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Seared Scallops with Lemon Beurre Blanc

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Pan Seared Scallops with Lemon Beurre Blanc is an elegant dish that’s as impressive to make, as it is delightful to savor. This recipe is all about mastering the art of achieving the perfect sear on delicate scallops. The tangy lemon beurre blanc elevates the flavors, and is the perfect compliment to this scallop dish.

As fancy as these seared scallops appear, they are equally, quick and easy to prepare. In just under 15 minutes, you will be enjoying this scallop dish, and yearning for more!

A charcoal colored, round plate with six pan seared scallops laying on a lemon beurre blanc sauce and garnished with arugula microgreens.
Spoon the lemon beurre blanc onto the plate with the seared scallops. Garnish with cracked black pepper, flaky salt and fresh herbs or microgreens.

What is Lemon Beurre Blanc

Beurre Blanc (“white butter”) is a silky, wine butter sauce that’s incredibly quick and easy to prepare. Not only is this lemon beurre blanc an incredible, tangy compliment to fish and seafood, but you can also pair with:

  • beef
  • pork
  • chicken
  • vegetables

What are Scallops

Scallops are bivalve mollusks (shellfish) with a hinged shell. The part that is most often savored, is called the adductor muscle. This muscle can range in color, and in size. Raw scallops are translucent, and turn opaque when fully-cooked. Furthermore, you will generally see them referred to either sea scallops, bay scallops, diver, and day boat scallops.

Additionally, scallops are a great source of protein, are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and low in calories.

Sea Scallops

Sea scallops are larger than bay scallops, and more popular, especially in restaurants. Short cooking time is all you need. Avoid overcooking, as this can result in a less tender scallop.

Since sea scallops are caught in cold, deeper waters, they are a bit pricey. Expect to pay upwards of $40 per pound.

Bay Scallops

Bay scallops are caught in cold, shallow waters. They are much smaller than sea scallops. Consequently, not as expensive. Bay scallops are a bit more tender and sweeter. Cook time is very short.

Diver and Day Boat Scallops

Diver, or dayboat scallops are not a different variety of scallop. These terms just reference the harvesting technique. Diver scallops are literally “caught” by divers making them more expensive than sea, or bay scallops. Dayboat scallops are the most expensive, as they were harvested and sold, within 24 hours.

What is the difference between dry-packed scallops and wet-packed?

Basically, as far as variety., there is no difference. The major difference comes in how the scallops are harvested and preserved.

Dry-packed scallops, once shucked are packed dry, without the use of water and/or chemicals for preservation. They will lose little volume during the cooking process.

Wet-packed scallops are shucked on the boat into containers with water, and quite often some chemical for preservation. The scallops absorb the liquid making them “plump” up.

Regardless of the cooking method, wet-packed scallops will typically lose about half of their volume when fully-cooked. In my opinion, wet-packed scallops should only be used in soups and/or stews.

What do you mean by U10-U12 scallops?

This refers to the size of the scallop. For example, when purchasing U10/U12 dry-packed scallops, you will likely receive between 10 to 12 scallops, per pound.

How to Prep Scallops for Searing

For the most part, scallops are relatively easy to prep. You do not have to rinse dry-packed scallops. However, wet scallops should be rinsed to remove the packing liquid, which may contain chemicals:

  • Remove the tiny muscle (foot) on the side of the scallop. The foot is the muscle attached to the scallop, and when cooked, can become quite tough to chew.
  • After removing the foot, place the scallops on paper towels. Pat dry.
  • Season the scallops on both sides with salt and pepper.

How to Sear Scallops to Perfection

The type of pan you choose to sear scallops is a matter of choice. However, if you are a beginner, I would suggest using a non-stick pan. Keep in mind, searing scallops is all about technique, not necessarily, the equipment:

Once you decide on the pan, follow these simple steps:

  • Choose a high-smoke point oil (canola, grapeseed, avocado).
  • Heat the oil to shimmering. This creates a barrier between the pan and the scallop.
  • Place the scallops in the pan, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding can cause the scallops to steam, not sear.
  • Do NOT touch or flip the scallops until they naturally release from the pan. This can take about 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high heat.
  • Once a crust has formed and the scallops have released from the pan, flip and sear on the opposite side for another 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Remove immediately to ensure the scallops do not overcook, and become rubbery.

Ingredients to Make Pan Seared Scallops with Lemon Beurre Blanc

These Scallops with Lemon Beurre Blanc require minimal ingredients, most of which you may already have on hand:

  • Dry-Packed Scallops (U10-12): Dry-packed scallops are preferred. However, you can substitute with wet-packed.
  • Canola oil: Substitute with another high-smoke point oil; grape seed, avocado, coconut, avocado or clarified butter.
  • Butter: Ghee is a great substitute.
  • Dry white wine: Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc work best in this scallop recipe.
  • White wine vinegar: Champagne vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used instead.
  • Heavy whipping cream: Half-and-half, non-dairy heavy cream or coconut cream will also work.
  • Fresh herbs: Fresh parsley, tarragon, chives or microgreens.

