This dinner came together really fast with minimal effort, little mess, and it tasted incredible. Besides planning ahead with the squash, the whole dish is a twenty minute affair. The scallops are cooked following a Mark Bittman recipe, from his book 'Kitchen Express,' which is a great source for quick meals without overly-detailed recipes. Bittman is my go-to guy in the kitchen and his 'How to Cook Everything' and 'How to Cook Everything Vegetarian' are my main reference books for all things culinary. I don't find myself using books as much as I used to but I turn to Bittman just to see how he would do something I already know how to, and I always pick up a tip or new idea. Bittman is my homeboy. Click through for the recipes.
Seared Scallops with Almond Sauce (from Bittman's 'Kitchen Express')
Baked Buttercup Squash
Savory Swiss Chard
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half (buttercups are excellent and I recommend you try them out but any winter squash will do), drizzle oil on the bottom of a baking dish and put in the squash cut side down, rubbing it around a bit to coat the cut edge. Bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on size. Squash is done when a fork easily pierces the thick part. When done, carefully remove and place cut side up on a plate. Drop a pat of butter and a bit of brown sugar into the cavity.
Prepare the scallops by pulling off the foot (if still attached) and patting dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cut or tear the washed greens into bite-size pieces.
When the squash is almost done, heat some butter, medium-high heat, in a skillet until it stops bubbling. Lay in the scallops and cook about 2 minutes a side. Remove from pan to plate.
Drop in a handful of almonds, and cook, stirring constantly, until browned, about a minute or less.
Pour in a glass of white wine (I used hard cider instead, of course) and reduce to a syrup consistency. Add a knob of cold butter and stir to create a thick sauce. Pour over scallops.
Quickly drop the greens into the pan. Sprinkle with a bit more cider, and a little salt. Cook until just wilted, a minute or so.
Sprinkle scallops with a bit of chopped parsley and enjoy.