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Guest Post with Chef Joan Donatelle to celebrate Apple and Seafood Month

Apples, the ubiquitous fruit

So common that it is easy to take apples for granted. Ever present in fruit bowls and brown bag lunches. I love apples and I became caught up in a game of how many unexpected ways can I use apples in a recipe. Sure we all love apple crisp and apple pie. The French, Germans, and Italians have all used apples as a component of main courses. I asked myself, why not just push the apple limit a bit more? That is what I did and the result was my book, Astonishing Apples. Ninety-nine recipes that aren’t all sweet. The weather is changing and we are looking for all of our tried and true comfort foods. Just hold on a moment though. October is National Apple Month and National Seafood Month!

How about Scallops served with an Apple Pancetta Chutney?

I know it’s not old-fashioned comfort food but I promise you, the soups, chilis, and stews will still be here another day. If you need more justification for this delicious splurge, both the apples and scallops are nutrient-dense. Apples truly are the Superfood among us. High in fiber, vitamin c, B-Complex, Phytonutrients, mineral, calcium, potassium, polyphenols, flavonoids, and the antioxidant, Quercetin. Super cool, right? As for the scallops, Vitamin B-12, Zinc, Omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium. Basically, what all this means is that both are good for heart health and good for brain health. I can’t help myself but also just mention that this recipe is delicious. Round out your menu with multigrain rolls, a nice mixed green salad, and an apple tart for dessert.

Wine pairing suggestion: Prosecco

Seared Scallops with Apple Pancetta Chutney

Joan and David Donatelle, Savory Pursuits, Facebook @savorypursuits Instagram: @savory_pursuits

Amount: 4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 cup sweet onion, fine diced

4 ounces pancetta,* diced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves, stripped from stem

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1/4 cup fresh apple cider

2 medium apples, cored and diced

12 Alaskan scallops** , patted dry with a paper towel

2 tablespoons butter

Heat a 12-inch fry pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan.

Stir in the onion, pancetta, thyme salt, and pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent and the pancetta is crisp for about 6 minutes. Add the apple cider and apples. Simmer until the apples are soft and the liquid is reduced for about 15 minutes. Transfer to a small saucepan and keep warm on low heat.

Wipe out the frypan and return to the stovetop. Heat over high heat. Add the remaining olive oil. When the oil is just beginning to shimmer, add the scallops. Do not crowd the pan and once they are in the pan, don’t move the scallops until the bottom is golden brown. This will take about 3 minutes. Flip the scallops and add the butter. Spoon the melted butter on the top of the scallops. Cook for another 3 minutes. Divide the chutney onto 4 plates and arrange scallops on top.

*Note: Red Table Meat Company, Minneapolis

**Note: Alaskan scallops are responsibly harvested

Printed with permission from Astonishing Apples author, Joan Donatelle

"There are many wonderful varieties of Minnesota Apples available at the moment in stores and at the U of M Apple House" - Joan


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