Intentionally Easy Dinner


Sea Scallops with Brussels Sprouts and Mustard Sauce—Outstanding and easy to make—just the ticket for our Christmas Day dinner! We cooked up a storm on Christmas Eve, and wanted to make Christmas Day a low-key event. So our morning with the three kids started with the (recently blogged about) Creme Brulée French Toast, made the day before and just heated in the oven, a store-bought vegetable quiche, and thick cut bacon.

The kids left shortly after noon to stay with their mom for a few days, so Russ and I went to the movies mid-afternoon. Knowing we wouldn’t have a lot of time to prep an evening meal afterward, we planned ahead with a couple of crab cakes and some seafood gumbo both from McCaffrey’s supermarket.

The main entreé was Sea Scallops with Brussels Sprouts and Mustard Sauce. Brussels sprouts have a slightly crunchy texture and a subtly sweet flavor that complements scallops. Thinly sliced, they cook in just a couple of minutes—a perfect accompaniment for this intentionally easy dinner. (Because Russ is omitting wheat, he dusted the scallops in a gluten-free flour.) The only thing left to do was uncork a bottle of wine and get the skillet simmering hot for the scallops.

Add the shredded Brussels sprouts to a shimmering hot skillet.

Transfer the cooked sprouts to a platter and cover to keep warm.


  • 10 oz. trimmed Brussels sprouts
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. dry-packed sea scallops, side muscle removed and patted dry
  • All-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. coarse-grained Dijon mustard

The scallops get browned on both sides in just minutes.

Arrange the seared scallops on the platter of cooked sprouts.

Using the same skillet, whisk the mustard sauce ingredients together.

Spoon the sauce over the scallops and sprouts and serve immediately.


  1. In a food processor fitted with the 2-mm slicing blade, shred the Brussels sprouts.
  2. Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the Brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat with the oil. Cover and cook until starting to soften, about 1-1/2 minutes. Transfer to a platter and keep warm.
  3. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Dust both flat sides with all-purpose flour. Heat the remaining 1 Tbs. oil in the skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the scallops and cook, flipping once, until browned and just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Put the scallops on top of the Brussels sprouts and return the skillet to medium-low heat. Add the butter, lemon juice, mustard, and 2 Tbs. water and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until the butter is incorporated and the sauce has thickened, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper, spoon over the scallops, and serve.

by Kristine Kidd from Fine Cooking

The store-bought Seafood gumbo from McCaffrey’s Supermarket, which included large chunks of crab!

The meal included store-bought crab cakes and a prepared rice dish.

You bet we’re making this again!

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