Asparagus Rice with Seared Scallops
Ingredients (serves 4-6):
To Cook in the Rice Cooker:
- 1 cup (rice measuring cup) long grain white rice
to fill to water level 1 for “LONG GRAIN WHITE,” or 1-1/4 cups (rice measuring cup)
For Blanching Asparagus:
- 2 quarts water
- 1 Tbsp. salt for blanching water
- 12 oz. fresh asparagus
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1 whole fresh shallot, peeled
- 2 quarts ice water to chill
To Add to Blender:
- 2 Tbsp. whole butter at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Blanching water as needed
- 1/2 lb. large sea scallops
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. canola or other neutral flavored vegetable oil
Measure rice accurately using the measuring cup that came with your rice cooker. Rinse rice quickly once, drain and place in the inner cooking pan. Add water to
the corresponding water level for “LONG GRAIN WHITE,” or as listed in the
ingredients. Cook the rice using the “LONG GRAIN WHITE” (if available), or the “MIXED” setting.
While the rice is cooking, blanch the asparagus. Boil the water in a saucepan and add 1 Tbsp. of salt. Also prepare 2 quarts ice water. Cut off the hard ends of the asparagus and discard. Cut the tips off the asparagus, about 2 inches, and reserve separately. Chop the remainder of the stalks into short, even pieces.
Add the chopped asparagus stalks (but not the tips), garlic and shallot to boiling water and blanch for 1 minute. Remove from boiling water and plunge into ice water to chill thoroughly.
Remove chilled asparagus from ice water and place in a blender with salt and softened butter. Puree until mixture is smooth – use a small amount of the blanching water to facilitate smooth blending if needed.
Repeat blanching and chilling procedure with asparagus tips; hold tips separately for garnishing.
Place oil in a small sauté pan (6-8” diameter) and heat until quite hot, almost smoking. Sprinkle scallops with salt and sear until lightly browned. When scallops are cooked, remove from the pan.
Add asparagus tips to the hot pan and toss quickly to heat through.
When rice completes cooking, gently fold in the asparagus puree.
Serve in bowls and garnish each serving with the scallops and asparagus tips.