Seared Scallops with Warm Butter and Almonds

Seared scallops preview hd1280
A rich and elegant appetizer. Seared scallops, crispy prosciutto and creamy mashed potatoes are drizzled with a delicate butter sauce.
  • Serves: 4
  • Active Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
  • Views: 28,579
  • Success: 100%

Step 1: Baking the Potato

• 1 large Yukon gold or russet potato
• good pinch of kosher salt
• 2 tsp water

Method

To bake the potato, preheat your oven to 400º degrees Fahrenheit. Place the potato onto a large piece of foil and sprinkle with the salt and water. Wrap it tightly and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserts easily all the way through.


Step 2: Preparing Your Mise en Place

• 2 tsp soy sauce
• 1 tsp chives
• 3 tbsp clarified butter
• 1 tbsp blanched, sliced almonds
• 2 tsp shallots
• 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 slices prosciutto

Method

To start your mise en place, preheat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the olive oil, followed by the prosciutto. Fry the proscuitto until it changes color and begins to crisp on both sides. This should only take about a minute or so. Once done, place onto a paper towel to drain.

Next, mince the shallots and finely chop the chives. Set everything aside, along with the butter, soy sauce and almonds.


Step 3: Making the Mashed Potato

• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1 tbsp unsalted butter
• kosher salt (to taste)

Method

To make the mashed potato, first make sure you can easily insert a knife all the way through. If so, wrap it back up and set it aside while you heat the cream. Once the cream just starts to bubble, turn off the heat. Carefully peel the skin off the hot potato, cut it into large chunks and squeeze through a ricer straight into a small, non-stick pot. Add the butter and mash until nice and smooth. Slowly add the hot cream, a bit at a time. Once you reach a smooth consistency, season the potatoes with salt to taste. Cover them to keep warm, while you cook the scallops.


Step 4: Cooking and Finishing the Dish

• 4 large scallops
• 1 tsp grapeseed oil (or vegetable oil)
• fleur de sel (to taste)
• 1/2 lemon

Method

To start the sauce, melt the clarified butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and soy sauce and cook for about a minute to heat through. Turn off the heat and set the sauce aside, while you cook the scallops.

Remove the tough muscle from the side and blot dry with paper towels. Heat the fry pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add a thin layer of oil. As soon as the oil starts to smoke, add the scallops. Let them cook without touching them for about a minute. They will release on their own from the pan when ready. After about a minute or so, depending on the size of the scallops, the bottom should be golden and caramelized. Turn the scallops over and continue to cook until done.

The scallops are done once they are just white around the edges and still opaque in the center. Remove them from the pan, squeeze a touch of fresh lemon juice over top and let rest while you finish the sauce.

To finish the sauce, place over low heat and add the almonds, crushing them up a bit. Then add the chives and heat the sauce through.

Meanwhile, check to see that the potatoes are still nice and hot and smooth. As they sit, they’ll soak up the cream. If they’re a bit too thick, add a touch more hot cream to get a smooth consistency.

To plate the scallops, place a dollop of the mashed potatoes in the center. Lay a piece of crispy prosciutto over top, followed by one of the scallops. Drizzle the sauce around the plate and over the scallop. Finish with a pinch of fleur de sel and serve immediately.


Chef's Notes

Choose a stainless-steel fry pan that can easily accommodate the number of scallops you are cooking. To get a good sear on the scallops, it’s important to blot them dry very well and to not over-crowd the pan.