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How to Sear Sea Scallops Perfectly

Scallops seem to be one of those favorite foods we aren't afraid to order in a restaurant, but might overlook or pass by at the seafood counter. But there's no reason at all to shy away from bringing these bivalves home and preparing them yourself. This recipe is easy, can be made in about 15 minutes, and goes amazingly well with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to make for a romantic and elegant start to dinner.

Ingredients: (serves 2 as an appetizer)

  • 6 large sea scallops
  • 2T unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • Pinch of ground dry mustard
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Thoroughly rinse scallops in fresh cold water to remove any grit. Place on paper towels and dry the scallops. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.

Start by combining cream, dijon, dry mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small sauce pan. Whisk the ingredients together while slowly bringing to a simmer. Once simmering, cover and remove from heat to reserve. Cooking scallops is a quick process, and you are striving to create a nice, firm crust while creating a warm, but moist center (think medium rare). Melt butter in a second pan over medium high heat, swirling to completely coat the bottom. Once heated and the butter starts to foam, place scallops directly on the pan and do not move them for 3 minutes. The now crusted scallop will stick slightly to the pan, but with a quick move of the spatula you should cleanly pick up and quickly turn the scallop — cook for another 2 minutes. Remove pan from the heat (leaving scallops inside) and set aside.

Give the dijon cream sauce a stir and dollop three quarter-size circles on a plate.

Carefully place individual scallops on each dollop of cream sauce. Garnish plate with pea shoots or mirco greens if you like.

You can finish by adding a little dijon cream to the top of each scallop. Serve immediately.

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