I mentioned before that Dr. O isn’t a fan of scallops, which means I typically only make them when he’s away from home. Thanks to Ina Garten and her recipe for Scallops Provencal, though, he’s been converted! I saw Ina make these scallops on an episode of Barefoot Contessa *plus* it was a seafood coupon week at Central Market. They looked so good, I just had to ask Dr. O if he’d be a good sport and give scallops another chance. Thankfully, this recipe turned out above and beyond all expectations. (It’s all about the sauce!)
You can use either bay scallops or sea scallops for this recipe; I chose sea scallops. Ina says to cut the scallops in half horizontally if you choose sea scallops, but mine weren’t huge, so I left them whole.
I took 1 pound of fresh sea scallops, patted them dry with paper towels, and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. I tossed them with a bit of flour (just enough to coat), and then shook off the excess. In a large saute pan, I heated 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter over high heat until sizzling and added the scallops in one layer. I immediately reduced the heat to medium and browned the scallops without moving them (about 90 seconds – 2 minutes). I flipped them and browned them on the other side as well (2 minutes).
Next, I added 2 more tablespoons of unsalted butter to the pan, along with about 1/4 cup of chopped shallots, 1 minced garlic clove, and 1/4 cup of chopped flat-leaf parsley. I sauteed the mixture for 2 minutes, tossing the seasonings with the scallops. Finally, I added 1/3 cup of dry white wine (I used chardonnay), cooked the mixture for 1 minute, and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. I serve this hot with a squeeze of lemon alongside some couscous pilaf.
This was so incredibly good, and like I said, it’s all about the sauce. It was heavenly over the scallops, and I loved using the couscous to soak it up as well. As for the scallops, Dr. O said they didn’t taste fishy in the least bit. Any texture issues he experienced in the past must have been outweighed by such a divine combination of wine, butter, and seasonings.
Even with the couscous, it took me about 15 minutes to get this meal to the table. It’s elegant and flavorful enough for company, but quick enough to satisfy a seafood craving anytime. This one’s a keeper, for sure!
TIPS: I cut the amount of shallots in the recipe in half since some reviewers complained about the shallot flavor being too strong. If you love shallots, feel free to go for the full 1/2 cup.
Also, when cooking with wine, be sure to use something you like well enough to drink. If the wine is bad, it’s pretty hard for your sauce to be good. You can always enjoy the rest of the bottle with dinner!
Recipe link: Scallops Provencal