Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ingredient Spotlight - Seared Scallops with Orange Beurre Blanc

Beurre Blanc:
A staple of haute cuisine. Fancy, tasty, yet oh so easy.
Photo: NK 
Master this accessible technique and your recipes will get oohs and ahhs in a jiffy. Beurre Blanc, or French emulsified butter sauce with white wine (plus lots of other goodness), is a component that adds luxury and rich, concentrated flavor to many dishes. Healthy it's not, but who doesn't love a heavenly butter sauce with a fancy-sounding french name? It really is as delicious as you might imagine.

Today's beurre blanc gets a twist from tangy oranges and ginger, making it a perfect foil to sweet, sautéed and gorgeously browned scallops. On the side - vibrant green cauliflower simply boiled until fork tender with a hint of lemon, salt and pepper. Pea shoots round out the meal with a fresh, springy flavor and bright green flourish to enhance the presentation. Here's how to execute this easy, delicious, and impressive dinner: 

Sauteed Scallops with Orange Beurre Blance, Pea Shoots and Green Cauliflower
Serves 2

Orange Beurre Blanc
Adapted from Beau McMillan's Recipe - The Food Network

1/2 Cup dry White Wine
1 Tablespoon Sherry Cooking Wine
1 1/2 Shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried Ginger Powder or fresh chopped Ginger
1 small Bay Leaf
1 stick Unsalted Butter, cut into small slices
1/8 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Orange Juice
1 teaspoon grated Orange zest

In a medium sauce pan over high heat, combine wine, sherry, shallots, ginger and they bay leaf. Allow to boil and reduce until consistency is syrupy 

Add the cream and cook until mixture reduces slightly more. 

Turn the heat to medium low and remove the bay leaf. 

Mix in each pat of butter slowly, one by one, taking care not to let the sauce come to a boil.

When all the butter has been stirred in, add the orange juice. 

Beurre Blanc with an Orange Twist, Photo: NK

Keep the sauce warm on the lowest possible heat, stirring occasionally. 

When ready to serve, strain solids out of the butter sauce and drizzle over desired protein.

Next up, prepare the cauliflower followed by the seared Scallops:

Fork-Tender Green Cauliflower
Serves 2-3
1 head of Green Cauliflower
1 1/2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
White or Black Pepper 
Gorgeous Green Cauliflower, Photo: NK
Boil generously salted water in a medium to large sauce pan. 
When boiling, add the cauliflower florets and lemon juice.
Cook until fork-tender, 5-7 minutes, strain, and add a dash of salt and pepper to season.

Seared Scallops 
Serves 2

1 Lb Dry Sea Scallops
1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Trim the muscle off the side of the scallops. 
Rinse with water and then pat until thoroughly dried.
Add the butter and oil into a large sauté pan over very high heat. 
Season the scallops with salt and pepper, and add to the pan once the butter and oil begin smoking. 
Sear the scallops for 2 minutes on each side, creating a nice crust on each end. 
Remove from pan and serve immediately. 

To Finish:
Plate scallops and drizzle with beurre blanc. Garnish with Pea Shoots or other micro-greens, sliced Oranges, and serve alongside the green cauliflower. 


Seared Scallops with Orange Beurre Blanc, Pea Shoots, and Tender Green Cauliflower, Photo: NK

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