Pan-Seared Scallops with Shallots, Wild Mushrooms, and Arugula

Serves 4
This simple but gorgeous dish is an elegant appetizer; or serve it as a light entrée with a side of linguine tossed with olive oil and garlic, and a generous salad. In place of fresh wild mushrooms, you may substitute a combination of shiitakes and criminis, or reconstituted dried mushrooms.

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium shallots, sliced into thin rings
1 pound wild mushrooms (shiitake caps, oyster mushrooms, lobster, or others), thinly sliced
1/4 cup mirin (Japanese cooking wine) or sweet white wine
20 medium to large sea scallops (about 2 pounds)
6 cups packed baby arugula leaves or coarsely chopped arugula

1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot rings and mushrooms, and stir to coat with oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until mushrooms are lightly browned, stirring frequently. Stir in mirin, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until mushrooms and shallots are soft and golden-brown, 5 to 7 minutes longer. If needed, add water a tablespoon at a time to pan to prevent scorching.

2. While mushrooms are cooking, heat olive oil a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Dry scallops thoroughly. Season with white pepper and sear on one side, without turning, until golden, about 3 minutes. Turn scallops over, reduce heat to medium, and continue cooking, uncovered, until scallops are firm and opaque in the center, about 3 minutes longer.

3. Transfer mushrooms from pan to a plate and cover to keep warm. Rinse arugula, shake dry, and with water still clinging to the leaves, drop into the hot mushroom pan. Add 1 tablespoon water and stir to cook until just wilted, about 1 minute.

4. To serve, divide arugula between four individual plates, arranging in a circle. Mound mushrooms in the center of each arugula circle. Arrange scallops on top of mushrooms, and serve immediately.

PER SERVING: 498 CAL; 77 G PROT; 10 G TOTAL FAT (2 G SAT FAT); 127 G CARB; 183 MG CHOL; 884 MG SOD; 3 G FIBER; 4 G SUGARS

Photo by: Pornchai Mittongtare