Pan Seared Scallops with Lime-Ginger Beurre Blanc

This was dinner tonight!img_08711

The recipe sounds like it would be difficult. What is a beurre blanc (prounouced “burr blahnk”) anyway? It is a classic French sauce meaning “white butter” and it is traditionally made with white wine, vinegar and shallots that are reduced to intensify their flavor and then chunks of butter are whisked in until the sauce is thick and smooth.

This variation included lime juice instead of vinegar, and an addition of grated ginger. It is not difficult to do, but the trick comes at the end, after reducing the wine, you add butter in chunks, whisking over very low heat to incorporate. If the sauce is too hot, it will separate and you have a mess!

The scallops were very fresh and tasty, and they are a favorite thing to prepare because they cook really quickly. Scallops need a quick sear (2-3 minutes) on each side in a hot pan and they are done to perfection. I prepared the beurre blanc and seared the scallops in just about the same time it took to cook the pasta that I served with them.

Sea Scallops with Cilantro Gremolata and Ginger Lime Beurre Blanc

Gourmet | April 2002

For gremolata:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Finely grated zest of 1 small lime (3/4 teaspoon)

For beurre blanc:

  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine + 2 Tb.
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
  • Salt and pepper

For scallops:

  • 24 sea scallops (1 1/2pounds), tough muscle removed from side of each if necessary
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil preparation

Make gremolata: Stir together cilantro, garlic, and zest in a small bowl.

Make beurre blanc: Simmer shallot and ginger in lime juice and 1/4 c wine in a small heavy saucepan until liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Whisk in butter 1 tablespoon at a time, adding each new piece before previous one has completely melted and occasionally lifting pan from heat to cool mixture. (Sauce must not get too hot or it will separate.) Pour sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl (discard solids), then return to cleaned pan. Season with salt and white pepper and keep warm while cooking scallops.

Sauté scallops: Pat scallops dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté scallops, turning once, until golden and just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes total. Deglaze pan with remaining 2 Tb. wine and add to the beurre blanc.

Sprinkle scallops with gremolata and serve with sauce. (The sauce is very rich so add over top.)

For our dinner I served this over pasta, with oven roasted asparagus and some fresh pineapple. Delish! img_08701