Pumpkin Spiced Alaskan Scallops with Butternut Squash Orzo
A few months ago, the amazing people at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute reached out to me after Christine and I talked with Maureen during our Salmon Google Hangout. They wanted me to give Alaskan salmon a try as well as some of the other seafood species native to Alaska. This was a perfect offer for me to accept since we love seafood in our home. I had my box of seafood delivered to my office, and I must say it was quite comical. The mail room was confused and my coworkers weren’t too happy that my big box took up 1/3 of our community refrigerator. I called my husband, Jon, and told him that we were having a fancy-pants dinner that night. If you follow me on instagram you might have saw a random wednesday night indulgence of Alaskan King Crab legs among other sides.
After our feast I started dreaming up recipe ideas. And well… then we went on vacation, and now its November, and I finally got to dig into the delicious Alaskan seafood! I wanted to make butternut squash risotto the other week; however, thats when I realized I didn’t have any arborio rice! So I went to the next best thing… orzo pasta. Not the same, but worked. I was still trying to figure out what to pair with this pasta when it dawned on me that I had plump and juicy Alaskan scallops hanging out in my freezer. That’s when I got this really crazy idea. Why not sprinkle some pumpkin pie spice on them!??! Crazy thought turned AMAZING. The flavors complimented one another so well. I can’t wait to make this recipe again!
Katie Original Recipe
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups orzo
- 32oz box of chicken broth
- 1 cup butternut squash roasted
- 1lb Alaskan Scallops
- 1/4 tsp each; dried thyme, dill, garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp olive oil
- lemon juice
- In a large pot pour one tablespoon olive oil and heat at medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add orzo pasta, toasting for one minute (and constantly stirring). Then pour in one 32 ounce box of chicken broth. Place a lid on the orzo, bring to a boil then reduce down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add in the roasted butternut squash and cook for up to 5 more minutes or until most liquid is absorbed, pasta is cooked, and butternut squash is warm.
- During the last 10 minutes of the orzo cooking begin preparing the scallops. Rinse scallops, then pat dry.
- In a small bowl mix together all the spices; dried thyme, dill, garlic powder, and pumpkin spice. Sprinkle salt on top of the scallops followed by sprinkling the dry spice mix (on one side--you will have spice mix leftover).
- In a frying pan add butter and olive oil and heat on medium-high heat. Add seasoned-side of scallops face down on the pan. Then sprinkle with additional salt and remaining herb mix. Cook for 5 minutes then flip the scallops. They should have a nice caramelized color on the bottom. If not kick up the heat to high. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until internal temperature is 165 and both sides of the scallops are caramelized. Serve on top of a bed of butternut squash orzo.
This recipe requires pre-roasted butternut squash. Roast a big batch and use it throughout the week! To roast: peel and cut butternut squash, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast at 450 for 20 minutes or until soft.
Disclaimer: I received seafood from Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute for free; however, I was not compensated to write this post. All opinions are my own.