Scallopswithtomatobrownbutter

Heavenly Scallops Worth A Splurg

Scallops, what Wikipedia calls “a cosmopolitan family of bivalves” and what Julia Child called “a creature of the sea that keeps house between two pink shells,” are not what one would call an economical supper; however, their flavor and compatibility with ingredients ranging from bacon and tomatoes to herbs and wine is well worth a splurge. When buying scallops, ask for “dry” scallops that will release very little liquid while cooking and result in a crusty sear. Cook them in a hot pan large enough to hold them in a single layer for at least 2 minutes before turning. They are best prepared simply, so that too many ingredients don’t overpower their unique flavor. For a main course, serve the scallops with Champ.

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GRILLED SEA SCALLOPS WITH CHORIZO BREADCRUMBS & REMOULADE SAUCE

SERVES 2

 Serve this as a starter. The breadcrumbs are also delicious sprinkled on other seafood dishes or on grilled chicken, and the sauce is perfect with crab cakes or shrimp.

For the remoulade

1/2 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons pickle relish, drained

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard

1 tablespoon ketchup

2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco

1/4 teaspoon sugar

For the breadcrumbs

2 ounces dry chorizo, sliced

1 garlic clove

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Ground black pepper

For the scallops

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoon butter

8 large sea scallops, rinsed and dried with paper towel 

Micro greens and grilled lemon, for garnish

1. Make remoulade. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, relish, lemon juice, mustard, ketchup, Tabasco and sugar. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

2. Make breadcrumbs. Combine chorizo and garlic in a food processor; pulse 5 to 6 times, or until ground. 

3. In a small skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add chorizo mixture; cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until sizzling. Stir in panko; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Season with pepper.

4. Make scallops. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil and butter. Cook scallops, without moving, for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crisp.

5. Spoon some remoulade on a serving plate; top with four scallops. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs; garnish with greens and lemon.

SCALLOPS WITH CHANTERELLES & TOMATO-BROWN BUTTER VINAIGRETTE

SERVES 4

For the scallops

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound scallops, rinsed and dried with paper towel

Salt

Ground black pepper

For the vinaigrette

8 tablespoons butter

1/2 pound chanterelles or other wild mushrooms

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped

Salt 

Ground black pepper 

1. Make scallops. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon oil. When it starts to brown, add scallops, season with salt and pepper; cook for 2 minutes. 

2. Turn scallops; add remaining butter and oil. Continue to cook for about 3 minutes, spooning butter-oil sauce over scallops, until scallops are cooked through. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate; cover.

3. Make vinaigrette. Return skillet to medium heat; melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add chanterelles; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft but not browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer chanterelles to a plate.

4. Return skillet to medium heat; melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it turns nutty brown. Add tomato and vinegar, stir to blend; cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through.

6. Return scallops to pan; gently toss in sauce. Season with salt and pepper. 

7. To serve, transfer scallops to serving plates, spoon sauce over; scatter chanterelles on top.

SEARED SEA SCALLOPS WITH HERB-BUTTER SAUCE

SERVES 4

For the scallops

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound scallops, rinsed and dried with paper towel

Salt

Ground black pepper

For the sauce

3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons minced shallot

1/4 cup dry white wine

4 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs (chives, tarragon, parsley)

1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper

Salt

Lemon wedges, for garnish

1. Make scallops. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil. When it starts to brown, add scallops; season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes. 

2. Turn scallops; add remaining butter and oil. Continue to cook, spooning butter-oil sauce over scallops, for about 3 minutes, or until cooked through. With a slotted spoon, transfer scallops to a plate and cover.

3. Make sauce. Return skillet to medium heat. Add 1 to 2 pieces of butter, and when melted, add shallots. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until soft but not browned. Stir in wine, loosening up brown bits from pan; cook for 2 minutes, or until wine is reduced by half.   Add herbs and lemon zest, reduce heat to low, and whisk in remaining butter.

4. Return scallops to pan; gently toss in sauce. Season with lemon pepper and salt. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

CHAMP

SERVES 4

3 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 cup half-and-half

6 tablespoons butter

1 cup minced scallions or chives 

Salt

Ground black pepper 

1. Cook potatoes in salted boiling water for about 20 minutes or until tender; drain and mash. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine half-and-half and 4 tablespoons of butter; heat until the butter melts. 

2. Add scallions or chives, reduce heat to simmer; cook for 2 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Stir into potatoes; season with salt and pepper. Top with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. 

Margaret Johnson’s “Recipes” page now includes “Ireland Hopping: Adventures in Food, Drink, and Travel.” For further details on her work, including how to order her cookbooks, visit www.irishcook.com.