed for the winter but if you have access to one, grilling is a great option for adding more flavor (or use a grill pan). When doing in the pan, make sure you get it hot enough. Add a little oil or butter and you’re ready to go just as the oil smokes. The seafood should sizzle when it hits the pan. You want to sear the scallops and shrimp fast to get color before they overcook.
I served this dish with a side of the Garlic and Ginger Kale to continue the Asian theme of the meal. It was a wonderful accompaniment because it carried over the flavors of ginger and garlic throughout. If you don’t like kale, some beautifully roasted asparagus or Brussel sprouts would also be great as a side. Have fun and enjoy serving up some beautiful seafood to your special someone on Valentine’s Day.
Jumbo Shrimp and Scallops in Ginger Butter Sauce
1/2 cup of white wine
1 cup veggie stock (make your own or get low-sodium in store-bought)
2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small carrot, chopped
1/2 leek, chopped (remember to clean well or you’ll have grit in your food)
1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
1 Tbsp. butter (can use olive oil to lighten)
Shrimp and Scallops
8 large sea scallops (if frozen, defrosted)
1/2 lb. Jumbo Tiger Shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed (for lighter dish, use olive oil instead)
Salt and pepper to taste
For Sauce: Heat butter in a medium size sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, carrot and leek and allow veggies to sweat until tender. Add the wine and cook for about two minutes to cook the alcohol out before adding any other ingredients. Pour in the veggie stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmering and simmer until sauce reduces by about half. Spoon over scallops and shrimp.
Shrimp and Scallops: In a large skillet, bring half the butter up to almost smoking over high heat. Salt and pepper the scallops and shrimp. Once the oil is smoking, add the scallops to the pan not touching. Sear for about 1 1/2 minutes per side, adjust timing depending on size of scallops. The scallops should have about 1/4″ golden crust on each side and scallop will still be translucent in the center. Remove from pan and add the rest of the butter. When butter has returned to hot, add the shrimp to the pan and cook until done. The shrimp will turn pink and curl slightly. Remove from pan.
For serving, add 2 scallops per plate and divide shrimp among plates and spoon the sauce, along with lemon wedges. Add garnish such as chives or parsley if you choose. The sauce does make extra for serving over rice.
Makes about 4 servings.
More Recipes for Completing Your Valentine’s Day Menu: