Fried Sea Scallop with Potato Cream and Balsamic SauceI am not big on those avant gard, fancy, recipes, but this one is ridiculously easy and super elegant.  Yea me!!  Plus with the nation in a deep freeze (even here in the Florida Keys its only in the low 60s), something that was tropical and summery just sounded and felt delicious.

Sea scallops can be expensive and are one of those things that are easily overcooked and get rubbery very quickly.  But keeping a close eye on them makes this recipe pretty foolproof and is definitely something to look forward to.

The sauce is a beautiful bed to rest the scallops and is so good, that I could lick the plate.  Instead, I would suggest being more of a lady and use a lovely piece of bread.  Then, just to gild the lilly, a drizzle of balsamic reduction is insane!  Are you familiar with this stuff?  You can make it, but why when there are really good ones on your grocery shelf right beside the other vinegars!  My sister-in-law turned me on to it and I swear I could stick a straw in the bottle and use it as a juice box!  OMG, it is so amazing.

Also, if you are sensitive to eating sustainable seafood, you are in luck!  Scallops are a safe bet and are harvested with little environmental damage.  Want more info?  Check out this report from SeafoodWatch.Org.

So on to the good stuff!  I usually serve this with some sautéed spinach and crusty bread.  Let me know what you think!

Seared Sea Scallops with Lemon Cream Sauce and Balsamic Drizzle

Serves 4

Ingredients for scallops

  • 1 dozen large sea scallops
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Ingredients for the sauce

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon organic honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon minced parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

For the glaze:  balsamic glaze (I like this one)

Directions:

For the scallops:  Pat the scallops with paper towels until very dry.  Season both sides with salt and pepper and pat seasoning onto the flesh.

Preheat a large skillet on stove top over medium high heat.  Add butter to the pan and allow to melt.  Take care not to let the butter brown.  Place the scallops, one at a time, into the pan.  Do not overcrowd the scallops or you cannot get a good sear.  It is better to sear the scallops in batches if necessary.  Let scallops cook, undisturbed, until they become golden brown on one side.  If the scallop doesn’t release easily from the pan, let it cook for a few seconds more until it does.  Carefully flip and let the other side sear.   Both sides of the scallop should be seared to a rich, golden brown and the sides should look opaque all the way through.  They should feel firm to the touch, but still slightly soft, like grandma’s jello mold.  Don’t over cook or the scallops will become tough and rubbery.  Cook the remaining scallops, set aside.

For the Sauce:  In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the cream and allow it to reduce by half.

Meanwhile, in the same skillet that you cooked the scallops, add the wine, zest, honey, and mustard.  Cook, stirring often, until bubbly.  Slowly whisk in the thickened cream and parsley.  Taste and adjust seasonings for salt and pepper.

Now get ready for fabulous!  On your four serving plates, spoon three pools of the lemon sauce.  Place one cooked scallops on top of each pool.  Lightly and attractively drizzle, in a back and forth motion, over the scallops.

Next, pour yourself a glass on white wine and bask in the snaps and accolades of your dinner partners!