Sunday, March 25, 2012

Seared Scallops with Classic Beurre Blanc Sauce and Wilted Arugula

My new routine is to shop for food on Thursdays and Mondays. That way I aways have the freshest ingredients. I do Costco and Cub on Thursday and Byerly's on Mondays, although I will be switching to Whole Foods on Mondays when the new Edina store opens in April.

Last Monday I was in Byerly's and grabbed the Spring 2012 issue of their magazine, "real food". On page 28 I found an intriguing recipe. I tried the recipe last night and I absolutely fell in love with the meal. The recipe is by Jason Ross, who is a culinary instructor at Le Cordon Bleu in Minnesota.

This recipe is a bit of work, but the end result is so well worth it. There are two critical things to the recipe. First, use fresh scallops: . Second, use a really hot pan to sear the scallops: . This recipe serves six.

Classic Beurre Blanc Sauce Ingredients
1 minced shallot
3 ounces white wine
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon cream
1 stick of butter, cut into 8 pats
Kosher salt 
Fresh ground pepper
Lemon juice

Seared Scallop Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds large scallops (approximately 16 per pound)
1 tablespoon of oil to coat pan
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon butter for pan

Wilted Arugula Ingredients
1 minced shallot
1 tomato, seeded and minced
1 head or bag of arugula (5+ ounces)
Kosher salt

  1. For the sauce, simmer shallot, wine and vinegar in a small, heavy-bottomed, steel sauce pan until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.
  2. Add cream and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Over medium heat, add butter, whisking constantly and vigorously until incorporated into reduction.
  4. Season with a little salt and paper and add a few drops of lemon juice. 
  5. Cover and store in a warm spot at the back of the stove, stirring occasionally.
  6. For the seared scallops, heat a heavy-duty pan large enough to fit all of the scallops over high heat. Add enough oil to coat the pan.
  7. Dry scallops well and season one side (only) with salt and pepper.
  8. Place scallops in pan, seasoned side down. Sear, undisturbed, for 5 minutes.
  9. Dot pan with small pieces of butter. Season scallops lightly with salt and pepper on uncooked side and flip, pushing scallops into the melted butter. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  10. Remove and keep warm on back of stove.
  11. For the wilted arugula, add shallot to browned crust on pan and stir 1 minute. Add tomato and cook for 1 minute. Add arugula and cook until wilted. Season with salt.
  12. Serve scallops on a bed of arugula with beurre blanc sauce spooned on top.

Wine pairing: An oaky Chardonnay.

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