Before we get down to cheffing here I have to tell you this: I paid $20/lb for these g-dammned scallops and they better be orgasm-inducing in Bite One AND do the dishes after dinner is over.
(And, in all honesty, this is yet another reason why you should not be on a conference call while shopping at Whole Foods. You may or may not mistake the price tag for wild-caught shrimp ($9.99/lb) for wild-caught scallops ($19.99/lb) and have an ever-loving heart attack at the check out register. Duly noted, Universe.)
I got this recipe from my latest favoritist keeping boredom from the kitchen site, Relish! and adjusted it to serve 2 because my wee ones have not yet acquired the palette (or the privledge) to eat $20/lb scallops.
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
5 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/4 pounds sea scallops, patted with paper towels to dry
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 shallot, minced *
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon zest of lemon
1/4 cup Italian parsley
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
* addition to original recipe
In a large nonstick skillet, heat half of the oil with half the butter over medium heat. Season the scallops with 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. Cook the remaining scallops, adding a little more oil, if needed. Remove.
Using whatever remaining oil and butter is in the pan, sautee the shallo. Put the pan over medium-low heat and add the wine. Boil until reduced, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Whisk the remaining butter into the wine and stir for a few seconds. Sprinkle with a little more salt, the lemon zest, and the tarragon. Pour the sauce over the scallops, sprinkle with parsley and serve. Slice the lemon and serve wedges with the scallops.