From Penelope's kitchen: 'Tis the season — scallop season

PENELOPE MOORE PHOTO | Who’s hungry? Fresh Peconic Bay Scallops done with flair are perfect for lunch or dinner.

With the opening of the scallop season late last month, beautifully plump and sweet scallops are plentiful. Although there are hundreds of ways to prepare scallops, there is nothing like enjoying those nuggets with butter. Just days after scallop season opened, we were fortunate enough to get a couple of pounds, thanks to Captain John Tehan.

Risotto can be a time-consuming process. However, this “cheater’s risotto” offers a creamy rice that complements the seafood perfectly.

Local Bay Scallops with Ginger Clam Risotto
Serves 4
Risotto
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups short grain rice
3 cups clam juice (bottled)
1/4 stick unsalted butter
2 tablespoons prepared pesto
(Buitoni or Citarella are available
locally.)
Add the olive oil to a heated pot, then add ginger to the oil and stir.
Add rice and cover the grains with the oil.
Add the clam juice and stir.
When the juice comes to a boil, turn off the heat and cover for 20 minutes.
When the rice has fully absorbed the juice, fluff and add butter until integrated. Add more butter as needed to create a creamy consistency.
Stir in the pesto.
Scallops
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups flour
2 pounds scallops, patted with paper towel to remove moisture

In a heated sauté pan, melt 1/4 stick of butter over medium heat. Roll scallops in flour and shake off excess flour.
Place the scallops in the pan, taking care not to crowd the pan. Using a spatula, move the scallops around in the pan, cooking for approximately 1 minute. When browned, remove the scallops and let them rest on a paper towel. Continue to add scallops to the pan moving them around the pan to cook evenly. Add butter as needed, taking care not to burn it.
Place rice on the plate, dish scallops alongside and serve with a vegetable such as string beans or Napa cabbage

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