Seared Scallops with Pinot Gris Butter Sauce
- ACTIVE: 25 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 50 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
Hugh Acheson (an F&W Best New Chef 2002) of Five & Ten restaurant and Gosford Wine in Athens, Georgia, flavors shallots with butter and Pinot Gris to create a sauce for scallops: "Pinot Gris loves shellfish," he says.
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- 2 cups Pinot Gris
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 cup fish stock
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- Salt and ground pepper
- 1 packed cup baby spinach
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 16 large sea scallops
- 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes (optional)
- In a skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat until golden, 2 minutes; transfer to a plate and let cool. Lightly crush the nuts.
- In a medium saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until browned, 4 minutes. Add the wine and thyme; boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, 15 minutes. Add the stock and boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, 9 minutes longer. Add the cream, bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
- Strain the wine sauce into a clean saucepan. Whisk in the butter, 4 pieces at a time, until the sauce is thickened and smooth; set the pan over low heat as necessary to help melt the butter. Stir in the chives and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
- In a medium bowl, toss the spinach with the lemon juice and the remaining olive oil; season with salt and pepper.
- In the skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Season the scallops with salt and pepper, add to the skillet and cook over high heat, turning once, until browned but barely cooked through, 2 minutes per side. Transfer the scallops and spinach to plates. Garnish with the pine nuts and pepper flakes. Gently reheat the sauce, spoon on top and serve.
Look for a Pinot Gris from Oregon or California.