Scallops with Toasted Coconut Butternut Squash Cream

Who says seafood is just a summer thing? These scallops are autumn on a plate! Seared in brown butter, the scallops are placed on a bed of pureed butternut squash scented with toasted coconut and nutmeg.

With a few seared shiitake mushrooms and spoonfuls of black rice, this dish has an earthy dimension that’s so different and delicious.

Although it sounds complicated, this dish has the “wow” effect but can be made by anyone!

Makes: for 4 people

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

The Ingredients

12 sea or diver scallops (3 scallops each)

12 shiitake mushrooms (3 each), stems removed

½ cup uncooked forbidden black rice (or sub sticky rice)

2.5 cups butternut squash purée (or sub pumpkin purée!)

1/3 of a small yellow onion, chopped

1 garlic clove

2 tablespoons coconut cream

7 tablespoons salted butter

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Toasted coconut flakes, to garnish (toast coconut in dry pan for a few minutes until golden, tossing often)

Chives, to garnish

Salt

The Steps

Toast coconut ahead (see above), and cook rice according to packaging instructions. Cook rice while making the butternut cream!

For butternut cream: in a microwave safe bowl covered with plastic wrap, microwave butternut squash purée and 3 tablespoons butter until hot and butter is melted, about 2 minutes.

In a blender, add warm squash with butter, garlic, onion, coconut cream, ground nutmeg and a dash of salt. Blend until smooth.

For scallops: Remove scallop side muscle if they are still attached (the little flap on the side of each scallop). Dry scallops with a paper towel for even browning.

In a heavy bottomed large skillet over high heat, add 4 tablespoons butter. When butter is hot and bubbling, add scallops as far apart as possible. Add in shiitakes top-side down.

  • For diver scallops, sear side #1 for about 3 minutes, and then sear side #2 for about 2 minutes. Flip mushrooms too! Scallops should still be a bit jiggly to the touch but not as jiggly as raw scallops. Each scallop side should be golden brown.
  • For sea scallops (usually smaller scallops), sear side #1 for about 90 seconds, and then sear side #2 for about 30 seconds. Flip mushrooms too!

**These cooking times are for medium-rare scallops which is typically how you’d see them served in restaurants! If you overcook scallops, they become rubbery and quite unpleasant.

Remove scallops and mushrooms from pan using tongs and place on a separate plate.

For plating: use a ladle to spoon and smooth a scoopful “bed” of butternut cream. Add a few tablespoons of rice in the middle of the butternut cream to form a thin layer of rice. Use tongs to place three scallops and three mushrooms on each plate.

Garnish with chives and toasted coconut. Serve and enjoy!

The Steps with Pictures

Toast coconut ahead (see above), and cook rice according to packaging instructions. Cook rice while making the butternut cream!

For butternut cream: in a microwave safe bowl covered with plastic wrap, microwave butternut squash purée and 3 tablespoons butter until hot and butter is melted, about 2 minutes.

In a blender, add warm squash with butter, garlic, onion, coconut cream, ground nutmeg, and a dash of salt. Blend until smooth.

For scallops: Remove scallop side muscle if they are still attached (the little flap on the side of each scallop). Dry scallops with a paper towel for even browning.

In a heavy bottomed large skillet over high heat, add 4 tablespoons butter. When butter is hot and bubbling, add scallops as far apart as possible. Add in shiitakes top-side down.

  • For diver scallops, sear side #1 for about 3 minutes, and then sear side #2 for about 2 minutes. Flip mushrooms too! Scallops should still be a bit jiggly to the touch but not as jiggly as raw scallops. Each scallop side should be golden brown.
  • For sea scallops (usually smaller scallops), sear side #1 for about 90 seconds, and then sear side #2 for about 30 seconds. Flip mushrooms too!

**These cooking times are for medium-rare scallops which is typically how you’d see them served in restaurants! If you overcook scallops, they become rubbery and quite unpleasant.

Remove scallops and mushrooms from pan using tongs and place on a separate plate.

For plating: use a ladle to spoon and smooth a scoopful “bed” of butternut cream. Add a few tablespoons of rice in the middle of the butternut cream to form a thin layer of rice.

Use tongs to place three scallops and three mushrooms on each plate.

Garnish with chives and toasted coconut. Serve and enjoy!

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