Is there anything more elegant than a perfectly seared scallop? Seared scallops have become synonymous with fine dining and could be found on most restaurant menus. Although it may seem as if a restaurant could only properly prepare scallops, I’m here to tell you that they could not be any simpler to make!
Scallops have a quick cook time, only needing around 2 minutes per side before they are done. Using a type of fat in a frying pan over medium-high heat creates the ideal cooking environment to obtain a crisp, golden brown crust. You could use butter, olive oil or in this case a pancetta fat! The scallops will be crusty on the outside and tender on the inside.
Incorporating pancetta into this dish was my way of making it feel reminiscent of a bacon-wrapped scallop, a beloved party food often found at all types of functions and gatherings. I love the extra layer of crispiness that it adds to the dish along with a salty, bacon-like flavor.
Everything is tied together with a luscious, sweet pea purée that helps to act as a satisfying base for each of the other components. Although the ingredients for the pea purée are blended together each one manages to stand out. The cream, the garlic and the peas all act in harmony to create a complex flavor profile. A final drizzle of lemon beurre blanc provides a silky-smooth finish that helps to elevate all of the other flavors.
This dish is sure to impress anyone it is made for and is a perfect main dish to be served at a dinner party or for a date night.
Seared Scallops, Pea Purée, Pancetta, Lemon Beurre Blanc
- 1 lb Scallops
- 5 oz Pancetta diced
- 10 oz Peas (I used frozen)
- 1/2 Cup Cream
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Pepper
Lemon Beurre Blanc
- 1 Tbsp Minced Shallot
- 2 Tsp Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup White Wine
- 1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
- 1 Stick Butter (cold butter)
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- Start by cooking the pancetta in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Once the pancetta is crispy, place onto a plate lined with a paper towel, leaving the pancetta fat in the frying pan. Set aside.
- Next, in a medium sauce pot add the peas, cream, garlic, salt and pepper and cook over low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Shut off the heat and blend the pea mixture with an immersion blender until it becomes a smooth purée. If you don't have an immersion blender you could use a food processor or blender.
- In a small frying pan add the minced shallot and olive oil cook over medium heat until translucent. Then, add the white wine. Reduce the wine by half and and the lemon juice. Bring to a simmer then lower the heat to low. Slowly whisk in the cold butter tablespoon by tablespoon until the sauce has emulsified and thicken. Add the salt and pepper, shut off the heat and set aside.
- To prepare the scallops pat each scallop dry with a paper towel and salt and pepper each side. Place the frying pan with the pancetta fat over medium-high heat. Once hot place a few scallops in the pan and cook for 2 minutes per side until each side is golden and crisp. Repeat until all scallops are cooked.
- To serve, place the pea purée on the plate with a few scallops, a sprinkle of crispy pancetta and a drizzle of the lemon beurre blanc. Enjoy!