Seared Scallops: Done Two Ways


Scallops: when cooked properly I can’t resist these tender, sweet, plump morsels. The key is to sear them with moderately high heat, just enough to lightly brown the sides, making sure not to overcook and retain tenderness. My favorite way to present the scallops are in a luxurious beurre blanc sauce with a hint of herbs, or served on a bed of sliced brussel sprouts…..


  • 1 1/4 lbs large sea scallops
  • 5 TBSL butter, divided
  • 2 TBSL finely chopped shallot
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 TBSL white-wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSL finely chopped tarragon

Pat scallops dry (can also dust in a bit of flour) and sprinkle each with a bit of salt and pepper.

Heat 1 TBSL butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sear scallops, turning once, until golden brown and just cooked through, just a few min total. Transfer to a low heat oven to keep warm.

Add shallot, wine, and vinegar to skillet and boil until liquids are reduced. Reduce heat to low and add remaining 4 TBSL butter and swirl until incorporated and sauce has a creamy consistency. Stir in tarragon and pour sauce over scallops.



  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 1/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBSL snipped chives
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 6 jumbo scallops
  • 6 thin slices pancetta
  • 1/2 lb brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 TBSL butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

In a small bowl, whisk the crème fraîche with lemon zest, lemon juice, chives and 1 TBSL EVOO. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat the remaining 2 TBSL EVOO in a skillet. Season scallops with salt and pepper before adding them to the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until just golden, about a few mins. You can now keep them in a low heat oven for warmth.
Meanwhile, in another skillet, cook pancetta over moderately high heat until browned and crisp. Add the brussels sprouts and shallot, stirring until the brussels sprouts are just softened, a couple minutes. Take off heat, then stir in butter and garlic and season; transfer to plates and top with the scallops. Serve with drizzle of lemon-chive crème fraîche.


(Adapted from recipes from and

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