This is a relatively simple meal that I've always had guests find impressive. Hence, it makes a great meal to whip up for date night. Unless of course you're dating someone who doesn't eat seafood. You'll do better to make a good steak then. :)
This recipe serves two
Pan Seared Scallops with Asparagus Tips in White Wine Sauce
6-8 large sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry (nothing ruins a meal like sand in your teeth)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup seafood stock
1 cup asparagus tips
2 tbsp rice flour
1/2 tsp thyme
6 oz penne pasta
Salt and pepper
1. Prepare pasta per package instructions, toss in olive oil, set aside
2. Put butter and olive oil in pan over medium heat.
3. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper and put in hot pan to sear, 3-4 minutes per side, until a nice caramel color.
4. Remove scallops from pan and put on a plate, covered with foil to retain heat.
5. Add white wine to pan and deglaze. Then add seafood stock and turn heat up to medium high
6. Stir 1 tbsp of rice flour into sauce, and add asparagus tips and thyme. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
7. Stir in rest of rice flour and cook until sauce reaches a creamy consistency and asparagus are cooked as desired (I prefer them slightly firm).
8. Put pasta on plate, followed by sauce, then scallops on top. Normally you might want the sauce over everything, but scallops have such a wonderful sweet taste alone, it would be a shame to cover them up.
Note: If you don't have rice flour (I didn't), and would rather not buy a whole bag for a single recipe, you have two easy options. One is to use regular flour, but the flavor won't be the same. The second is to make your own. I ground the rice in my coffee grinder, 2/3 brown rice and 1/3 white. The leftover is in the freezer to use another time.