Pan-Seared Scallops with a Tomato-White Chocolate Beurre Blanc

Today is my birthday. So indulge me here . . . Hubby suggested we go out to dinner. For me, going out to dinner is a problem – when it comes to food, I have very expensive, elaborate tastes.  For my birthday, I’d like to dine on Osetra Caviar, pan-seared Foie Gras and Louvre Cake (chocolate mousse and hazelnut mousse layered with a hazelnut dacquoise over a hazelnut wafer covered in a chocolate glaze) I’d like to sip on a glass (or two) of Cristal and simply linger a while, lost in my own thoughts. I’d like to do so while wearing my pajamas. This desire for gourmet dining coupled with a complete lack of interest in getting all gussied up might explain why I love to putter about in the kitchen. It’s a beautiful compromise.

Scallops are a favorite of mine. This is especially true when it comes to a dish that is this French and this pretty. How could I resist? Okay, admittedly, this should be a spring-time dish with tender spinach and bright spring-time colors. Hey, in the heat of summer, we all could use a cool breath of spring air, right?

Pan-Seared Scallops with a Tomato-White Chocolate Beurre Blanc
Tomato and White Chocolate Beurre Blanc
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large shallots, chopped
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 ounces white chocolate, such as Ghiradelli, broken into pieces

Heat the oil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sweat with a pinch salt until just softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to combine. Add the wine and vinegar and simmer until the liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the cream (this will help stabilize your sauce and keep it from breaking) and simmer until reduced by one-third, 5 to 7 minutes. Strain the sauce into another warm saucepan over low heat.

The sauce should remain warm, but never hot, or the sauce will break. On low or no heat, whisk in a few pieces of the butter at a time. Wait until each addition is incorporated before adding more butter. Once all of the butter is incorporated, add the lemon juice and combine. Set aside in a warm spot to hold. Just before serving, whisk in the white chocolate.

Seared Scallops:
1 tablespoon canola oil
12 large sea scallops, muscles removed from sides if needed
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it has a nice sheen and you can feel the heat coming off of the skillet. Dry your scallops well using paper towels, sprinkle each side with salt and pepper and add them to the hot skillet.

Once the bottom of the scallops start to brown around the edges, add the butter to the skillet to help them caramelize. Let the butter melt, flip the scallops and cook until golden brown on each side and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Spinach and Tomato Garnish
Handful of Baby Spinach Leaves
6-8 Small Red Tomatoes
6-8 Small Yellow Tomatoes
1/2 lemon, juiced
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Toss a few tender spinach leaves and tomatoes with the lemon juice and some olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve: Spoon Tomato-White Chocolate Beurre Blanc on individual plates. Top with seared scallops. Scatter tender spinach leaves and tomatoes around the plate for a pretty presentation.

5 thoughts on “Pan-Seared Scallops with a Tomato-White Chocolate Beurre Blanc

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