I don't make scallops very often, but I really like them. The handful of times I've made them, they've been sauteed. Today, I didn't feel like sauteing them, so I decided to bread and broil them. I also wanted some pasta so I could play with an idea for a sauce. Now, both elements of this dish were separately very tasty. But, I wouldn't serve them this way again. It didn't occur to me until I served it, but the breading from the scallops came off a little into the pasta. It didn't ruin the pasta, but it wasn't what I intended. Next time, I would serve the pasta as its own dish, and place the scallops on a plate with nothing under them and some kind of side dish or salad. Or, just put the scallops on the place and put the pasta next to them. The sauce was thick enough that it wouldn't spread onto the scallops.
Instead of using regular breadcrumbs, I used panko. I added some chopped almonds, sumac, and a little Aleppo pepper. Even though I didn't add a ton of each ingredient to the panko, they gave the scallops a nice flavor, especially the almonds, which got toasted under the broiler. My inspiration for the breading came from Chicken with Pistachio and Sumac Breadcrumbs. I didn't have any eggs, so instead of dipping the scallops in egg, I brushed them with melted butter before rolling them in the panko. For my pasta sauce, I used roasted red peppers, a spoonful of harissa, and some smoked paprika. I didn't want to make a tomato sauce, and roasted bell pepper goes well with the almonds and sumac in the breading. The red pepper sauce was quite good. I didn't add any additional liquid, so the sauce wasn't watery, and it was a nice bright red color. The little bit of harissa gave it a slight spiciness, and the smoked paprika added a level of complexity that I liked for a sauce with only 3 ingredients.
I didn't measure while I was making this, so these measurements are estimates.
Panko, Almond, and Sumac Breaded Scallops
Serves 1 for a big meal. With 2 extra scallops it could probably serve 2, I made a little too much.
6 sea scallops
1/2 cup panko
2 tsp sumac, plus a few extra shakes
A handful of almonds, finely chopped
A few shakes of Aleppo pepper
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
1) Preheat the broiler
2) Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
3) Mix the panko, sumac, almonds, and Aleppo together in a bowl that is large enough to roll a scallop in.
4) Brush a scallop with melted butter. Put the scallop in the bowl of panko crumbs and roll it around until it's covered. Place on the broiling pan. Repeat with the other scallops.
5) Broil the scallops for 4 minutes on one side and 3 on the other.
6) Serve topped with chopped parsley
Pasta with Smoky Red Pepper Sauce
1 roasted red pepper from a jar
1 tbsp harissa
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1) In a mini food processor (or a blender if you don't have one), puree the ingredients.
2) Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a small saucepan. Add the sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes.
3) Serve over a pasta of your choice. I used campanelle.
I tagged this "middle eastern" because I used some middle eastern ingredients.