Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Celtuce, Seared Scallops, Fried Shallots with Pasta

Scallops for its umami and savory deliciousness. Fried caramelized shallots for its charred fragrance. Celtuce or Stem Letture for its crunch, natural vegetable-sweet and subtle bitter aftertaste.

Three ingredients, a few critical steps, then basically the assembling. And are we in for Celtuce and Pasta in Fried Shallots and Pan-Seared Scallops.

No celtuce? Don't know what is celtuce*? This will work well with broccoli (and its stems too).

Celtuce and Pasta in Fried Shallots and Pan-Seared Scallops
Ingredients: Celtuce, rinsed then separate the stems and leaves. (Leaves: Keep the leaves aside. Stems: Peel away the fibrous skin of the stems then thinly slice the stems. Blanch the stems, the dish out and set aside); 2 shallots, thinly sliced; 2 servings of cooked pasta(shell); 6 scallops, dab dry with paper towels then slightly seasoned with salt and black pepper.

1. In a wok of heated oil, fry the shallot till caramelized and slightly brown. Dish out and set aside. Use half and toss them with the blanched celtuce stems. Set aside the tossed shallots and stems.
2. With the remaining oil, pan-sear the scallops on both sides till cooked. Dish out and set aside
3. With the scallops "juice" remaining in the wok, add in the celtuce leaves to stir fry. When the leaves are cooked (Note: They cook fast. Don't overcook them), dish out and toss them with celtuce stems.
4. Add the celtuce stems and leaves to cooked pasta shells and toss them very thoroughly. Allow the flavors to infuse.
5. Top with pan-seared scallops, garnish with remaining shallots and serve immediately.

*Celtuce is named after its unique characteristics of the celery-like stalk and the lettuce-like leaves. The "meaty" central stem is crispy and tender - almost similar to that of broccoli stem.

Known in Mandarin as 莴笋 (WoSun) or 莴苣 (WoJu), Celtuce is also known as Lettuce Stem or Asparagus Lettuce. This vegetable is rich in minerals including Magnesium, Manganese and Potassium; contains Vitamin A, C and Folate. It is said to be good for anemic and aids overall digestion. This is my central ingredient for Weekend Herb Blogging hosted at Yasmeen - Healthnut this week.

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