This year I have focused on creating or adapting recipes that meet three criteria: 1) they must pack a lot flavor, the more intense the better; 2) they must be adaptable to a low carb or keto diet; and 3) they must be quick to prepare. These low carb seared scallops met all of the criteria in spades!
Delicious, Low Carb & Packed with Nutrients
The richness of large buttery scallops with a crisp sear is hard to beat. The perfect side dish is a robust creamed spinach seasoned lightly with caramelized onions, garlic, dry sherry and heavy whipping cream.
I buy my scallops from Sam’s Club and they are frozen and are quite wet when thawed. If you use dry scallops you don’t have to be so careful in patting them dry. Just know that the key to a good sear is dry scallops, high heat and not moving them around until the sear is accomplished.
The cream in the spinach does not follow a strict slow carb regimen, but it is fine on low carb or ketogenic lifestyles. Ferriss always tells you to experiment, and adding cream to otherwise slow-carb compliant ingredients is an experiment with dairy that works for many people.
My daughter did her study abroad in Spain, which gave my husband and I a great excuse for an overseas visit. My husband got hooked on creamed spinach dishes while there, so I’ve been re-creating creamed spinach in a variety of dishes. This one was my favorite!
Low Carb Seared Scallops with Creamed Spinach
- 16 large sea scallops
- 4 tsp olive oil divided
- 3 Tbsp. butter unsalted
- 1 Lg onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup dry sherry Or dry white wine
- 12 oz. spinach Frozen in bag
- 1 Tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 Tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 cup Grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp ground fennel optional: can use smoked paprika
- Drain the scallops, pat them as dry as you can with paper towels and set them aside to dry out further.
- Melt 1 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions to the skillet and saute for about 5 min. Or until light brown and caramelized. Once onions are caramelized, add the minced garlic for about 30 seconds (do not burn)
- Add wine to deglaze the skillet and cook over med-high for a minute or two to blend. Add the spinach, cream, salt and pepper and nutmeg to the skillet and cook over med-low heat for about 5 minutes or until thoroughly blended. Taste and add more seasoning if needed. Fold in the cheese and remove from heat.
- Pat the scallops dry again with paper towels, getting them as dry as you can to take a good sear. Season them with salt and pepper and ground fennel (sometimes I use smoked paprika).
- In a clean, large skillet,heat 2 Tbsp of oil over high heat until shimmering hot. Place half of the scallops in the skillet, starting with the 6:00 position and moving clockwise around the skillet. Cook them, undisturbed, until browned on the bottom (resist the temptation to pick them up and look or move them, they will come away from the pan easily once they are seared). Flip them (after about 2-3 minutes and continue to cook about 1 minute longer. Repeat with remaining scallops, adding (and heating)more oil to the skillet before searing if needed.
- Serve over the spinach and enjoy.
For another scallop dish that is uniquely delicious, check out this Scallops in Grapefruit Butter recipe.