Seared Scallops & Cranberry Beans

My weekend isn't typically filled with long hours in the kitchen. Often, I'll find a quick cooking protein (sea scallops) and pair it with something that needs little attention (beans). This meal starts with soaking dried beans over night, and then slow cooking them on the stove in water, veg & dried herbs. If you're short on time, skip the dried beans & used canned beans - just don't forget to rinse & drain the, before adding them to your pot to warm through. I prefer the dried beans because I don't have to mess around with the whole BPA in the lining of the cans, or the solution they're processed in. We all have our "causes" and since we're a bean-loving family I think it's important to minimize the risks. A few months back i wrote about how easy it is to cook dried beans and store them in the freezer for later use. And - for the especially $$$ dollar conscious $$$ dried beans are MUCH cheaper! Anyway - off of my soap-box & into the kitchen:

Ingredients: - 10-20 sea scallops, thawed, patted dry - 2 cups of dried cranberry beans - 3 cloves of garlic, smashed - 1 whole tomato, steamed & peeled but intact - 1 potato, scrubbed & halved - 2 tbsp olive oil - 1 tbsp butter - bay leaf - dried rosemary - fresh chives, chopped for garnish - 5-6 cups of water

Method: - soak the beans in water over night - thaw & pat scallops dry, keep them covered & in the fridge until it's time to cook them - in a soup pot add beans, water, bay, rosemary, potato, tomato & garlic - bring just to a boil & simmer for 45-60 mins - remove potato, tomato & garlic fom the pot when he potato is soft - remove the potato skin and stir them all together, add olive oil & salt - carefully drain the water from the pot when the beans are just cooked through (not exploding) - stir the potato mixture into the beans, season & allow to mellow while you turn your attention to the scallops - in a cast-iron skillit or large stainless steel pan, melt the butter and a little olive oil - season one side of the scallops with salt & pepper - when the pan is hot (and the butter melts into the oil) sear the scallops salt-side down for 3-4 mins - flip the scallops and cook for another 2-3 mins and get them out of the pan! - plate the beans, scallops & garnish with chives

Fish & shellfish are great for quickie meals. Shellfish (in particular) are great for introducing young eaters to the proteins of the sea. I think the next fish meal on the horizon involves some wild mahi mahi and either curry or tomatillos.