Sea Scallops Never Tasted So Good With A Little Help From Fleur De Sel

Herbs & Spices
Sea Scallops Never Tasted So Good With A Little Help From Fleur De Sel

Scallops seem to be one of those ingredients that everyone loves to eat, yet everyone seems to be intimidated by them. These tasty marine muscles are a favorite among seafood lovers in the area.

Even those who don't particularly like eating sea creatures will change their attitude for a perfectly caramelized scallop.

But why does everyone shy away from cooking them? Perhaps under the assumption that they are difficult to prepare, cooks opt for more indulgent and perhaps cheaper seafood options such as shrimp. This couldn't be further from the truth. Actually, scallops are very easy to prepare and the prices are quite reasonable. Because they are dense and rich, you really only need a few larger scallops per serving to make a filling meal.

When paired with fresh seasonal vegetables and a flavorful starch, a serving of three scallops is enough for a hearty appetizer or light dinner.

Scallops tend to be less of a weekday evening meal and more of a weekend evening meal, but they don't have to be. Scallops with parsley and fleur de sel are easy to prepare, take less than five minutes and will amaze your guests or family with minimal effort! Delicious and decadent!

If you are a lover of seafood, scallops should truly be your best friend. Scallops are beautiful pieces of seafood, waiting to be seared and enjoyed. You usually buy them without any kind of shell and they are white, clean and beautiful. Little work for a huge reward! And like other seafood, they're tender, they're like the ocean exploding on your palate, and they're totally enhanced by simple, delicious flavors, like parsley and French Fleur de Sel!

The Fleur de Sel used couldn't be a more decadent condiment. Due to the labor-intensive process involved in harvesting Fleur de Sel, it is considerably rarer and therefore more expensive than average table and sea salts.

It forms naturally only in certain atmospheric conditions and must be skimmed from the surface by hand, using special sieves. Ordinary sea salt is produced by evaporating seawater and then collecting the remaining salt. Fleur de Sel is first and foremost savory, but it also contains a myriad of other nuances that make it so special.

It has a fairly high moisture content (not completely dry) and retains some of those mineral flavors of the sea brine. Since the cost of Fleur de Sel is quite high, it is best used as a garnish, rather than as something to mix into a recipe. Plus, you don't want to lose those beautiful crunchy crystals!

To create this masterpiece of a dish, simply lay a paper towel on a baking sheet. Place the scallops on the towel and lay another on top. Push gently but firmly to remove excess moisture. Any additional moisture will inhibit browning or caramelization of the scallops, leaving you with a sad steamed lump, not a well-browned scallop.

Once dry, season the scallops on both sides with the Fleur de Sel. Heat a splash of olive oil in a pan and heat it over medium-high heat. As soon as the oil begins to melt and shimmer, add the scallops, pressing them gently to ensure the entire surface is touching the pan.

Let the scallops cook for a minute or two, until they have developed a dark brown crust. Turn off the heat and turn the scallops. Only let them cook from the bottom for about a minute, they will cook too quickly.

Then a splash of white wine is added to the pan. Raise the heat and let the wine reduce to about two tablespoons of liquid. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and, once again, reduce. Then add a pinch of chopped parsley.

Finally, into the remaining liquid in the pan, add about 2 ounces of cold salted butter. Turn off the heat and swirl the butter around the liquid to emulsify it and create the sauce.

What you should be left with is a beautiful, delicate buerre blanc, which has just a hint of wine and lemon and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Use a spoon to carefully pour the sauce over the scallops. Finish with another sprinkle of Fleur de Sel.

And voila! Your amazing new scallop dish is complete! As mentioned, this is just the protein and sauce. Pair it with any vegetable or starch of your choice. The perfectly seasoned scallops will obviously be the star of the show. And for good reason! Well, it wasn't that scary after all, was it?

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