My girlfriend was coming over for dinner last Friday night. She had originally suggested going out for seafood, but seeing as though I’m not working, I countered with cooking in. I know, not quite as exciting (though, it can be with enough wine and Just Dance). But I did splurge a little and get us some scallops, which was perfect, as I had this recipe waiting for use. Unfortunately, she had some car trouble so she wasn’t able to make it. Fortunately for Nate, that meant he got leftovers 😛 The scallops with the fennel was absolutely outstanding. I amped it up slightly by serving them over a parsnip puree, and drizzled with truffle oil. It wasn’t necessary by any means, but why not add a little luxury into our simple lives? Sorry the pictures are so gross – not very good lighting late and night, but this was too good not to share with you!
Oh, and what the heck is a “grenobloise”? It’s just a fancy French term for “sauce of brown butter, capers, parsley, and lemon”. It makes for a much shorter recipe name: Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise vs. Scallops with Fennel, Brown Butter, Capers, Parsley and Lemon. Yeah, I’ll take the first one. But how do you pronounce it so you don’t sound like a dope? You really can’t, but if you must try, here’s a little help: “grewn-o-blwahz”. Seriously.
This is the second time I’ve made scallops at home, and they are so easy to make. Don’t be scared to try! A few key tips: 1) Make sure the scallops are very dry before placing in a hot pan. I laid mine between paper towels in the fridge a few hours before I planned to make them. 2) Get your pan nice and hot. 3) Be patient and don’t move once you get them in the pan. This will get that nice crisp sear on the outside while keeping the middle warm and opaque. 4) Don’t overcrowd your pan. Placing the scallops too close together will steam them instead of searing them. YOU DO NOT WANT THIS. I promise, follow these tips, and you can’t screw them up. The simple taste of the scallops paired great with the rich taste of the fennel. Open a nice bottle of wine and make this for your honey this Valentine’s Day instead of braving the crowds and overpriced menus.
Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise
Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb sea scallops
fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 tbsp. capers, drained
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
2 tbsp. flat leaf parsley
1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over moderately high heat. Season both sides of scallops with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes on each side (DO NOT move in the pan – this will allow them to sear properly). Transfer to platter and keep warm.
2. Melt butter in same skillet. Add fennel and capers and cook over high heat, stirring until the fennel is crisp-tender and lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon fennel around the scallops and garnish with chopped fennel fronds, serve with lemon wedges.