Steal This Recipe® Seared Scallops, Risotto Cake & Spinach | McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant

September 20, 2012

This great seafood recipe comes from the expert Executive Chef Rex Hale of McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant in Des Peres, MO

This great seafood recipe comes from the expert Executive Chef Rex Hale of McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant in Des Peres which offers traditional dining in an unpretentious atmosphere. Lunch and dinner menus change daily at the restaurant and offer an extensive selection of fresh fish and shellfish, flown in each day from the U.S. and international waters.

McCormick & Schmick's nationwide chain of restaurants is famous for their $1.95 bar menu, which accompanies hand-shaken cocktails, fresh-squeezed juices and an extensive list of premium wines and beers - including a wide variety of Missouri wines.
The restaurant is located ten miles from St Louis, conveniently within minutes of the Des Peres 14 Cinemas, the Museum of Transportation and the Magic House; St. Louis Children's Museum.

Chef Hale strives to cultivate relationships with local growers and purveyors; he says “What I always do is tailor my menu to take advantage of local ingredients. I use the best product I can get my hands on, treat it simply and create dishes that guests will appreciate.” Chef Hale is impressed by the quality of fresh produce, local products and wine “…right here in Missouri.”

About the chef: if you trace Executive Chef Rex Hale’s interest in cooking all the way back to its roots, you’ll begin in the bustling kitchen of a Missouri farmhouse, where his grandmother spent summers cooking for up to 30 people.

Chef Hale loves his profession; it has taken him around the world and fueled his passion for cooking. He was executive chef at Brennan’s in Houston, The American Restaurants in Kansas City, Baby Routh in Dallas, The Cascades Hotel in South Africa, Jumby Bay Island Resort in the Antigua, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa and Little Dix Bay Resort in the British Virgin Islands. His talents in the kitchen brought him early recognition in such publications as Food & Wine Magazine. 

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant
17 West County Center
Des Peres, MO 63131
314 835 1300

Pan Seared Scallops with Risotto Cake is served at McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant for $24.
This recipe makes 4 restaurant servings.

Tomato Risotto Ingredients:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup Arborio rice 
½ teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest
1 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup white wine
2 cups fish, chicken or vegetable stock
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons additional parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chiffonade fresh basil
2 tablespoon finely diced tomatoes

Pesto Sauce Ingredients:
1 ½ ounces fresh basil leaves
½ ounce chopped fresh parsley
2 ounces grated parmesan cheese
½ ounce roasted garlic
6 ounces extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Dish Ingredients:
16 U-10 Dry pack sea scallops
1 pound leaf spinach
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
Crispy fried leeks or pea sprouts, or radish sprouts for garnish.

Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions for the Tomato Risotto:
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook the onion for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Add the garlic, rice, tomato paste and lemon zest and cook for 1 minute, stirring to coat the rice with oil. Add the wine, stock, salt and pepper, bring the mixture to a boil then cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. 
Simmer gently for 16 minutes without lifting the lid. 
Remove the lid and quickly stir and cooking for a further 5 minutes. 
Stir the lemon juice, cheese and reserved tablespoon of olive oil through the rice. 
Spread Risotto on a cookie sheet and allow it to cool. 
Stir in heavy cream additional parmesan cheese, chiffonade basil and finely diced tomatoes. 
Form into four equal sized risotto cakes.

Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions for the Pesto Sauce:

Place all dry ingredients in a food processor or blender add oil and puree until smooth. 
Place the pesto into a squeeze bottle to serve.

Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions for the Dish:

Season the scallops and sear over high heat in a large skillet until nicely browned approximately 3 minutes per side. 
Meanwhile griddle risotto cake in a nonstick skillet until heated through - approximately 2 minutes per side. 
Place the risotto cakes on four large dinner plates in the center. 
Add the spinach into the nonstick skillet along with 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil, season to taste and wilt spinach. 
Place spinach on top of risotto cake and around them place four seared scallops per plate. 
Drizzle the plate with pesto oil and top the spinach with crispy fried leeks, or sprouts and serve.