Seared Day Boat Scallops with Gin 'N' Tonic Reduction
Scallops - Look for large, fresh scallops known as Day Boat because they are typically harvested and delivered within 24 hours Orzo pasta - 1/2 pound dry
1 cup of 2 varieties of winter squash such as acorn, butternut, kabocha or hubbard, diced
1/4 of a small yellow onion or 2 medium shallot bulbs, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
2-3 cups of mixed vegetable stock and water
Ingredients for reduction
4 oz. Organic Nation gin
1/4 cup fresh lime and orange juice
3 tbsps tonic water
1/4 cup vegetable or seafood stock
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Cook orzo in the vegetable stock and water mixture according to package directions. Drain and drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.
In a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add squash, onion or shallot and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, allowing squash to carmelize slightly. Add a splash of vegetable stock as it cooks. Fold squash mix into orzo. Add 1-2 tablespoons of butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place the mix in a small bowl or ramekin. Put a serving plate on top. Turn upside down.
To prepare scallops, heat oven to 375 degrees. Pat scallops dry on paper towel. Sprinkle with sea salt. Heat sauté pan to smoking, add a dash of olive oil and add scallops.
Reduce heat to medium-high. Sear scallops for 3 minutes without moving them. Put hot pan with scallops in hot oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and turn scallops over using tongs.
Put pan back on medium high heat. Remove the scallops, pat dry again and put on warm plate.
Deglaze the pan with the gin, tonic and juice. Add vegetable or seafood stock. Allow sauce to cook down by half until reduced sauce thickens and bubbles slowly. Pour in any juices that accumulated on plate with scallops.
Add pats of butter to sauce one at a time, whisking in 3 or 4 tablespoons until sauce has a glossy sheen. Add salt and pepper to taste. Take off heat.
Pull ramekin or small bowl straight up off serving plate with squash and orzo mix. Place scallops around the orzo. Pour sauce on scallops. Serve.