I just had the best dinner. Period.
A casual Monday date night with the most spectacular dinner!
Introducing my Pan Seared Scallops with Roasted Acorn Squash Mash!
I sent a photo to my mom, and she’s already decided that when I see her next month, we’re having this for dinner! haha!
Succulent sea scallops, paired with the richest, most flavorful sweet and savory acorn squash mash! Who said squash was just for fall!? Not this girl!
It’s every low-carb girl’s dream! And for someone on the Specific Carb Diet, I will take a squash any day of the week!
Speaking of, this meal is gluten free, Keto, Paleo, and on the Specific Carb Diet! And did I mention…it’s FANTASTIC!!
Here’s What You Need:
1 lb scallops, pat dry
Old Bay seasoning
2 Tbsp EVOO
Juice 1/2 a lemon
Acorn Squash Mash:
1 acorn squash, halved and roasted
3 Tbsp EVOO
4 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 shallots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves (removed from the stems)
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 bundle of asparagus, wooden ends trimmed
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Carefully, cut your squash in half, from top to tail. Scoop out the seeds and reserve. Drizzle the inside flesh with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves cut-side-down on a nonstick tinfoil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, until the skin gives easily to the touch. Let cool and then peel the skin.
Saute your shallots, carrots, celery, spices, and garlic in a stock pot. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, until the veggies soften. Then, add your cooked squash and stir to combine. Add your coconut milk, and then carefully transfer the hot squash and veggie mixture to the food processor and blend until you get a creamy mashed potatoes consistency. You will need to scrape the sides several times.
At this point, bake your asparagus for 20 minutes on a tinfoil lined baking sheet, tossed with 2 Tbsp EVOO, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. I also like to bake the seeds from the squash on the same pan for a garnish.
To cook the scallops: you want them to be bone dry. So after you rinse them, put them on a paper towel, and dry them completely with another paper towel. Sprinkle the one side with Old Bay seasoning, pepper and drizzle with olive oil. *Old Bay has salt in the spice mixture, so you don’t need to add more.*
You want your pan to be very hot. (Stainless steel works great, here!) Add about 3-4 Tbsp Olive oil or avocado oil to a large pan. Heat until right before it starts smoking. Then starting at the “12 o’clock” position, place your scallops (seasoning side-down) one by one clockwise around the pan, being careful not to crowd the pan. Once they are all placed in, let them sear untouched for 1:45. (Set a timer, it goes fast!) During this time, sprinkle the other side with more Old Bay seasoning.
Then, using tongs, start again at the 12 o’clock position and flip each scallop going clock wise. Let cook for another 1:30.
After a minute and 30 seconds, take them off the pan and put on a plate to rest. (Otherwise they will continue to cook on the pan.) Drizzle with the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Serve immediately.
To plate, place a mound of the acorn squash mash on the plate, top with half of your scallops. Serve the asparagus alongside. Garnish with your baked squash seeds and a cute sprig of thyme.
Oh my gosh, this was SO dang delicious – Steven and I both cleaned our plates!! The acorn mash is SO OUTRAGEOUSLY GOOD! It’s creamy and buttery, and has this slight bit of sweetness from the acorn squash, that is beautifully complimented by the savory veggies.
You see that’s the secret with this recipe: by baking the squash first, you allow the natural sugars in the squash to caramelize and develop, giving the mash this indescribable depth of flavor!
It seriously tasted like mashed sweet potatoes!
And not to mention…it’s an absolutely gorgeous meal! Truly worthy of a five-star restaurant!
So do yourself a favor…make this meal! It is truly out of this world!
((And here’s one final tip for ya! It’s the meal that keeps on giving! For this recipe, I cooked all of the veggies, but then I only used HALF of the squash/veggie mixture for this mash! With the other half of the squash mixture, I added the rest of the can of coconut milk, plus 2 cups of veggie broth, and pureed it into an acorn squash soup!! So it’s a two-for-one special…which, is my kind of meal!))
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