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Stepping into my kitchen no matter what the day, no matter who is the company and especially if I am my own company is time I savor and something I look forward to.
Delicious dishes can come together quickly if the ingredients are high quality, so when I stopped by my local grocer and spoke with the fish monger about the scallops that looked large and plump and fresh, he confirmed, they were indeed fresh and had not been frozen. This proved to be the difference between past scallop meals I have had, but also, the sauce in today’s recipe took the entire meal to another level.
Scallops are not cheap, so they make a great one-person luxurious meal. Spoil yourself from time to time, and when you see fresh scallops in your market, take the opportunity to make a delicious meal the only takes 15 minutes to make. Yep, 15 minutes.
The dry sherry is the star of the sauce, and I learned from the wine artisan in my local grocer that once opened, Amontillado’s sherry can be kept in your fridge up to 3-4 months. The key is to use it in that time frame, so consider other recipes you might want to try – Chicken Marsala is one of my favorite as you mix the marsala with the sherry for the that recipe’s sauce – but this particular sherry is a quality sherry (only $14) that will change the flavor profile of the entire meal.
I pulled leftover pasta from my épicerie to use as the base, so feel free to use whatever you have on hand. Chop some fresh chives from the garden, select a wine you want to pair with your meal (during the summer, I choose a rosé or a white), and you are about enjoy a scrumptious dinner for one in a matter of minutes.
Pan-Seared Scallops with Sherry Cream Sauce
- 4-6 large sea scallops (4-6 ounces) remember to pat them dry with a paper towel before placing in the pan.
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter (top quality my favorite – Isigny Ste Mère
- 1 Tbsp shallot minced
- pinch celery seed
- 3 Tbsp Amontillado, dry sherry purchase quality, but it does not have to be drinking sherry
- 1 tsp sherry vinegar substitutes – white, champage or red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- chives chopped, for garnish
- fleur de sel & freshly ground black pepper for seasoning and to taste
- Choose the type of pasta you would like to pair with your scallops and sauce. Depending upon how long the pasta needs to cook to reach al dente, begin heating the water before you cook the scallops and cook the pasta while you cook the scallops and make the sauce. If however, you are cooking angel hair pasta, cook the pasta while you are making the sauce, and after you have cooked the scallops.
- Bring out the fresh scallops and pat them dry with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel. Season the scallops with salt and pepper.
- Using a small skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the scallops, cooking 2-3 minutes on the first side. Do not fuss with them, just let them cook without touching them. You are wanting a nice, gentle sear. Flip to the second side and cook for 1-2 minutes. When they are opaque, but just and no more, remove them from the pan and set aside (cover with foil to keep them warm or place them somewhere warm).
- Remove the pan from the heat for a moment in order to add the minced shallot and celery seed. Sauté these two together for one minute off of the heat (the pan will still be hot). Return the pan to the heat with the sautéd shallot and celery seed combined, turn the pan to medium heat. Add the sherry and vinegar, cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the cream and bring the pan to a gentle simmer, reducing the sauce just enough to your preferred viscosity (thickness).
- Place the pasta in the dishes, pour the sauce over the pasta, placing the scallops on top of the pasta and sauce. Complete with a garnish, if desired, of chopped chives. Enjoy!
~View more TSLL Recipes here.