Seared Scallops With Hot Sauce Beurre Blanc
YIELD 4 servings
TIME 30 MINUTES
This is one of Michelle's all time favorites and a regular birthday dinner request. Make sure you have plenty of warm crusty sourdough on hand to soak up all the sauce! Great with some steamed asparagus on the side.
From NYT Cooking - "This dish mixes a lot of things I love, including butter and the taste of New Orleans's Crystal hot sauce. The scallops need to be dry, a term that refers to how they are processed. It's best to sear with a very hot, heavy nonstick pan, though you can sear a scallop in stainless or cast iron. Patience and a smoking hot pan are key. Really get a good sear on the scallop before you flip it. The salsa provides a way to use the feathery tops of a fennel bulb, but tarragon or other herbs can be substituted."
FOR THE SALSA:
1 large shallot, finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped fennel fronds
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
FOR THE SCALLOPS:
1 pound large dry-processed sea scallops (about 12)
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
2 tablespoons white wine
Juice of 1 large lemon
¼ cup Crystal hot sauce (Frank’s or Texas Pete’s can be substituted; do not use Tabasco)
2 sticks (1/2 pound) chilled butter, cut into cubes
MAKE THE SALSA:
Mix shallot, fennel fronds, cherry tomatoes, olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
MAKE THE SCALLOPS:
Pat scallops dry on both sides with a paper towel; they must be extremely dry. Sprinkle one side with kosher salt and a small grind of black pepper.
Heat oil in a good-quality, nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. When oil is very hot and begins to shimmer and release a slight amount of smoke, place scallops in the pan in a single layer and reduce heat to medium. (Depending on the size of the pan, scallops may have to be cooked in two batches.) Let cook undisturbed for approximately 2 minutes or until bottoms begin to brown and caramelize. Flip scallops, cook for another minute and then remove to a warm plate.
Turn heat back to medium-high and add wine, lemon juice and hot sauce, stirring to remove browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce for a minute or 2, then turn heat to low. Whisk in butter, a tablespoon at a time, until sauce becomes emulsified and glossy. Stir in any juices from the scallops, then remove from heat.
To serve, spoon sauce onto four individual plates or a platter, place scallops on sauce and top each with a spoonful of salsa.