Thursday, March 15, 2012

Making Oven-Roasted Shrimp or Scallops

This may be the quickest way to cook these favorites. The oil is slowly infused with the herbs, then a simple dressinglike sauce is made after the shrimp or scallops have cooked. Makes 4 servings

Here's how:
1. Place 1⁄4 cup olive oil in a 13 × 9-inch baking dish or a 10-inch square baking dish.

2. Add one or two of the following to the baking dish:
  • 12 thyme sprigs 
  • 8 parsley sprigs
  • 8 dried red Asian chiles
  • 6 oregano sprigs
  • 6 dill fronds
  • Four 4-inch rosemary sprigs
  • 4 garlic cloves, slivered
  • A handful of chives

3. Position the rack in the center of the oven and place the baking dish on the rack. Now set the oven to 450°F and let it preheat for 15 minutes with the dish in the oven so the aromatics slowly infuse the oil.

4. Remembering that the dish is very hot, stir in one of the following:
  • 1 1⁄2 pounds medium shrimp (about 35 per pound), peeled and deveined 
  • 1 1⁄2 pounds cleaned sea scallops, each cut into 2 disks
  • 1 1⁄2 pounds cleaned bay scallops

5. Cook until the shrimp are pink and firm or the scallops are opaque, about 4 minutes for bay scallops, 5 minutes for the halved sea scallops, and 7 minutes for shrimp, tossing a couple of times.

6. Remove the hot baking dish from the oven and stir in:
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse-grained sea salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Also stir in one of the following:
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1⁄4 cup orange juice
  • 1⁄4 cup dry white wine

7. Toss well, scraping up any browned bits and allowing the liquid to evaporate a little from the pan’s heat; then serve at once.

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