How to Make Lemon Beurre Blanc

  • Simmer white wine, white wine vinegar and chopped shallots in a saucepan, until slightly thickened and reduced to about two tablespoons, or less (about 5 minutes).
  • Lower heat and whisk in heavy whipping cream, then cook for another minute or two.
  • Gradually add cold butter, whisking vigorously until fully incorporated and sauce thickens.
  • Remove from heat. Whisk in lemon juice.
  • Strain sauce through a mesh strainer to remove shallot pieces.

How to Serve and Store Leftover Seared Scallops

While these scallops make a fantastic appetizer, don’t overlook their potential as a main course. Serve them alongside a simple salad or roasted vegetables, for a complete and satisfying meal.

If you find yourself with leftover scallops, store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Freezing seared scallops is not recommended.

  • Reheat leftover scallops gently in a pan on the stove.
  • Alternatively, repurpose leftover scallops into a luxurious seafood risotto or seafood pasta.

More Scallop Recipes to Love

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A charcoal colored, round plate with six pan seared scallops laying on a lemon beurre blanc sauce and garnished with arugula microgreens.

Seared Scallops with Lemon Beurre Blanc


Description

This Pan Seared Scallops with Lemon Beurre Blanc recipe is all about mastering the art of achieving the perfect sear on delicate scallops. The tangy lemon beurre blanc elevates the flavors, and is the perfect compliment to this scallop dish.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 810 dry-packed scallops (U10-12)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola or high smoke point oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter

For the Lemon Beurre Blanc:

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 shallot, roughly chopped 
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

For garnish:

  • Fresh herbs
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Flaky salt

Instructions

  1. Begin by preparing the scallops. Remove the foot and pat them dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. In a small saucepan, simmer the white wine, white wine vinegar and shallots until slightly thickened and reduced down to about two tablespoons, about 5 minutes.
  3. While the sauce simmers, heat oil in a pan until shimmering. Add scallops, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Add butter and allow the scallops to form a crust (without touching), approximately 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side.
  4. Once the scallops release easily from the pan, flip and sear the other side for another 30 seconds to a minute. Transfer scallops to a plate.
  5. To finish the sauce, reduce heat and whisk in heavy whipping cream.
  6. Cook for another minute or two, then slowly incorporate the cold butter until fully emulsified.
  7. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice.
  8. Strain the sauce through a mesh strainer.
  9. Spoon onto the plate with the seared scallops.
  10. Garnish with fresh herbs, cracked black pepper, and flaky salt.
  11. Serve immediately.
  12. ENJOY!
@charlottefashionplate

Perfectly Pan Seared Scallops in Lemon Beurre Blanc Recipe! Need help when it comes to searing scallops to perfection? Use this easy to follow technique. This scallop recipe is incredibly quick and easy to prepare. The lemon beurre blanc is the perfect compliment! #scallops #pansearedscallops #seafood #seafoodlover #howto #learnontiktok #recipesoftiktok #TikTokFood #learntocook How to cook scallops

♬ Vivaldi – 2 Violins op 8 Allegro 1 – AllMusicGallery

Notes

  • Use dry-packed scallop, if possible.
  • For ease, prep all of the ingredients prior to starting this scallop recipe.
  • Pat the scallops dry to ensure a proper sear.
  • Do NOT overcrowd the pan. Sear the scallops in batches, if needed. 
  • See post on how to perfectly sear scallops.
  • Use a high-smoke point oil. Since scallops cook quickly, using a high-smoke point oil will allow the scallops to brown, without burning and/or overcooking. 
  • Easily sear the scallops while the lemon beurre blanc is simmering.
  • The beurre blanc should simmer enough to reduce the liquid to only about two tablespoons (I probably could have allowed mine to simmer a bit longer).
  • Once the beurre blanc has simmered, turn the heat to low when adding the heavy cream.
  • Slowly incorporate the cold butter, whisking vigorously with each addition to emulsify.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat prior to incorporating the fresh lemon juice.
  • If you do not want to use wine, substitute with lemon juice (no need to add lemon juice to finish).
  • The addition of heavy cream will help prevent the sauce from breaking (leave out, if you desire).
  • If you want the texture and flavor of the shallots, no need to strain (If not straining the shallots, minced instead of a rough chop).
  • Scallops are meant to be enjoyed at a medium internal temperature.
  • Repurpose leftover scallops into a seafood risotto.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer, Dinner
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: how to sear scallops, how to prepare a lemon beurre blanc, Pan Seared Scallops, Lemon Beurre Blanc, Recipe, Cooking, Seafood, Gourmet, Delicious, Easy, Elegant, Dinner, Appetizer, Main Course, Fine Dining, Culinary Technique, Searing, Sautéing, Butter, Cream, White Wine, Vinegar, Shallot, Fresh Herbs, Garnish, Cooking Instructions, How To, Make, Prepare, Serve, Restaurant Quality, Home Kitchen, Impressive, Flavorful, Tasty, Succulent, Juicy, Crust, Flaky Salt, Pepper, Seasoning, High Smoke Point Oil, Cast Iron Skillet, Stainless Steel, Non-Stick Pan, Leftovers, Repurpose, Risotto, Difference, Wet-Packed, Dry-Packed, Scallop Types, U10-12, Dry, Moisture, Additives, Preservatives, Clean, Sweet, Restaurant-Quality

GET TO KNOW ME!

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WELCOME! My name is Melissa Latin aka. Charlotte Fashion Plate. Happy to meet you! I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

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