Scallops with Apple Cider Glaze Over Spinach with Apples

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For a long time I was afraid of scallops. Deathly afraid. Well, for a long time, I was afraid of all fish. But even after I started falling in love with salmon, lobster, and shrimp, my scallop fear remained. I guess you could say I had a few bad scallop experiences as a child. And they stuck with me. I particularly remember the time I covered my scallops in parmesan cheese thinking it would mask the taste. It didn’t. And that night didn’t end well. As an 7-year-old I had discovered the one food parmesan cheese didn’t make better. Come to think of it, the parmesan cheese incident is probably what marred scallops in my mind for the next 10+ years.

Scallops were the last of the seafoods for me. I wouldn’t even go near them until about 7 years ago. But once I overcame my fear, I never turned back. For a while I just ordered them in restaurants since I think they bothered me most in their raw form and I had no interest in introducing them to my kitchen. But then I realized how easy they were to cook and how many different ways they could be cooked and I fell in love all over again. These Scallops with Apple Cider Glaze are the perfect fall dish and are extra delicious over a bed of spinach with apples.

This is one of those super quick-moving recipes where you really want to have everything prepared ahead of time. Once you start cooking, everything will move really quickly and you’ll have dinner on the table in no time. Seriously, I’ll do Rachael Ray one better and call this a 10-minute meal.

Scallops with Apple Cider Glaze Over Spinach with Apples (serves 2):
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  • 1/2-3/4 lb. scallops
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 1/2 C apple cider
  • 1/4 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1 recipe for apple spinach (see below)

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The scallops simply get a quick sear. Which in my short-lived scallop experience is the best way to cook scallops. Start by removing that small side muscle from the scallop, rinsing scallops with cold water, and patting them dry. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

Add the olive oil and butter into a medium pan on high heat. Once the oil and butter is hot but not smoking, add the scallops in.

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Sear them for about 2-3 minutes on one side before flipping over and searing on the other.

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Once the scallops have a nice golden color to them and are cooked through, remove from pan to a plate. Tent the plate with foil to keep scallops warm.

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Now, in a bowl, mix together the apple cider and apple cider vinegar. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

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Add the mixture to the same pan you cooked the scallops in, still over high heat. Scrape the brown bits up with a spatula and let the mixture cook until its reduced by about half and it begins to thicken.

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While the glaze thickens, you can be sautéing your spinach.

Spinach with Apples (serves 2):

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 macintosh apple, chopped
  • 9 oz. baby spinach

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Heat your olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add apples and sauté for another 2 minutes.

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Then add spinach and toss to wilt, about 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Serve spinach on plate and top with scallops. Pour apple cider glaze over the top.

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Dig in. And you will wonder how on Earth I went so long without allowing scallops into my life. Legitimately a travesty.

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Thankfully I’m still young and hopefully have plenty more scallop-loving years in my life. I love how caramel golden these were and honestly think that even without the sauce and spinach, these had such a naturally amazing taste. BUT the sauce? I LOVED the slight sweetness and kinda tart apple and vinegar taste it added. It was fall on a plate in both looks and taste.

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This was one of those light meals that didn’t leave me craving a giant bowl of pasta or a big slab of bread after. And in my case, that’s actually kind of rare.

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Definitely adding this to my dinner repertoire and will be making it as long as apple cider is in season. Even when it’s not, I’m sure many other juices would give a similar effect. Oh, happy scallops!

Have you ever had a food fear that you are SO happy you got over?

[Sues]

26 Comments

  • I haven’t quite gotten over my fear of scallops but these photos really make me want to – and fast! Adding apple is brilliant!

    October 4, 2011 9:34 pm
  • This is serious gourmet-restaurant eating!

    October 4, 2011 9:59 pm
  • Megan said:

    I don’t fear scallops, but I do not like them… and any time I’m confronted with them, I try them in hopes that I’ll like them, but I just don’t. :( Glad you got over your fear though!

    October 4, 2011 11:04 pm
  • Is it just me or does one of those scallops look strangely like an egg yolk? Hmmm.

    Otherwise, looks delicious, hehe.

