Saturday, December 19, 2009

Scallops with Champagne Sauce

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So I am a liar.  I didn't use champagne in the sauce but a Spanish cava.  Anyhoo, back in this post, I made fish stock which is used in this scallop recipe so this is the completion of the "Budget College Cook cooks something outside of his comfort zone" experiment.  This recipe is from Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook.  Bourdain is sarcastic, funny and a bit of a character so it's an entertaining read.  As for the recipes, well, this is the only one I've ever made so I have no comment other than this dish tasted great!

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 cup of fish stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
Sea Scallops (Please use dry this for more info)
Clarified butter (I used olive oil)
1/2 cup Champagne (I'm using cava)
juice of 1/2 lemon (I hate instructions like this because lemons are so different...grrr)
4 chives, finely chopped

1. Melt half of the butter in a pan, add the shallots.  Cook over med-low heat until soft but not browned (I screwed up here...there is a bit of browning on my shallots).  Add the fish stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat and reduce by half.  Add the cream, bring back up to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Strain out the shallots, season with S&P.

2. Pat the scallops dry (if necessary) season with S&P (I only seasoned with salt but added pepper after cooking...I don't like burned pepper).  Heat clarified butter (or olive oil) until it's just under smoking.  Add the scallops, cook on one side for about 3 minutes (resist the urge to move them around or peek!  Moving and peeking will result in a less caramelized crust!).  Flip the scallops over and cook on the second side for 3 minutes (your scallop will now be cooked on the exterior but slightly rare on the interior...adjust cooking time to suit your taste).  Set scallops aside.

3.  Pour off excess grease from scallop pan.  (See that nice brown stuff?  If it's too dark, clean out the pan.  If it's golden brown, GREAT!)  Return the pan to heat and pour in the sparkling beverage.  Scrape the pan to incorporate the brown bits (if they're there).  Reduce the wine until it's syrupy.  Add back the strained cream sauce.  Bring to boil and throw in that last tablespoon of butter.  Add lemon juice to taste.  Stir in chives.  Arrange scallops and sauce on a plate.  DONE!

Time- I'm not going to include the time I spent making the fish stock.  Probably about 30 minutes total here.

Food Cost-ugh.  So expensive, probably not for the college crowd although it makes an easy and impressive main course for a Valentine's Day Dinner?
Scallops- The 8 scallops I purchased cost $16.50.  Wowzers
Wine- $11.99 for the bottle (very tasty wine, would buy again.)  About two bucks worth in this dish.
Cream- $0.50
Fish stock- $2.00
Incidentals- $1.50
Total- $23.50.  I got two servings (4 scallops per person) so $11.75 per person.  Jeeeeeebus.

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