This light, graceful dish was a part of our recent shrimp-based “Hand-To-Mouth” meal for FoodBuzz’s “24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs” project. It makes an impressive appetizer, tapas dish, or pasta course alternative.
Dried wild mushrooms make for an unusual (and unusually beautiful) crust, and have an intensely rich flavor and an earthy sweetness that perfectly complements the sweet, briny seafood.
Spaghetti squash, as its name suggests, shreds into appealingly golden spaghetti-like strands when cooked. It has a delicate flavor that’s perfectly suited to light, simple sauces. Here, I use one my new favorite ’secret’ ingredients, Porcini mushroom-infused olive oil.
Porcini oil seems almost too subtle in the bottle, but its aroma flourishes when it encounters the warmth of the squash, and it absolutely sings alongside the complex, nutty flavor of the Grana Padano. If you can’t locate Porcini oil, white truffle oil is also an excellent way to dress this elegant pasta alternative.
Here’s a photo of the Seared, Wild Mushroom Dusted Shrimp & Scallops With Spaghetti Squash, Porcini Oil, & Grana Podano Shavings below.
To make four appetizer/small plate servings:
1/4 cup dried mushrooms, broken into pieces (see Cook’s Notes)
2 cups cooked & thoroughly drained spaghetti squash strands (See Cook’s Notes)
Porcini oil (or white truffle oil)
Grana Padano cheese (or Parmigiano Reggiano)
4 large scallops
8 uncooked jumbo shrimp, peeled & deveined (you can see how to easily peel and devein shrimp here)
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Fresh chives and fresh sage or tarragon leaves for decoration (optional)
Using a spice grinder or other small mill, process the dried mushrooms in batches until nearly powdered but still slightly coarse (about the same texture as medium-grind black pepper.) Pour into a flat plate and set aside.
Reheat the spaghetti squash if necessary and dress the strands with about a tablespoon and a half of Porcini oil and about a tablespoon of finely grated Grana Padano. Mix thoroughly and keep warm.
Slice each scallop into two medallions. Dredge the shrimp and scallop medallions in the mushroom powder. Melt the butter in a small skillet or saute pan over medium high heat until just starting to color. Add the olive oil and lay the shrimp in the pan. Cook the shrimp for a minute or so on each side until crusted and just fully opaque. Remove the shrimp and let the pan reheat briefly. Repeat with the scallops, cooking only about 30 seconds a side. Sprinkle the shrimp and scallops with a little sea salt.
To Plate: Take one-fourth of the spaghetti squash strands and twirl them into a cylinder using a fork or chopsticks. Flatten the top slightly and place one scallop medallion on top, followed by a shrimp, another scallop, and another shrimp. Shave some Grana Padano (see Cook’s Notes) over the top and onto the plate. Decorate the plate with drops of Porcini oil, fresh chives, and/or fresh sage or tarragon leaves. Lightly fried sage leaves and/or fried capers would also be a nice accompaniment.
You can use a mix of any of the following dried mushrooms: Morel, Chanterelle, Porcini (AKA Cepes), Oyster, Shiitake, Black Trumpet, Matsutake, or Cremini.
You’ll need about half of a medium sized spaghetti squash for this recipe. Look for a squash that’s heavy, firm, basically smooth, and pale- to lemon-yellow in color.
If you don’t own a cheese shaver, you can do a very nice job with a vegetable peeler and a light touch. Try to get them as thin as possible. And don’t worry if the shavings break or are uneven – rough is good!
You can also see our list of delicious seafood recipes, organized by type of fish to make it easier for you to find culinary inspiration and ideas.
Please join us tomorrow for our recipe for Shrimp, Snow Pea, & Rose Quartz Radish Salad With Blueberry-Tarragon Butter, as part of our special Holiday Shrimp Week Series.
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