Seared Sea Scallops with Black Truffle Vinaigrette
- 1 cup homemade chicken stock or unsalted canned stock
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/4 vegetable or corn oil
- 1 tablespoon white truffle oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 ounce black truffle peelings, canned is fine
- Vegetable oil for sauteeing
- 2 dozen fresh dry sea scallops (not processed) as large as possible
- Chopped chives for garnish
In a small saucepan, over medium high heat, boil the chicken stock and reduce until only 1/4 cup remains. Remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to blender and over medium speed add the sherry vinegar, then the vegetable oil and the truffle oil. The vinaigrette should be lightly emulsified with a texture like a very light mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the truffle peelings, remove from blender and heat in the small saucepan until hot but not boiling. Set aside in a warm place until ready to serve.
Scallops should be Sauteed at the last minute before serving. Heat 2 medium saute pans over high heat. Add enough oil to evenly cover bottom of saute pans (1/8-inch). When the oil just begins to smoke add the scallops (pull pans off the stove when you add the scallops, be careful not to splash the hot oil). Cook the scallops until nicely browned on one side, then and only then, turn them over to the other side. Scallops should have a nicely caramelized color to best bring out their natural sweetness. If the scallops are large, brown the sides also. Cook for a total of 8 minutes, then remove from stove and let sit in the pan for about 1 minute. The juices of the scallops will begin to gather at the bottom of the pan. Now toss the scallops lightly in their own juices (off the heat) and deglaze the pan in this manner. The juices of the scallops will blend with the brown layer stuck to the saute pan, then they will coat the scallops with a shiny, rich glaze.
Divide the scallops onto 4 plates and drizzle them with the truffle vinaigrette. Garnish with chopped chives. If serving as a main course, suggested accompaniments include boiled red potatoes or new potatoes, sauteed greens such as spinach, escarole or broccoli rabe with a touch of garlic and extra virgin olive oil.