I love recipes with a simple ingredient list - and it doesn't get much simpler than this with only 8 ingredients! (peanut oil, scallops, garlic, jalepeno pepper, grape tomatoes, salt & pepper, butter and angel hair pasta). You can easily substitute shrimp or meat/poultry as the protein. Actually, I prefer to make this meal with shrimp but decided to take a gander at baby scallops tonight (and I'm very glad I did). For the record, I LOVE all combinations of sweet and spicy. I was on a spicy kick for a long time, but as I began noticing grocery stores and chain restaurants spiking the trend of "spicy foods" - I decided I would kick it up a notch to spicy sweet. It's just an amazing complement for so many different meats and vegetables. I have been developing a honey-based sweet and spicy glaze for meats and vegetables and will be blogging about in the near future.
For this quick meal, we get the spicy element from a halved and sliced jalepeno pepper and the sweetness from halved grape or cherry tomatoes. I would like to give you a quick tip when picking out your jalepeno peppers from your local market. It will help you control the level of spiciness you'll get from your peppers. Sorry for the poor camera quality here, but I had to take this with my camera phone. Notice the difference between these two jalepenos:
OK, the one on the left has a more rounded tip. The one on the right is more pointy.
Rule of thumb: For less spicy, pick a more rounded tip. If you want to be Emeril and BAM!KICK IT UP A NOTCH! then pick a more pointed tip. Not sure if this is exact science but it's worked for me so far (at least for jalepenos). Alllriiighhhtttyyy then.. onto the recipe:
2 tbsp olive or peanut oil
1 clove freshly minced garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 jalepeno pepper
1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp butter, optional
1. Rinse your scallops in cold water and pat dry. Set aside. We'll come back to these morsels of deliciouness.
2. In a skillet, preheat your oil over medium heat. I constantly switch back and forth between olive oil and peanut oil. Tonight I used peanut oil.
3. While the oil is heating, mince the garlic clove. Wash, halve and slice your jalepeno. Remove the stem and seeds for less heat. Go ahead and wash your tomatoes, halve and set aside - they will be added to the skillet last.
4. Combine the garlic and jalepeno in the skillet and begin to sautee. Once they are heated through, add the scallops. Continue to cook together, stirring constantly. Once the scallops begin to lose their transparency and firm up slightly, go ahead and add the tomatoes. Stir very well. Reduce heat and allow all the ingredients to simmer down until the scallops are throughly cooked and the tomatoes are heated through.
5. Toss and combine the cooked scallops and tomatoes with your pasta of choice (preferably angel hair). If desired, melt some butter in with the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. (Dude, I love Kosher salt or sea salt!)
So go ahead and give this recipe a try.. I promise you won't be disappointed!!
**Sorry for the low quality pics, I still don't have my camera with me