Sunday, June 29, 2008

Recipe 2.2 -- Scallops Meuniere Avec Noix

In English, that would be scallops in brown butter sauce with walnuts

I kinda invented this recipe. I was picking up a few things at the greenmarket yesterday and decided it was time to dip into some local seafood. It's expensive, but to be honest it's cheaper than going out to dinner, and it's not like we eat like this every night. After deciding on about half a pound of scallops (about 20 in all), I happened by the booth where people from the Greenmarkets organization have free samples, try out recipes, and usually have sheets of more recipes. They happened to have a recipe sheet for something called "skate wings grenobloise", which is basically skate wings meuniere with vinegar and capers. I didn't have any capers, but I was inspired... I also wanted to send a bit of a shout-out to Galatoire's and one of my favorite dishes there, trout meuniere amandine.

Not to mention the opportunity not only to practice cooking something that is not a one-pot vegetarian stew, and also to test out one of those Classic French Sauces that are basically greek to me.

I have to say that, despite my general cluelessness, this recipe came out AWESOME. Even the sauce. This might be one of the best things I have ever cooked. Almost even better than the garlic scape pesto.


20 east coast scallops. So I just found out that mid-atlantic scallops are overfished and unsustainable. This makes me sad, because scallops rock. I've decided to believe that these particular scallops were sustainably harvested, even though I know that's bullshit. I've got to chat up the people at the fish booth and find out more about this next time. I used scallops because I like them and they're relatively cheap, but obviously you could make a similar dish with just about any seafood. NOTE: these scallops were pretty small, probably half the size of the ones you get in fancy restaurants. 10 per person is fine as a main course.

1/2 cup of flour, though this ended up being at least twice as much as I needed

Olive oil

Half a stick of butter

The juice of 2 lemons -- this also ended up being way more than I needed. But then one might not have been enough.

A couple or three green onions, chopped of course

A smallish handful of chopped walnuts

Salt and Pepper

I was supposed to put parsley in, but I forgot. You, however, have the power to remember.

The Rest Of The Recipe:

Rinse the scallops and cut off the ligaments (dead easy). Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour. I always assumed this would be really hard, because it seems involved when someone does it on a cooking show, but it was hella simple. And fun.

Coat the bottom of a frying pan with olive oil and sautee the scallops. This takes no time at all; they cook up really easily and barely even have to be flipped. If I had to make it scientific I'd say 2 minutes or so per side, if that.

When the scallops are done, remove to a side plate so that you can start the sauce. I put a good amount of lemon juice on the scallops here.

Dump out any remaining olive oil and put the pan back over the heat. Add the half stick of butter and let it go until it starts to froth up. Add your green onions and parsley (because you totally remembered it) and let it go for another little while, but obviously don't let it burn or anything. Add some walnuts if you like -- I used them because I happened to have some left over from the pesto, but obviously chopped pecans would rock, or you could do more of a Galatoire's homage and use the original sliced almonds. Also some more lemon juice, yeah, put some of that in there, too. Turn off the heat and pour your sauce over the scallops. Plate up and enjoy!

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