Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pan-Seared Scallops with Chive Beurre Blanc Sauce Recipe

Cast-iron seared scallops rest atop a chive-infused buttery, creamy pillow of goodness.
Seared "dry-pack" scallops meet butter, cream, chives, shallots and wine. What's not to like? This super-easy recipe makes for an elegant presentation that simply screams, "I busted my ass in the kitchen all day" but alas, you really didn't. Why? Because this sauce can be whipped up in minutes, and as along as you have a screaming hot pan, your scallops will be expertly caramelized in no time as well.
But first. You must use a super-hot cast-iron pan and those suckers better be nice and dry and well-seasoned with salt and pepper on both sides. Once you got this in place, the scallops will take care of themselves, as long as you don't screw up and overcook them. The key here is, minutes on each side with the smaller, thinner scallops requiring a minute or less on each side. Pinch their little scallopy sides to make sure they remain nice and tender as you cook them, and take them out of the pan WHILE they are still just a bit soft in the middle.

For the beurre blanc, which is far from a traditional beurre blanc in that it contains cream and Dijon mustard as well as little to no real reduction, make sure your shallots are very finely minced. Also, avoid using any super-oaky white wine in this sauce since that will overpower its simple flavor profile.

Finally, feel free to play with this sauce a bit. If it's too thick add a bit more wine or incorporate any other fresh herbs you might have on hand (or none at all).

Now, go forth and make thee some scallops!

Seared Scallops in Chive Beurre Blanc Sauce

Makes 4 servings

For Sauce

1/3 cup minced shallots

1/4 cup dry, un-oaked white wine

1/4 cup champagne vinegar

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons minced fresh chives and extra chives for garnish

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon softened butter

In a small saucepan, boil shallots, white wine and champagne vinegar on medium-high until most, but not all, the liquid has evaporated, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn down heat to medium and whisk in heavy cream and mustard. Whisk constantly until mixture reduces to about 1 cup.

Strain sauce into another saucepan, pressing down well on solids. Discard solids and return saucepan to medium-low heat.

Add chives and season with salt and pepper. Turn heat down to low and whisk in butter. Remove sauce from heat and keep warm until ready to serve.

For Scallops

1 pound dry-pack sea scallops (about 12 scallops)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat a medium-sized cast-iron pan to medium-high.

Pat scallops dry with a paper towel and season both sides well with salt and pepper.

Add oil to pan. When it begins to shimmer and is almost the point of smoking add your  scallops. Cook scallops in on each side until nicely browned and caramelized. Be careful not to overcook.

To serve: spoon warm sauce onto individual plates and top with three scallops each. Garnish with a lemon wedge and fresh sprigs of chive.

©2012 Fatback and Foie Gras. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. Pin It Now!


  1. This sounds like an amazing dish! And you've definitely got a "healthier" beurre blanc here too, seeing as there's only 1 tablespoon of butter - I dig it!

  2. Thanks, Peggy! Beurre Blanc isn't the easiest to lighten up, but this turned out pretty darned good. You could lighten this up even more by subbing half and half for the heavy cream. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Love cooking with cast iron! What a great recipe to try!


  4. Tim,

    The cast-iron really seals the deal on this one...makes the perfect crust


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