    October 4, 2011 11:47 pm
  • Kelly said:

    That looks fantastic. You know what I think would make that dish even more spectacular? Bacon!

    October 5, 2011 12:27 am
  • Kelly said:

    P.S. The ice cream you made the other day looked so fantastic it is one of many yummy apple recipes I’m spotlighting tomorrow. And unrelated, are you two going to foodbuzz this year? I will be and it would be great to see you!

    October 5, 2011 12:27 am
  • Those scallops look amazing, they are cooked perfectly! I’d love that meal for dinner.

    October 5, 2011 6:18 am
  • Erica said:

    Definitely a beautiful Fall dish! I’ve never been a huge scallops gal, but the husband loves them. I think I’ll need to add this to our menu and give them another go myself. I used to HATE onions and peppers and now I love them!

    October 5, 2011 6:30 am
  • Michelle said:

    I love the beautiful color on those scallops!

    October 5, 2011 8:57 am
  • Sharon said:

    Ahhh, it does my heart good to hear you speak so fondly of SCALLOPS!
    They are so succulent and sweet, quick and easy to prepare…you can serve them so many ways and they will always impress your guests. Yours look fabulous, Sues. Maybe I’ll have them for dinner tonight.
    PS…Jessi @ Quirky Cookery: they say the more yellow in color, the sweeter the scallop.

    October 5, 2011 9:01 am
  • Kate said:

    Really nice. I’m a life long scallop-lover and I look forward to cooking this one this weekend. Consider swapping roasted, peeled red beet in for the apple and beet greens in for the spinach.

    October 5, 2011 9:31 am
  • This sounds ridiculously amazing. Too bad my husband doesn’t eat fish. I’ll have to make it one night when he’s not home!

    October 5, 2011 9:33 am
  • Goodnight, I will be buying scallops tonight. I need to be using all these apples and this looks heavenly!

    October 5, 2011 10:09 am
  • Meesh said:

    wow, i feel inspired. these look amazing!

    October 5, 2011 10:16 am
  • PERFECT! This is bookmarked and I will make it my FIRST EVER SCALLOP DISH!! I love love scallops but have never attempted cooking them myself :)

    October 5, 2011 10:20 am
  • Lexi said:

    AMAZING!!!

    October 5, 2011 10:40 am
  • Lexi said:

    PS. I’m still afraid of mushrooms….

    October 5, 2011 10:40 am
  • These really do look perfect. Nice sear you got going on those babies! I love love love them in all form. Have you tried them raw in sushi? I know you said they bother you raw but when they are incredibly fresh, they taste so sweet.
    PS – Have you seen my pizza monkey bread recipe and giveaway yet?

    October 5, 2011 10:51 am
  • Daisy said:

    beautiful dish! i love scallops and really want to make this!

    October 5, 2011 11:02 am
  • This dish definitely looks like something from a nice restaurant – gorgeous and mouth-watering! My dad instilled in me a fear of brussels sprouts… he despised them as a kid, so my mom never cooked them for us when my brother and I were growing up. Now that I know the secret is to roast them, I eat sprouts all winter long, and they’ve become one of my very favorite veggies :) .

    October 5, 2011 7:47 pm
  • C.Peb said:

    My mouth is watering!!!! Great final pic Sues!

    October 6, 2011 1:12 am
  • Simple and delicious… love it!!

    October 6, 2011 8:54 am
  • OHH my gosh this looks delicious! I am super intimidated about cooking scallops… I just started to really like them so I don;t have much experience cooking them. Your scallops look like they came out perfect!

    I didn’t get a chance to meet you last night at the bash but hopefully next time! It was so much fun :-D

    October 6, 2011 2:46 pm
  • the scallops look fantastic, but i definitely can’t wait to try the apple spinach!

    October 6, 2011 5:11 pm
  • Kerstin said:

    Love the golden crust you got on them – beautiful!

    October 8, 2011 12:33 pm
  • Eliana said:

    The combination of flavors and textures here is simply divine. And those scallops look perfectly cooked too. Awesome job here.

    October 12, 2011 10:45 am

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