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Scallops with Fresh Tarragon Sauce recipe

Scallops with Fresh Tarragon Sauce recipe


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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Seafood
  • Shellfish
  • Scallops

Find the freshest scallops you can, then lightly fry them in butter and serve with a lemon, white wine and herb sauce.

67 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 680g fresh scallops
  • 1 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 120ml dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:25min

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Place half of the scallops in the frying pan without crowding; cook until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove scallops to a plate. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon butter in the frying pan, and cook remaining scallops. Remove to plate.
  2. Wipe out frying pan, and return frying pan to medium heat. Pour in wine, and boil 1 or 2 minutes, until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Reduce heat to low, and whisk in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter; just softening butter to form a smooth sauce. Stir in salt, lemon zest and fresh tarragon. Pour sauce over scallops and serve.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(73)

Reviews in English (52)

by Jackie

Two words: absolutely fabulous! I forgot to buy fresh tarragon so I used 1 tbs. of dried (I know - shame on me!) but it was STILL yummy. Can't wait to make it again with fresh tarragon. I also seared the scallops over medium HIGH heat so they'd brown slightly in the oil and butter. Heated the oil/butter 'til it started to brown and what a fabulous flavor. Managed to cook the scallops to perfection which took about 4 minutes/side for medium-lg. sea scallops (not overcooked). Scallops are a favorite of hubby, as well as tarragon, so I knew he'd love this and sure enough he did! Thanks so much for the recipe which I am going to file in my "favorites" right now!-20 Apr 2007

by YELLEPHANT

This dish was amazing! I didn't wipe the pan out after searing the scallops, so I had yummy browned bits in the sauce. Served with a wild rice pilaf and fresh greens. I was so proud of this dish, I took pictures and showed all my friends. They made me promise I would make it for them!-09 Jul 2007

by Mel

this was lovely.... served it with orzo to soak up the sauce. next time, i would use little to no olive oil in the pan so it would not be so oily. Lovely!-01 Oct 2006


Scallops with Fresh Tarragon Sauce recipe - Recipes

This title sounds fancy but I promise you this recipe is SO easy and incredibly tasty. I love how recipes come together sometimes… I had a bag of fresh cherries from the farmer’s market and a few sprigs of tarragon from my friend Kalyn’s garden and a hankering for scallops, then I found the recipe using all of these ingredients on Whole Foods’ website. I haven’t used tarragon much, if ever, but I was challenged to find something new and flavorful to accompany this garden gift I’d been given. The recipe turned out to be perfectly sweet and sour all at the same time.

The French Tarragon gives the dish a hint of spice similar to anise flavor. Tarragon is often accompanied with vinegar as in this recipe, creating a classic combination to flavor the cherries.

While I’m a huge fan of mixing meat and seafood, of any kind, with fruit, Josh prefers to have them separate so while I enjoyed every bite of scallop with a few plump cherries, Josh ate them both but ate them separately. He swears that he still enjoyed the dish, so we were both completely satisfied and content having satiated our cravings for fresh seafood and fruit.

We ate the colorful dish with a side farm salad that we’d made the night before using greens from La Nay Ferme’s CSA.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ pounds sea scallops, dried well
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • ⅓ 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.

Wine Recommendation: For an extra dimension of flavor with this classic shellfish dish, try a pinot gris. Exciting examples are now coming out of Oregon.


Scallops & peas in lemon-tarragon sauce

I don’t know why, but spring makes me crave the combo of peas and tarragon. Wait that’s a lie. I do know why. It’s because I was trained at a cooking school with a very French outlook, even if it was in San Francisco and even if I am an Italophile. In school we made things like lettuce braised in butter with peas and tarragon, and salmon with tarragon beurre blanc. Very Julia Child and very magnifique. A few years ago I added scallops to peas and tarragon and lightened things up with canola oil. Then I modified it again with shrimp. Superb! So this weekend when I saw trim pods of English peas in the market, I knew it was time. But I can’t decide which version to make or which to offer you. Take your pick. Either way, it’s the fastest little sauté any pea-lover could ask for

Photo courtesy of canolainfo.org

Ingredients

12 sea scallops or large peeled, deveined shrimp (prawns)
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 shallot, minced
1 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 lb fresh peas, shelled, or 1 cup frozen peas (not thawed)
2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, preferably Meyer
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

Rinse scallops or shrimp, then pat dry with paper towels. If using scallops, peel off the opaque muscle or “foot” on each one if it is there.

In a 10-inch skillet, melt butter in canola oil over medium-high until foam subsides and oil starts to ripple. Add scallops and let cook until golden brown on one side then turn with tongs and let cook on the other side, about 3 minutes total. If using shrimp, stir them for one minute until they are just starting to turn pink. Transfer seafood to a plate and set aside.

Add shallot to pan and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in broth and let liquid come to a boil stir in peas. Stir in lemon juice and tarragon. Return scallops or shrimp to pan and let liquid come to a boil again then reduce heat and simmer until scallops or shrimp are opaque through, 2 to 3 minutes. Divide scallops or shrimp among plates and top evenly with peas and sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

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Scallops are one of the simplest kinds of seafood to cook. They’re just as easy as shrimp. In fact, we use the same method to prepare these garlic basil scallops as we use when making our garlic butter shrimp.

There’s no need to be intimidated. Scallops are easy to prepare, promise. With a few tricks, you’ll be cooking them like a pro in no time. Let me show you how I do it:

How to buy scallops

Before we can cook them, we need to buy quality scallops. Buy freshest you can find. I look for larger sea scallops since they taste sweet.

Frozen scallops work in this recipe, too. The easiest and safest way to thaw them is to place them in the refrigerator the night before you plan to cook them. For a quicker solution, you can add them to a sealed bag and put them in a large bowl under cold running water. Move the bag around the bowl every so often until the scallops have defrosted. Assume they will take half-an-hour, or so.

