Scallops with Tarragon Butter Sauce
- SERVINGS: 4
You can't go wrong with scallops in a white-wine butter sauce, and tarragon makes it all the better. Be careful not to heat the sauce too much or it may separate.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 pounds sea scallops, dried well
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
- In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter over moderate heat. Season the scallops with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Put half the scallops in the pan. Cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until browned on the second side and just done, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter in the pan and cook the remaining scallops. Remove.
- Wipe out the pan. Put the pan over moderately low heat and add the wine. Boil until reduced to approximately 2 tablespoons, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Whisk the remaining 4 tablespoons butter into the wine. The butter should not melt completely but just soften to form a smooth sauce. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, the lemon zest, and the tarragon. Pour the sauce over the scallops.
For an extra dimension of flavor with this classic shellfish dish, try a Pinot Gris. Exciting examples are coming out of Oregon.