Parchment Baked Scallops and Asparagus

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Scallops are a great addition to any diet – they are low in fat and high in both omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12.

This recipe is very simple yet with its impressive presentation, your guests will never know just how easy it was to prepare.  The serving size could be easily manipulated to work as a first course.

Feel free to substitute sea scallops for bay scallops, as I did this time. The main differences between the two are the size and where they are harvested.

(10 votes, average: 4.10 out of 5)
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Parchment Baked Scallops and Asparagus

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds asparagus spears
  • ½ tsp grated orange zest
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 pounds bay scallops

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut or snap off the tough ends from the asparagus spears and discard.
  3. Cut the spears into 1 ½-inch lengths.
  4. Bring a large saucepan three-fourths full of salted water to a boil.
  5. Add the asparagus and boil until bright green, about 1 minute.
  6. Drain well and set aside.
  7. In a small bowl using a fork, mash together the orange zest, orange juice, butter, salt and pepper.
  8. Cut out 6 hearts from parchment paper, each one 12-inches high and 12-inches wide at widest point.
  9. Spread the parchment hearts in a single layer on a work surface.
  10. Divide the scallops and the asparagus among them, placing them on the right half of the heart.
  11. Season with salt and pepper and dot with the orange butter.
  12. Fold the left half of the heart over the filling and beginning at one end, fold and crease the edges together securely so no juices will escape.
  13. Place in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
  14. Bake until the packets have puffed considerably, 7 to 10 minutes.
  15. One minute before removing from oven, make a small cut with a scissors in the fold of packet – this will allow the parchment paper to remain inflated after you remove it from the oven.
  16. Remove from the oven and place on to warmed individual plates.
  17. Cut open the top of each packet with a scissors and serve immediately.

Yield: 6

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