Thursday, January 23, 2014

Scallops with Herb Butter Sauce

Speaking of dinner guests,  another favourite and my most common one is D. I love trying out new  on him. He keeps coming back and trusts me when things get a bit chaotic in the kitchen.  For instance, when I made the spicy honey chicken, there was a lot of smoke-  and he calmly asked "Umm, el? everything ok in there.. something smells like it's burning..?".  That was a bit of an understatement.  Despite my claiming it was normal and part of the recipe, he opened the windows, the door, and made sure the fire alarm didn't go off.  Fewf. Cooking in my little kitchen is always an adventure.

Lately I have been trying out appetizers. That way when I make the same main course a few times (in this case- salmon tacos) there is still something different to try. I try to have a theme, and in this case the theme was just sea food.  Now I don't like scallops, but D does and I decided to try out a variation of a recipe I saw on Fine Cooking. I think it turned out pretty well- although the scallops still didn't brown as nicely as the ones I saw the 10 year old kids making on Master Chef Junior. What can I say, those kids were damn good. The key is to really dry the scallops well before frying them so they get nice and brown.

For the scallops:
- large sea scallops ( I didn't buy many, maybe 5? I got the last ones left at the store) You could definitely cook more for the same amount of sauce
1 Tbs. unsalted butter      
- 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil      
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper      

For the sauce:
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into six  pieces
- finely diced shallot (1 medium shallot)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine - I actually had some in the fridge-woo 
- 1/4 cup finely chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley and chives
- 1/4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 to 3 lemon wedges for serving


 -Rinse scallops  under cold water. Pat them dry with paper towels; surface moisture impedes browning.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the oil and butter, and heat until quite hot. Pat the scallops dry once more and put them in the pan in a single, un crowded layer. Season with salt and pepper and let sear undisturbed until one side is browned and crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, turn the scallops and sear until the second side is well browned and the scallops are almost firm to the touch, 2 to 4 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, transfer the scallops to a plate, and set them in a warm spot. Let the pan cool for a minute before you make the sauce.
- Return the pan to medium heat. Add a piece of the butter  and the shallots and sauté until the shallots begin to soften, about 1 minute. Add the vermouth or wine and simmer until reduced by about half, another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the herbs and lemon zest. Reduce the heat to low, add the remaining butter, and whisk constantly until the butter melts into the sauce. Return the scallops and any accumulated juices to the pan. Gently roll the scallops in the sauce to warm them through. Taste for salt and pepper and serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side to squeeze over the scallops

This could also be served as a main course if you make more of them.

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