The steps for cooking scallops

This recipe is a simple one. Once you learn the tricks to cooking perfectly browned scallops on the stove, you’ll want to do it all the time.

Step 1: Pat the scallops dry. I like to use a paper towel to pat them as dry as possible. Damp scallops won’t sear or brown in the pan. The drier they are, the better they will sear. Frozen scallops will have a bit more moisture so take extra care when patting them dry.

Step 2: Add a light dusting of flour. For an extra fail-safe, add a light dusting of flour to each side of the scallops. The flour absorbs excess moisture and adds a nice golden brown crust after cooking in a hot pan. If you don’t have flour or are gluten-free, you can skip this step.

Patting dry and adding a light dusting of flour helps to get a golden brown sear.

Step 3: Season the scallops. I use a generous amount of salt and pepper. I season one side out of the pan, place them seasoned side down into the hot pan, and then while that side cooks, I season the other side.

Step 4: Cook the scallops in a hot pan. If they aren’t sizzling when you place them into the frying pan, it isn’t hot enough. Between the dry and floured scallops and a hot pan, you are guaranteed a beautiful golden brown sear.

Step 5: Finish with butter, garlic, and herbs. Scallops already taste incredible, but adding a bit of creamy butter, garlic, and fresh herbs at the end of cooking makes them restaurant worthy.

Adding a bit of creamy butter, garlic and fresh herbs at the end of cooking makes scallops that are restaurant worthy.

And there you have it, how to cook scallops like a professional chef. Stick with our flavors of butter, garlic, and basil or try something else. Fresh thyme, tarragon or something spicy like jalapeño is an excellent idea.


Recipe: Seared Scallops in Tarragon Butter Sauce

Just to be clear, we are NOT saying that seafood drizzled with half a stick of butter is healthy (the original recipe called for 7 tablespoons!), but this seared scallops recipe was so delicious that we had to make an exception and share it with you. Feel free to use margarine as a substitute in this rich tarragon and white wine sauce. Either way, don’t overheat the butter or the sauce will break and you’ll have to start over!

Seared Scallops in Tarragon Butter Sauce

by Healthy Way To Cook, adapted from Sur La Table

  • 1 1/4 pounds sea scallops (ligament discarded)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. dry white wine
  • 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. fresh tarragon, finely chopped

1. Pat scallops dry and season lightly with salt and pepper

2. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Add scallops and sear over medium-high heat, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through (about 5 minutes). Transfer to a plate.

3. In the same pan, add shallots, wine and vinegar. Bring to a boil, scraping up the brown bits with a silicone spatula. Reduce liquid to 2 tablespoons, add excess juice from scallop plate, and boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup.

4. Reduce heat to low and add 2 tablespoons of butter, stirring until almost melted. Add remaining butter and swirl until incorporated and creamy.

5. Stir in tarragon and add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over scallops and serve.


Scallops with Tarragon Butter Sauce.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.


Scallops in Tarragon Sauce

Peel garlic and finely chop. Squeeze juice from lemon. Rinse scallions, trim, cut in half lengthwise and then cut into 3-4 cm (approximately 1 1/2 inch) long pieces. Peel carrots and cut into about 5 mm (approximately 1/5 inch) thick and 3-4 cm (approximately 1 1/2 inch) long strips. Rinse tarragon, shake dry and coarsely crush half.

Heat butter in a pan and sauté garlic. Deglaze the pan with wine and fish stock. Add scallions and carrots, cook in hot stock until al dente, remove from the pot and keep warm. Add cream to the pot and season with lemon juice, salt and white pepper. Puree sauce with an immersion blender. Add chopped tarragon to the pot, stir, add scallions and carrots and season to taste.

Rinse scallops and pat dry. Heat clarified butter in a pan and fry scallops quickly on both sides. To serve, arrange scallops on a plate, cover with sauce and garnish with remaining tarragon leaves. Serve immediately.


Preventing the fish from sticking begins with the preparation of the fish. It’s important to have the fish as dry as possible. I use paper towels to do this.

Do not salt the fish until you’re ready to actually sauté it. Salting the fish too soon and letting it sit will pull more moisture out, resulting in more wetness on the outside of the fish and less moisture inside.

Once the fish is dry, you’ll need to heat the pan. I place the pan over medium high heat. Once the pan is nice and hot, add the oil.

When the oil is hot, salt the fish and gently place it in the pan. Be careful to avoid splashing the oil.

Be sure to allow some space between the fish fillets. If they are too close, they will steam instead of sauté.

Once the fish is in the pan, don’t move it around. When the fish develops a nice brown coating, it will release from the pan. This means it’s time to turn it over and repeat on the other side.

The fish is done when the second side releases from the pan. At this time, you should be able to easily flake the meat with a fork, but the fillet should still hold together.


How do you know when a scallop is done?

Fortunately, it is easy to tell if scallops are done cooking.

Before they are cooked, scallops have a translucent appearance. They are like a frosted window that light can pass through, but you can’t see through. They may also appear slightly pink or beige.

After they are cooked, scallops become white and opaque. This change in their appearance all the way through the meat means they are completely done.

In this recipe, the scallops should ideally also be browned on both sides at the end of the cooking process. If your scallops are completely dry and your skillet is hot, the scallops will brown before they are cooked through.

If your scallops are opaque, but have not browned, it means that you did not have the skillet hot enough, they were crowded in the pan and were touching each other, or were not completely dry when you added them to the pan.

Any of the situations above would cause the scallops to steam instead of brown. Once they are cooked through and opaque, do not continue to try to brown them because, more than likely, you will just overcook them and they will become rubbery.


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