Grilled Scallops and Milanese Risotto
Cooking is a most excellent way to explore other cultures and bring back memories of visits to those cultures.
We recently completed another venture to Italy, the northern part this trip, and discovered a delicious risotto that Milan is known for…spiced with fragrant saffron.
Grilled Scallops and Milanese Risotto (serves 4)
16 sea scallops
7 cups low-sat chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups arborio rice (10 ounces)
Pinch of saffron threads
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
To prepare the risotto:
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer; keep warm. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring to thoroughly coat. Crumble the saffron into the wine and add it to the rice. Cook, stirring, until the wine is absorbed. Add 1 cup of the warm stock and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until it is nearly absorbed between additions. The risotto is done when the rice is al dente and suspended in a thick, creamy sauce, about 20 minutes total. Season the risotto with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese, butter and parsley and serve immediately topped with grilled scallops.
To prepare the sea scallops:
Prepare and heat grill to 450 deg. Rinse and dry scallops, removing the small side muscle from each. Drizzle and rub in olive oil and salt and pepper each side. Grill for 2 1/2 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the other side. Serve immediately.