Thursday, February 27, 2014

Recipe: Pan-roasted sea scallops with white wine, capers and lemon

As you all know, I love scallops so any opportunities of having this on my dinner table will be very welcomed. Usually I just sear it or stir fry it Chinese-style, but I wanted to be a bit more adventurous and hence tried this Italian-style scallops from Marco Canora. 

This recipe was taken off one of the cookbooks I got from BBW sale - Salt To taste by Marco Canora, one of New York's most respected chefs known for his intensely-flavored menus at his restaurants. The Hokkaido scallops are first cooked in the pan and later, a simple pan sauce is poured over the scallops. The sauce contains shallots, capers, lemon and white wine. The sauce is pretty zingy, thanks to the lemon, however I would reduce the caper amount next time from 2 1/2 tablespoons to 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons as it makes the sauce taste quite salty. Overall, we enjoyed this bold-tasting appetizer. If you like more delicate-tasting scallops, check out my other scallop recipes here.

A simple, tasty appetizer (Italian-style)

Pan roasted sea scallops with white wine, capers and lemon
Recipe adapted from Salt to Taste by Marco Canora
Preparation time: 10 - 15 minutes
Cooking time:
Serves 5, as an appetizer

For the scallops
About 2 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
15 medium sea scallops (I used Hokkaido scallops)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp unsalted butter

For the sauce
2 tbsp finely chopped shallot
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 1/2 tbsp small capers
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 tbsp chilled unsalted butter
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the scallops:
1. Wash and pat dry the scallops with a kitchen towel. Season them with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a large skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add enough oil to cover the bottom and swirl to make sure it spreads evenly. Wait until the oil begins to smoke, then place the scallops in the skillet, making sure to leave plenty of space between them.

3. Let the scallops cook undisturbed until a crust forms on the bottom, about 1-2 minute. Flip each scallop, lower the heat slightly and add the butter to the pan. Cook for another 1-2 minute until the scallops are just barely firm. Transfer the scallops to a plate while you make the sauce.

For the sauce:
1. Pour the excess butter out of the pan, leaving just a skim. Adjust the heat to medium and add the shallot. Cook until they begin to soften, about a minute. Add the garlic and cook another minute.

2. Add the capers, lemon juice and wine. Simmer vigorously until the pan is almost but not quite dry, about 2 minutes. Add any juices that have accumulated under the resting scallops. Make sure there are a couple of tablespoons of liquid in the pan (add a little water if the pan is dry). Finish the sauce by swirling in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time.

3. Add parsley to the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook gently until the flavours blend for another minute or so.

4. Transfer the scallops to warm plates. Spoon the sauce over them and serve.

I am linking this to the Little Thumbs up "Lemon" event organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by Grace from Life can be Simple. You can link your posts here.

I am submitting this to Cook-Your-Books #9 hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours .

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  1. your scallop recipes are always the best! these look like they'd be great to serve at an italian restaurant :)

  2. This sounds great but I think you're right, that looks like a lot of capers for a delicate scallop :D

  3. Here is another great recipe of the scallops! I want to try out, hehe~

  4. These scallops look delicious! I happen to have some capers at home, will try making it soon!

  5. this is so petite and nice... just like a dish served at an upper class restaurant...

  6. Who wouldn't love these scallops, Yen? I love, I love, but I was not successful in my first attempt to cook scallops many years ago. They were frozen scallops and were very watery :(

  7. I'm drooling here at the keyboard... Would love these as a main too, with some linguine dressed simply in good olive oil. Yums!

  8. love the big scallops! where did you get these scallops?

  9. Wow, deliciousness! Your scallops looks so mouth-watering! Drooling....!!!

  10. These scallops sure look yummy!

  11. Hi Yen,

    Cook scallop must be fast hands fast legs... Otherwise, they will semi-dried scallops. Yours with lemon and white wine look very flavousome and very well cooked... You must have very fast hands and legs :D


  12. Thanks for sharing! Turned out great and was way easier than I thought Pan-roasted sea scallops would be!


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