Pan seared scallops with Saffron Beurre Blanc look indulgent and fancy, but they’re incredibly easy to make!
I, along with half of the world, listened to the Stanford commencement speech that was shown all over the internet and television the day after Steve Jobs died. Everyone I know posted bits and pieces of the speech via Facebook. I didn’t know him, therefore I didn’t cry.
But, I love the iPad, and the iPhone, and therefore, his contributions, and sometimes I cannot even imagine how far we’ve come in the technological sense. When I think about how great it was typing on a IBM Correcting Selectric typewriter in college, it is mind boggling!
“Connect the dots looking backward”, was what struck me the most. Steve Jobs said, “You cannot connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backward.” I believe this, I have always believed this. Whether it is faith, religion, hope, or naivite’, I believe in a plan, that everything will work out in the end, just as it is meant to.
Beurre Blanc, (or Beurre Rouge) is one of those sauces you just have to trust will work out in the end. You start it, promising, with sauteed shallots and white wine vinegar, and wine, but then you reduce it to nothing…so, now what? You slowly whisk in the butter, a tablespoon at a time, and in a couple of minutes, it starts to come together and you’ve got a silky, sublime sauce
Seared Scallops with Saffron Beurre Blanc
- 1 1/4 pounds large scallops "foot" removed*
- salt and pepper.
- Vegetable oil. Although I cook about 95% of the time with olive oil scallops are so delicate in flavor, I don't want olive oil competing with them.
- Wash and pat dry scallops.
- Season with salt and pepper
- Oil skillet.
- On a medium high heat, sear the scallops on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side, depending on how fat they are. If they're really large, you can also sear the sides as well. You can tell when they are done by touching them. They should be firm, but not hard.
And when the sauce is served over pan seared scallops, the dish becomes dreamy.
Saffron Beurre Blanc
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons minced shallots
- pinch of saffron about 5 or 6 threads
- 1 stick of butter cut in to small pieces
- Combine white wine, shallots and vinegar in a saucepan. Simmer on a medium heat until reduced by about 1/2. Yep, it'll look like there's hardly anything there.
- Add saffron threads, and slowly whisk in butter a little at a time on the lowest heat until blended. Now, you'll see it turning in to a sauce!
- Season with kosher salt.
- Strain the sauce through a fine strainer onto the scallops.
- Make ahead tip. You can have the reduction ready, and while you are searing your scallops, you can begin to finish your Saffron Beurre Blanc. Top the scallops with the Saffron Beurre Blanc.
I served the pan seared scallops with a julienne of carrots, turnips and snow peas. Making it is incredibly easy, too.
Julienne of Vegetables
Drop the carrots and turnips into salted boiling water and cook them for about 30-45 seconds.
Drain and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
Just before serving, saute carrots, turnips and snow peas for about 2 minutes in butter, season with kosher salt and white pepper.
Cooking notes for the pan seared scallops:
*The “foot” is the little extra bit that is sometimes attached to the side of the scallop. It peels off easily.
A note about the butter:
Yeah, this dish takes a lot of butter, and yup, butter is bad for your cholesterol. Yes, I know I said I’d be offering healthy food. I know, I know! It wasn’t until I actually started cooking this dish, that I realized, if we don’t make room in our lives for a little butter every once in a while, what’s the point?
Hopefully Steve Jobs ate butter and chocolate, drank lots of wine and enjoyed life. I think he probably did.
“Believe that the dots will connect down the road”. Steve Jobs. For what other choice have we?