Sunday, November 29, 2009

Seared Scallops over Braised Leeks

The sweet, briny flavor of sea scallops makes them pair nicely with earthy foods such as mushrooms and leeks. Last night, I served scallops that I had purchased at the Union Square Greenmarket with leeks that I simply braised in chicken broth with thyme and bacon. A good scallop needs little more than butter and maybe a squeeze of lemon, and that's exactly what I did with these scallops, which had been caught off the Long Island shore the same morning that I purchased them. The key is to dry the scallops thoroughly prior to searing them in clarified butter (clarified so that butter does not burn). Two to three minutes per side on medium-high heat is all you need to give the scallops a wonderful crust on their exteriors.

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