July 16, 2012

Seared Scallops with Dijon Wine Sauce

I'm alive!  So a series of unfortunate and fortunate circumstances has kept me out of the kitchen for the last two weeks.  The dreaded derecho wind storm blew out my pilot light, which I couldn't relight because the old piece of crap needed a new part to relight again.  The repairman cancelled our first appointment, landing the second one directly in the middle of MOVING WEEK!  Yes, ladies and gents, I am currently residing in my first home that I (part) own!  The bed went over on Saturday night, so yesterday I went to all of my favorite food spots all over town to restock myself.  Farmer's market tomatoes, local corn and zucchini, my favorite cream cheese for baby cheesecakes tomorrow, and a super rare find of fresh sea scallops!  I decided the scallops needed a little white wine, and proceeded to make myself a celebratory first meal!

It felt so freaking good to get back to my cooking Sunday, when I get super ambitious and cook for hours to prepare for the week.  Since starting to write this blog, cooking has been my creative outlet and without it I was going crazy!  Before it was something that I enjoyed doing but now that it has become part of my routine I felt empty without making a mess at the end of the day.  I feel balanced again, ready to create and share with the rest of you!

Now, for the scallops!  It's really the easiest seafood ever to cook and tastes flawlessly sweet and buttery every time.  Clean, pat VERY DRY with paper towels, season with salt and pepper, and sear for about a 1 minute a side in a super hot pan.  That's it!  As scallops are my favorite type of sushi, I like mine a little rare in the middle.  Like Alton Brown showed us in his scallop episode, the outside ends will have a nice crust while the middles will still be translucent.  As a safety precaution, only do this technique with super fresh scallops.

I made a fast dijon mustard and white wine sauce, salty and tangy to pair with the sweet scallops, and laid it all on a bed of peppery arugula.  Yet another example of the simplest things done right will taste the best.  Fast, easy, and festive, it was a great first meal in the new place!

Seared Scallops with Dijon Wine Sauce
1 lb of scallops
salt and pepper to season
1 tablespoon olive oil
arugula to serve

Dijon Wine Sauce
1 tablespoon of butter
1 small shallot, diced
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/3 cup white wine (I used pinot grigio)
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper to taste

Begin by making the sauce.  Over medium low heat, slowly saute the minced shallots until they begin to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the lemon juice, mustard, white wine, and honey.  Raise the heat to medium high and let reduce slightly.  Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Clean up the scallops by gently rinsing, removing the "feet" (the hard bit on the side), and pat dry with paper towels.  The scallops must be very dry in order to get a good sear!

Heat a non stick pan over high heat and add the olive oil.  Season the scallops with salt and pepper and add to the pan.  If you do not hear a sizzle, take out the scallop and wait for the pan to finish heating up.  Cook 1 minute on each side and then let rest for 2-3 minutes before serving.

Serve over a bed of arugula and top with the dijon wine sauce.  Drink up with the leftover pinot and enjoy!

**This post was included in the Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party for July 20th**

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