The good news is, for anyone craving a quick and light supper, this dish will work year-round. Plus, the zucchini noodles are a classic way to substitute vegetables for pasta. Touched with garlic and lemon zest, they were yummy!
HOW LIGHT? WOW! Turns out, too, this quick meal should be a standby for anyone who counts Weight Watchers points and anyone who avoids carbs. Combined, the scallops and zucchini add up to only 2 points. A two-point MEAL is rare. (Technically, separately, the scallops have 1 point, the zucchini 0 points, so if you like, count it as a one-point meal.) For carb counters, the combined meal has only 6 grams of net carbs. Wow. WOW. WOOOOW.
It also turns out that this meal also makes good use of several favorite kitchen tools.
STOVETOP SMOKER I'm still experimenting but love the speed and no-fat cooking on my Camerons stovetop smoker. So far, I keep coming back to smoked scallops, shrimp and trout which are so good, so useful, that I'd purchase the smoker again, just to make these. As it turns out, the smoker pan is also heavy and large enough to serve as a meat roaster so it serves double duty, a good thing, since it is big and clumsy. It does fit inside the oven so 'lives' there but needs to be removed whenever anything else goes in. Here's my (so-far tiny) collection of recipes for a stovetop smoker. Tonight we're smoking thick Berkshire chops!
MEAT THERMOMETER To my mind, an essential companion to a smoker (and to anyone who cooks meat) is a meat thermometer, preferably one with a probe attached to a wire connected to a unit that sits outside the smoker (or the oven or the grill or ...) so you can monitor the meat's progress, also set an alarm to go off when the internal temperature is getting close to your target.
VEGETABLE SLICER For slicing the zucchini noodles, I might have used my favorite Benriner but instead turned to a brand-new vegetable peeler, the one from Kuhn Rikon that needs no warning label and costs $4 - 6. It was perfect for slicing the soft zucchini into just the right thickness. I am worried about the blade rusting -- and note that Amazon says it's not 'dishwasher safe', something the product itself does not say.
If you don't have either of these, I recommend slicing them as thin as you can, but cross-wise, so you'll end up not with ribbons but circles but they'll be thinner, I think, than slicing length-wise with a knife.
MAKE IT A MEAL A low-calorie meal frees up calories for dessert! For fall, I'd recommend this delicious Indian pudding, made with apple cider. Or to keep it light, turn to my Light 'n' Easy Chocolate Pudding.
SMOKED SCALLOPS with ZUCCHINI RIBBONS
Time to table: 30 minutes
Serves 4 (but easy to adjust for 1 or 2)
1 pound fresh scallops
Good salt & pepper
Place about a tablespoon of Cameron wood chips in the bottom of the smoker. Season the scallops. Insert a temperature probe through the sides of three or four scallops (the probe needs a couple of inches of coverage to work properly). Turn heat to medium, cook scallops to an internal temperature 120F or 125F (I prefer them slightly more cooked but chefs, apparently, take them to only 120F).
1 pound zucchini, washed VERY well, sliced very thin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, smashed
Salt & pepper to taste
Zest of a lemon
(It takes awhile to slice the zucchini so I recommend nearly finishing this step before starting the oil.) In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on MEDIUM til shimmery. Add the garlic clove and cook for 1 - 2 minutes til golden and aromatic, then discard. Add the zucchini, in small batches if necessary, and stir well to coat with fat. Cook til soft, turning often, and fully cooked. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to plates. Top with lemon zest.
If making both the scallops and the zucchini, set up the scallops in the smoker first, but don't turn on the heat until about halfway through slicing the zucchini.
The zucchini is easier to slice, and there's less waste, when the stem is left on during slicing.
Next time, I'll try an entirely non-fat zucchini, cooking the thin ribbons only in seasoned broth. I'll also wash the zucchini more carefully, somehow some grittiness showed up in this batch.
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Eat more vegetables! A Veggie Venture is the home of Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and is the award-winning source of free vegetable recipes, quick, easy, and yes, delicious. Start with the Alphabet of Vegetables or dive into all the Weight Watchers vegetable recipes or all the low carb vegetable recipes. © Copyright 2007