Saturday, March 5, 2011

Scallops Wrapped in Kataifi

Well, here we are, the last day of Greek week! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did (it seems like we just got started and it's already over...sniff, sniff). Oh well, moving on.

Making this was very exciting for me because I've always wanted to try kataifi (pronounced kah-tah-EE-fee according to What is kataifi? Just shredded filo dough (that resembles a bird's nest when baked). In fact, I've seen people cook little nests of it in muffin tins and then fill them with goodies (a great presentation for candy easter eggs). It's easy to work with (and fun)! 

I thought this dish was scrumptious. The sweet scallops were great with the crunchy kataifi, fresh herbs, buttery/wine sauce and the reduced balsamic. Definitely a nice special occasion recipe for scallop lovers.

Makes 6 appetizers (1 per person)

1 cup balsamic vinegar
6 extra large sea scallops
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 lb. kataifi (shredded filo dough)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 plum tomato, diced
1/4 cup diced scallions
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

butter sauce:
1 medium shallot, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 cup white wine
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small bits and chilled

1.      In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer the vinegar until syrupy, about 20-30 minutes (don’t over reduce, it will thicken as it cools).
2.      Preheat oven to 450° F. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Wrap each scallop in some of the kataifi filo. Arrange the scallops on a baking sheet and drizzle with the melted butter.
3.      Make the butter sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the shallot, thyme, and wine. Simmer until completely reduced and there is no liquid remaining. Over low heat and whisking constantly, add the butter, a few pieces at a time. Allow the butter to become creamy before adding the next few pieces. Do not boil or the butter will melt and the sauce will become oily. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm.
4.      Bake the scallops until just done, about 15 minutes.
5.      To serve, cut each wrapped scallop in half and place in the center of the plate. Spoon the butter sauce over the scallops. Drizzle with some of the reduced balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle the tomatoes, scallions and dill around the scallop.

adapted from Gregory Zapantis

(you can't really go wrong because it's kind of a mess anyway)
before baking
after baking
cut in half, up close

Opa! I looked up the meaning of opa online and according to, opa is a word that Greek people use with no meaning at all. So I'm using it now to say "thanks for tuning in to Greek week!" Earlier I used it to say "you've got some kataifi in your teeth!"



Judie Cleland said...

Oh Susan, you've outdone yourself, again! These look yummy. How could you eat just one! When reading I was first thinking that you had made the kataifi (shredded it...), glad to see you "buy" it already prepared. This might be our Saturday night din-din.

Susan said...

Actually, Chuck isn't a big scallop lover, so he only had one or two and I got to eat the rest for my dinner (I made six).

Randi said...

I don't like like scallops, either, but that is some pretty.

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