Brown Butter Scallops

Nothing beats scallops hard seared in brown butter.  These are placed on coconut milk infused rice with a saffron mayo and tarragon pistou (think pesto without the nuts).  The sauces can be prepped in advance, so dinner can come together quickly when the time arrives.

yields 2, with a little extra pistou and saffron mayo, saved for another use.

Tarragon Pistou

  • 1/2 C tarragon chopped
  • 1/4 C mint chopped
  • 1/4 C cilantro chopped
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 1/2 lemon (the juice)
  • olive oil (1-2 C, streaming)

In a high-speed blender add all ingredients except olive oil.  Turn the blender on, and stream in olive oil until ingredients combine and sauce is formed.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Keep in fridge until ready to use.

Saffron Mayo

  • 1/4 C mayo
  • 1 pinch saffron threads (approx. 20-25 threads)
  • 1/4 t lemon juice

First, the saffron threads must be bloomed: place lemon and saffron in small non-reactive bowl or ramekin and let stand for 20 minutes.  Add infused lemon juice to mayo and combine (discard saffron threads if you'd like).  Keep in fridge until ready to use.

Coconut Rice

  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk (13.66 oz)
  • 1 C rinsed basmati rice
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1/3 C water

Combine coconut milk, olive oil and water in a small sauce pan; bring to a simmer.  Add rice.  Turn heat down to low.  Occasionally stir rice so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.  Continue cooking until rice is desired doneness.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Scallops

  • 4 T unsalted butter
  • 8 U-10 dry-packed scallops

Place all scallops on a few paper towels, and thoroughly dry; set aside.  Add butter to a large enamel-coated cast iron pan.  Bring heat up to medium-high; allowing butter to melt.  Stir butter until foaming subsides, and the browning of milk solids can just start to be seen- the color should be a golden-brown at this point.  Season scallops with salt and pepper, add to pan.  Do not disturb scallops for about 2 minutes.  Using tongs, flip scallops (there should be no resistance; if there is, scallops need to cook for longer).  Cook scallops for approximately another 2 minutes, while basting with butter.  When finished, set aside and assemble plates.

Plating

  • tarragon pistou
  • saffron mayo
  • seared scallops
  • mandolined cucumber slices (garnish)
  • flaky salt & cracked black pepper (garnish)
  • mint chiffonade (garnish)

Create a line down the middle of your plate with a little linear pile of the coconut rice.  Spoon a few teaspoons of the pistou on and alongside the rice.  Using tongs, place scallops directly on rice.  Spoon small dots of the saffron mayo alongside both sides of the rice.  Garnish with mint chiffonade.  Finish plate with flaky salt and cracked black pepper.

Pairing:

beer: Saisons are a classic pairing with scallops.  The yeast and effervescent carbonation of a saison pair brilliantly with the clean and briny shellfish.  Some beers to look for: Blackberry Farms Classic, Boulevard Tank 7, Prairie Artisan Ales Prairie Ale, Saison Dupont.