Seared Sea Scallops in Saffron Burre Blanc with Sautéed Spinach

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Seared-Sea-Scallops-in-Saffron-Burre-BlancChristmas present to Larry: a cooking class at Sur La Table. He picked “Date Night Paris in April” with Chef Martin Gilligan at LA Farmer’s Market location. I’ll post more recipes soon – watch for them – but to begin, here is one of the easiest: Seared Sea Scallops in Saffron Burre Blanc on Sautéed Spinach. But first… if you can make it through the store to the classroom without heating up your credit card, you are a stronger person than I. The discount coupon for us rabid students helped a bit.

Do you like to cook? Do you like to eat? Do you like date nights? I’d recommend doing one of these classes. Besides an incredible amount of lovingly prepared foods, you walk away with great recipes you KNOW you can do ‘cuz you did, and a lot more courage.

Chef Martin Gilligan is “handsome and single,” (he gave me those words, I’d say the handsome part is true but if this sentence disappears once he reads it, then we will know about the single), and a hoot. The kind of New Yorker you’d hope to sit next to in a bar, the accent alone is better than television, “YaknowwadImean??”

Chef Martin’s recipes, Larry-approved – see them happily playing together, photo below. Both are quite handsome, right? BTW, one reason I picked Sur La Table is their sponsorship of upcoming Camp Blogaway Bootcamp for Food & Recipe Bloggers.


Seared Sea Scallops in Saffron Burre Blanc

by Chef Martin Gilligan, Culinary Manager, Sur La Table

For Sauce:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 to 1-1/2 medium shallots, minced
  • 4 tablespoons Manzanilla or other dry sherry
  • 2 cups white wine
  • Generous pinch saffron, crumbled (in a small bowl, soak in about 2 tablespoon of the white wine, microwave 30 seconds)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • Several pinches of cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (to taste)

For the Scallops:

  • 12 large sea scallops, remove muscle
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

For Plating:

  • 4 handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Zest of fresh lemon, micro greens if desired for garnish

For the sauce, melt 1 teaspoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Be careful not to brown them. Add sherry and cook it down until the pan is almost dry. Add wine and saffron; cook, stirring, until the alcohol has evaporated and the wine reduction gets syrupy. Add cream and cook, stirring, until sauce has reduced at least by half, another 2 minutes or so; you want about 1-1/2 cups of sauce that is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Mix in remaining butter. Finish with salt, cayenne, and white pepper. Keep warm while searing scallops or refrigerate and reheat before serving.

Blot scallops with a paper towel or kitchen towel to remove excess moisture, season with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and butter and cook the scallops until seared and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Set scallops aside.

In a separate pan, heat the olive oil and wilt the spinach. Add garlic, stir to heat through, season to taste. Remove quickly.

To serve: reheat the sauce, if necessary. Place a mound of spinach on your plate, then arrange scallops on top of the spinach. Top with sauce and serve. Serves: 4 (the photo shows 5 scallops for prettier presentation, but 4 is plenty).

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Worth The Whisk May 3, 2010 at 8:45 am

Carin, so sweet of you to write your great comment here. We have not “yet” done a France cooking adventure, but I would bet that one of my readers has and may start a chain of recommendations here. READERS?

2 Carin Puglisi May 3, 2010 at 8:40 am

Hi Patty, What a pleasure to have met you and Larry on our Antarctic trip…I can’t thank you enough for all the wonderful recipes that you send to me. I will make the Scallops for company in the next couple of weeks, it looks so easy to do. I like things like that recipe, so I’m not in the kitchen when I want to be with friends. Thanks again, and don’t forget to let us know how you liked South Africa and the safari your planning. You could also go into the travel business too, we just loved the Thailand trip you recommended. We would love to go on another cooking/travel trip again…Check out ABC Travel for there Tuscan and Neopolitian Table. It was so much fun and great for beginners too. John won a Pizza contest, and he doesn’t even know how to make a sandwich. You go in the morning, each day (one week) and get your fresh food items, then go to a villa and watch, and help with the cooking, ( all the time drinking wine ) then have your meal. In the afternoon you go on tours of the area, it was so much fun do do in Italy. We would love to find something like that in France, but not very expensive, any suggestions? Anyway, thanks for all the wonderful information on your blog, it’s such a pleasure to get an e-mail from you.
Sincerely, Carin Puglisi Ft. Lauderdale, FL

3 Worth The Whisk April 30, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Thanks, Amy. I have to say that this blogging has lit a fire under me to try new recipes that are still how we like to eat. Scallops are GREAT.

4 Amy Barr April 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm

P. – Love your unique recipes. So much more fun than basic stuff….

5 Worth The Whisk April 24, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Jen, I can honestly say… they were!

6 Jen April 22, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Those look delicious!

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