Home sweet home - Bay scallops over sauteed red chard

After a crazy week of multiple presentations and exams over everything I've learned in the last 2 years, it is finally, finally, FINALLY spring break. My final clinical rotation is in St. Louis, so I moved everything out of my Columbia house (by an act of God, I crammed it all in my car) and came home. 

There were crazy storms on my drive, complete with funnel cloud warnings and a bit of hail. Even though I hate driving in them, I love thunderstorms. Rain is one of the most soothing sounds in the world. Just not when I can't see out the windshield. It was good to be home. 

My entire family is in Florida, so I have the house to myself, and let me tell you - that's a beautiful thing when you're used to living with 50 girls. The first thing I did when I got home? Parked myself on the couch and watched some of my favorite cooking shows - my ideal de-stresser. Today I went on a delightful 10-mile run in the clean, post-rain air, spent some time outside with the dog, then set out on a scallop mission. 
In the backyard - tomato trellis
In the backyard
In the backyard
Seared bay scallops over sauteed red chard with sun-dried tomatoes
Serves 4

Ingredients for bay scallops:
1 pound bay scallops, patted dry
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
4 springs thyme
2 cloves garlic, halved

Ingredients for red chard:
10 large stalks red chard
5 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
2-4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Wash the red chard and dry it as much as possible. Is this not the most beautiful leafy thing you've ever seen?

Separate the leafy parts from the tough stalk and chop the leaves into bite-size-ish pieces. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes roughly. 
Get a large skillet ready - melt the 2 tablespoons butter, then add the sun-dried tomato pieces. Saute the tomatoes for a couple of minutes, letting the juices infuse into the butter. Add the chard and stir well to coat with the butter mixture. Stir constantly for several minutes until the chard is wilted - but not soggy! 
Now, it's time for the scallops! These cook very quickly, and you don't want to overcook them because they will become tough instead of juicy and tender like we want. So be careful and watch them closely! Season the scallops (patted dry) with salt and pepper. Heat 1/2 tabespoon vegetable oil in a skillet until hot, then place half of the scallops in the hot pan. Cook for about 1 minute on the first side until a nice golden sear forms, then flip them. As soon as you flip them, drop in 1/2 tablespoon butter, 2 thyme sprigs, and 1 clove garlic. The butter will melt quickly and sizzle - spoon it over the scallops continuously as they cook for about 1 minute on the second side. Throw out the garlic and thyme when the scallops are done cooking. Repeat with the other half pound of scallops.
Serve the scallops on a bed of the sauteed chard and eat immediately. 

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