Tuesday, December 14, 2010

scallops in white wine

Do not be intimidated by cooking seafood! Just remember these few simple rules: one – never over cook it, and two- only use the freshest seafood possible. It’s that simple. I’ll admit that choosing seafood can seem a bit daunting, especially when you see the price tag, but jump in and give it a try. It’s healthy and it brings a whole new dimension to the weekly menu. Scallops have a very mild taste and a firm texture. We love them around here and when they go on sale, I purchase them in bunches.

Here’s a quick lesson about scallops. Bay scallops are the small ones; they are sweeter and more expensive than sea scallops, which are the large ones and the less expensive ones. Sea scallops might be a bit chewier too.

This recipe is an adaptation of Ina Garten’s Scallops Provencal. She usually piles on the butter, but I have toned that down. Very light, very fresh tasting, a nice week night dinner because it's very quick and easy. 

Here’s what you need:
About 1 pound of very fresh bay or sea scallops (you can see in the pictures that I used sea scallops)
Salt and pepper
Flour for dredging
2 T butter
¼ C finely minced shallots
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
¼ C chopped parsley (don’t skip this ingredient! I was lucky to have the last bit of fresh parsley from my herb garden. We are having a very mild November here in Michigan and I’m squeezing out every last leaf from my herb garden!)
½ C - ¾ C dry white wine (you can see in the picture, it does not have to be expensive wine…)
Fresh lemon

Here’s what you do:
Prepare the shallots, garlic and parsley and have them ready to go. Measure out the wine also.
Dry the scallops on paper towels and generously salt and pepper them on both sides. 
Carefully dredge them in flour, shaking off excess. This flour coating will later thicken the wine sauce a bit.

Melt the butter in a large pan and when very hot, add the scallops in one layer. Don’t let them touch and do not be tempted to move them around. Just leave them alone and they will get brown.

 After about 3 minutes, if they are golden, turn them over gently. When they have been turned over, add the chopped veggies and stir and soften them. Total cooking time is maybe 5-6 minutes.

Toss the scallops in the sautéed veggies, add the wine and stir gently. I used my lucky, broken wooden spoon…..Serve with fresh lemon juice.   I served this with risotto, salad and carrots. Crusty bread for the wine sauce would be perfect also.  Very nice. 


  1. I've never cooked scallops before - they intimidate me! I'm always scared I won't know when they're done. But they sound so good!

  2. @Megan - yes, it's kinda hard to tell when they're done - they cook very quickly! Just a few minutes or so.

  3. The scallops look great! You left me a comment over a month ago on my blog and for some reason I didn't get an email notification. I've since set up a follow me tab if you like to follow my blog as well at www.culinarycollage.blogspot.com.
    Happy Cooking!


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