Seared Scallops with Morel Cream Sauce
- 12 large diver scallops, cleaned and patted dry
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter, cubed, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 5 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Morel Cream Sauce, recipe follows
- Morel Cream Sauce:
- 1/2 -ounce dried morels
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons finely minced shallots
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Season the scallops on both sides with the salt and white pepper. Set a 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, place the scallops in the pan and saute for 2 minutes on the first side. Add the butter, placing the cubes in different parts of the pan. Cook the scallops for 1 minute longer, then turn and cook on the second side for 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of the parsley and cook for 1 minute longer.
Serve the scallops by dividing the sauce between 4warmed, shallow bowls and place 3 scallops in the center of each bowl. Garnish with the remaining parsley.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Difficulty: EasyMorel Cream Sauce:
In a 1-cup heatproof glass or stainless steel bowl, place the morels and pour 3/4 cup of hot water over them, being sure that the mushrooms are submerged in the water. Allow to soak for 10 minutes. Remove from the water; rinse the morels under cool water, dice into 1/4-inch rings, set aside and reserve. Strain the remaining soaking water through cheesecloth and reserve separately.
In a 1-quart saucepan, add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add the reserved sliced morels, the shallots, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the white wine and balsamic vinegar and reduce until nearly dry, about 3 minutes. Add the reserved mushroom broth and cook until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Add the heavy cream and cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Swirl the remaining butter into the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Set aside on a low heat until ready to use. (Do not allow sauce to boil or it will separate.)
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