Simple Butter Scallops

Butter chicken (also known as chicken makhani) is one of my favorite take-out dishes.  It’s a rich, spicy, tomato-cream sauce that is laced with pieces of chicken breast.  Most recipes are fairly complex and require a large range of spices.  My goal, as an inherently lazy cook, was to make something that was quick to put together and required fewer spices.  I’m pretty happy with my quick, decidedly inauthentic version of the dish.  Scallops cook really quickly and they are wonderful bathed in this sauce, but you can use chicken or shrimp with excellent results.

Simple Butter Scallops

Doesn’t that look great?  I used some smaller, dry-pack sea scallops and I have made this three times in the past month.  Incredibly fast and delicious.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Simple Butter Scallops
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • ½ cup minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons fresh garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger paste
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons garam masala
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • 8 ounces creme fraiche (or heavy cream)
  • fresh cilantro, to garnish
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet or wok pan, heat the ghee over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until it just starts to soften. Add in the garlic paste, ginger paste, tomato paste, salt, garam masala, cayenne, cumin, and cinnamon, and cook for another 3-5 minutes. It will be very thick, but the cooking at this stage will bring out the flavors of the spices.
  2. Add in the scallops and the creme fraiche, and cook until the scallops are just cooked through. This will take about 5 minutes. Garnish with the fresh cilantro and serve.

Simple Butter Scallops

I use creme fraiche because I typically only consume cultured dairy (and I like to make my own), but heavy cream works well as a substitute.  You could make this dairy free by using coconut oil instead of the ghee, and using a cup of full-fat coconut milk in place of the creme fraiche.

All of the spices are to taste, so you can make this as mild or spicy as you like.

Simple Butter Scallops

After a month of not-very-clean eating, I am planning on a month of soups and salads to get back on track.   Time to cleanse the body of the holidays!

Thanks for reading,

-Angela

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6 Responses to Simple Butter Scallops

  1. Bonnie Banters January 4, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    Fabulous way to start the New Year…looks and sounds so flavorful! Happy New Year Angela!

    • Angela January 4, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

      Happy New Year, Bonnie!

  2. Eric B. January 4, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    We are going to have to try this one! In fact, we might have to do this with chicken tonight! We have everything except the ginger paste. Do you suppose some powdered ginger would substitute?

    • Angela January 4, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

      You could do that for sure, just decrease it by at least half, as the powdered stuff is a lot stronger.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 37 Super Easy Paleo Recipes (Even a Caveman Can Make) - February 23, 2014

    […] 1. Simple Butter Scallops If you like butter chicken you can get the same sort of taste, only using scallops in this simple butter scallops recipe. Don’t let the long ingredients list scare you off, those are mostly spices that you simply measure out and add in. It all takes place in one pan, so you just combine everything as instructed in the two-step tutorial and in 25 minutes from start to finish you end up with a dish that will be worthy enough to serve to guests, or just as a treat to yourself. And of course everything checks out as Paleo-approved. […]

  2. 27 Low Carb Recipes (Paleo, Grain-Free & Gluten-Free) - May 11, 2014

    […] 15. Simple Butter Scallops An interesting thing happens when you use ingredients that individually don’t have many carbs, the end result doesn’t have many either. This butter scallops recipe shows you how to make a scrumptious scallops dish without breaking the bank on your daily carbohydrate allotment. Use coconut cream for the creme fraiche and you’ll keep this entirely Paleo. The trick is all of the seasonings being used, they provide plenty of flavor without showing up on the carb radar. […]

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