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I’ll be honest, my roommates are two very lucky gals. First of all, they have the esteemed privilege of coming home to this face everyday (what could be better?). Second of all (and more importantly), I often come home bearing lots of food—an undeniable perk when you work at a place like The Feedfeed. Aside from the fact that they completely hit the roommate jackpot when I moved in with them, I would also argue that there are no two humans that benefit from my singledom quite like they do. Should the day ever come that the universe blesses me with another human that loves me unconditionally, they will then have to share all of the delicious food that’s coming into our kitchen with another person. The HORROR!
I bring up this desperate digression because I made a version of these scallops for them while developing this recipe, and they were big fans. I mean, it’s hard not to love these smooth-as-butter mollusks, but this pan sauce is no joke—it’s the perfect balance of creamy, zesty, tangy, and peppery. Not to mention, the sauce is a lovely blush pink color that is absolutely to die for. Bookmark these scallops for your next dinner party or date night—they’ll steal the show.
You’ll notice that the recipe calls for you to wipe the pan clean after searing off the scallops. This essentially allows the pan sauce to be slightly thinner, while also maintaining that millennial pink hue. In this case, the scallops would be delicious served over some tender frisée leaves as well as some sliced radicchio dressed with olive oil, freshly squeezed orange juice and salt. However, you can also opt to skip wiping out the browned bits (or fond if you’re fancy) and start the sauce directly in the pan after the scallops. In this version, the sauce will be a bit thicker and darker, thus making the scallops the perfect addition to a cozy bowl of risotto or pasta. In both situations, I’d recommend pairing the scallops with, I don’t know, a BOYFRIEND perhaps?! Work with what you have, I guess. Or just give it to your roommates–they’ll be appreciative.
Photo by @thenonchalantcook
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Yield: Serves or Makes 2
Crush pink peppercorns with a mortar and pestle, or with the bottom of a skillet on a wooden cutting board.
Pat scallops dry and place on a paper-towel lined plate. Season generously with salt on both sides and let sit, uncovered, in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes (and up to 24 hours). Remove from the refrigerator and pat dry again.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops and sear, until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Using tongs, flip scallops and sear other side, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and wipe out skillet.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add crushed peppercorns and shallots; cook until shallot is softened, about 3 minutes. Add wine and vinegar; bring to a boil. Reduce by one third, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low, then whisk in butter, one tablespoon at a time, to emulsify followed by cream. Season with salt.
Add scallops back to the pan and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Garnish with chives and zest and serve immediately.