The other day I went to the seafood store (Mr. Bill’s if you live in Lancaster, its the best seafood around) with the intention of picking up salmon for dinner. After walking in, I eyed the much more expensive scallops sitting in the case and heard myself asking for a pound of scallops instead of salmon. I tend to think more with my stomach sometimes than with my head. Scallops are my favorite seafood. I’ve loved them since I was a kid and have eaten them so many different ways, falling deeper in love with the little mollusks eat time. It’s hard for me to resist good looking scallops and this day was no exception.
Upon returning home, I took inventory and realized that I had all the ingredients for the salmon dish I had intended to make and nothing for scallops. It was time to start researching a new scallop recipe. I had jasmine rice, shallots, mushrooms and broccolini. I logged onto Epicurious.com and found a recipe that included scallops and mushrooms in a sherry sauce. I did have sherry in the pantry and upon reviewing the needed ingredients, discovered I had everything else needed. I also notice the recipe used soy sauce and immediately thought that I could serve the dish easily with the jasmine rice I already had waiting to be used.
I have never paired scallops with mushrooms or soy sauce before and was excited to taste the combination of flavors. The recipe itself was simple and I made the whole thing in about an hour, including the time it took to cook the rice. Except for being expensive ingredients, this can easily be prepared on a weeknight.
Start the dish by searing the scallops in a hot pan with heated oil.
Scallops cook quickly and the second side takes less time than the first. I cooked them for about 3 minutes per side but next time will only cook them for 2 minutes after I turn them, they were just a little dark on that side for my taste.
Once the scallops are cooked, remove them from the pan and place on a plate covered with foil to keep them warm.
Melt butter in the same pan and saute the mushrooms until they begin to brown.
Add the garlic and shallots and cook for about 2 minutes.
Add sherry, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper and simmer uncovered until it begins to reduce. Then take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter.
Place the scallops into a deep bowl or dish and pour the mushrooms and sauce over top of the scallops.
Serve with a side of rice and a pretty green vegetable, in my case brocolini.
The flavors were great and I liked that the sauce wasn’t cream based, some scallop recipes have very rich and heavy cream based sauces but this was a nice change. Plus, the mushrooms were a delicious pairing with the scallops.
Here’s the recipe:
- 20 large sea scallops (1½ lb), tough ligament removed if attached
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms, quartered
- ⅓ cup finely chopped shallots
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ⅔ cup medium-dry Sherry
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Pat scallops dry and sprinkle with pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook scallops, turning over once, until browned well and just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes total. Transfer to a platter and loosely cover.
- Heat 2 tablespoons butter in skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 4 minutes. Add shallots and garlic and sauté, stirring, 2 minutes. Add Sherry, vinegar, soy sauce, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Cut remaining 2 tablespoons butter into small pieces.
- Remove skillet from heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Spoon sauce over scallops.